Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei. An Illustration of the sexual system of the Genera Plantarum of Linnaeus
By Miller, John F.
Pp. (120), engraved emblematic frontispiece, engraved title, subscriber’s list, with 108 fine hand-colored engraved plates heightened with gum Arabic (4 hand-colored engraved plates of leaf shapes + 104 hand-colored engraved plates of flowers) and 108 uncolored plates printed in black (all plates in this work appear in two states, one state is hand-colored and the other is monochrome). Bound to style by the Studio Bindery of Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, England, in speckled calf, the covers paneled in blind with on-laid light brown speckled panel surrounding a central area cross-hatched in blind, spine in six compartments with raised bands, the bands highlighted by tooling in gilt and blind, red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, the others with simple repeat gilt decoration of a centrally-placed flower-spray tool, marbled endpapers, lg thick folio (527 x 355mm). The text is printed in two columns one in Latin and on in English. The work was originally issued to subscribers in twenty parts between 1775 and 1777 to 85 subscribers who ordered a total 105 sets (some plates printed as early as 1770); the edition was limited to these 105 copies (subscriber’s list included). “An immense work of botany where in … Miller illustrated, in a style of unprecedented elegance, the sexual system of Linnaeus” (J. C. Lettsom – Memoirs of John Fothergill, 1789, p. 106). Linnaeus himself was full of praise for Miller's work, in a letter of 25 July 1775 he described the sample plates he had been sent as "pulchiores et accuratiores quam ullae quas vidit mundus a condito orbe" (more beautiful and accurate than any seen since the beginning of the world). Johann Sebastian Mueller was born in Nuremberg but moved permanently to England in 1744 changing his name to Miller. For the present work, he worked chiefly from specimens in the garden of John Fothergill at Upton in Essex, England. See also Great Flower Books (1990) p. 120; Soulsby 667; Stafleu & Cowan 6482.
|Publisher||published and sold by the Author|
|Date Published||(1770-) 1777|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||The frontispiece is lightly foxed, the 2nd and 76th colored plates show slight flaking of the green pigmentation, occasional offsetting from some uncolored plates onto the facing text leaves, a few faint mars to the outer leather boards, this large attractively-bound volume weighs about 40 pounds; a bright, clean copy in near fine condition.|