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Bistorta Maior [Bistort]; Salvia agrestis flore purpureo [Meadow sage]; Salvia agrestis flore albo [White meadow sage]
Eichstatt: 1613, 1st edition. Hand-coloured engraving. Mild marginal soiling and light foxing in the top margin, otherwise good condition. 21 1/16 x 17 3/8 inches. Basil Besler published "Hortus Eystettensis", the earliest large folio botanical, at Eichstatt near Nuremburg, in 1613. He worked on the drawings for the 374 copper engravings over a period of sixteen years from the plants in the garden of Bishop Johann Conrad von Gemmingen, his patron. Depicted in this florilegium were flowers, herbs, vegetables and "exotic" plants such as tobacco and peppers. Besler was, from our point of view, a botanist and horticulturalist, in medieval terms, he was a healer and familiar with the real and alleged medicinal benefits of various plants. And he lived at a time when new, unknown plants were being shipped to Europe from all over the world. The garden that he organized and illustrated for his patron was both ornamental and experimental, and the large book he had engraved after his drawings was unique. The prints, made by a team of master engravers, are strong and exquisitely done.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      Biblio    

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