PIERRE JOSEPH BUCHOZ (1731-1807)
Le grand jardin de l'univers, ou se trouvent colories les plantes les plus belles, les plus curieuses et les plus rares des quatres parties de la terre, formant la continuation de l'Herbier de la Chine, de la Collection des fleurs de la Chine et de l'Europe, des dons merveilleux dans le rgne vgtal et du jardin d'den. Paris: for the author, 1785. Volume I only (of 2), 2 (452 x 274mm). Engraved throughout, title, 100 hand-coloured plates. (Light spotting to title, lower blank margin of final plate neatly repaired.) Contemporary French red morocco gilt, gilt edges (neat repairs to joints and head and foot of spine, later spine labels).
A VERY RARE WORK, Stafleu listing only two institutional copies: the Natural History Museum in London has a complete copy, and the Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden has a copy of volume I only (with a plate numeration and sequence different from the present copy). The second volume, containing 100 plates was published in 1791.
Buchoz, a physician and naturalist, is now best known as a compiler and book publisher of enormous energy. The complete list of his works runs to over 500, the majority of them now very rare. The images he used were usually 'borrowed' from the works of others and, although generally of a relatively high standard from an aesthetic stand-point, they are only occasionally useful in the study of plant history (they sometimes included new generic names). Dunthorne 67; Great Flower Books (1990) p.81; Nissen BBI Pritzel 1331; Stafleu & Cowan 891.