872. [Botany]

SOWERBY, James; SMITH, James Edward

[English botany; or, coloured figures of British plants, with their essential characters, synonyms, and places of growth. To which will be added, occasional remarks.

London, printed for the author by J. Davies, 1790-1814]

36 vol. here bound in 19 tomes, 8vo.

Contemp. gauffered sheep, flat gilt decor. spines (some spines loosening or loose, some with traces of tape, sm. def. to heads and tails). Good inside copy.

First edition of this impressive set of the first extensive survey of British flora. Our copy is bound in a particular way that escapes our knowledge, not following the numerical order of the plates, but presenting them in a random (?) order. The total amount of plates in our copy almost matches a complete set or what is presented as a complete set for sale. Illustrated with no less than 2.621 hand-coloured copper-engraved plates by James Sowerby who was the publisher and the artist of the work. All botanical text (to each plate) is by J.E. Smith (except that for pl. 16-18 by George Shaw). Smith's name appears on the title page only from vol. 4 onwards. Sowerby is referred to in the imprints as author (vol. 1-4), editor (vol. 5-6), or proprietor (vol. 7-36). The book appeared in 267 numbers; the plates are dated and these dates can be taken as the approximate dates of publication, however they are not absolute proof of effective publication (Stafleu & Cowan). At the end we find the "General indexes to the thirthy-six volumes" and the separate titles and the tables for each of the 36 vol.
Ref. Stafleu & Cowan V:12.221. - Nissen (BBI) 2225. - Pritzel 8789 & 8790. - BnF.
Prov. John Hopton of Canfrome in the County of Hereford (bookpl.).

€ 3.500 / 5.000

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