JACQUIN, Nikolaus Joseph, Baron von (1727-1817). Hortus botanicus Vindobonensis. Vienna: Leopold Johann Kaliwoda (vols I and II) and Joseph Michael Gerold (vol. III), 1770-1776.
3 volumes in 2, 2° (460 x 280mm). Half-titles, that to vol. I bound after the preface, 2-page index leaves bound in at the end of vols II and III. Hand-coloured engraved plan of the garden and 300 hand-coloured engraved plates after Franz von Scheidl, the bases printed in black or coloured inks, 4 folding. Woodcut head- and tailpieces, ornaments and initials. (Some light spotting, browning or offsetting, some plates with margins shaved into the platemark, 21 plates shaved with slight loss to image, small hole in plate I/2, short marginal tear on plate III/8.) Early 19th-century green, hard-grain morocco gilt by J. MacKenzie, boards with wide decorative arabesque borders within a series of 4 triple fillets, spines gilt in compartments and lettered in two, the others with decorative overall symmetrical pattern, gilt-ruled board-edges and turn-ins, gilt edges, silk registers (extremities very lightly rubbed, spines slightly faded). Provenance: British Museum (ownership and/or 1831 deaccession stamps on versos of dedication leaf, vol. I and III titles, and plate III/100, all skilfully erased, the erasure of the latter causing a small hole)--sale, Sotheby's, 24 February 1831, lot 1002--Beriah Botfield (1807-1863; sale, Christie's London, 30 March 1994, lot 68).
FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 25 OF 162 COPIES. THE BOTFIELD COPY. A spectacular celebration, published under the patronage of Empress Maria Theresa, of the plants in the Vienna Botanic Garden, including European and exotic, and useful and ornamental species. Jacquin was born in Leyden and studied in Antwerp, Leyden and Paris, before his fellow-countryman van Swieten, an old family friend, persuaded him to go to Vienna. Having arrived there, he diligently pursued his botanical studies, and attracted the attention of Emperor Franz I whilst working at Schoenbrunn. Soon afterwards he was commissioned by the Emperor to produce a systematic catalogue of the plants in the gardens, and was later asked by him to go to America to search for plants. He left Austria in 1754, stopping in the south of France (where he met Sauvage and La Condamine) and sailing from Livorno on 1 January 1755. For the next four years he explored the Antilles and parts of South America, and--despite the debilitating effect of the climate--made a large collection of plants, natural history specimens and ethnographica. On his return to Europe he concentrated on publishing his discoveries and improving the gardens at Schoenbrunn. He subsequently became professor of Botany at Vienna and was raised to the baronage by Emperor Franz II in 1806.
This copy of Hortus botanicus Vindobonensis--the first of the great Jacquin colour-plate works--has been bound by Mackenzie; although some of the endpapers are watermarked 1830, Mackenzie's stamp does not include the words 'Binder to the King' (a position he held under both George IV and William IV), suggesting that the work was bound after William IV's death in 1837. Arnold Arboretum p.366; BM(NH) II, p.918; Brunet III, cols 488-489; Cleveland Collections 500; Dunthorne 150; Great Flower Books (1990) p.104; Nissen BBI 973; Pritzel 4365; Stafleu and Cowan 3246. (2)