KNORR, GEORG WOLFGANG. Thesaurus Rei Herbariae Hortensisque Universalis... Allgemeines Blumen- Kräuter- Frucht- und Garten-Buch. Nuremberg: Paul Jonathan Felsseckers (vol. I: for G. W. Knorr), 1750-72.
2 vols. in 3, folio, 407 x 245 mm., contemporary calf, sides panelled in gilt, spines gilt, morocco lettering-pieces, marbled edges, a bit rubbed, a few scrapes to covers, upper inner hinge of vol. 1 split, slight surface wear to engraved title, very slight soft creasing to lower corners of some plates, plate R.2.a. (Garden Rose) in vol. II slightly discolored and with 2 small stains.
FIRST AND ONLY EDITION, additional engraved title, two letterpress titles in Latin and German, parallel text in Latin and German, 301 plates on 300 leaves, most drawn and engraved by the author, TITLE AND PLATES FINELY HAND-COLORED, typographic head-piece ornaments and initial factotums.
THE PLESCH--DE BELDER COPY OF "THE LOVELIEST OF THE GERMAN FLOWER BOOKS" (Nissen). The very fine plates were drawn and engraved by Knorr, who conceived the project of the work, but died in 1761, before its completion. In 1750 he had had printed a title-page for the first volume: this copy is one of only a few to contain this rare issue of the title to vol. 1, usually dated 1771. The text was prepared by Philipp Friedrich Gmelin and Georg Rudolf Böhmer. Long considered original, the plates actually owe much to Ehret; many derive closely from his work in Trew, Plantae selectae and Weinmann, Phytanthoza. The traditional erroneous plate count of "301 + 102" plates seems to have originated with a misprint in Pritzel (cf. the thorough examination of this question in the Plesch sale catalogue).
Dunthorne 214; Great Flower Books, p. 62; Hunt 538; Nissen 1081 and Supplement, p. 43; Pritzel 4757; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 3770.
Provenance: Arpad Plesch, bookplate (sale, Sotheby's, 17 November 1975, lot 421) -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 27-28 April, 1987, lot 194). (3)