GERARD, John (1545-1612). The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Edited by Thomas Johnson. London: Adam Islip, Joyce Norton, and Richard Whitaker, 1633.
2° (350 x 232mm). Engraved architectural title by John Payne depicting Theophrastus and Dioscorides, Ceres and Pomona, and Gerard [Johnson English Title-pages, p. 50, Payne no. 9], 2791 woodcut illustrations [Cleveland Collections count], woodcut head- and tailpieces, ornaments and initials. Retaining first and final blanks. (Occasional light spotting, marking or browning, some gatherings with light marginal dampstaining, engraved title slightly soiled and frayed, P2 and 6Z6 with short tears.) Contemporary brown turkey, boards panelled in gilt, inner panels with elaborate gilt cornerpieces, central gilt arms of Charles I, spine gilt, gilt edges, modern morocco-backed box (a little rubbed and scuffed, lacking ties, some minor restoration to joints, corners and edges of boards, pastedowns renewed). Provenance: Charles I, King of England (1600-1649, gilt supralibros on upper and lower boards)--'This Booke was my Mothers who dyd October the 14th 1675 CW' (inscription on preliminary blank)--John Wheldon, sold to:--Parke, Davis & Co, Detroit (company library bookplate recording purchase from Wheldon, 11 March 1881)--sale, Christie's New York, 4 June 1997, lot 54.
SECOND [FIRST JOHNSON] EDITION. CHARLES I'S COPY. First edition of Thomas Johnson's augmented and corrected rescension of Gerard's Herball, the 'Gerard emaculata'. Although Johnson was obliged to produce the edition rapidly, as the printers wished to publish it before John Parkinson could issue his announced second work, the Theatrum botanicum (which did not in the event appear until 1640), he managed to achieve a considerable improvement over Gerard's error-ridden first edition of 1597. Just as for the first edition, the woodblocks were acquired from abroad, this time from Plantin, who had used them for his editions of Dodoens, de l'Écluse, and Lobel (a few of the smaller woodcuts may thus have in fact originated in England, with Thomas Purfoot's edition of Pena and Lobel's Stirpium adversaria nova, Plantin having purchased the woodblocks in 1580). In this copy pp. 241, 528, 795, 1240 ('1204'), 1357, 1457, and 1480 are incorrectly numbered, but not pp. 370-1 and 1627; 5P3 is correctly signed. Arnold Arboretum 275; Cleveland Collections 185; Henrey 155; Hunt 223; Nissen BBI 698; Pritzel 3282; Stafleu and Cowan 1993; STC 11751.