BESLER, Basil (1561-1629). Hortus Eystettensis. [Nuremberg and Eichstätt: Strauss], 1713-.
3 volumes bound in one, broadsheets (536 x 435mm). Engraved allegorical title by Wolfgang Kilian amended to dedicate the work to Johann Anton I Knebel von Katzenellenbogen, 367 engraved plates by Kilian, Dominicus and Raphael Custos, Georg Gärtner, Johann Leypold, Levin and Friedrick van Hulsen, Peter Isselburg, Servatius Raeven, Heinrich Ulrich and possibly others, after Daniel Herzog, Georg Gärtner and others. Woodcut tailpieces and initials. One-leaf letterpress address to the reader by Johann Starckmann, 14 index leaves giving plant names in Latin and German, dispersed at the end of each seasonal section [2; 8; 3; 1], descriptive text printed on the verso of each plate except that of the Lilium Martagon between \Kc\k13 and A13, cancellans slips pasted over signatures on D12 and D23. (Variable light browning and offsetting, light dampstaining mainly affecting the margins and causing minor loss on I:I3 and neatly repaired loss of text and image on III:2F-[2H], some paper flaws on plates, small neatly repaired hole on title, neatly-repaired tear on I:H12, some unobtrusive, generally marginal worming, that on I:D-K16 and II:E18-I18 neatly repaired, text on I:A21 marked with loss.) Contemporary German half mottled calf over marbled boards, spine in compartments decorated with gilt rolls, gilt paper lettering-piece, red edges (a little rubbed and scuffed, skilfully rebacked retaining original backstrip). Provenance: inkstamped [?]pressmark on verso of title.
THIRD EDITION OF THE CELEBRATED HORTUS EYSTETTENSIS, whose publication was undertaken by the Bishop of Eichstätt, Johann Anton I Knebel von Katzenellenbogen (Bp 1705-1725) to commemorate the centenary of its first appearance in print. It was initially intended to enlarge the work to include flowers from around the world and Europe, and Johann Michael Hertel, professor of medicine and botany at the University of Ingolstadt (c.1650-1740) prepared drawings and sent them to the Prince Bishop. Although a title-page dated 1712 was prepared announcing the additional flowers, the project was dropped, and the title-page was revised yet again merely to dedicate it to Johann Anton I with the date 1713. Two of the original plates were missing, however, and the entire project ground to a halt until taken up by Johann George Starckmann (Sthenander), an Eichstätt physician. The missing plates were found, the text was reprinted with minimal revision, Starckmann composed an address to the reader outlining the history of the work and praising both Johann Anton I and his successor as Prince Bishop, Johann Anton II von Freyberg (1736-57), and the work was finally issued about 1750. Christoph Jakob Trew, an active supporter of the project, obtained his copy of the edition in 1752.
Cf. Hortus Eystettensis: zur Geschichte eines Gartens und einer Buches, Munich, 1989, pp.106-112, 131-4; N. Barker, Hortus Eystettensis, The Bishop's Garden and Besler's Magnificent Book (1995), p.21. Arnold Arboretum p.80; Hunt 430; Nissen 159; Pritzel 745; Stafleu and Cowan 497.