Among Buc'hoz's rarest and most beautiful works

Buc'hoz [P. J.]

Herbier ou collection des plantes medicinales de la Chine d'après un manuscrit peint et unique qui se trouve dans la Bibliotheque de l'Empereur de la Chine, pour servir de suitte a la collection des fleurs qui se cultivent dans les Jardins de la Chine et de l'Europe. [AND] Collection précieuse et enluminée des fleurs plus belles et les plus curieuses qui se cultivent tant dans les jardins de la Chine, que dans ceux d'Europe, dirigée par le soince et sous la conduittes de Mr. Buc'hoz. Ouvrage egalement utile aux naturalistes, aux fleuristes, aux peintres, aux dessinateurs, aux directeurs des manufactures en porcelaine, en fayance et en etoffes de soye, de laine, de coton et autres artistes. Pour servir de Suite à l'Histoire naturelle et Oeconomique des 3. regnes de la nature. Partie II. Plantes les plus belles qui se cultivent dans les jardins de l'Europe.

Published [1776]-1781
Item ID 76888

excl. VAT

Paris, Lacombe, [AND] Chez l'Auteur, [1776]-1781. Two works in one. Folio (49.0 x 30.0 cm). Title pages (first in sepia, second in black); [ii] pp. (explanatory leaves); 201 finely hand-coloured engraved plates. Fabulous period-style full red morocco binding. Spine with five gilt-ornamented raised bands; compartments rich gilt with floral vignettes and borders, and gilt title. Boards with gilt-rolled floral borders and corner-pieces; gilt inner dentelles. Marbled endpapers.

An extremely rare uncut copy of two of the grandest publications by the French physician, botanist and publisher, Pierre Joseph Buc'hoz, or Buchoz (1731-1807), dealing principally with the rich and colourful flora, and in particular the herbs and flowers of China, as well as those of Europe. Several plates are embellished with illustrations of butterflies, or birds, and several have a blue sky, typical for Chinese art, and even Chinese texts. Buc'hoz did not only paint Chinese plants, but was also one of the first to show them in a Chinese way. Several plates were copied from other works, notably after Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717), but also after Barbara Regina Dietzsch (1706-1783), both among the greatest flower painters of their time. Plate 69 in the Europe Part is a mirror image, with a new background, of a Dietzsch painting of a flowering chrysanthemum, a red longhorn beetle, and a European butterfly, the common brimstone. By sheer coincidence we have the original illustration by Dietzsch too (see our photo comparing both). The first title is correct for the second work only. The first work is not the Collection précieuse et enluminée des fleurs plus belles et les plus curieuses qui se cultivent tant dans les jardins de la Chine, but the Collection des plantes medicinales de la Chine. The plates in the first Part ( Chine) are numbered: Decade 1 (Right); Decade 2 (R); Decade 2 (R) (=3); Decade 5 (Left) (= 4); Decade 5 (R); Decade 8 (R) (=6); Decade 8 (R) (= 7); plates in each decade numbered individually I-X, though some in pencil; LXXI-C. Plates in Part II ( Europe) are numbered as follows Cent. 2. I-XIIII, XVI-XXIII, XXV-XXXIX, XLI-XLVII, XLIX-LX, LXII-C; LXXII (Left), LXXXIV (L), 69 (R), 67(R), LXXXXIX (L), LXXXXIII (L). The last six plates do belong to the Collection précieuse et enluminée des fleurs plus belles et les plus curieuses qui se cultivent tant dans les jardins de la Chine and replace five plates listed in the index of the Europe-part which are not included - this is quite typical for Buc'hoz's modus operandi. An uncut copy, thus with the widest possible margin. Provenance: from the library of Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven (1900-1973), whose library was one of the grandest natural history libraries in the United Kingdom. Edges a little irregular, sometimes a bit frayed and/or toned, as usual with uncut copies, otherwise an excellent copy with strong impressions and very vivid, marvellous and accurate colouring. Nissen BBI, 282; Pritzel, 1326. Neither in the Plesch nor in the De Belder collections.

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