BUC'HOZ, Pierre Joseph (1731-1807). Herbier ou collection des plantes medicinales de la Chine. Paris: for the author, 1781.

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Folio (19 3/8 x 12 inches). Engraved title-page. 2-page "Explication des Planches" at end. 100 hand-colored engraved plates by Etienne Fessard (1714 -1777) after local Chinese artists. Contemporary boards, uncut (rebacked to style in the 19th-century, light wear to edges).


First edition, and a FINE UNCUT COPY, of "one of the more interesting of the Buc'hoz colorplate books, and a good many of the triangular groups of plants make a pleasing effect" (Hunt). According to the title-page the work is after an original manuscript found in the library of the Emperor of China, and includes 300 plants many of which are now familiar, but which were unknown to 18th-century Europeans. Buchoz, a physician and naturalist, was a prolific publisher of more than 500 works, including several which featured the plants of China: "the early plates were actually painted in China. Herbier is among a small group of books where "considerable use is made for the first time of drawings of Chinese plants executed by native artists." (Blunt page 179). Plates 11-71 are apparently reprints of the 60 botanical plates used in "Centurie de Planches enluminees." Dunthorne 63; Hunt 660; Pritzel 1369.