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MUSEUM FOLK ART [TIMED AUCTION]
18 Sep 2018

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Sale 289 Lot 391
Sold for US$3,000

Rare 1st edition book: The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes Gerard, John (1545-1612). THE HERBALL OR GENERALL HISTORIE OF PLANTES: Gathered by John Gerard of London Master in Chirurgerie. Imprinted at London by John Norton, 1597. First edition, engraved title by William Rogers, engraved portrait of Gerard by Rogers, highly illustrated with high-quality woodcuts of botanical specimens, most with contemporary hand-color, original full calf.

Provenance: Millicent Rogers, New York and Taos
Thence by descent

Other Notes: Trained as a barber-surgeon, John Gerard (1545-1612) divided his time working as superintendent of the gardens of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1521-98), as curator of the Physic Garden at the College of Physicians as well as maintaining his own private garden in which he "grew all manner of strange trees, herbs, rootes, plants, flowers and other such rare things" including the first potato grown in England. His Herball volume, the most famous of all English herbals, was first published in 1597 and reprinted in 1633 and 1636. It was an instant success and remained influential until the eighteenth century. Gerard was acquainted with the famous botanist Carolus Clusius, who traveled to London three times between 1571 and 1581, and his Herball has many similarities to Clusius' publications, even using the same woodcuts from the publisher Christopher Plantin (c. 1520-89) to illustrate the text. However, Gerard's Herball also included an extensive commentary with anecdotes on the folklore surrounding certain plant species. The most famous of British herbals, this first edition, contains over 800 species of plants and more than 2,500 woodcuts.
Estimate $ 2,000-3,000

Condition statement: good overall well preserved, and appears to be in original condition. Some old water damage, mainly to end sections (now dry), and heavy wear to binding. Appear to be complete. The first 8 pages and pages 1240 to the end have old water stains.


*** Notice to bidders: The absence of a condition report does not imply that an object is free of defects or restoration. Condition reports are prepared by request on a 'first come, first served' basis. For more information please read paragraph #9 of Terms and Condition of Sale.

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