18 December 2002
MAYER, Johann Prokrop (1737-1804). Pomona Franconica. Description des Arbres Fruitiers... [...oder natürliche Abbildung und Beschreibung der besten und vorzüglichen Europäischen Gattungen der Obstbäume und Früchte welche in dem Hochfürstlichen Hofgarten zu Würzburg gezogen werden]. Nuremberg: Adam Wolfgang Winterschmidt, 1776-79 and 1801.
3 volumes, 4o (243 x 193 mm). Engraved frontispiece, engraved folding plan of garden in Würzburg, 7 engraved vignettes and 265 (253 hand-colored) engraved plates, of apricots, almonds, plums, cherries, medlars, peaches, apples and pears and 12 (uncolored) engravings of pruning and shaping trees as issued by and after Adam Wolfgang Winterschmidt. (A few plates with craquelure or offsetting as often, minor adhesions or marginal dampstaining.) Contemporary tree calf (some spine ends repaired, third volume with covers detached, other joint reinforced with tape, some marginal wear). Provenance: Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Stickney Fund (bookplate dated 1882; stamps).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FINEST SERIES OF GERMAN FRUIT ILLUSTRATIONS EVER PUBLISHED. "A delightful and charming work" (Dunthorne) with highly finished plates, some of the best 18th-century illustrations of fruit. The first 2 volumes comprise all the fruits with the exception of apples and pears, which appear in the third volume which was published 21 years later in 1801 and is often wanting. Mayer states in the introduction to the Pomona Franconica that he had first intended to produce only a catalogue raisonné of the different fruit cultivated in the court garden and to illustrate it with 'illuminated' copper-engravings, but that he was then persuaded by 'lovers of gardening' to write a systematic treatise on the cultivation of fruit trees. Dunthorne 220; Nissen BBI 1318; Pritzel 6017; Raphael Oak Spring Pomona 51; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 5748.
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