WILLDENOW, KARL LUDWIG. Hortus Berolinensis, sive icones et descriptiones, plantarum rariorum vel minus cognitarum, quae in horto regio Berolinsi excoluntur. Berlin: Imp. Fr. Schüppel, [1803-] 1806-1816.
2 vols, in one, folio, 400 x 258 mm., contemporary tan half morocco gilt, expertly rebacked with original backstrip laid down, slight wear to corners, title and three sections of the volume (comprising plates 1-12, 37-60 and 73-84) with the support sheets browned.
FIRST EDITION. Engraved title, 2 colored engraved garden plans (before and after Willdenow's reorganization), 108 engraved plates of plants by F. Guimpel; letterpress comprising 2 pages Epilogus by H.F. Link who completed the editing after Willdenow's death, 2 pages Index, 4 pages Preface and one text leaf per plate.
A rare testament to the Berlin Botanical Gardens and Willdenow's achievement as its director. Willdenow (1765-1812) was the founder of the nineteenth-century school of botany and his influence was widely felt -- Humboldt and Link both were his pupils. He radically altered the layout and organisation of the gardens increasing the holdings of living plants threefold from scarcely one thousand specimens when he took over direction. Berlin became a major center for introduced exotics and most of the plants depicted in Hortus Berolinensis are American, Asian and South African.
Dunthorne 333; Great Flower Books, p. 81; Nissen BBI 2157; Pritzel 10268; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 17.663.
Provenance: Arpad Plesch, book-label (sale, Sotheby's London, 16 March 1976, lot 813) -- Robert de Belder (sale, Sotheby's London, 28 April 1987, lot 383).