New York, East
5 June 1997
FUCHS, LEONHARD. L'Histoire des Plantes mis en Commentaires. French translation by Guillaume Guéroult. Lyons: Balthazar Arnoullet, 1550. 4to, 18th-century vellum, endpapers renewed, several leaves worn or frayed at edges, aa8 trimmed at fore-edge, lightly browned, some staining, one title inscription inked out. FIRST LYONNESE EDITION IN FRENCH. Woodcut printer's device on title, 508 woodcuts of plants by Clément Boussy, woodcut initials from several sets. Durling 1682; Nissen BBI 668.
First edition of the French translation by Guillaume Guéroult. The text is augmented by verses to the reader by the translator, a brief tract on weights and measures by Paul Egnatius, and an index of medicinal uses of the plants. The popularity of Fuchs in France is attested by the numerous editions which appeared in quick succession. In addition to Latin editions, both with and without woodcuts, De historia stirpium was first translated into French by Eloy de Maignan for a Paris edition of 1549 (see lot ???); the translation by Guéroult for the present edition was completed and printed the following year, and it was reprinted in 1558 (see lot ???). Arnoullet made a further investment in Fuchs editions when he commissioned from Boussy in 1547 the miniature series of woodcuts, which makes its third appearance here. This 1550 Lyons edition is of considerable rarity. It is not in Brunet, Pritzel (all of which cite only the 1558 edition), Adams or Hunt, nor has it appeared at auction in over 25 years.
Provenance: Contemporary MS. annotations in French (trimmed) -- Petrus Gotain, 17th-century inscription, annotations and plant-names -- Robert de Belder.
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