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First illustrated flora of Sri Lanka, with 111 fine plates.

BURMANN, Johannes [and Carl LINNAEUS].
Thesaurus Zeylanicus, exhibens plantas in insula Zeylana nascentes. Inter quas plurimae novae species, & genera inveniuntur. Omnia iconibus illustrate, ac descripta ...
Amsterdam, Hendrik & Maria Janssonius van Waesberge and Salomon Schouten, 1737. 2 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With 111 finely etched anonymous plates, an engraved allegorical title vignette by Adolf van der Laan (1680/1700-1742) dated 1736, and without the portrait of Burmann, as usual. Contemporary gold-tooled mottled calf, mottled edges. [16], 235, [1], [14], [4], 33, [1].
€ 12,500
First edition of the first illustrated description of the plants of Sri Lanka, based on the famous botanical collections of Paul Hermann and Jan Hartog in The Netherlands. The plants were taken from Ceylon (Sri Lanka), but most were not exclusive to that island, growing throughout the entire South Indian Ocean region, making the book relevant for more than just Ceylon. Plants described and illustrated include the Malabar nut, amaranth, cinnamon and different types of jasmine. Johannes Burmann (1707-1779), Dutch physician and botanist at Amsterdam, was well acquainted with Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus was staying at Burmann's house while he worked on the Thesaurus Zeylanicus and helped him. In the same period Linnaeus published his monumental Systema naturae (first edition 1735), which would revolutionize science. The plates usually called engravings, but they are most likely finely etched. Two different plates are numbered "18", so that many descriptions mistakenly report 110 rather than 111 plates. The dedication on *2 can appear in either of 2 different states: here it opens with Nicolao Sautyn.
Some annotations in pencil. Plates a bit browned, as usual, but otherwise in very good condition. Hinges worn and some wear to the boards. Hunt 501; Nissen BBI 303; Stafleu & Cowan 928.
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Islamic culture  >  Natural History