The first morel monograph - regrettably unpublished

Leuba, [F.]

Monographie du genre Morchella. Traité au point de vue historique, botanique et chimique.

Published 1875
Item ID 76745

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[Switzerland], unpublished, 1875. Folio (31.2 x 24.0 cm). Script title page with watercolour vignette, handwritten preface by the author, dated 15 Août 1875 (verso blank), 16 pp. of handwritten descriptive text; nine watercolour plates with script captions. Later half morocco over marbled boards. Marbled endpapers.

A finely illustrated manuscript on the culinary highly esteemed morel mushrooms, by the Swiss pharmacist, botanist and mycologist Fritz Leuba (1848-1910), author of the formidable Die essbaren Schwämme und die giftigen Arten mit welche dieselben verwechselt werden können (1892; also published as Les champignons comèstibles et les espèces vénéneuses avec lesquelles ils pourraient être confondus. décrits et peints d'après nature). The plates, drawn by the author, are of an outstanding quality. Leuba, as a pharmacist, was very interested in poisonous and edible mushrooms. Morels are known to be a culinary treat if handled correctly, but very poisonous when eaten raw or undercooked. The illustrations are widely different - based on different specimens - from those used in his published works. Provenance: a small, mycological-culinary bookplate of the grand gastronomical library of Jacques and Hélène Bon. The Bon library was assembled over a very long period, and sold some time after Jacques Bon's death on 15 January 2015, at the age of 91. One plate deliberately (?) cut short; otherwise in excellent condition.

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