WALDSTEIN, FRANZ DE PAULA ADAM. Graf von and PAUL KITAIBEL. Descriptiones et Icones Plantarum Rariorum Hungariae. Vienna: M.A. Schmidt, [1799-] 1802-1812.
3 vols., large folio, 460 x 330 mm., contemporary Russian red grained morocco in neo-classical style, sides with gilt panel border containing a roll of alternating oval connected with stylized leaf, larger inward-facing corner oranments of gilt fluted batwing connected to paired curling ears of wheat, spines in seven compartments with six raised double bands, gilt-lettered in two compartments, and at foot, gazebo tool in central compartment and an anchor tool in the compartments above and beneath; board edges gilt, doublures with a broad border of lotus-topped rope-twist interlace framing a large central panel of turquoise paper dramatically marbled in black to a design of three trees, facing free endpages of brown marbled paper, both papers with gilt borders and whorl corner ornaments, g.e.; the binding without signature, lower cover of vol. 3 with a dampstain in lower corner touching the spine, the lower corners of this vol. slightly bruised, two covers a trifle scuffed, small paired circular marks of former ownership removed from each title-page and from each front free endpage; a few engraved numerals or subjects just caught by the binder. In fresh condition.
FIRST EDITION. Sepia aquatint view by Hirscher at head of preface in vol. I and 280 hand-colored engraved plates by Karl Schutz after the drawings of his son Johann Schutz, 16 of them double page, 3 plates with small edge-folds; letterpress title in each volume, dedication (one leaf) in vol. 1, 32-page preface, 310 numbered pages of text throughout the three volumes, 2-pp. index at end.
A REMARKABLY FINE COPY, IN A LUXURIOUS BINDING, OF A RARE HUNGARIAN FLORA, produced in Vienna in the style of the books founded by N.J. von Jacquin. Four volumes were anticipated (i.e. 400 plates) but the book was never completed. Waldstein bore all the costs; the text was mainly by Kitaibel (1757-1817) professor of botany at the University of Pest, and this remains his major published botanical work. A. Kanitz found the manuscript of Kitaibel's long introduction, intended for vol. 3, among Kitaibel's papers and published it in 1865.
Cleveland Collections 678; Dunthorne 325; Kanitz, Versuch einer Geschichte der ungarischen Botanik (1865), 82-129 (the introduction on 89-111); Nissen BBI 2096; Pritzel 9939; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 16.560.