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Munting, A.

Naauwkeurige beschryving der aardgewassen, waar in de veelerley aart en bijzondere eigenschappen der boomen, heesters, kruyden, bloemen, met haare vrugten, zaden, wortelen en bollen, neevens derzelver waare voort-teeling, gelukkige aanwinning, en heylzaame genees-krachten, na een veel-jarige oeffening en eigen ondervinding, in drie onderscheide boeken, naauwkeuriglijk beschreeven worden; foor den heer Abraham Munting, In zijn leeven, hoogleraar der genees- en kruydkunde in de vermaarde Akademie te Groeningen. Nu eerst nieuwelijks uitgegeeven, en met meer dan 250 afbeeldingen, all naer 't leeven geteekend en konstiglijk in 't koper gesneeden, vercierd. Met nodige registers verrijkt. [Nauwkeurige beschryving der aard-gewassen].

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Leiden, Pieter van der Aa, and Utrecht, Fran├žois Halma, 1696. Folio (39.5 x 25.4 cm). Half title ["Aardgewassen"], engraved frontispiece title ["Aard-Gewassen"] with full page allegorical engraving "Rerum Magistra" by Goeree and engraved by I. Baptist; second title page with full title in red and black, and engraved vignette "Cultior his vita est", half title to second part; 563 pp. [(xxxiv), 465 (with 930 numbered columns), (lxiv)]; 245 engraved plates (on 244 sheets). Chapters with large, engraved head and tail pieces. Contemporary blind-tooled vellum. Spine with seven raised bands and burgundy morocco label with intrinsic gilt borders and gilt title. Front and back with blind-ruled borders and center arabesque.

This herbal is the opus magnum of the Dutch botanist and director of the Groningen Hortus Botanicus, Abraham Munting (1626-1683). Published posthumously. This is the only Dutch edition. In 1702 a Latin version "Phytographia curiosa" with a much reduced text (merely an atlas), was issued and reprinted in 1713. Munting visited the universities of Franeker, Utrecht and Leiden, and went to France in 1649. In 1651 he returned to Groningen. After his father's death in 1658 he took over his famous botanical garden, known as "Groenings paradijs" (The Paradise of Groningen). In 1672 he published his "Waare oeffening der planten"; a second edition appeared in 1682. Finally, in 1696 a considerably enlarged edition was published as "Nauwkeurige beschryving der aardgewassen". Compared with the "Waare oeffening", this work contains many addition exotic plants, chiefly from the Americas and Asia. The predecessor had only 40 plates. The title words "meer dan 250 afbeeldingen" (more than 250 illustrations) is correct, as most of the 244 plates show a single plant, but several show more than one plant, for a total of 262 different plants. Binding firm. Boards rubbed, at hinge-edges and a bit more so at the corners, with the signs of over 300 years of mild wear. Inscribed on the front pastedown in an old hand (A. M. van Limmik), a few annotations in (probably the same) old hand. Internally an occasional spot; some small repairs to the last two text leaves and last blank. Small hole in text leaf 597/600 affecting a few letters. Two pairs of small, rounded holes (for clasps or thongs) in the boards fore-margin. In all a fine, wonderfully well-preserved and complete copy. Stafleu & Cowan "regret to have to leave out the books of this author out of account for reasons of space...". Nissen BBI, 1428; Pritzel, 6556.

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