BONELLI, GIORGIO. Hortus Romanus juxta systema Tournefortianum paulo strictus distributus. Rome: Bouchard and Gravier, 1772-1793.
8 vols., large folio, 547 x 395 mm., contemporary half vellum and marbled boards, new spine labels and gilt, new slipcases, wear to spines and some board edges, a few minor binding repairs, some stitching fragile and joints starting; small dampstain to upper margin of vol. 1, vol. 2 plate 59 and title-leaf of vol. 4 supplied, vol. 4 leaf of text L1 browned and plate 95 stained, vol. 5 plate 93 dampsoiled and powdered with chalk, vol. 6 plate 57 marked in old pencil and a blank corner lost from plate 75, a very few occasional and minor stains elsewhere..
FIRST EDITION, COMPLETE COPY. Half-titles, letterpress titles in red and black each with a different hand-colored engraved vignette, vol. 1 with double-page engraved Prospectus Horti Romani by Andrea de Rossi printed in green, 5 engraved portraits of cardinals in vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 (Clement XIV printed in blue, Bernis, Zelada, Giraud and Boncampagnio), ornamental engraved initials, 800 hand-colored engraved plates mostly by Maddalena Bouchard after Cesare Ubertini and Liberato and Constantino Sabbati.
EXTREMELY RARE; the last three volumes, in particular, are often missing (Hunt, Library of Congress lack them, British Library lacks vol. 8). This copy used to lack plate 59 in vol. 2 (plate 58 was present in duplicate) and the title-leaf in vol. 4 when it was in Plesch's possession and these two lacunae were filled soon after his sale in 1975. "Nissen saw the original prospectus (at Heidelberg): 300 copies were to be printed, of which only some were to be coloured. It is not likely that this number was acutally reached, certainly not for the later volumes" -- Stafleu & Cowan. Bonelli (1742-1782) was an Italian physician and professor of medicine at Rome. He contributed only a short text in accordance with Tournefort to the first volume; the remaining volumes were edited by N. Martelli from specimens and descriptions provided by the Sabbatis.
Cleveland Collections 509 (lacks vols. 7-8); Dunthorne 45; Great Flower Books, p. 51; Hunt 629 (lacks vols. 6-8); Nissen BBI 200; Pritzel 976; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 634.
Provenance: Ewald Schlundt, bookplate (with his name removed) -- Arpad Plesch, book-label (sale, Sotheby's London, 16 June 1975, lot 78) -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 27 April 1987, lot 39).