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Description of plants in Leiden University's botanical garden: first edition


Historia plantarum, quae in horto academico Lugduni-Batavorum crescunt cum earum characteribus, & medicinalibus virtutibus.
Rome [printed in Leiden?], Francesco Gonzaga[?], 1727. 2 volumes bound as 1. Large 12mo. Contemporary calf (rebacked ca. 1900), gold double fillets and sheepskin spine label on spine.

€ 1,750

First edition of Boerhaave's description of the plants in Leiden University's botanical garden. It gives an account of the various species, including the origins of the plants, their names, characteristics and possible medicinal properties. It includes trees, herbs, flowers, mushrooms and marine plants, including an account of cannabis and many American, East Indian and other exotic plants. Upon his appointment as professor of medicine and botany at Leiden University in 1709, Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738) automatically became head of the botanical garden. He published his first catalogue of plants, Index plantarum, in 1710, and added more than two thousand species by the second edition in 1720, reflecting Boerhaave's extensive additions to the garden. Although the present work carries Boerhaave's name, it is believed to have been prepared by one of his students with the aid of lecture notes. It therefore provides insights into Boerhaave's teaching methods.
With an embossed library stamp of the English botanist Alfred James Wilmott (1888-1950). With the sewing to one quire loose and with minor damage to the gutter fold of its outer bifolium, not approaching the text, but otherwise in good condition. The binding is scuffed and chipped, with cracks in the spine. Important botanical first edition giving insights into Boerhaave's teaching methods.
Arnold Arboretum, p. 91; BMC NH, p. 185; Henrey 462 note; Kuijlen & Wijnands, Paradisus Batavus 89; for Boerhaave: DSB II, pp. 224-228.

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Related Subjects:

Low countries  >  Medicine & Pharmacy
Natural history  >  Herbals & Medical Plants