TOURNEFORT (Joseph Pitton de). Élémens de... - Lot 26 - Pescheteau-Badin

Lot 26
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1500 - 2000 EUR
TOURNEFORT (Joseph Pitton de). Élémens de... - Lot 26 - Pescheteau-Badin
TOURNEFORT (Joseph Pitton de). Élémens de botanique, ou Méthode pour connoître les plantes. À Paris, de l'Imprimerie royale, 1694. 3 volumes in-8, red morocco, spines with cloisonné and ornate nerves, triple gilt fillet framing the covers with corner fleurons, filleted edges, inner gilt roulette, gilt edges (18th century binding). (20)-562-(20) pp. slightly rubbed corners, tiny scuff marks on the first cover of the first volume, small stains on the second cover of volume III, small angular lack formerly restored to 2 plates. Very extensive copper-engraved illustrations: 3 out-of-text title-frontispieces, the same composition engraved by Cornelus Vermeulen depicting the King's Garden, repeated three times with different tomation references; 451 out-of-text plates of botanical representations based on drawings by Claude Aubriet; 5 vignettes in the text, including a garden view. A painter of animals and flowers, Claude Aubriet (1651-1742) designed the plates for Élemens de botaniques (1694) and was appointed painter to the King's Cabinet and Garden in 1700. He accompanied Tournefort on his trip to Asia Minor (1700-1702), drawing what the naturalist discovered, and also contributed plates to Sébastien Vaillant's Botanicon parisiense (1727). One of Linné's great precursors, Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) devoted himself to botany from 1677 onwards, and began to build up a herbarium in Haute-Provence, which he would enrich throughout his life. He continued this activity in Dauphiné, Savoie, Montpellier (where he studied at the Faculty of Medicine), the Pyrenees, Spain, Portugal, England and the Netherlands. His reputation grew to such an extent that he soon had pupils and was chosen by Fagon to succeed him at the King's Garden (1683). In 1701, he was commissioned by Louis XIV to make a scientific voyage to the Levant to search for "plants, metals and minerals, to learn about the diseases of these countries and the remedies in use, and about everything to do with medicine and natural history". He returned two years later with an immense botanical collection of some eight thousand plants. In his major work, Élémens de botanique (1694), he proposed one of the first systematic (rather than subjective, as had previously been the case) methods of classification, on two levels: genus according to flower and fruit, and species according to flowers (mainly the corolla), leaves, roots, stems and taste. This method spread throughout Europe, and was only superseded by Linnaeus, who paid tribute to its clarity and precision. A superb copy in 18th-century morocco. Provenance: the Parisian bookseller Jean Grégoire, who practiced in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (ex-libris printed label on verso of first white endpaper of first volume).
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