Elizabeth Blackwell (c.1700-1758)
Herbarium Blackwellianum emendatum et auctum id est Elisabethae Blackwell Collectio Stirpium quae in Pharmocopoliis ad Medicum usum asservantur.. cum praefatione.. Christoph. Iacobi Trew. Nuremburg: printed by Johann Joseph Fleischmann [vol.I & VI], Christian de Launoy [vols.II-IV] or the heirs of Christian de Launoy [vol.V], [1747-]1750-1754-1773. 6 volumes in three, folio (343 x 236mm). Parallel titles and text in German and Latin. 6 hand-coloured engraved additional titles, heightened in gold, 615 FINE HAND-COLOURED ENGRAVED PLATES, all but the last few by Nikolaus Friedrich Eisenberger, many heightened with gum arabic. (Without 13 text leaves in vol.II [(**)-6(*)2, 7(*)1 Trew's Catalogus Auctorum], and 2 preliminary leaves in vol.III [)(1 and 2], light worming to titles in vol.III and German title in vol.V, light marginal silver-fish damage to plates numbered 399, 400, 600a and 600b.) Contemporary German mottled sheep, spines in six compartments with raised bands, lettering-piece in the second lettered and tooled in gilt (first volume with head of spine chipped and slight loss to lettering-piece).Provenance: Unidentified (inked-over stamps on three titles 'Ad Bibliotheca Monasti [?]Lambar...', first volume with inscription noting the gift of the work from the 'Amandi Abbatis' to:); P.[ater?] Adalbero Heindl (inscription, signature).
A SUBSCRIBER'S COPY (including the first issue of vol.I) of the expanded German edition of Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal. With 615 artistically superior plates by the court painter Nikolaus Eisenberger, this is one of the most important 18th-century German works on medicinal plants. The publication was started on a subscription basis in the summer of 1747 by the painter Eisenberger (1707-1773). Trew (1695-1769) was the inspiration behind the project and wrote the substantially expanded text for the first 90 plates, the text was continued by Georg Rudolph Bohmer (1723-1803) and Ernst Gottlob Bose (1709-1773), both leading botanists from Leipzig, under the editorship of Christian Gottlieb Ludwig (1709-1773), who was himself assisted by F.A.G. Knolle in the production of the text to the final volume. Volume I was reissued with a variant title in 1757. Eisenberger (1707-1771), worked exclusively from his own paintings including just over 100 completely new images as well as reworked versions of Blackwell's plates - but with added details of flower parts and fruits. The resultant engravings show a sureness of line and feel for the placing of the subjects on the plate that is often lacking in Blackwell's more pedestrian images. Eisenberger, who also worked on the German edition of Catesby's Natural History (Nuremberg: 1750), was employed again by Trew on his masterpiece: the Hortus Nitidissimus (Nuremberg: 1750-1786 see lot 87) where his fellow artists included Dietzch and Georg Dionysius Ehret.
The missing leaves were clearly never present. Trew is known to have been very slow in producing the text to accompany Eisenberger's plates, this may account for the chaos which apparently surrounded the publication of the text of the first volume (the Wellcome copy, the Cleveland copy and the present copy each display significant differences in their collation). This chaos appears to have extended to the production of the later volumes and may indicate that the missing leaves are not required in the present early issue of the work. Arnold Aboretum p.86; cf.Cleveland 444 (lacks final volume); Great Flower Books (1990) p.75; Nissen BBI 169; Pritzel 812; Stafleu & Cowan 546; Wellcome II,p.174.