LOBEL, MATTHIAS DE and PIERRE PENA. Nova stirpium adversaria. (Formulae Remediorum, by GUILLAUME RONDELET). Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1576.
Folio and 4to, 303 x 204 mm., contemporary vellum over pasteboards, worn, chipping to fore-edges, lacking front free endpaper, title-leaf a bit stained and frayed and with coloring slightly rubbed in places, fraying to fore-edges of first few leaves, small hole to C3 affecting a letter, a few minor marginal tears or creases, some staining to lower outer margins throughout, a few annotations in pencil, fols. F3-4 and Ff3-4 misbound in each other's place.
FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE, comprising the sheets of Thomas Purfoot's London 1570-71 edition with a new engraved title and 36 leaves of new material at the end (de Lobel's Appendix, indices and Rondelet's "Formulae aliquot remediorum"). Engraved architectural title, 273 text woodcuts, with the inserted corrected cuts to pp. 11, 33, 150, and 400 (the latter pasted down), without the inserted tobacco plant cut for p. 252 (the space left blank), but with woodcut of a cactus plant pasted down to p. 454 (found in only a few copies), 9-line and smaller ornamental and historiated woodcut initials, ENGRAVED TITLE, WOODCUTS AND INITIALS FINELY COLORED IN A CONTEMPORARY HAND, THE TITLE AND INITIALS HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, THE TITLE SIGNED BY THE COLORIST P. LISET.
An unusual colored copy of Pena and Lobel's herbal. The Stirpium adversaria nova, the second great scientific English herbal after Turner, written by two French physicians who had botanized extensively throughout Europe and the British Isles, contains descriptions of a number of plants unknown to Turner, but "the chief importance of this herbal lies in its system of classification... The arrangement is based mainly on difference of leaf character" (Henrey, p. 28). Such a system of classifying plants by their physical characteristics was well in advance of the systems used by contemporary botanists, which still used the medieval system of grouping plants by their medicinal uses. Plantin had paid 1200 florins for 800 copies of the sheets from Thomas Purfoot's 1571 edition, which he reissued with a new title and additional material. The latter, printed in quarto format on much larger paper, includes Lobel's appendix, describing and illustrating additional plants not included in the first edition, a multi-lingual index, and Rondelet's list of herbal remedies. The small woodblocks, which Plantin purchased along with the sheets of the first edition, reappeared in later 16th- and 17th-century botanical works issued by the Plantin publishing house. This edition often accompanies Plantin's new edition of Lobel's Plantarum, seu stirpium historia, printed the same year, and containing woodcuts after Dodoens and Clusius. NO OTHER COLORED COPIES OF THE WORK ARE RECORDED, AND COLORED COPIES OF ANY SIXTEENTH-CENTURY BOOKS THAT ARE SIGNED BY THE COLORIST ARE EXTREMELY RARE.
Adams P-616; Henrey 289; Hunt 127; Nissen BBI 1502; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4907; STC 19595.3; Voet 1578 II (variant B).
Provenance: Joannis Crasso Hiefell, ownership inscription on title dated 1692 -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate.