BULLIARD, PIERRE. Herbier de la France, ou Collection complette des plantes indigènes de ce royaume; Avec leurs Détails Anatomiques, leurs propriétés, et leurs usages en Medecine. 1780-1793. 6 vols.. [With:] Histoire des plantes vénéneuses et suspectes de la France, 1784; Histoire des champignons de la France, 1791, (vol. I only); Dictionnaire élémentaire de botanique, 1783; all Paris: chez l'Auteur, Didot Jeune, [et al.]
Together 9 vols., 313 x 227 mm., of which 6 plate vols. and 3 text vols., uniformly bound in early 19th-century French half red morocco gilt, green morocco lettering-pieces, edges yellow-stained, some wear to extremities, a few small chips, dampstaining to lower gutter margins of a few plates at front and back of vols. 1-3 and at front of vols. 4 and 6, as well as to plates in the Dictionnaire, mostly confined to blank margins, occasional mostly marginal foxing or discoloration.
Herbier: Engraved title, the border printed in two tints, 600 engraved plates, most color-printed (a few printed in one or two tints), most stipple-engraved, the majority of fungi and mushrooms, the first 48 unnumbered, the remainder numbered, each with engraved descriptive text at bottom, 11 engraved tables with the French and Latin names of the species in each "année" or livraison, bound with the plates, without the 12th table, as often, and without plates 601-602, as in most copies, letterpress prospectus entitled "L'Etat actuel de la l'herbier de la France, dated 1791, bound in at front of vol. 6.
Histoire des plantes vénéneuses: half-title, 16 plates repeated from the Herbier.
Histoire des champignons: half-title, title followed by another copy of the 1791 "Etat actuel" prospectus, 6 engraved plates, one printed on both sides, 2 with color-printing.
Dictionnaire: 10 engraved plates, all but one color-printed, errata leaf at end.
FIRST EDITION, "PROBABLY THE FIRST BOTANICAL WORK COMPLETELY COLOUR-PRINTED WITHOUT RETOUCHING BY HAND" (Great Flower Books). Bulliard had originally intended to issue the work in 5 large divisions, but only the first two text volumes were published, of which the first editions are included here; later editions (cf. Nissen) contained different combinations of plates. The latter were issued in 151 parts of 4 plates apiece, with the exception of the final part, which contained 2 plates. 209 plates show flowering plants, and the remainder are of fungi. The color-printing was carried out through the multiple-plate method, i.e., using a separate copperplate for each color, "a technique rarely employed for botanical books" (Blunt and Stearn). Bulliard drew and engraved all of the plates himself, and was probably also responsible for the color-printing.
Dunthorne 70; Great Flower Books, p. 52; Nissen BBI 296; Blunt and Stearn, p. 171 ("an attractive work, illustrated with coloured engravings which are both delicate and accurate").
Provenance: Porchester, armorial bookplates and shelfmark labels on front pastedowns. (9)