Nürnberg, Johann Michael Seeligmann, 1756-1758. Two volumes in two. 4to (26.1 x 22.2 cm). Title pages, 368 pp. (I: [vi], 3-136, [vi]; II: [ii], 208, [xii]; 102 [ 50; 52 (two unnumbered, opposite pp. 126, 148] engraved and finely hand-coloured plates. Original hand-coloured woodcut head piece. Uniform full mottled calf. Spine with five raised, gilt-ornamented bands; compartments rich gilt with floral vignettes and borders, and red morocco label with gilt title. Boards with gilt dentelles.
An excellent, very rare contemporary hand-coloured and very wide-margined copy of this first corrected and translated edition, edited by the German botanist and member of the Leopoldina, Georg Leonhard Huth (1705-1761). The author, the French Louis Éconches Feuillée (1660-1732) "...attracted the attention of members of the [French] Academy of Sciences and in 1699 was sent by order of the king on a voyage to the Levant with Giovanni Domenico Cassini to determine the geographical positions of a number of seaports and other cities. The success of the undertaking led him to make a similar journey to the Antilles in 1703. In the Antilles, he collected new species of flora and drew a map of Martinique; he also explored the Venezuelan coast. He returned to France in June 1706. his work won recognition from the Government, and he immediately began preparations for a more extended voyage along the western coast of South America to continue his observations. He received the title of 'Royal Mathematician' from Louis XIV of France, and armed with letters from the ministry, set sail from Marseilles on 14 December 1707. In 1707, he voyaged to what is now Argentina, rounded Cape Horn at the end of 1708 after a tempestuous voyage, and arrived at Concepción, Chile on 20 January 1708. He remained in that city for a month, conducting astronomic, botanical, and zoological surveys and at the end of February traveled to Valparaíso. He then traveled to Peru and returned to France in August 1711, where he published a complete inventory of his observations in three volumes (1714-1725). Louis XIV granted him a pension and built an observatory for him at the convent on the Michaelmas Plain at Marseilles" (Wikipedia). The two non-botanical plates depict a South American owl, and a sea turtle, respectively. Several plants are shown with associated insects. In this work, white or whitish plant parts are simply not coloured. Pages 126-127, and the plate opposite p. 126 in Volume II misnumbered 226-227, and p. 226, corrected in pencil. Some mild spotting, a few larger spots on the owl-plate, tiny dampstain to the top margin of a few leaves in Vol. II, one mount with an old repair, endpapers renewed, otherwise an excellent, clean, wide-margined copy. Very rare. Rare Book Hub records no auction record of a complete, contemporary coloured copy (only a single Volume I, and a copy lacking four plates). Our copy may be compared with the one in the John Carter Brown library, but that one does not have the engraved head-piece in Volume I hand-coloured, and has a much narrower margin. Junk Rara pp. 50-51; Nissen BBI, 623; Pritzel, 2882; Sabin, 24226; Stafleu and Cowan, 1767.