De historia stirpium commentarii insignes. Leonhart Fuchs.
De historia stirpium commentarii insignes

A Milestone of Botanical Science

De historia stirpium commentarii insignes.

Basel: Michael Isingrin, 1542.

First edition. Woodcut portraits of Fuchs, Albrecht Meyer, Heinrich Füllmaurer, and Veit Rudolf Speckle; and 512 woodcuts of plants after drawings from nature by Meyer, transferred to woodblocks by Füllmaurer, and cut into the block by Speckle. [xxviii], 896 pp. Folio (14-1/2 x 19-1/16 inches ; 362 x 320 mm.). A Milestone of Botanical Science. Late 17th century Continental calf, spine gilt, joint rubbed, spine ends repaired. Near fine. In half morocco slipcase and chemise. Provenance: R.C. Du Mortier (ex libris): John Charrington, The Grange, Shenley (bookplate) VD16 F 3242; Nissen 658; Adams F-1099; Dibner 19; Horblit 33b; Hunt 48; Norman 846; Parkinson p 37; PMM 69; Stillwell 640; Grolier, 100 Books Famous in Medicine 17; The great herbal of Leonhard Fuchs, H.T. Meyer ed., 1999. Item #308661

One of the most justly celebrated and highly prized of the early herbals. Leonhart Fuchs was an eminent practicing physician and Professor of Medicine at the Protestant University of Tübingen. Fuchs aimed his work at an audience of professionals in order to provide them with accurate descriptions of plants, including many recently imported into Europe from America,. Africa, and Asia. Today, Fuchs’ work is prized not only for its scholarly value, but also for the surpassing beauty of its illustrations. The methodical layout, the organization of the subject matter, the spacious design, and the number, size, and beauty of the illustrations have caused the herbal to appeal to botanists and bibliophiles alike … Scholars today consider the herbal to be one of the significant landmarks of pre-Linnean literature (Grolier 100). Fuchs also included portraits of the artists he collaborated with in creating the book—Albrecht Meyer, who drew the plants from life; Heinrich Füllmaurer, who transferred the line drawings to woodblocks; and Vitus Rudolph Speckle, who cut the blocks and printed the woodcut illustrations—are portrayed at the end of the volume.

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