Venetia, Appresso li Sessa, 1602.
Folio [307 x 217 mm] of (1) bl.l., (12) pp., 480 pp. (misnumbered 492), (26) ll. of index, table and figures. Small repair on the upper right corner of pp. 159 and 447 affecting some letters, small wormhole in the blank margin of pp. 397 to 445 not affecting the text. 826 engravings and vignettes in the text and 112 engravings in the 10 ll. after the index. Full overlapping vellum, flat spine with the handwritten title, blue edges. Contemporary binding.
Rare second edition enlarged with 112 wood-engravings, illustrated with two portraits and with more than 935 engravings of plants, flowers and fruits, published 17 years after the first one. References (for the 1585 edition): Pritzel 2552, Nissen 565; (for this edition): Catalogue des livres de M. le Duc de La Vallière, n°5005.
This book was extremely successful and was reprinted in Italian, then translated and published in many languages for many years.
Castore Durante (1529-1590) was an Italian poet, physicist and botanist.
The descriptions of the plants are written as poems that Arber describes such as “pleasingly unscientific”. They are directly printed under the engravings and are followed with information about the names of the plants, shapes, locations and medicinal virtues.
“The Linnean genus Duranta, formerly Castorea, is named after the author.” (Hunt)
The edition is illustrated with two wood-engraved portraits by J.A. Cortusi and by Durante and with 938 wood-engravings of plants, flowers and fruits, some of them displayed in a funny way with the addition of human or animal figures. The suite of 112 engravings on the 10 leaves ending the work is published here for the first time.
A precious copy of this very beautiful herbarium, preserved in contemporary limp overlapping vellum.
Provenance: handwritten ex-libris Collegis J. Michaelis Vienne on the title.