HOST, NICOLAUS THOMAS. Salix. Vol. I [all published]. [Vienna: Typis viduae Antonii Strauss], 1828 [-1830].
Folio, 462 x 325 mm., contemporary English red straight-grained morocco gilt, g.e., binding scuffed with extremities worn, title and plate 105 slightly foxed.
FIRST EDITION. Letterpress title, 3 leaves dedication to Emperor Francis I, one leaf preface, 34 pages of descriptive text and 105 hand-colored engraved plates by Johann Ibmayer, unsigned.
A SUPERB AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE MONOGRAPH ON WILLOWS. "Jacquin, in a letter to de Candolle, dated 10 March 1834, mentions the circumstance that 53 illustrations were ready for a second volume, of which 11 had already been engraved, printed and coloured. Beetz (see Nissen 936) mentions the existence of a further 140 incomplete drawings; all these are now in the Porträtsammlung of the Nationalbibliothek, Vienna " -- Stafleu & Cowan. Ibmayer also illustrated Host's other major work on grasses, Icones et descriptiones graminum Austriacorum (1801-1809). It is one of the last great Austiran botanical books from the Jacquin golden age of Imperial patronage. Plesch could not acquire a copy; according to ABPC, this is the only copy of Salix to have appeared at auction since 1960. Not in Dunthorne or Cleveland Collections.
Provenance: The Earl of Derby, Knowsley Hall, bookplate and shelfmark (sale, Christie's London, 30 June 1971, lot 71) -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 27 April 1987, lot 165).