Enduringly Popular Herbal in Fabulous Condition and with Princely Provenance

VOLLSTÄNDIGES KRÄUTERBUCH, UND KÜNSTLICHE CONTERFEYUNGEN DER BÄUMEN.

(Ulm: Daniel Bartholomä, 1713). 311 x 210 mm. (12 1/4 x 8 1/4"). 2 p.l., 566, [569]-750 pp., [12] leaves (two leaves bound out of order, missing internal blank leaf 4).

Excellent contemporary or slightly later vellum over stiff boards, yapp edges, title neatly lettered at top of spine in an old hand. Woodcut vignette on title page, ornamental headpiece and initials, historiated tailpieces, and MORE THAN 800 WOODCUT ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT, including genre scenes, many individual plants and animals, and distilling apparatus. Front pastedown with bookplate "Fürstl. Bibliothek zu Lich" (library of the princes of Lich) and small corresponding library stamp on title page (see below). Nissen 1228; Pritzel 5599; Graesse IV, 256. Very minor soiling to vellum, binding slightly splayed (as expected), a handful of leaves with faint dampstain, but AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE COPY, the period binding solid and pleasing, and THE TEXT AS FRESH AND CLEAN AS ONE COULD HOPE FOR, particularly in a natural history compendium like this.

Lonicer (or Lonitzer, 1528-86) married the daughter of a printer who specialized in herbals, and he worked as a proofreader for his father-in-law while beginning his own career of writing on arithmetic, botany, and medicine, particularly public health. The work that made his name famous is the present enduringly popular herbal, first published in 1546 by the Frankfurt printer Christian Egenolff. The work went through several subsequent editions, being published as late as 1783. The text covers all three parts of the natural world and directs its remarks to a wide audience that includes physicians, apothecaries, and both rural and urban householders. The emphasis here is on how one uses animal, vegetable, and mineral substances in the production of medicinal, gastronomical, and household preparations. Lonicer provides us with one of the early descriptions of local flora, and, among his other accomplishments, he is one of the first to distinguish deciduous trees from conifers. Linnaeus honored the author with the genus Lonicera. As indicated by the bookplate described above, our copy once resided in princely surroundings, having belonged to one of two princes of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, either Charles Christian or Charles Louis Augustus, who reigned from 1792-1803 and 1803-06, respectively. (Before these two reigns, Lich was a county, not a principality, and after them, the tiny Rhineland state was swallowed up by its neighbors.) Books employed in the maintenance of household health are almost always subjected to hard use, and it is now difficult to find an early herbal in even reasonably decent condition, let alone as remarkable as the present copy--this is all the more true of 17th and 18th century German imprints.
(ST11300)

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PJP Catalog: 65.

VOLLSTÄNDIGES KRÄUTERBUCH, UND KÜNSTLICHE CONTERFEYUNGEN DER BÄUMEN. ADAM LONICER.
VOLLSTÄNDIGES KRÄUTERBUCH, UND KÜNSTLICHE CONTERFEYUNGEN DER BÄUMEN.
VOLLSTÄNDIGES KRÄUTERBUCH, UND KÜNSTLICHE CONTERFEYUNGEN DER BÄUMEN.
VOLLSTÄNDIGES KRÄUTERBUCH, UND KÜNSTLICHE CONTERFEYUNGEN DER BÄUMEN.

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