28 November 2001
Gustav Johan Billberg (1772-1844)
Ekonomisk Botanik, för Landtbruk, Trädgardar och Apotek. Stockholm: Carl Delén, 1815-1816. 2 parts (all published), 8° (240 x 145mm). 12 hand-coloured engraved plates by J.G. Ruckman after Johan Wilhelm Palmstruch. Original sugar-paper wrappers, letterpress title and contents on upper covers within simple decorative border, modern brown cloth box, brown morocco lettering-piece on spine.
A fine unsophisticated copy of this rare work. The high quality plates are after Palmstruch's originals. He was the prime mover behind 'Svensk Botanik' (11 vols., 1802-1843), a work that Billberg continued after Palmstruch's death in 1811. The plates illustrate a geographically wide-ranging selection of trees, shrubs and flowers and included the Horse Chestnut, Snowdrop, Aster, Purslane, Flax, Foxglove, Raspberry, Spring Crocus, Sunflower, Tobacco plant and others. This work is not recorded in the standard bibliographies, the Library of Congress online catalogue or the British Library online catalogue, but a copy is recorded both in the online catalogue of the Natural History Museum in London and the unpublished complete catalogue of the de Belder collection.
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