JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712-1778)
La Botanique de J.J.Rousseau, orne de soixante-cinq planches, imprims en couleurs d'aprs les peintures de P.J.Redout. Paris: L.E. Herhan for Delachausse & Garnery, 1805. 4 (358 x 270mm). Half-title, title with large uncoloured stipple-engraved vignette, 65 STIPPLE-ENGRAVED PLATES, PRINTED IN COLOURS AND FINISHED BY HAND, AFTER REDOUT, by Bouquet, Jacques Chailly, Mlle. Delelo and others, printed by Langlois. (Some light browning or soiling, 2 plates with short tears to margins, repaired with adhesive tape on verso, some spotting and light soiling to margins of text.) Modern green half morocco gilt, uncut.
A LARGE UNCUT COPY OF THE QUARTO ISSUE OF THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. This issue has 6 preliminary leaves and text paginated to 159, followed by a one-page table. Despite the fact that the present copy is uncut, a number of plates show loss to the engaver's name and occasionally to the numbering. This is a result of using printing plates designed for the folio issue, which are too large for the quarto paper.
"This work is Redout's last link with the ancien rgime: his old patrons had all died, or, like Cels, who died in 1806, had ceased to be influential. Redout had entered easily into a new life under the empire. On the whole, it can be said that it is remarkable how little Redout was affected by the political and social changes that took place around him" (Stafleu in Lawrence, Redouteana p.23). Rousseau had first published his Essais lmentaires sur le botanique in Paris in 1771. His interest had been aroused, in 1763 or 1764, by his enforced exile amongst the beauties of Switzerland. Following the current fashion he made various collections of plant specimens or herbaria, two of which are known to have been given to Madame tienne Delessert and her daughter Margurite-Madeleine. Great Flower Books p.74; Lawrence Redouteana 16; Nissen BBI 1688; cf. Pritzel 7824 (folio issue); Stafleu & Cowan 9688.