MICHAUX, Franois-André (1770-1855). Histoire des Arbres Forestiers de l'Amerique Septentrionale. Paris: L. Haussmann and d'Hautel, 1810-13.
4 parts in 3 volumes, 8o in 4s (250 x 162 mm). 138 stipple-engraved plates, printed in color and finished by hand, after P.-J. and H. Redouté, Bessin, A. Riché and Pancrace Bessa by Gabriel, Bessin, Renard, Jacquinot, Joly, Caly, Bouquet and Dubreuil (without the two "bis" plates in volume II, occasional spotting and rubbing). Half-titles (occasional spotting to text throughout). Contemporary mottled calf gilt (rebacked, some wear at extremities). Provenance: W.T. Salvin (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST AMERICAN SILVA. The present copy is Stafleu's issue 2, with issue 3 of the title page in volume 3 (with the imprint on the title as above). The text for the present copy is apparently complete, although the preliminary pages do not collate exactly as any of the copies seen by Stafleu. He records several variants, however, because the work was issued in 24 fascicles over three years and minor differences are therefore not surprising. The two "bis" plates are not present in all copies and were intended to replace plates 5 (in vol. II, part 1) and 4 (in vol. II, part 3).
According to MacPhail, "Franois-André Michaux, born in 1770, accompanied his father to the United States in 1785 and was primarily responsible for the management of the nursery that was established near Charleston S.C. In 1790 he returned to France, where he studied medicine and took part in the French Revolution. He went back to the United States in 1801 to collect trees for the French government. He explored the eastern and mid-western portions of the country and returned finally to France in 1809" (Macphail).
Originally published in 24 parts, issued in pairs from July 1810 to March 1813, the work was later collected into three volumes. "Although so many of the plants that the Michaux, father and son, sent back to France were allowed to die when they got there, the observations of both men, collected in this book, made available more information about American trees and their native habitat than any earlier description. For the greater part of the nineteenth century, in its French or English version, it remained the standard account of transatlantic trees. The French version also gave the English names of the trees, and an appendix described the uses of native woods in various parts of the country" (Raphael).
Great Flower Books, p. 68; Nissen BBI 1360; Pritzel 6196; Raphael 19; Stafleu-Cowan 5961. Due to the discrepancy in plate count, this lot is sold not subject to return. (3)