Histoire naturelle, botanique.
Item ID 68707
[France, unpublished, ca. 1850]. Folio (39.8 x 28.8 cm). Title page with polychrome title and vignette, heightened with gold; 15 plates with watercolour images of fungi (1) and flowering plants with explanatory text leaves in fine calligraphy. Original full embossed and pebbled black calf; gilt-stippled board edges and fine gilt inner dentelles. Iridescent endpapers. Spine with five raised bands and gilt title; front board with gilt initials "B. F." (= Berthe Fauché); rear board with gilt vignette "Maison des Oiseaux". All edges gilt. A fine album of large watercolour illustrations of flowering plants (and one with fungi), showing examples of the 15 classes of plants, covering 62 "principal" families. All are very accurately drawn and coloured. This likely follows the system designed by the French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748 -1836) which replaced the overly simple and arbitrary system of Linnaeus, and contained 76 families in all. The rear board vignette shows a gilt-embossed burgundy morocco bookplate of Arpad Plesch on the front pastedown. Plesch (1889-1974) was one of the foremost collectors of botanical works. Slight rubbing to boards, a few tissue guards creased, otherwise very good, clean. A beautiful work. The Plesch copy - A fine album of large water colour illustrations of flowering plants