MEERBURGH, Nicolaas (1734-1814). Plantae rariores vivis coloribus depictae. Leiden: Jacob Meerburgh, 1789. -- [Bound with:] N. MEERBURGH. Plantarum selectarum icones pictae editae. Leiden: Jacob Meerburgh, 1798.
2 works in one volume, 2° (438 x 275 mm). 55 hand-colored etched plates by Meerburgh, first ten with plate numbers added in early manuscript hand, two with early manuscript amendments of etcher's name, and 28 hand-colored engraved plates (second work). (Darkening to title of first work, final plate of second work and a few other plates or leaves with creasing, some light dust soiling or staining to margins.) Modern half calf antique, the spine gilt and divided into seven compartments, red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, uncut,
FIRST LATIN EDITION of the first work, which was preceded by a Dutch edition with 50 plates. the second work, A FIRST EDITION, is essentially a continuation of the first but of greater rarity. Meerburgh, the curator of the Leiden Botanical Garden from 1774 until 1814, intended both works to be for reference with accurately colored plates. Each plate in the earlier work includes a butterfly or moth drawn from his own collection. Although his etching technique has been criticized, it gives a refreshing spontaneity to the images and the coloring, if at times eccentric, has a uniform lightness of touch. Dunthorne 203, 204; Great Flower Books (1990) p.119; Hunt 705; Cleveland Collections 592, 643; Landwehr 126, 127; Nissen BBI 1333, 1334; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 5785, 5786.