Horti Medici Amstelodamensis rariorum Tam Orientalis, quam Occidentalis Indiae, aliarumque peregrinarum Plantarum. Magno studio ac labore, sumptibus civitatis Amstelodamensis, longâ annorum Serie collectarum, descriptio et icones. Ad vivum aeri incisae. Beschryvinge en curieuse afbeeldingen van rare vreemde Africaansche, Oost-West-Indische en andere gewassen vertoont in den Amsterdamsche Kruyd-Hof. Met groote moeyte en arbeid op stads-kosten in vele jaren aangewend, en by een versameld door Casparus Commelin M. D. en botanicus Horti Medici.
Item ID 49409
Amsterdam, P. Blaeu, J. Blaeu and [the widow of] Abraham van Someren (1697, 1701). Two parts in two. Folio (near matching at 39.8 x 26.2 cm and 40.0 x 25.5 cm). Part I: Latin half title; Latin title in two colours with title vignette; Dutch title (do.); engraved allegorical frontispiece showing the virgin of Amsterdam in a foreign (subtropical) landscape amidst exotic people offering plants as gifts; coat-of-arms of Joannes Huydecoper, and that of Joannes Commelin, dedication leaves (Latin and Dutch) to the mayors of Amsterdam; , 220 pp., 110 engraved plates showing 112 numbered plants with explanatory text leafs in Latin and Dutch, each with floral vignette at the end of each description. Part II: Latin half title, allegorical frontispiece, showing Theophrastus teaching botany in the real Hortus garden, with the houses along the Nieuwe Herengracht canal in the background, Dutch title page, dedication page (to the mayors of Amsterdam, and to the trustees of the Hortus). Coat-of-arms of Franciscus de Vroede (senator of the Hortus), Joannes Huydecoper (curator) and Gerbrandus Pancras (do.). , 224,  pp., and 113 plates, numbered up to 112 with fig. 4 in two different states (on recto and verso of one leaf), as intended. Thus, in total: two frontispieces, five coats-of-arms and 225 numbered plates on 222 leaves. Both volumes in contemporary vellum, but not an exact match. The short half-title reads: Rariorum plantarum Horti Medici Amstelodamensis descriptio & icones. The plants described and figured were collected in Asia, the Americas and South Africa (Cape of Good Hope) by crew members of the merchant ships of the Dutch East and West India companies and donated to the Amsterdam Horticultural Garden - Europe's leading centre of botanical research during the 17th and 18th century - of which Jan Commelin (or Commelijn) was the director. Commelin (1629-1692) died before the publication of Part I of his manuscript, and this is acknowledged on the title pages of Part I. As further explained there, the botanist, zoologist and anatomist Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) edited the work and added some annotations. Commelin's nephew and successor, Caspar (1667-1731), wrote Part II. The work is of an outstanding quality, with beautiful plates in deep shades of grey and black. There are 20 plates depicting Aloes, but also many more exciting exotic plants. Part I with a few small, marginal spots, a few plates slightly age toned, but with strong impressions. Small hole in explanatory leaf to plate 79, some minor soiling to p. 218, contemporary handwriting (the Latin names of the species) in the margin of several plates. Part II with repair to the lower corner of fig. 88, traces of slight worming in the lower inner margin, but this is really unobtrusive. A faint half-circular water stain to outer margin of pp. 205-224 and index, somewhat stronger on figs 105-107, but also hardly distracting. In all, a very good copy of this rare and important work on the plants kept in the Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus, which still exists to this day at its original location. Nissen quotes a wrong number of plates, probably counting frontispieces as well. This copy is complete with 225 numbered figures on 222 leaves, which is one plate more than usually quoted as the maximum, but that is probably because plate 4 in Part II has two versions, meaning there are two figures displayed on one leaf (the leaf was printed on both sides), the only plate that was done that way in this entire work. Almost all plates show one species, and the figure number equals the number of plates, except that figures 42-44 (Part I) are on one plate, for a total of 112 numbered figures on 110 leaves. Cat. BM(NH), p. 371; Nissen BBI, 389; Pritzel, 1833; Stafleu and Cowan, 1187. A homage to one of the oldest, most beautiful, and most influential horti in Europe