New York, East
5 June 1997
RAY, JOHN. Historia Plantarum. London: Typis Mariae Clark, apud Henricum Faithorne, 1686-1704. 3 vols., folio, 440 x 265 mm., old calf, rebacked, corners very worn; large piece from corner of second title torn away (just touching title-border), without the paste-down errata slip for vol. 3, scattered spotting and marginal browning, a few leaves loose with margins frayed. FIRST EDITION, LARGE-PAPER ISSUE, issued in a small number copies at twice the cost of the ordinary issue. Henrey 313 and pp. 131-32; Morton pp. 195-214; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 8701.
Ray's greatest work, uniting his most advanced contributions to both taxonomic and physiological botany. "Floristically it was an exciting time; as Ray said, botanists fully trained in the European flora were now travelling to America, Africa, the East Indies, China and Japan, and were sending back specimens and descriptions of an incredible number of new species. As far as he could, Ray incorporated the thousands of new plants in successive volumes of his Historia plantarum...the earliest steps towards the conception and compilation of a world flora" (Morton).
Provenance: The Hirsel Library, shelf labels on each pastedown -- The Earl of Home, signature on each pastedown and front free endpaper -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate. (3)
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