WEINMANN, Johann Wilhelm (1683-1741). Phytanthoza iconographia; sive Conspectus aliquot millium, tam indigenarum quam exoticarum, ex quatuor mundi partibus, longa annorum serie indefessoque studio ... collectarum plantarum, arborum, fruticum, florum fructuum, fungorum &c. Text by J.G.N. Dietrichs, L.M. Dietrichs, and A.K. Bieler. Regensberg: Hieronymo Lentzen [volume IV: Heinrich Georg Neubauer], [1735?]-1737-1745.
4 volumes, 2° (457 x 287mm). Latin and German titles in each volume in red and black, parallel text in double column and indexes in both languages, foreward by Albrecht Haller in German only. Mezzotint allegorical frontispiece of Ceres in volume IV by J.J. Haid after Baumgartner, mezzotint portraits of Weinmann and Bieler by Haid after M.C. Hirschmann in volumes I and IV, all three plates printed in blue, and 1024 (of 1025) engraved and mezzotint plates by B. Seuter, J.E. Ridinger and J.J. Haid after G.D. Ehret, N. Asamin and others, all printed in colours and finished by hand, 14 double-page. Errata on verso of final index leaf. (Lacking A1 in vol. I and plate 706 in vol. III, a minority of plates browned or spotted, worming affecting lower blank margin of some plates and a few text leaves, occasional browning of text.) Contemporary German calf gilt, covers with inner and outer roll-tool panels of flowers bordered by blind fillets, and with centre-piece composed of drawer handles and fleurons, directly-lettered gilt spines with floral compartments, marbled endpapers, blue speckled edges (spines a little frayed, vol. IV with neat repair at head, corners bumped).
AN EXCEPTIONALLY TALL COPY. Based on Weinmann's collection of plants and financed by him, this is the first complete edition of one of the earliest works to use colour-printing from a single plate. A full record of the flowers, fruit and vegetables cultivated in the early 18th century, it was Georg Dionysius Ehret's first major commission. However, the artist parted with Weinmann after producing 500 designs in a year and receiving only twenty thaler for his work, and his name does not appear on the plates. These became an important source for copypists, appearing in Meissen designs. Many plates are 'of particular interest on account of the colour printing, especially the plates of Aloes and Cactus depicted in pots of different designs, and the folding plates of gourds' (Dunthorne). An earlier printing of some of the plates and text appeared under the title Eigentliche darstellung einiger tausend ... bäume, stauden .... (Regensberg, 1734-1735).
The work was issued in parts, and in more than one issue, and the make up of the preliminary leaves and indices is known to vary between copies. The collation of this copy agrees with that in Cleveland, except that it lacks A1 in volume I, a separate title-page to the text; the foreward and indices are bound into volume IV, whereas in the Cleveland copy they occur in volume I. Other leaves which are not present in either this or the Cleveland copy are the list of subscribers; a one-leaf testimonial; the Latin version of Haller's foreward; and two leaves of verse in praise of the artists. This copy has impressively-wide margins, indeed a pencil note on the front pastedown of volume I describes it as a 'large paper copy,' but according to Brunet the text leaves in large paper copies were extended at margins instead of actually being printed on larger paper. Arnold Arboretum p. 738 (with an additional French title-page in vol. I); Brunet II, 704 (under Dietrichs); Cleveland Collections 388; Dunthorne 327; Great Flower Books p. 80; Nissen BBI 2126; Pritzel 10140; Stafleu and Cowan 17050. (4)