HOFFMANNSEGG, JOHANN CENTURIUS Graf von. and HEINRICH FRIEDRICH LINK. Flore Portugaise ou description de toutes les plantes qui croissent naturellement en Portugal. Berlin: Charles Fréderic Amelang for the authors, 1809-1820 [-1840].
2 vols, large folio, 547 x 360 mm., 22 PARTS UNBOUND AND UNCUT AS ISSUED, printed wrappers present for livraisons 19 and 20 only, in two folding cloth cases, a few plate sheets darkened or with faint spotting, some foxing to text and the text dampstained towards the end of vol. 2.
FIRST EDITION. 3 uncolored "Planches d'instruction" and 111 colored plates (numbered 1-109, plus 90b and 108b), 109 of them stipple-engravings printed in colors and finished by hand, and two (nos. 20 and 22) colored lithographs; engraved by Bollinger, Clar, Dumbte, Guimpel, Haas, Krethlow, Meyer, Schubert and Wachsmann after drawings by G.W. Voelker and Hoffmannsegg, French and Latin text.
A VERY RARE NATIONAL FLORA. Hoffmannsegg (1766-1849) was a contemporary of Redouté and this work is the rival of the latter's Jardin de Malmaison which is often regarded as the summit of Redouté's artistic and botanical achievement. Indeed, thanks to the range of Hoffmannsegg's travels throughout Portugal between 1797 and 1801, Flore Portugaise, with its record of newly discovered and previously undescribed species, surpasses any of Redouté's work with the possible exception of Les Liliacées. The 14-page preface contains a long discussion of the reasoning for preparing the text in French and Latin instead of Portugese and includes the confident prediction: "We flatter ourselves that, despite this being the first work of its nature to have appeared in Germany, it has no fear of standing comparison with other floras, nor indeed with any similar work published to this day." Curiously, Hoffmannsegg spelt his name thus in all other publications but this, where it is consistently spelt "Hoffmansegg."
Dunthorne 136; Great Flower Books, p. 59; Nissen BBI 901; Pritzel 4161; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 2911.
Provenance: Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 27 April 197, lot 155). (2)