A Finely Engraved Regional Florilegium, Taxonomically Important And Bound by a Modern "Grande Dame" in Appropriately Botanical Style


(Turin: Michael Briolus, 1785). 410 x 270 mm. (16 1/8 x 10 5/8"). Volume II with pp. 3-4 bound before pp. 1-2, but complete. Three volumes. FIRST EDITION.

INVENTIVE AND ELEGANT BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY ANNIE BOIGE (stamp-signed "A. Boige" on front pastedown and dated 1996 on rear pastedown), upper covers cleverly encrusted with botanical specimens (leaves or branches), smooth spines with silver titling, leather hinges, watermarked light gray endpapers. Housed together in the original suede-lined brown cloth drop-back box, suede-covered separators preventing contact between volumes. WITH engraved frontispiece portrait of the king of Sardinia in volume I, engraved allegorical vignette on title pages, and 92 FINE ENGRAVED PLATES ILLUSTRATING 237 BOTANICAL SPECIES. A Large Paper Copy. Cleveland Collections 557; Dunthorne 6; Sitwell, "Great Flower Books," p. 67, 69; Nissen BBI 18. One plate with minor repair to fore-edge margin, another with tiny rust hole (not touching image), half a dozen plates with insignificant smudges made during the printing process, other trivial imperfections, but A VERY FINE COPY, clean, fresh, and wide-margined, in a flawless binding.

This is a major work of 18th century botany, describing more than 2,800 species of plants found in Italy's Piedmont region, illustrating 237 previously unknown specimens, and--crucially--classifying them all according to the new Linnean system, becoming one of the first regional botanicals to use that taxonomy; as a bonus, our copy comes in a particularly appropriate and charming binding with prominent botanical design elements. "Flora Pedemontana" was the chief work of Italian physician Carlo Allioni (1728-1804), professor of botany at the University of Turin and director of its natural history cabinet and botanical garden. The illustrations were drawn and engraved by the botanical garden's resident artist, Francesco Peyroleri, and his son Pietro. Our flora is also an important source of information on Alpine flowers. The modern binding is by an artisan who was proclaimed the "Grande Dame of French bookbinding" by the journal "Art & Métiers du Livre." Annie Boige trained at the Estienne School and at the Vésinet Applied Art Workshop before establishing her atelier in 1985. An art bookbinder, she is noted for her monochrome color schemes and her use of beautiful leathers and vegetal materials, a felicitous choice here.

Price: $8,500.00