Mathieu Bonafous (1793-1852)
Histoire Naturelle, Agricole et Économique du Mäis. Paris: Madame Huzard nèe Vallat-la-Chapelle, printer & publisher, & Bocca in Turin, publisher, 1836. 2° (540 x 357mm). Half-title. Wood-engraved portrait vignette of the dedicatee Henri-Alexandre Tessier, 11 wood-engraved illustrations or decorations, 15 COLOUR-PRINTED STIPPLE ENGRAVINGS after Redouté, Anga. Boittine-Rossi, Poiteau, Meunier and Julia Du Port by E. Taillant and others, all printed by Langlois, 5 uncoloured engraved plates of milliing machinery by and after Le Blanc. (Some light spotting.) Original publisher's orange/red paper-covered boards, titled in gilt on the flat backstrip, uncut (very light scuffing to extremities). Provenance: Monsieur Mongie (original printed and manuscript receipt from the Paris publisher's, dated 1836, tipped onto front pastedown, marginal note on p. 17 of text).
A FINE UNCUT COPY OF THIS RARE, BEAUTIFULLY-PRODUCED MONOGRAPH ON MAIZE. The text is divided into seven chapters covering all aspects of the subject; on the country of origin of maize, the available varieties with a comparison of the grain they produce, the cultivation of the species, the methods of harvesting and shelling the cobs and on the parasites and insects that are harmful to maize. "This rare work is probably the most sumptuous monograph of the 19th century on Corn (Zea mays)... One of the twelve plates is by Redouté.. It was executed by Redouté when he was heavily in debt, and it may by presumed that his friend Bonafous gave him the commission in an effort to be of help. As Stafleu points out, it is the last technical botanical painting by Redouté. At the time this work was prepared, more than twenty cultivars of maize were grown in Europe" (MacPhail). BM (NH) I,p.194; Dunthorne 44; Great Flower Books (1990) p.79; MacPhailRedouteana 23; Madol & Stearn A Redouté Bibliography 2; Nissen BBI 198; Pritzel 966.