Premiere [-Seconde] Centurie de Planches Enluminees et Non Enluminees Representant au Naturel, Ce qui se trouve de plus Interessant et de plus Curieux parmi les Animaux, les Vegetaux et les Mineraux

Premiere [-Seconde] Centurie de Planches Enluminees et Non Enluminees Representant au Naturel, Ce qui se trouve de plus Interessant et de plus Curieux parmi les Animaux, les Vegetaux et les Mineraux

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BUC'HOZ, Pierre Joseph (1731-1807). Premiere [-Seconde] Centurie de Planches Enluminees et Non Enluminees Representant au Naturel, Ce qui se trouve de plus Interessant et de plus Curieux parmi les Animaux, les Vegetaux et les Mineraux. Paris: Lacombe (parts 1-4); Amsterdam: Marc Michel Rey (parts 5-20), [1775]-81.

2 parts in 4 volumes. Folio (20 4/8 x 12 4/8 inches). 20 engraved title-pages printed in sanguin, yellow, blue or black, 20 engraved lists of plates. 200 engraved plates, in 2 states, with fine original hand-colour and uncoloured, for a total of 400 plates divided into 20 decades, some plates on blue tinted sheets (light toning to numerous plates, faint staining encompassing approx. 20 plates and exceeding plate marks, ink smeared to two titles, minor worming to a few blank margins, paint strokes to margin of plate I:5.1, ink smeared to plate number on plate VII:6.1, light soiling to plate III:1.2). Contemporary half calf, speckled paper boards (rebacked preserving the original spines, covers a bit scuffed at extremities).

First edition, LARGE PAPER COPY, WITH TWO SUITES OF PLATES.  Considered the principal work of the physician and naturalist, Pierre Joseph Buc'hoz. The magnificent plates were designed and engraved by the leading artists and engravers of the 18th century. They include Jean Baptise Desmoulins, Jac de Favanne, and Guil. De Favanne; Claude Mathieu Fessard, who engraved the plates for many books of Buchoz, C. Baquoy, Dupin fils, J. Mesnil, I. Robert, F. Lucas, Jac. Julliet.  

Buc'hoz, who was born in Metz, was appointed physician in ordinary to Stanislaus, King of Poland, but his driving interest was in natural history and the publication of numerous books. His biographer in the 'Biographie Universelle' states that he published over 300 volumes, including 95 large folios, in addition to a great number of papers and dissertations. He also described many new plants which Louis XV ordered to be cultivated in the Jardin du Trianon. Of special interest also is the use made for the first time of drawings of Chinese plants executed by native artists (many of the plants are signed "Peint a la Chine"), and much of Buchoz's other work also has some distinctly oriental flavor. The British Museum (Nat. Hist.) Cat.: I, 275, notes that "the plates of fossils and minerals were collected and issued in 1782 as 'Les dons merveilleux.de la Nature dans le regne Mineral." The sixty plates of plants were issued separately, "Collection precieuse.des fleurs.de la China"(1776?). Blunt pp.158-160 Brunet I, 1371. Graesse I, 563.