4to (305 x 240mm), pp. [i]-x (dedication, verso blank, title, verso blank, address to the dedicatee), [2 (index)], [i]-viii (preface), [2 (errata, verso blank)], 150 (p. 72 misnumbered ‘48’), [2 (index)]; 78 engraved plates [after Georg Forster], numbered 1-38, 38a-38b, 39-51, 51a, 52-75 (23 bound upside-down); some light spotting and occasional marking, deckles dusty, small marginal stain affecting some ll.; contemporary [?original] paper-backed blue boards, uncut, a few quires unopened; a little marked, rubbed, scuffed, and bumped, skilfully rebacked retaining paper spine, endpapers replaced, nonetheless a very crisp, uncut copy, retaining the errata leaf; provenance: [?]early 20th-century pressmark label on spine.
US $6688 €5665
First edition. Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) and his son Georg Forster (1754-1794) travelled on Cook’s second voyage of 1772-1775 as naturalists, and their Characteres generum plantarum was the first botanical work about the voyage to be published and one of the earliest sources for European knowledge of the plants of Polynesia and Australasia – indeed, ‘it has been said to be the foundation of our knowledge of New Zealand, Antarctic, and Polynesian vegetation’ (Hill). As Henrey explains, ‘[t]he work is botanically important as containing a large number of new generic and specific names relating to plants of Australasia and Polynesia. It appears that in the preparation of this undertaking the Forsters were able to use the fine natural history library belonging to Sir Joseph Banks, and to seek the advice of his librarian Daniel Carl Solander. Furthermore, they had free access to the Banks and Solander collections made on Cook’s first voyage [...] to the Pacific, and to Solander’s manuscripts’ (II, p. 167).
The descriptions of the plants were by Anders Sparrman (1748-1820), a Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus, who travelled with Cook; the illustrations were by Georg Forster (who was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on the basis of this work); and the book’s publication was overseen by Johann Reinhold Forster. A folio edition of eight copies followed this first, quarto edition later in 1776, of which some copies are misdated 1775 on the title-page (Stafleu & Cowan, apparently mistakenly, treat these as two separate editions).
Beddie 1385; BM(NH) II, p. 596 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Henrey 718; Hill 627; Hocken 2013; Holmes 17; Hunt 649; Kroepelien 463; Nissen, BBI, 644 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); O’Reilly and Reitman 2469; Pritzel 2981 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Rosove 139a (‘very scarce’); Sabin 25134 (‘Forms part of a complete set of Cook’s voyages’; erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Stafleu & Cowan 1826.
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The Workes of our ancient and learned English Poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, newly printed. To that which was done in the former Impression, thus much is now added. 1. In the Life of Chaucer many Things inserted. 2. The whole Worke by old Copies reformed. 3. Sentences and Proverbes noted. 4. The Signification of the old and obscure Words prooved: also Characters shewing from what Tongue or Dialect they be derived. 5. The Latine and French, not Englished by Chaucer, translated. 6. The Treatise called Jacke Upland, against Friers: and Chaucers A. B. C. called La Priere de Nostre Dame, at this Impression added.
Second Thomas Speght edition (sixth collected edition), revised much for the better by Francis Thynne; this is the variant with Adam Islip rather than George Bishop in the imprint. The portrait of Chaucer, which first appeared in the Speght edition of 1598, is the first engraved representation of the poet.
‘ATMOSPHERIC AND FAITHFUL’ MENDES PINTO, Fernão (Bernard FIGUIER, translator).
Les voyages advantureux de Fernand Mendez Pinto. Fidelement traduicts de portugais en françois par le Sieur Bernard Figuier gentil-homme portugais. Et dediez à Monseigneur le Cardinal de Richelieu.
First edition in French of Mendes Pinto’s celebrated travel account; rare. The original Portuguese edition was published in 1614, although the first draft of the book had been completed by 1569. The present ‘atmospheric and faithful French translation’ (Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, III, p. 401) is by Bernard Figuier (probably Bernardo Figueiro) and was reprinted in 1645 and 1663. Figuier seems to have made use of both Portuguese and Spanish versions for his translation.