THORNTON, ROBERT JOHN.

New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus Von Linnaeus: Comprehending an Elucidation of the Several Parts of the Fructification; A Prize Dissertation of the Sexes of the Plants; A full Explanation of the Classes, and Orders of the Sexual System; and the Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature...(2 Parts of 3 - Without Temple of Flora).

London, Printed for the Publisher, by T. Bensly, (1799) - 1807 - (1810). Elephant folio. (57,5 x 46,5 cm.). Contemp. full morocco. Profusely gilt spine. Broad blindtooled and gilt borders on covers. All edges gilt. Some neath repairs to part of fronthinge. Light wear to lower spine-end. Three letter-press titlepages (main title + Preliminary Observations + title to Part second), 4 engraved calligraphed titlepages. Textleaves, 3 engraved plates, 29 engraved plates of portraits, 94 engraved plates of plants. Some plates and some textleaves with minor scattered small brownspots. Light age-toning to some margins.

The scarce two first parts of the highly important work that was to be known as the "Temple of Flora". The third part of what was to become the "Temple" is not present here, but it is evident that Thornton did not have a clear plan for the structure of the work and let it gradually take its own form. The bibliographical complexity of the work bears witness to the fact that "[n]o two copies of this book are alike" (Buchanan).

Collation: First titlepage "A British Trophy in Honour of Linnaeus"", engraved and calligraphed. - Second titlepage "A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus", engraved and calligraphed. - Engraved portrait of Thornton. by F. Bartolozzi 1799. - Letter-press titlepage "New Illustration of the Sexual System......", 1807. - "Portrait of Her Majesty", engraved (Bartolozzi ornav. et sc.) and one Dedication-leaf (to the Queen). - Letter-press title "Preliminary Observations...", 7 leaves and 3 engraved plates "Analysis..." - 24 engraved portraits of botanists, dated 1799-1807 (Millington, Grew, Tournefort, Ray, Vaillant, Priestly, Lavoisier, Rousseau, Hill, Hales, Earl of Bute, Martyn, Milne, Bonnet, Withering, Curtis, Smith, Lambert, Rutherford, Erasmus Darwin, De Jussieu, Lamarck, Woodville, Shaw and Townsend). - Letter-press title "Part Second" - Engraved plate "Linnaeus in his Lapland Dress" (Hoffman Pinx - Dunkarton sc.) and 1 textleaf. - Engraved calligraphed titlepage "The Sexual System of Carolus von Linnaeus" - Engraved plate "Universal Power of Love". - Titlepage "The Prize Dissertation on the Sexes of Plants by Carolus von Linnaeus written Anno Domini 1759", engraved and calligraphed and 17 leaves. - Engraved portrait of Linnaeus (after Bartolozzi) and 5 leaves. - 94 engraved plates of flovers, dated 1799-1810.

Sitwell "Great Flower Books" p. 143, listing only 25 portraits and 60-80 engravings. - Soulsby No 772, listing 26 portraits and 91 botanical plates. - Nissen No. 1955, listing 25 portraits and 60-80 engravings. - The two portraits of Linnaeus: Soulsby No 3145 (dated 1805) and No 3159 (dated 1806).


Order-nr. 45957

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