DILLENIUS, JOHANN JACOB. Hortus Elthamensis, seu plantarum rariorum quas in horto suo Elthami in Canto coluit Jacobus Sherard. London: G.Smith for the author, 1732.
2 vols. in one volume, folio, 458 x 280mm., contemporary vellum, tooled in gilt, the gilding rubbed, slightly soiled, some light browning to contents, vol. II without a title (apparently not required).
FIRST EDITION, one of 250 copies. Half-titles to both parts, 325 engraved plates, plate number [166bis] bound at back.
The most important 18th-century work on plants in a private garden to be published in England. "James Sherard (1666-1738), botanist and apothecary, had gardens at Eltham, south of Greenwich, famous for rare plants. Dillenius made the garden memorable through excellent illustrations, drawn and engraved by himself. They were sufficiently accurate to be of considerable service to Linnaeus." (Hunt). William Sherard, brother of James, endowed the chair of botany at Oxford, and Dillenius, a native of Darmstadt, was its first occupant.
Dunthorne 94; Great Flower Books p.55; Henrey 643; Nissen BBI 492; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1471.
Provenance: William Borrer, armorial bookplate -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 27 April 1987, lot 105).