Paris, chez l'auteur, 1781-1795. Nine works in six. Folio (between 42.9 x 27.6 and 46.6 x 31.3 cm). Title pages, half-titles, text, and 612 [200; 40; 51; 45 (three plain); 156; 120] finely engraved plates of which 609 exquisitely hand-coloured. Contemporary, near uniform full red morocco. Spines with six double, gilt-stippled, raised bands separated by a ruled floral green morocco strip; compartments with two green morocco labels with gilt title and red morocco inlay with gilt border. Boards with gilt ornamental Greek key border and marbled panel in gilt-stippled border; gilt-lined edges and gilt floral inner dentelles, or (the two Nouveau traité volumes) uniform contemporary red grained half morocco over marbled boards; marbled endpapers.
A unique suite of the quintessential - and all very rare - Buc'hoz large folio works, as follows. "Le Jardin d'Eden": Paris, chez l'auteur, -1783-. Two parts in one. Folio (42.9 x 27.6 cm). Title page, [ii] ("Liste des planches"); second title page, second index (both identical to the first); 200 finely engraved and exquisitely hand-coloured plates. A very rare, complete copy of one of Buc'hoz most important works on plants from the royal botanical gardens of the Trianon Palace, Versailles, near Paris. The illustrations are among the best ever produced by the French botanist, physician, naturalist and publisher Pierre Joseph Buc'hoz (1731-1807) [also spelled Buchoz, and Buch'oz]. The index lists the plates as numbered 1-200; the numbering on the plates, however, is in Roman numerals. Nissen reports only 140 plates. Some copies have 140 plates and 60 additional plates from other works by Buc'hoz. Pritzel erroneously mentions seven additional, larger plates, but such plates are not mentioned in the index that completes this work. Stafleu & Cowan state that volume 1 was published in 1781 and volume 2 in 1783. The index, however, is dated 1785. Plate CXLIX numbered CXIX; Plate LI, Passiflora laurifolia, without plate number; small hole in plates LX and CXIII, not touching the images; old, skilful repair to the margin of plate CXI, otherwise a fine, clean copy. Very rare in this excellent condition. Nissen BBI, 288; Pritzel, 1330; Sitwell, Great Flower Books, p. 81; Stafleu & Cowan, 878; [AND] Collection coloriée des plus belles variétés de jacinthes ... [AND] Collection coloriée des plus belles variétés de tulipes .... Paris, chez l'auteur, -1895. Large folio (43.0 x 27.5 cm). Two engraved title pages [to Jacinthes, and to Tulipes, both dated 1781], 12 pp.; 91 [40; 51] finely hand-coloured engraved plates. Buc'hoz' only work specifically dealing with colourful bulb plants, and extremely rare in any state. Sometimes, (part of) this work is found incorporated into the author's "Le Jardin d'Eden", of which a 140 (instead of 200) plates edition exists. Certainly these plates are among the best ever produced by Buc'hoz. According to Nissen, there should be 40 hyacinth plates and 60 tulip plates. This copy has all the hyacinth plates, with their descriptive text in the 1795 (only?) edition, in which it is stated that the pre-revolutionary plant names were maintained because they were named and known as such in Haarlem, then the centre of Dutch bulb cultivation and trade. It also contains 51 tulip plates. The first 40 tulip plates have their captions in capital letters, the following are in lower case italics with upper case initials. The first 40 plates were probably issued in 1781 (the date on the title page) too, to match the 40 hyacinth plates. Only Brunet - followed by Nissen - calls for 60 plates, and states that publication was ended in 1797. We found no auction records, or any other recent (i.e. post WWII) record, with more than 40 plates. Since our copy contains the hyacinth text of 1795, we assume that 11 additional plates were published between 1781 and 1795, and perhaps the remaining ones later, between 1795-1797. In an anonymous work, "Nachricht von den Werken des Naturforschers Büchoz" (published in August Hennings' Der Genius der Zeit, September 1795), under number 29, it is stated that the work on tulips contained 50 plates. All plates in our copy, except tulip plate 51 have Roman numerals, perhaps suggesting another break in production. Small burn hole in the margin of the first text leaf, several text leaves with the edges a bit damp-stained, otherwise a fine, clean copy, without any foxing, toning or marking whatsoever. Brunet, 1372 ; Nissen BBI, 279 (jacinthes), 280 (tulipes). Neither in Cat. BM(NH) nor in Stafleu & Cowan; [AND] Bouquets de flore, Paris, chez l'auteur, -1794. Large folio (46.6 x 31.3 cm). Engraved and finely hand-coloured title page (title above), plain title page ("Recueil et representation des phénomenes de la nature et des monumens de l’art, qu’on remarque encore dans differens endroits de la terre"), 45 engraved plates of which 42 are finely hand-coloured, and three deliberately plain (double-suite). With seven amazingly beautiful flower bouquet plates, which is probably all that has been published, and enriched by the author with 38 other - additional - plates; all depicting plants, except one with colourful birds, one with Chinese goldfish, one with silk moths, one with a rhinoceros and an elephant, and three of French geographical-geological interest. Nissen only records the seven bouquet plates. Plate numbering is erratic. Apparently this album was custom-made using various decades and suites, in particular the first "Bouquet" series, of which all known plates are present; a decade with Arabic numbering, of which plates 2-6 are present, also containing two or more plants, combined as flower bouquets; a suite of five unnumbered Aloe plates, and another with, again five, Mesembryanthemum species (ice plants); the whole being augmented with other fine plant and animal plates in a "Wunderkammer" fashion, more to please the senses rather than to convey a coherent scientific idea. In the rear is a second engraved title, dated 1794, followed by four double-suites (hand-coloured and plain), of scenery with geological objects in the French Massif Central (Auvergne). Perhaps this set was made for someone living in the Auvergne region or with roots from that area. Many plates are without number. During the French revolution the captions below the "bouquet" illustrations, with dedication to members of the former French nobility, were carefully removed and replaced with blank paper from the same period. The captions within and above these illustrations, with botanical information, have not been altered. Nissen BBI, 278; [AND] Les dons merveilleux, Paris, chez l'auteur, 1782. Large folio (42.7 x 27.9 cm). Engraved title page, [iv] pp. (explanations to plates 1-100, present twice]; 156 finely engraved and exquisitely hand-coloured plates. One of the most sought-after publications of Buc'hoz. It must be very rare as we found only one auction record during the last 50 years (in 2004). The first 100 plates form a complete volume, and deal with mammals, shells, reptiles, birds, eggs, butterflies, etc., etc., including original images by Buc'hoz, and illustrations after others, including Maria Sybilla Merian. This is followed by 56 plates of a second volume, again with fine zoological plates and observations. This work should not be confused with the very similarly titled work by Buc'hoz on plants - Les dons merveilleux et diversement coloriés de la nature dans le règne végétal - which was published near-simultaneously, with 200 plant plates. The later is listed in the BM(NH) and Hunt catalogues, and by Nissen BBI, Sitwell Great Flower Books, and others, while the zoology is in Nissen only, which reports 204 or 216 (with a query) plates; however, it only cites the listing of a copy in Vienna's royal library (Now officially known as the Austrian National Library), and one with 142 plates in Vienna's Natural History Museum. In 2004, Christie's purportedly sold a copy with 200 plates, but - strangely - referred to the bibliographies of the Regne végétal. A few isolated weak spots, otherwise a very good, clean copy, in a marvellous contemporary binding. Nissen ZBI, 651; [AND] Nouveau traité physique et economique, par forme de dissertations, de tous les animaux [AND] de tous les plantes [AND] métaux [AND] fontaines minérales. Paris, chez l'auteur, 1787-1790. Large folio (43.2 x 27.6 cm). Title page, [iv], 4, 4 pp. 110 finely hand-coloured engraved plates. Half-title, second title, [iv], 6 pp. 120 [77; 43] finely hand-coloured plates. Uniform contemporary red grained half morocco over marbled boards. The title page to the Plantes is dated 1787, the title to the Animaux is dated 1790, the Minéraux 1796, and the Fontaines 1796. According to the BM(NH) catalogue, "[t]his is a distinct work, though regarded by the author as the second edition of his unfinished Histoire universelle du Regne Végétal. However, it contains zoology and mineralogy too. The "dissertations" mentioned in the titles are chapters on various animals or plants, of various length (1 to 46 pp.) and with one or more (up to six) hand-coloured plates. Pagination of each dissertation starts anew; plate numbering is erratic, apparently following three different systems, namely one with decade numbers and plate numbers in Roman; one with Arabic plate numbers, and one with capital letters. Many plates, however, are not numbered. This all shows that Buc'hoz made several series of plates and then used them, often more than once, for his many publications. Most works by Buc'hoz only appeared in very limited editions, and one copy may be different from another. However, many "dissertations" in this work end with a list of preceding "dissertations", and here all the plates and text that should be in these volumes is actually included, except for four text pages in the penultimate dissertation. Very rare. In 2007, a copy with only 79 plates was sold for 17.000; in 2004 another copy, with just 72 plates, was offered at 27.500. It is unknown how many plates should be included. We assume that with 110 plates this copy is complete. A few plates and text leaves have some, mostly marginal, dampstaining; a few leaves have a small gap, however, never touching letters or illustrations; one plate "Le Daim" loose and toned. Four text leaves in an unillustrated chapter wanting. There are no markings and the work is nearly entirely free of foxing; the hand-colouring is bright and accurate. In all, a very good copy. Perhaps because of its broad scope and rarity - most parts were published during the French Revolution - it is not mentioned in Nissen and Stafleu & Cowan. Cat BM(NH) p. 275. Altogether, these nine works - mostly in very fine condition - form a wonderful, unique ensemble.