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. Regensburg: Hieronymus Lentzen [volume IV: Heinrich Georg Neubauer], [1735?]-1737-1745.
4 volumes, 2° (380 x 240mm). Latin and German titles in each volume, and two sectional titles in vols. I-II, all printed in red and black. Foreword by Albrecht Haller in German only, parallel text in double column and indices in both languages. Volume IV with mezzotint allegorical frontispiece by J.J. Haid after Baumgartner and mezzotint portraits of Weinmann and Bieler by Haid after M.C. Hirschmann, all printed in blue (bound after the botanical plates). 1025 engraved and mezzotint botanical plates by B. Seuter, J.E. Ridinger and Haid after G.D. Ehret, N. Asamin and others, all printed in colours and finished by hand, 14 double-page, 2 folding. (Lacking A1 in vol. I, old tabs torn away from outer margins of final text leaf before the plates in each volume, about 25 plates with repaired tears, mainly marginal, but affecting the image of nos. 14, 23, 70, 77, 95, 341, 541 and 790, occasional smudging of colours, occasional light browning, spotting or soiling.) Contemporary vellum over pasteboard (spine labels lacking, some soiling, vol. IV with joints repaired and endpapers replaced). Provenance: crowned monogram ink stamp -- The Horticultural Society of New York (blind stamp, dated 1902, to lower blank margin of text leaf S2 in each volume).
THE FIRST COMPLETE EDITION OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST WORKS TO USE COLOUR-PRINTING FROM A SINGLE PLATE. This is a full record of the flowers, fruit and vegetables cultivated in the early 18th century, based on Weinmann's own collection, and guided by the hand of Georg Dionysius Ehret. The artist parted with Weinmann after producing 500 designs in a year and receiving only twenty thaler for his work, and his name was expunged from the plates as a result of this quarrel between artist and patron. However, his artistic inspiration is evident throughout the series, and the plates became an important source for copyists, appearing in designs for Meissen porcelain. 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 .... (Regensburg, 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. 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. Arnold Arboretum p. 738 (with an additional French title-page in vol. I); Brunet II, 704 (under Dietrichs); Dunthorne 327; Great Flower Books p. 80; Johnston Cleveland 388; Nissen BBI 2126; Pritzel 10140; Stafleu and Cowan 17,050. (4)