Vienna, Typis viduae Antonii Strauss, 1828. Large folio (485 x 340mm). pp. (x), 34, with 105 fine hand-coloured engraved plates. Contemporary marbled boards.
First edition of this magnificent monograph on willows. A large uncut copy. The plates are by J. Ibmayer, who also did the illustrations for the author's work on grasses. It is one of the last great Austrian botanical books stemming from the Jacquin's 'golden age' of Imperial patronage. The plates are very much in the 'Jacquin' style, elegantly engraved and highly coloured in watercolours and bodycolours. Host (1761-1834) was Imperial physician to Franz I and Jacquin's successor as the director of the Schönbrunn Botanic Gardens, a position he held for over 40 years. A second volume of this work was planned (hence the 'Vol. I' on the title) but never published; the manuscript material for this volume is in the Porträtsammlung of the Nationalbibliothek, Vienna. "It emerges from the foreword to 'Salix' that Host had hiked through 'the provinces of Austria', had examined the willows in their natural surroundings, had cultivated them, and observed them at all seasons..." (H.W. Lack, Garden Eden p. 420). The work is quite rare, and the only copy to appear at auction in recent years was the De Belder copy (Sotheby's, April 27, 1987, lot 165 Pounds 15400 and same copy Christie's, March 17, 1999, lot 44 Pounds 16.000). Provenance: Title and dedication leaf with with oval stamp 'Siebenbürgischer Verein für Nat. Wiss. Hermannstadt'. Nissen BBI, 936; Great Flower Books p. 60; Junk Rara 234; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 3069.
Item nr. 9621
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