Paris, chez Didot jeune, 1776-1783.
6 parts in 4 8vo volumes [182 x 123 mm] + index 8vo: I/ (3) ll. including a frontispiece, 32 pp. (enriched as often with the 32 pp. Introduction à la flore des environs de Paris published aside), (2) ll., 68 pp., 2 plates (complete with the 2 additional plates bound in the introduction), plates 1 to 169 with as much explanatory text ll.; II/ (1) title l., pl. 170 to 318 with as much explanatory leaves; III/ (1) title l., pl. 319 to 462 with as much explanatory ll.; IV/ (1) title l., pl. 463 to 640 with as much explanatory ll. Index: 16 pp., 52 pp. (the 52 pp. of the Linnaean system also published aside were inserted into this copy).
Marbled calf, triple gilt fillets around the covers with fleurons in the corners, decorated flat spines, green morocco lettering pieces, numbering labels in red morocco, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
First and only edition of this superb illustrated work by the botanist Pierre Bulliard dedicated to the flora of Paris’ surroundings.
Stafleu & Cowan 902; Nissen BBI 295; Great Flower books p. 52; Brunet, I, 1388; Pritzel 1353.
“Jean-Baptiste François Bulliard (1752-1793) was a descriptive naturalist, little given to theorical or methodological meditations but an industrious and skilled draftsman and floristic botanic.
His works represented the Linnaean tradition in Paris.” Stafleu.
Bulliard obtained a position when the abbot of Clairvaux was appointed. At this position, of which the modest income was enough for all his needs, was provided an accommodation at the abbey; he spent his time in this retreat studying anatomy and botany, through the best works. He also learnt drawing and then came to Paris in order to continue his medical studies; though his taste for natural science made him change his resolution, and his walks in the surroundings of the capital gave him the idea of his Parisian Flora. So as to create it in a new and useful way, he decided to gather in himself the talents of the artist to the ones of the author, he improved the skills he had acquired in drawing, and learnt engraving with François Martinet, a skillful painter and engraver.
“Bulliard made the drawings and engravings of his works himself.”
A superb copy complete with its title and its 642 full-page plates engraved and water-coloured with lavish colours.
It contains the rare introduction with a separate title that is often missing and notably in the copy preserved at the French National Library.
“Bulliard’s useful and estimated works contributed to spread the taste for botany. He drew and engraved his figures himself. He was the first to use the method of printing plants in color.”
“The six volumes ‘flora Parisiensis (1776-1783), now a rarity, had descriptions and plates (by Bulliard himself) of 640 taxa… The Linnaean system was outlined in a separate introduction » (Stafleu, p. 289). “Un so sympathischer stechen von diesen ansprunchsvollen Darbietungen die mit liebevoller Sachlichkeit gezeichneten Figuren des – wie Nic. Robert aus Langres stammenden – Botanikers Pierre Bulliard ab. In seiner “Flora Parisiensis”… hat er Abbildungen von erstaunlicher Einprägsamkeit geschaffen, und zwar mit den simpelsten Mitteln. Es sind einfache Umrissradierungen, die mit der Roulette schattiert sind. Das Koloriet ist von einer seltenen Delikatesse und Naturtreue” (Nissen BBI p. 137).
Precious copy complete with its 642 contemporary hand-coloured engravings on thick Holland paper, preserved in its uniform contemporary binding with finely decorated spines.