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Hortus Eystettensis, sive diligens et accurata omnium plantarum, florum, stirpium, et variis orbis terrae partibus, singulari studio collectarum, quae in celeberrimis viridariis Archem Episcopalem ibidem cingentibus, hoc tempore conspiciuntur, delineatio et ad vivum repraesentatio...
[Nuremberg] 1613. Broadsheet (c. 57 x 47cm), with engraved title, engraved portrait with coat-of-arms of Besler, 4 engraved seasonal titles, and 367 engraved plates (one double); a few minor spots and some occasional faint marginal waterstains, a fine copy in seventeenth-century red morocco, gilt panels on sides, spines gilt with vellum labels, gilt edges. First edition of the most celebrated florilegium ever published. The Hortus Eystettensis is a magnificent pictorial record of the flowers growing in the greatest German garden of its time, that of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, the Prince Bishop of Eichstätt. 'The importation of exotic species, the product of rapid colonial expansion and increased trade in the 16th century, enlarged the horticultural repertoire and fed a growing fashion for beautiful and exotic plants, confirmed by the appearance of printed florilegia at the beginning of the 17th century, of which the 'Hortus Eystettensis' is the outstanding example' (Watson and Raphael, 'The Camerarius florilegium')./'The garden of Eichstätt was started in 1596 by the Prince Bishop Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, who commissioned Camerarius to design and supervise its construction and planting. Upon Camerarius' death two years later in 1598, the work was carried on by his colleague the Nuremberg apothecary Basil Besler, who arranged to have the remainder of Camerarius' plants transferred to Eichstätt...Under [Besler's] direction the Prince Bishop's garden soon became the most famous in Germany, and in 1606 Besler began to produce a grand illustrated catalogue at the Bishop's expense. A team of ten artists and engravers, chief among whom was Wolfgang Kilian, drew the plants and carried out their engraving on copper, while Ludwig Jungermann (1572-1653), a botanist and Camerarius' nephew, wrote most of the descriptive text. The Hortus Eystettensis appeared in 1613, with 367 engraved plates, and was the most expensive, and most magnificent florilegium ever published, a fame it retains to this day' (idem)./The plates are arranged by seasons of the year, beginning with Spring. The four seasonal titles and 23 plates are signed by Johann Leypolt. The title and 6 plates are signed by Wolfgang Kilian, 7 plates by Servatius Raven, 6 each by Levin van Hulsen and Dominicus Custos (or Coster; the latter signed D.K.), 3 each by Robert Custos or Coster and Heinrich Ulrich, 2 each by Friedrich van Hulsen and 'G.H.' (possibly Georg Hortulanus), and 1 by Peter Isselburgh. The gardens, along with most of the town of Eichstätt, were destroyed by the invading Swedish troops under Herzog Bernhard von Weimar in 1633-4. The plates survived and were used for a reissue sometime around 1642, and again in 1713. /In 1998 almost all the plates, 329 in total, including the title copperplate have been discovered during the reorganisation of the storage of artefacts in Vienna's Albertina Graphic Collection.//Collation: I: engraved title, engraved portrait with Besler's coat-of-arms, 3 ll dedication, 1 l 'ad lectorem', 1 l Belgian and Dutch privilege (without the French privilege), 'Verna' engraved seasonal title, 144 ll with 134 engravings, 7 ll index; 'Aestiva' engraved seasonal title, and 199 ll with 184 engravings, 8 ll index; 'Autumnalis' engraved seasonal title, 46 ll with 42 engravings, 3 ll index; 'Hyberna' engraved seasonal title, 8 ll with 7 engravings, 1 leaf index. This is the issue with the text printed on the versos of the plates. It is on unwatermarked paper. The portrait of Besler is accompanied by his coat-of-arms, two engraved plates on one leaf in fact; the portrait is sometimes found without the coat-of-arms.//Nissen BBI, 158; Pritzel 745; Stafleu and Cowan TL2 497; see Nicolas Barker, 'Hortus Eystettensis' The bishop's Garden and Besler's magnificent book, for a detailed history.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat JUNK B.V. (Natural History]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      NVvA    

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