SCHRANK, FRANZ VON PAULA von. Flora Monacensis, seu plantae sponte circa Monachium nascentes, quas pinxit et in lapide delineavit Joannes Nepucenses Mayrhoffer commentarium perpetuum additit Franciscus de Paula Schrank. Munich: Instituto lithographico Scholae Festivalis (vol. 3: et apud editorem Jo. Nep. Mayrhoffer), 1811-1818.
4 vols, bound in 3, large folio, 505 x 390 mm., contemporary half calf and marbled boards, expertly rebacked and corners restored, bound without the title leaf for vol. 4, some minor foxing scattered throughout, text folio 65 in vol. 1 remargined at top, folios 51 and 56 in vol. 1 torn and repaired, folio 50 in vol. 3 torn and laid down.
FIRST EDITION. Bound up according to the 2-page systematic index, a copy of which is bound at the end of each volume. Letterpress titles for vols. 1-3, 2 full-page lithographed medallion portraits of Schrank and Mayrhoffer, lithographed dedication to Theresia of Bavaria, 2-page foreword and 400 handcolored lithographed plates by Mayrhoffer.
VERY RARE. ONE OF THE FIRST GREAT BOTANICAL BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY LITHOGRAPHY. Schrank (1747-1835) was ordained a Jesuit in 1774 at the time of the order's suppression. He became "professor of botany and agronomy at Ingolstadt, later Landshut (1784-1809); first director of the botanical garden at München, 1809-1832" (Stafleu & Cowan). Flora Monacensis is the product of the most important of the early lithographic studios. It was run by Professor Herman Mitterer, and Mayrhoffer was one of his artists. Mayrhoffer's Bilder von nützlichen und schädlichen Pflanzen zum Unterricht in der Naturgeschichte (Munich 1807; see Nissen BBI 1323), with 22 plates is credited as the first botanical work illustrated with lithography.
Dunthorne 280; Dussler, p. 110, no. X; Nissen BBI 1803; Pritzel 8391; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 11.118.