18 December 2002
DILLENIUS, Johann Jakob (1684-1747). Horti Elthamensis plantarum rariorum icones et nomina. Leiden: Cornelium Haak, 1774.
2 volumes bound in one, 2o (398 x 265 mm). Woodcut headpiece and initial to dedication, 325 engraved plates (occasional mostly pale marginal dampstaining, some light spotting). Eighteenth-century marbled paper boards, morocco spine label (a bit rubbed at joints and edges). Provenance: C.F. Phi. Martii (bookplate); Massachusetts Horticultural Society (bookplate; stamps).
Second edition, a reissue of the London, 1732 first edition without the text, but the first to be indexed with the Linnaean binomials. Dillenius was a British botanist of German birth. His Hortus was the most important eighteenth-century work on plants in a private garden to be published in England. "James Sherard (1666-1738), botanist and apothecary, had gardens famous for rare plants at Eltham, south of Greenwich. Dillenius made the gardens 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 was its first occupant. Nissen BBI 492; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1471.
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