Exactissima descriptio rariorum quarundam plantarum, que continentur Rome in horto farnesiano.
Item ID 72656
Roma, Jacobi Mascardi, [1623-]1625. Folio (30.7 x 21.5 cm). Engraved title page; 117 pp. [x, 101, (vi; index)]; 26 engraved plates. 20th-century green half morocco over marbled boards. Spine with five raised, gilt-bordered bands and gilt title. First edition of a work dealing with new and peculiar plants in the first private botanical garden in Europe, the Orti Farnesiano sul Palatino in Rome, founded in 1550 by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520-1589). The engraved title shows the founders of botany as a science, Theophrastus and Dioscorides. This work is variously attribbuted to Tobias Aldini (1570-1662), who signed the dedication leaf and is stated to have made the description, and Pietro Castelli (ca. 1575-1661) [Hunt, p. 226 states 1657], whose name appears as an acostric (Petrvs Castellus Romanus) in the preface, but who is also credited with making the fine engravings. "Tobia[s] Aldini of Cesena was a doctor and botanist appointed by Cardinal Odoardo Farnese as director and curator of the Farnese gardens on the Palatine Hill. His name and association with the gardens appear on the title page of Hortus Farnesianus, which catalogues the rare plants collected in the Farnese gardens. The actual author of the book, however, was more likely his friend Pietro Castelli, who is mentioned (Castello-Petrus) in a laudatory poem on fol. 3r in the font matter.” (Brown University Library website). Title page cut out and mounted (a very old repair); two-page chapter and plate index bound before page 1. Slight damp staining to leather; paper repair to the lower outer corner of the title page, dedication leaves and preface (four leaves in all) with slight loss; Japanese paper repair to last index page; another repair to the margin of pp. 63-64; but in all a good, complete copy, with all the fine, mostly page-sized illustrations. Hunt, 208; Nissen BBI, 13; Pritzel, 1590. Not in Stafleu and Cowan. Fine illustrations of plants in the first private botanical garden in Europe