ROUSSEAU, JEAN JACQUES. La Botanique de J. J. Rousseau... planches imprimées en couleurs d'aprés les peintures de P. J. Redouté. Paris: Delachaussée and Garnery, 1805.
Large folio, 540 x 355mm., contemporary French red half morocco, flat spine divided into six compartments by double-fillets and roll tool, lettered in the second, some old light soiling and scuffing, lower outer corner of upper cover neatly replaced, front free-endpaper creased, rear free-endpaper with neat old repaired tear, half-title and title somewhat browned, occasional light spotting to text and margins of plates, plates 1, 8, 14, 36 and 41 with light spotting to the image area, plate 61 slightly browned, plate 65 with light crease.
FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION, a tall copy of the issue with 10 preliminary pages, and 124 pp. of text. Half-title, title with large uncoloured stipple-engraved vignette, 65 stipple-engraved plates, printed in colours and finished by hand, by Bouquet, Jacques Chailly, Mlle. Delelo and others after Redouté, printed by Langlois. Plate 54 misnumbered 62.
Rousseau's interest in botany was awakened in 1763 or 1764, shortly after he had gone to Switzerland. Following the current fashion he made various collections of plant specimens or herbaria, two of which are known to have been given to Madame Étienne Delessert and her daughter Marguérite-Madeleine. Subsequently, the Lettres élémentaires sur la botanique were written for Marguérite-Madeleine, at the request of her mother. The present edition is Redouté's last link with the ancien régime: his old patrons had all died, or, like Cels, who died in 1806, had ceased to be influential. Redouté had entered easily into a new life under the Empire. On the whole, it can be said that it is remarkable how little Redouté was affected by the political and social changes that took place around him' (Stafleu). The present issue was preceded by an issue in seven parts, with 2 preliminary leaves and 122 pp. of text.
Great Flower Books p.74,; I. MacPhail in Lawrence, A Catalogue of Redoutéana exhibited at the Hunt Botanical Library (Pittsbugh: 1963) 15; Nissen BBI 1688; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 9688.
Provenance: M. de La Cour du Pin, book-label.