FUCHS, Leonhard (1501-1566). De historia stirpium commentarii insignes. Basel: Michael Isingrin, 1542.
Large 2o (370 x 242 mm). Printer's woodcut device on title, repeated on final verso, full-page woodcut portrait of Fuchs on title verso, 509 full-page botanical woodcuts and 3 smaller woodcuts in the text by Veit Rudolph Speckle after Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, including their own portraits on fff5r, woodcut historiated initials in several sizes, FINELY COLORED IN AN EARLY HAND. (Some marginal repairs at beginning and end, tears crossing text or image on E6, N6, X5, a2 i1, r6 s4, oo2, and fff4 [mostly repaired], tt4 with small hole repaired affecting a few letters, a few other marginal tears or repairs, some pale dampstaining, occasional scattered spotting and soiling.) Modern blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards. Provenance: Wellcome Library (withdrawn stamp on title-page verso).
A FINELY COLORED COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THE FINEST BOTANICAL WORK OF THE RENAISSANCE AND "PERHAPS THE MOST CELEBRATED AND MOST BEAUTIFUL HERBAL EVER PUBLISHED" (PMM). Along with Otto Brunfels and Hieronymus Bock, Fuchs was one of the three German fathers of modern botany. In addition to describing plants for their medicinal use, Fuchs also gives accurate botanical descriptions of over 500 plants. The finely detailed plant-portraits were drawn from life by Albert Meyer and transferred to the woodblock by Heinrich Füllmauer, and cut into wood by Veit Rudolph Speckle. The illustrations were largely based on plants in Fuchs's own garden at Tübingen and were reused in numerous later editions in various sizes; they also appear in herbals by other authors, including Bock, Dodoens, and William Turner. Adams F-1099; Dibner Heralds of Science 19; Garrison & Morton 1808; Grolier/Horblit 33b; Grolier Medicine 17; Hunt 48; Nissen BBI 658; Norman 846; PMM 69; Pritzel 3138.