FERRARI, Giovanni Battista (1584-1655). Hesperides sive de malorum aureorum cultura et usu. Rome: Vitalis Mascardi for Hermann Scheus, 1646.
2o (341 x 227 mm). Engraved additional title by Johann Friedrich Greuter after Pietro Berettini da Cortona (cut round and mounted), 101 etched or engraved plates on 100 sheets by Cornelis Bloemaerts, Camillo Cungi and others, after Filippo Gagliardi, Pietro Paolo Ubaldini, Francesco Albani and others (one plate tipped to Mm3). Contemporary calf, spine gilt (some restoration along spine and at corners, covers a bit rubbed). Provenance: Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Stickney Fund (bookplate; stamps).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK DEVOTED TO CITRUS FRUIT. It is an impressive work gloriously illustrated with various types of citrus fruit, each shown life-size, and generally including a whole fruit on a branch, a fruit cut in half and a banner bearing the name of the fruit. Ferrari was a Jesuit priest, "who after completing his studies in his native city of Siena moved to Rome, where he was appointed to the prestigious chair of Hebraic studies at the Collegio Romano. To his duties there, which he carried out for twenty-eight years, Ferrari added his eclectic activities as a humanist, orientalist and man of letters, publishing religious works, theatre pieces and essays on the mores of the period. His most significant output, however, reflected his special interest in the botanical sciences" (Oak Spring Flora, p.118). Cornelis Bloemarts, "one of the great Dutch seventeenth-century botanical artists" (Hunt), served his apprenticeship under Crispin de Passe, and went on to work for both the Cortona and Barberini families. Johnston, Cleveland Botanical Collections 206; Hunt 243; Nissen BBI 621; Pritzel 2878.