4 June 2003
[LEMAIRE, Charles (1801-1871). Iconographie descriptive des cactées: ou essais systématiques et raisonées sur l'histoire naturelle, la classification et la culture des plantes de cette famille. Paris: H. Cousin, 1841-1847.]
8 parts in one volume, 2° (495 x 333mm). Parallel text in Latin and English. 16 colour-printed engraved plates finished by hand by Duménil after Maubert. (Some light browning and offsetting to plates, plate of Cereus Perrotetianus with short tear at lower margin, Echinocactus Pectiniferus with tear at outer corner, last three plates creased at corner, occasional light marginal soiling.) Contemporary red half morocco (spine and corners worn, lower joints cracked).
EXTREMELY RARE. THE PLATES AFTER MAUBERT ARE RECOGNISED AS THE FINEST DEPICTIONS OF CACTI EVER PUBLISHED. Lemaire intended to publish 200 plates, but only eight parts with 16 plates appeared over a five year period, and complete copies are exceptional. Stafleu cites two copies, the Brussels Jardin Botanique copy with 6 plates and the Missouri Botanical Garden copy with 14 plates. The eight parts were issued in wrappers, not bound into this copy. Although Stafleu calls for 30pp. of text, this copy contains 32pp. No title-page appears to have been issued. Nissen 1169 (wrongly calling for 18 plates); Stafleu and Cowan 4375.
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