OEDER, Georg Christian (1728-1791). Icones Plantarum sponte nascentium in regnis Daniae et Norvegiae...Florae Danicae… Hafniae [Copenhagen]: Claudius Philbertus and Mart. Halligeri, 1766, 1770, and 1777.
4 volumes. Folio, (14 7/8 x 9 5/8 inches). Letterpress title pages printed in red and black, sectional titles (occasional browning throughout). 699 (of 720) hand-colored botanical plates, some folding (14 plates in volume IV loose with ragged trimming to left margins, small tear to lower margin of Plate 250, small hole to Plate 597 not affecting image, and deep crease to Plate 654 not affecting image). Contemporary full brown calf, boards decoratively ruled in gilt with gilt cornerpieces, spines elaborately tooled in gilt in compartments with six raised bands, red and green gilt morocco lettering labels, gilt board edges, marbled endpapers (somewhat worn and soiled, with most joints starting, volume IV joints cracked).
Provenance: With the early 20th-century bookplates of the Estate of Nanhoron in North Wales, with its Welsh motto “Duw A Diwedd Da” (“God and a Good End”). Heritage Auctions sale 6148, November 2015, lot 45202.
ONE OF THE “FINEST NATIONAL FLORAS EVER COMPILED” (Blunt and Stearn)
First edition of the first 12 fascicles (of an eventual 51 fascicles with 3,240 plates). With 699 VIBRANTLY hand-colored botanical plates. This copy without plates 551, 555, 574, 584, 585, 602, 603, 605, 610, 611, 617, 618, 633, 634, 643, 661, 665, 668, 672, 683, and 695. Oeder was a German-Danish botanist, medical doctor, economist and social reformer, and the first director of the Danish Botanical Garden. As part of his job at the Botanical Garden he initiated this ambitious European botanical work, which was published over a 125-year period. It covers, in great detail, the plants of Norway, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, portions of Northern Germany, and some Swedish flora. “The value of the work was in the accuracy and beauty of the plates made under his [Oeder’s] supervision by Martin and Michael Rösssler and later, under the supervision of the Danish editors, by Christian F. Mueller (1748-1814) and Johann Theodor Bayer (1782-1873). The Rösslers together contributed some 600 plates, J.T. Bayer some 1,500 plates. Their figures unite great artistic excellence with utmost scientific exactness, so that they belong to the best of their kind” (Stearn, The Flora Danica: Its History and Illustrations). Full title: "Icones Plantarum sponte nascentium in regnis Daniae et Norvegiae, in ducatibus Slesvici et Holsatiae, et in comitatibus Oldenburgi et Delmenhorstiae: Ad illustrandum opus de iisdem Plantis, Regio jussu exarandum, Florae Danicae." Great Flower Books, pp. 69-70. Dunthorne 218. Nissen BBI, 2249. Stafleu & Cowan 7001 & 7008.