Rariorum plantarum historia.

Antwerp, Jan Moretus ‘ex officina Plantiniana’, 1601.

Folio, pp. [12], 364, cccxlviii, [10], [2 (colophon, blank)]; without the portrait; title with elaborate copper-engraved border, copious woodcut illustrations in text; a little spotting, mostly marginal; a very good copy in contemporary Italian vellum over boards, spine lettered in ink; worn but sound, scratches to lower board, split to upper joint; contemporary ownership inscription to title ‘Alb. Campi et amicorum’ with binding note (‘1602 // costa ligato [bolognini?] 38’) to lower pastedown, later seventeenth-century inscription of Christoph Sigismund, Graf von Kuenburg.


US $6506€5736

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First edition of Clusius’s magnum opus, containing approximately one hundred new species. A valuable collection of careful descriptions of rare plants, the Rariorum plantarum historia gathers accounts from Clusius’s earlier botanical tours of Spain (Rariorum aliquot stirpium per Hispanias observatarum historia, 1576) and Austria and Hungary (Rariorum aliquot stirpium per Pannoniam, Austriam, et vicinas quasdam provincias observatarum historia, 1583) with extensive new material.

Particularly notable are descriptions of tulips, which Clusius had introduced to the Netherlands with the establishment of the hortus academicus at Leiden in 1593, and the first printing of the Fungorum in Pannoniis observatorum brevis historia, the first treatise dedicated exclusively to mycology.

Of the 1109 woodcuts, some 233 are from Clusius’s per Hispanias and 356 from his per Pannoniam, Austriam et vicinas quasdam provincias; Nissen attributes the remaining five hundred new woodcuts to Nikolaus Solis (‘dem Sohne des Virgil Solis in Frankfurt a.M.’), though his death in 1585 makes this unlikely.

USTC 1003396; STCV 6619526; Nissen 372.

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