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Catesby, Mark | Catesby's collection of "Curious Trees and Shrubs"

Catesby, Mark | Catesby's collection of "Curious Trees and Shrubs"

Catesby, Mark | Catesby's collection of "Curious Trees and Shrubs"

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Catesby, Mark

Hortus Europae Americanus: or, A Collection of 85 Curious Trees and Shrubs, the Produce of North America; adapted to the Climates and Soils of Great-Britain, Ireland, and most Parts of Europe. Together with their Blossoms, Fruits and Seeds; Observations on their Culture, Growth, Constitution and Virtues. With Directions how to Collect, Pack Up, and Secure them in their Passage. London: Printed for J. Millan, 1767


4to (351 x 289 mm). 17 fine etched plates after and by Catesby, 2 with single subjects, the remaining 15 depicting 4 subjects, each plate hand colored; fine impressions of plates, with strong color and no spotting; text somewhat browned and spotted, first 4 leaves separating at inner margin. Contemporary half calf gilt over pale orange boards, front cover gilt with emblematic cipher FA, plain endpapers, red edges; extremities rubbed, some neat restoration to joints.


First edition, second issue, with the 1767 title-page. Catesby's study of American trees was also intended to serve as a nursery catalogue for their sale, and his preface emphasizes the wonderful diversity of the new world sylva, as well as his own familiarity with it. "It will easily be imagined that a forest of a thousand miles in length, extending twenty degrees in latitude from north to south (for such is the territory of the crown of Great Britain on the continent of America) must afford a plentiful variety of trees and shrubs, that may be usefully employed to inrich and adorn our woods by their valuable timber and delightful shade; or to embellish and perfume our gardens with the elegance of their appearance and fragrency of their odours; in both which respects they greatly excel our home productions of the like kind. ... By a long acquaintance with the trees and shrubs of America, and a constant attention since for several years to their cultivation here, I have been enabled to make such observations on their constitution, growth, and culture, as may render the management of them easy to those who shall be desirous to inrich their country, and give pleasure to themselves, by planting and increasing these beautiful exotics. ..."


One of the full-page plates is Catesby's own re-engraving of the magnolia done by G. D. Ehret for the The Natural History of Carolina (see preceding lot). The other plates of Hortus Europa Americanus are also "closely related to the larger ones of The Natural History of Carolina, but they are not identical, though they seem to be based on the same preliminary material. The text is also related to the Natural History, but since the Hortus concentrated on plants there was room for more detailed information in the descriptions and the directions for cultivation" (Oak Spring Sylva). Uncommon.


REFERENCE:

Cleveland/Johnston 462; Henrey 545; Hunt 578; Nissen, BBI 338; Oak Spring Sylva 15; Pritzel 1603; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1058


PROVENANCE:

Douglas Ainslie (armorial bookplate)

Condition as described in catalogue entry.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.