JACQUIN, NIKOLAUS JOSEPH, Baron von. Florae Austriacae, sive Plantarum Selectarum in Austriae archiducatu sponte crescentium. Icones, ad vivum coloratae, et descriptionibus, ac synonimis illustratae. Vienna: Leopoldi Joannis Kaliwoda (vols. I-III) and Joseph Michael Gerold (vols. IV-V), 1773-1778.
5 vols., large folio, 460 x 283 mm., contemporary calf, sides panelled in blind, arms of a German or Austrian abbey gilt-stamped on upper covers, spines gilt, tan calf lettering-pieces, marbled edges, occasional surface wear, some minor restoration, vols. 3 and 5 with tears at tail of spines, upper inner hinges cracked, staining from effaced monastic ownership inscriptions on all half-titles, pl. 43 slightly offset to following plate, thin crease to pl. 217 not touching subject, 5-inch repaired tear and short (marginal) fold break to folding plate 336, small marginal tear to pl. A.T. 13.
FIRST EDITION, half-titles, titles with hand-colored engraved views (those in vols. 3 and 4 signed by Mansfeld after Franz Scheidl), 500 VERY FINE HAND-COLORED ENGRAVED PLATES, one folding, an additional plate 392*, uncolored, numbered 1-450 and App. T. 1-50, a few printed in colored inks, most by Jakob Adam after Franz von Scheidel, a few after Franz Xavier Wulfen, elaborate woodcut head and tail-pieces; manuscript captions supplied in early ink or later pencil to most plates.
Jacquin's great monograph on Austrian flora "ranks with the Flora danica, Flora londinensis, and Flora graeca AMONG THE FINEST BOOKS DEALING WITH THE WILD FLOWERS OF A EUROPEAN COUNTRY" (Blunt and Stearn, p. 177). "This great Flora of Austria is one of the most magnificent of a flood of local floras that followed the advent of binomial nomenclature. They were designed to segregate from the Species plantarum of Linnaeus such plants as could be verified as present in each country, as well as to add species unknown to Linnaeus" (Bartlett, Fifty-five Rare Books from the Botanical Library of Mrs. Roy Arthur Hunt, Ann Arbor 1979, cited in Hunt). Jacquin had realized early on that he could not achieve his grand projects singlehandedly, and had begun "to gather around him a team of draughtsmen to work under his immediate supervision. First among these was Franz von Scheidel (1731-1801), his companion, also, in many rambles in the Austrian mountains. Jacquin describes him as 'in pingendo celerrimus'; and he is said to have made more than seven thousand drawings of plants, besides many others of birds and other animals, and of minerals" (op cit.). After finishing the Flora Austriacae, however, Scheidel moved to Denmark, and Jacquin was obliged to find other artists for his later botanical publications.
Cleveland Collections 512; Dunthorne 151; Great Flower Books, p. 61; Hunt 635; Nissen BBI 971; Pritzel 4366; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 3247.
Provenance: Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Stickney Fund, 1882, bookplate (sale, Sotheby's New York, 1 October 1980, lot 133). (5)