Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de|
Élémens de botanique, ou méthode pour connoître les plantes.
Paris, l'Imprimerie royale, 1694, 1. edition, 3 volumes, 1: engraved half-title, pp. [xx], 562, (563-580, indexes; 581, err.; 582, privilege); 2: engraved half-title and engraved plate 1-235; 3: engraved half-title and engraved plate 236-451; 8vo, crushed red morocco, gilt-ruled spine with raised bands, gilt inner dentelles, gilt-ruled board-edges and ruled covers, edges mottled in red. About ten first leaves of text-volume marginally slightly waterstained in inner upper corner. Attractive set.
€ 7.300First edition of this most important publication in the development of systematic botany by the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708). In this work he made a clear distinction between genus and species. With the concept of the genus, Tournefort was able to cluster the 7000 plant species he described into 700-plus genera, making classification easier and preparing the way for Linnaeus. The Élémens and the Institutiones are milestones in the history of taxonomy not only for the conceptual advances they reflect but also for the wholly new form in which they are cast. The text of the Élémens is in French, accompanied by a technical dictionary, and it is closely related to Aubriet's illustrations. The result is a well-integrated and easily accessible whole that could not fail to produce a sensation. Thus, although Tournefort's work disregarded the major biological discoveries of the seventeenth century, within its self-imposed limits it clearly outlined the avenues of study that led to the modern system of classification (DSB). Claude Abriet (1665-1742), a native of Châlons-sur-Marne, found his way as a young man to Paris, where he was engaged by Joubert to assist in the production of drawings for the royal collection. He soon attracted the attention of Tournefort, who commissioned him to make the engravings for his celebrated Elémens de Botanique (1694) which in its later Latin version, Institutiones Rei Herbariae (1700), had so far-reaching an effect on plant classification. These illustrations, made no doubt under Tournefort's direct supervision, are remarkable for the accuracy of their dissections (Blunt). The 451 copper-engraved plates, all by Claude Aubriet, gehören in ihrem klaren und doch so eleganten Aufbau zu dem Erstaunlichsten, was die vorlinnéische Botanikmalerei aufzuweisen hat, … (Nissen BBI p. 98).
provenance: J. Lanjouw (book-plate) and other ownership-inscriptions.
* Pritzel 9423; Jackson pp. xxxv + 30*; Blunt p. 113; Nissen BBI 1976; Hunt 392; DSB XIII pp. 442-444; Stafleu & Cowan 14.780 (Counts as first edition of the Institutiones; in French); Johnston 296.