THORNTON, Robert John (1768-1837). The Philosophy of Botany. London: T. Bensley for the publishers, White, Johnson and Co. ... and the author, -1810.
4 volumes, 2° (465 x 320 mm). 2 engraved calligraphic titles by Vincent after Tomkins, bound: 'The Philosophy of Botany, being Botanical, and Philosophical Extracts. Including,' and 'A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus ... Vol: I'. Comprising: vols I-II. Botanical Extracts or Philosophy of Botany. London: T. Bensley for the publishers, White, Johnson and Co. ... and the author, 1810. 2 letterpress titles with mounted woodcut allegorical vignettes by Branston after Thurston, engraved calligraphic additional title to vol. II. 2 engraved plates of double-portraits of Priestley/Lavoisier and Mayow/Evelyn by Caldwell after Opie and David and 2 engraved and aquatint plates by Maze and Warner after Skelton and Henderson; vol. III. Elementary Botanical Plates ... Intended to Illustrate Botanical Extracts. London: T. Bensley for the publishers and the author, 1810. Engraved allegorical frontispiece by Ridley after Russell and Opie and engraved calligraphic dedication by Cooper after Tomkins. 27 engraved portraits, 1 engraved view, 72 engraved plates of botanical, scientific, and other subjects, 3 folding; vol. IV. A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus. The Genera of Exotic and Indigenous Plants that are to be met with in Great Britain [engraved title followed by Illustrations of the Sexual System letterpress part-title]. Engraved frontispiece by Bartolozzi and Landseer after Reinagle. 92 engraved, mezzotint, and aquatint botanical plates, 2 double-page folding. 2 full-page engraved 'Explanation's, one on the verso of an engraved part-title. 1-page letterpress leaf 'An Ode'. (Some light browning and spotting, mainly marginal, some plates trimmed, generally only affecting imprint or title but occasionally with loss of image, 1 plate with short, repaired tear.) Contemporary half green morocco gilt over marbled boards, flat spines gilt in compartments, titled 'THORNTON'S PHILOSOPHY OF BOTANY' in one, others with urn and other tools, vol. numbers at the foot, gilt edges, green silk markers (somewhat rubbed, scuffed and bumped). Provenance: bookseller's description tipped onto free endpaper -- [James Miles, Leeds (bookseller's tickets)].
RARE. BOUND IN A CONTEMPORARY, POSSIBLY PUBLISHER'S, BINDING. This appears to be a later issue of the set than the previous lot, and it contains a 6-page 'Plan of this Work' paginated 7-12 and additional plates. The Soulsby-Natural History Museum set (shelfmark 58 THO F) is of very similar composition and was bound by the same binder, using the same urn, star, and quatrefoil tools; apart from confirming The Philosophy of Botany as a separate title, these two sets indicate that the bindings were commissioned by the publisher. Cleveland Collections 744; Nissen BBI 1956; Pritzel 9235; Stafleu and Cowan 14284-14285.