JOHANN REINHOLD FORSTER (1729-1798) AND JOHANN GEORG ADAM FORSTER (1754-1794)
Characteres generum plantarum, quas in itinere ad insulas maris austalis collegerunt, descripserunt, delinearunt, annis MDCCLXXII-MDCCLXXV. London: B. White, T. Cadell and P. Elmsly, 1776. 4° (305 x 238mm). 78 engraved plates after J.R. and J.G.A. Forster. Retaining dedication and errata leaves \Kp\k1 and \Kc\k1. (Some very light offsetting from plates onto text.) Contemporary [?German] red pigskin backed speckled boards, paper lettering-piece on spine titled in manuscript, uncut (some light rubbing, corners and board-edges bumped, upper hinge reinforced), modern cloth slipcase.
SECOND, BUT FIRST QUARTO EDITION. A FINE, UNCUT COPY OF THE FIRST BOTANICAL WORK TO RESULT FROM COOK'S SECOND VOYAGE. Characteres records a large number of new names relating to the plants of Australasia and Polynesia and 'it has been said to be the foundation of our knowledge of New Zealand, Antarctic, and Polynesian vegetation' (Hill). In addition to the samples that they and Anders Sparrman had collected on the second voyage, the Forsters had access to the library and herbarium of Sir Joseph Banks and the drawings of Sydney Parkinson, both of whom had, with Daniel Solander, served as naturalists on Cook's first voyage. According to Stafleu and Cowan, there are three editions: the first, in a folio format and without a date on the title page was issued circa 29 November 1775 and is known in only two copies; the present, second edition was published in quarto format on 1 March 1776; the third, in a folio format with a dated title-page was issued on or after the 1 March 1776. Beddie 1385; BM(NH) II, p. 596 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Henrey 718; Hill 627 (stating that there was only one folio edition); Hunt 649; Nissen BBI 644 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Pritzel 2981 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Sabin 25134; Stafleu and Cowan 1826.