CANDOLLE, Augustin Pyramus de (1778-1841). Histoire des Plantes Grasses, par Redouté et Decandolle. Paris: Imprimerie de Didot l'Ainé, 1799-.
2 volumes, 2° (489 x 333 mm). Letterpress titles. 144 stipple engraved plates (called for on the table of contents, see note below), printed in colors and finished by hand, after P.-J.Redouté and Henri-Joseph Redouté (first few leaves becoming loose, short split along plate impression on first plate, some minor staining, mostly to text). Contemporary green morocco decorated with gilt and blind roll-tools, spine in 7 compartments gilt lettered in two, gilt edges (upper joint splitting, minor wear to edges a few scuffs). Provenance: Graham Watson (engraved bookplate); Samuel George Smith (bookplate); The Warren H. Corning Collection Horticultural Classics (bookplate).
REDOUTÉ'S FIRST MAJOR WORK AS AN ILLUSTRATOR. It was also the first major botanical work to rely on color-printed plates using techniques refined by Redouté, and the last publishing enterprise stimulated by C.-L. l'Hériter de Brutelle. While Redouté began work on the drawings on vellum, R.-L. Desfontaines "found a young Swiss botanist, Augustin-Pyramus De Candolle.., then a student at the garden, ready to undertake the task of writing the descriptions of each species. Desfontaines also found a publisher... Out of this collaboration... developed the now famous Plantarum historia succulentum, perhaps better known by its French title Plantes grasses... The original folio edition was struck off in 100 copies... The number of copies printed for the quarto and for other later editions is not known" (Stafleu in Hunt Redouteana, pp.15-16). The original edition was published in fasicles: the first 28 (containing 159 plates) between 1799 and 1805, when an argument between de Candolle and the publisher halted publication. "The work was resumed through the interest of the botanist J.-B.-.A. Guillemin (1796-1862), who issued, in quarto edition, another three fasicles (nos.29-31 [with a further 18 plates]). A thirty-second fasicle of five plates remains unpublished." Stafleu and Cowan wrote that the work was "one of the nightmares of botanical bibliography" and go on to say that "Several editions are known to have been distributed, but new title-pages, partial indexes and new covers were issued at different times either with existing stock or with later reprints... There are hardly any identical copies. Very often plates are lacking, but... a huge number of 'variants' exist." Cleveland Collections 651 (GC copy this copy, enumerating some leaves and plates, see note above); Dunthorne 241; Great Flower Books, p.53; Hunt Redouteana 6; Nissen BBI 321; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 983.