SCHRANK, Franz von Paula von (1747-1835). Plantae rariores horti academici monacensis. Munich: 'venditur in Instituto lithographico Scholae festivalis', -1819-.
6 (of 10) parts in 2 volumes bound in one, 2° (488 x 388mm). One-leaf 'Praefatio Vorrede'. Text in Latin and German. 60 (of 100) hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after Schrank. (Variable spotting and browning, some leaves and plates with marginal dampstaining, fol. and plate 59 with short marginal tear.) Contemporary mottled sheep, covers with roll-tooled gilt borders, Botfield arms on covers, the spine gilt in compartments, gilt citron and green morocco lettering-pieces, dated at foot, yellow edges (extremities lightly rubbed causing minor losses, light surface cracking on joints, skilfully rebacked in the 19th century with speckled calf).
FIRST EDITION, RARE. Schrank was ordained as a Jesuit in 1774 and, following theological studies that culminated in a doctorate from Vienna in 1775 or 1776, was appointed professor of physics and mathematics in Amberg in 1776 and subsequently professor of botany and agronomy at Ingolstadt, a position that he held from 1784 to 1809. In 1809 he became the first director of the botanical garden at Munich, a post that he held until 1832. Some contemporaries felt that Munich was an unsuitable location for a botanical garden, due to the altitude and soil that was alleged not to be fertile. Stafleu and Cowan record von Schrank's reply -- that 'Man würde weniger deräsonniren, wenn mann über nichts räsonnirete, was man nicht versteht' -- and comment that 'the present glorious state of the garden bears out Schrank's early and wise judgement' (volume V, p.325). The De Belder, which was complete, is the only other copy of the work recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975. In the present copy, the text leaf accompanying plate 43 is correctly numbered (cf. Stafleu and Cowan). Arnold Arboretum p.635; BM(NH) IV, p.1861; Brunet V, 223; Dunthorne 281; Great Flower Books (1990) p.137; Nissen BBI 1804; Pritzel 8392; Stafleu and Cowan 11120.