FORSTER, JOHANN GEORG ADAM. Florula Insularum Australium Prodromus... Göttingen: J. C. Dieterich, 1786. D5, D6 and F8 torn (the first two repaired), deleted inscription on title. 103 pp., dedicated to Anders Sparrman. Ferguson 9; Pritzel 2975; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1823. [Bound with:] De plantis esculentis insularum Oceani Australis... Berlin: Haude and Spener, 1786. Second edition, first issue, fol. B2 uncancelled. 80pp. Ferguson 8; Pritzel 2976; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1822. [And with:] Herbarium Australe seu Catalogus plantarum exsiccatarum... Göttingen, 1797. 24,  pp. Not in Ferguson; Pritzel 2978; not in Stafleu & Cowan. 3 works in one volume, 8vo, 191 x115 mm. contemporary half calf gilt. SIR JOSEPH BANKS'S COPY, with his signature inkstamp on verso of title, inscribed "Duplicate" beneath.
A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE EARLIEST BOTANICAL WORKS RELATING TO AUSTRALIA. Johann Georg Forster and his father Johann Reinhold Forster sailed in 1772 as naturalists aboard the Resolution on Cook's second voyage, replacing Joseph Banks, who had accompanied Cook's first expedition. Forster fils, who published a general account of the voyage in his Voyage round the World, became professor of natural history at Kassel in 1778, and later at Vilna. The second pamphlet in the present volume, a description of edible plants of the South Seas, served as the author's M.D. thesis (the original thesis was published in Halle; cf. Ferguson 7). "The preface gives a brief account of the characteristics and customs of the various islanders. The work contains descriptions of many Australasian plants" (Ferguson). It was preceded by the Florulae, published the same year, and containing "descriptions of many New Zealand and South Sea plants, some of which are identical with or related to Australian species" (op. cit.)
The Forsters collected numerous specimens for their herbarium during their visits to the South Pacific islands and Australia; the third pamphlet in this volume, extremely rare and apparently unknown to Ferguson, is a sale catalogue of these South Seas herbaria. The catalogue lists a large number of plants as well as 77 original drawings by Forster and a manuscript by Forster indexing plants of the South Seas. Interested parties are invited to make offers to the bookseller Schneider at the Leipzig book fair, up until Easter 1798. Although the fate of most of the Forster herbarium is unknown, the portion containing the plants collected during Cook's voyage, along with a group of drawings, was acquired by Joseph Banks and is now in the British Museum. It is probable that thess represent the entire group offered in this catalogue, purchased by Banks en bloc.
Provenance: Sir Joseph Banks, as above -- Early marginalia in first work (cropped) -- Bibliotheca (?)Demiens, Stockholm, cancelled inkstamps on front flyleaf -- Robert de Belder.