Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin (1727-1817)
Hortus botanicus Vindobonensis, seu plantarum rariorum, quae in horto botanico Vindobonensi . . . icones coloratae et succinctae descriptiones. Vienna: Leopold Johann Kaliwoda (vols. I & II) and Joseph Michael Gerold (vol. III), 1770-1776. 3 volumes, 2° (455 x 288mm). Half-titles, 4 pp. of indices. Hand-coloured engraved plan of the garden, 300 fine hand-coloured engraved plates by Franz von Scheidl (5 folding). (Title to vol.I loosely inserted, garden-plan laid down with two repaired tears affecting image area, some general browning, marginal in the main, with some resultant loss top margins of last two plates in vol.III, 17 plates shaved with very slight loss to image, folding plate no.31 in vol.I torn into image area.) 20th-century half vellum, spines gilt, red morocco lettering-pieces.
FIRST EDITION. NUMBER 16 OF 162 COPIES (numbered at the foot of the title to vol.I). A spectacular celebration, published under the patronage of Empress Maria Theresa, of the plants in the Vienna Botanic Garden: the result is the first of the great Jacquin colour-plate works. The plants depicted are both European and exotic, useful and ornamental. Jacquin was born in Leiden on 16 February 1727. He studied in Antwerp, Leiden and Paris, before his fellow-countryman van Swieten, an old family friend, persuaded him to go to Vienna. Having arrived there, he diligently pursued his botanical studies, and attracted the attention of Emperor Franz I whilst working at the gardens at Schoenbrunn. Soon afterwards he was commissioned by the Emperor to produce a systematic catalogue of the plants in the gardens, and was later asked by him to go to America to search for plants. He left Austria in 1754, first stopped in the south of France (where he met Sauvage and La Condamine) and finally sailed from Leghorn on 1 Jan 1755. For the next four years he explored the Antilles and parts of South America, and despite the debilitating effect of the climate made a large collection of plants, natural history specimens and ethnographica. On his return to Europe he concentrated on publishing his discoveries and improving the gardens at Schoenbrunn. He subsequently became professor of Botany at Vienna and was raised to the baronage by Emperor Franz II in 1806. Great Flower Books (1990) p.104; Nissen BBI 973; Stafleu and Cowan 3246. (3)