JACQUIN, NIKOLAUS JOSEPH VON
Plantarum rariorum horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis descriptiones et icones. Vienna: Printed for Christian Friedrich Wappler; London: B. & J. White; Leiden: S. & J. Luchtmans, 1797–1804
FIRST EDITION, THE DE BELDER AND VON HOFFMAN COPY (see provenance), 4 volumes, folio (465 x 322mm.), plate list in each volume, cumulative index of plates in volume 4, 500 fine hand-coloured engraved plates (numbered 1–500; 10 full-sheet or folding) after Johann Scharf, Franz von Scheidel, and Martin Sedelmayer, contemporary tree calf, covers with gilt border of Greek key and floral-ribbon roll tools, smooth spines gilt-panelled in seven compartments with classical motifs and red and green morocco labels, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, turn-ins and board edges gilt, folding plates 1 and 495 with short marginal tears not affecting image, small stain to plate 200 just touching image, slight surface abrasion to folding plate 423, light marginal dampstain to plates 399 & 400, binding rubbed and scuffed with some patches of surface loss, head of spine of volume 3 and foot of spine of volume 1 repaired, some restoration to joints
A FINE COPY OF THE RAREST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL OF JACQUIN’S BOTANICAL ICONOGRAPHIES.
Plantarum rariorum features all the rare and exotic plants grown in the Schönbrunn Botanical Garden in Vienna. Some of the specimens shown were collected by Jacquin in the Caribbean. Most of the plants shown are of South African origin. This was due to a tragedy that befell the tropical and subtropical plants in the royal greenhouses in 1780. A very harsh frost destroyed most of the plants and they had to be refilled. Two gardeners were entrusted with this task and sent to Mauritius and South Africa. Subsequently indigenous plants, bulbs, and seeds were regularly dispatched to Vienna. Georg Schall, who went to South Africa remained there for twelve years These new introductions account for the predominance of South African flora in Plantarum rariorum.
The highly finished plates are after Johann Scharf, Franz von Scheidel, and Martin Sedelmayer. Scharf died of tuberculosis in 1794, at the age of 29, having completed fewer than half of the drawings for this catalogue of the Schönbrunn gardens. After his death, the work was completed by the von Scheidel and by Sedelmayer, who had previously worked with Jacquin as a colourist.
RARE. Fewer than 200 copies were produced, of which this number 68. Only one other complete set has sold at auction in the past twenty-two years. Virtually all were reserved for presentation by the court of Francis II who, after founding the Austrian Empire and dissolving the Holy Roman Empire, later ruled as Francis I.
Blunt, pp. 171–172; Dunthorne 156; Great Flower Books, p. 105; Lank 43; Nissen BBI 978; Pritzel 4372; Stafleu TL2 3255; not in the Plesch sale
Stiftsbibliothek Lilienfeld, Lilienfeld, Austria (small blindstamp, lightly effaced, at head of each title-page. This is unremarked in the De Belder and von Hoffmann catalogues); sale in these rooms, 10 April 1967, lot 230 ("The Property of a Lady"); Robert de Belder (1921-1995), “Magnificent Botanical Books”, sale in these rooms, 27 April 1987, lot 182; Ladislaus von Hoffmann (1927-2014), "An Important Botanical Library, The Property of a Gentleman", Christie's, New York, 4 June 1997, lot 80
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.