CLUSIUS, CAROLUS. Rariorum aliquot stirpium per Hispanias observatorum Historia, libris duobus expressa. Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1576.
8vo, 169 x 107 mm., seventeenth-century vellum over pasteboard, arms of Maximilian, Bishop of Lambach Abbey stamped in gilt on upper cover, plant name captions to woodcuts underlined in brown ink throughout, 2 or 3 small inkstains.
FIRST EDITION, printer's woodcut device on title, 233 full-page woodcuts, most by the author and Pieter van der Borcht.
FIRST EDITION OF CLUSIUS'S FIRST WORK and one of the earliest European regional floras, preceded only by his translations of Dodoens, Monardes, and da Orta, Clusius. The work contains descriptions of over 200 new species discovered by him during a journey through Spain and Portugal in the years 1564-65, with a section on plants of southern France, where Clusius had botanized in 1551-54, and an appendix of 8 newly discoved Turkish plants. 39 of the woodcuts had been previously used in Plantin's 1574 edition of Dodoens' Purgantium historia.
"De l'Ecluse's work was practical and descriptive, and he added little to the knowledge of classification. But it remains of high value even today, on account of his genius for detecting the essential specific features of plants, and in spite of the limited scientific terminlogy of the day, for giving recognizable descriptions of them. Again and again, in attempting to ascertain the correct application of names given by Linnaeus, the inquirer is led back to l'Ecluses's work..."(Blunt and Stearn, p. 82). Among his other achievements, Clusius is credited with the introduction of both the tulip and the potato to the Netherlands.
Hunt 125; Nissen BBI 370; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1145; Voet 1006.
Provenance: Maximilan, Abbot of Lambach, supra-libros -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate and blindstamp.