24 June 2009
SMITH, James Edward. [Spicilegium botanicum. London: J. Davis for the Author, 1791-92].
2 parts in one volume, 4o (300 x 200 mm). 24 hand-colored engraved plates by James Sowerby (some occasional spotting). 19th-century half morocco, marbled boards by D. Dowsing (rebacked, some rubbing).
FIRST EDITION of parts 1 and 2 (all published) of Smith's treatise on rare and exotic plants. The title and imprint would have been printed on the original wrappers as it appears that no title-page was issued. The dedication and preface are in both Latin and English, with the descriptive text for each plate in Latin in the first fascicle and in English in the second fascicle. The many botanical publications by Smith, a physician and the first President of the Linnaean Society..." did much to advance the study of this science during his day. He was praised by his contemporaries not only for the accuracy of his writings, but also for the clearness of his scientific descriptions. Moreover he was frequently commended for the elegance of his style" (Henrey, p. 188). Henrey 1357; Hunt 719; Nissen BBI 1862. Pritzel 8736.
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