Item #2615 Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros. Petrus LAUREMBERG.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.
With 35 Full-Page Botanical Engravings
Including the Potato and the Jerusalem Artichoke
Frankfurt, Matthaeus Merian, 1654.

Apparatus plantarius primus in duos libros.

2nd ed. 4to [20.5 x 16 cm], 168 pp. including engraved title-page, with 35 full-page engravings in text. Interleaved with 84 ff. of blanks. Bound in contemporary vellum over boards, author & title inked on spine. Ex libris inscription on frontispiece dated 1672. Frontispiece lightly thumbed, inconsequential toning to leaves; overall excellent, with plates in clear, dark impression.

Second edition of this encyclopedic botanical work with 35 fine full page engravings of flowers engraved by Matheus Merian. Lauremberg’s Apparatus plantarius provides botanical descriptions of 14 tubers and rhizomatous flowers, and 24 bulbous plants, including onions, garlic, orchids, 67 varieties of hyacinth, 22 crocus and no less than 144 tulips—just in time for the height of Dutch “tulip mania.” The work treats nomenclature, species and differentia; culinary and medical applications, methods of planting, tending and propagating; and appearances in works of classical literature. 

Of special note are two rhizomatous genera, Adenes canadenses (Jerusalem artichoke) and Adenes virginiani (potato), so christened because of their geographical origin, though Lauremberg remarks (correctly) that the latter was first grown in Peru. As with Aldrovandi, there is also an interest in antiquarian marvels, critical as well as credulous: Lauremberg regards the magic herb “moly” in Homer's Odyssey as a fiction, but quotes with evident approval Plutarch’s report that bears waking from winter hibernation seek the herb “Beard of Aaron” in order to help empty their bowels (Thorndike). 

The present copy is also interleaved with 84 ff. of blank leaves, almost certainly included to facilitate note-taking by its owner—perhaps the same owner who inscribed his name on the title-page. Judging by the immaculate state of the blanks, however, this aspiring botanist’s plans never came to fruition.

Peter Lauremberg (1575-1639) was a professor of botany in Hamburg and, after 1624, his native Rostock, where he was became rector of the University in 1635. In addition to botany, mathematics and medicine textbooks, he compiled the popular Acerra philologica (Rostock 1633), a vernacular collection of 200 quotations and stories from Greek or Roman antiquity. The finely executed engravings are the work of the Swiss engraver and printer Matthäus Merian (1593-1650), friend of Jacques Callot and partner of Theodor de Bry.



* Nissen 1146; Hunt 221; JCB 632.50; Thorndike VIII.7, 10-11. Though the work is often bound with the second edition of Lauremberg’s Horticultura (Frankfurt 1654), first printed in 1631, it is an independent work and recorded as such by Nissen, Hunt, Johnston et al.

Price: $3,450.00

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