KNORR, Georg Wolfgang (1705-1761)
Thesaurus rei herbariae hortensisque universalis ... Allgemeines Blumen- Krauter- Frucht- und Garten-Buch
[Nuremberg:]: Paul Jonathan Felssecker, 1788-1789. 2 volumes. (15 1/4 x 9 5/8 inches). Parallel titles and text in Latin and German. Engraved portrait of Knorr by J.A.Schweikart after J.E.Ihle, hand-coloured engraved section title and 300 hand-coloured engraved botanical plates by Knorr.
Expertly bound to style in 18th-century diced russia gilt, covers with wide decorative border composed from fillets and roll tools, the flat spines divided into seven compartments by neo-classical rolls, red morocco lettering-piece with author and title in the second compartment, black morocco lettering-piece bearing the volume number in the fifth, the others with repeat overall decoration made up from various decorative rolls
The very rare third issue of Knorr's botanical masterpiece: ''The loveliest of the German flower books" (Nissen).
The very fine plates were all drawn and engraved by Knorr, who also conceived the idea of the work. The first edition was published between 1750 and 1772 and Knorr (who died in 1761) did not live to see it completed. The plates were clearly influenced by works such asTrew's Plantae selectae and Weinmann's Phytanthoza iconographia. The text was prepared by Philipp Friedrich Gmelin and Georg Rudolf Böhmer. The titles on the plates are in Latin and German. The Latin titles employ a mixture of Linnaean and pre-Linnaean descriptive nomenclature (following Tournefort and others). The accompanying text in Latin and German includes each plant's name, its synonyms, its natural history and ends (where appropriate) with notes about its usefulness to medicine. The present issue is the third but paradoxically it appears to be the rarest, six copies of the work are listed as having sold at auction over the past twenty five years, and amongst these only one was from the present third issue: an incomplete copy consisting of the second volume only. There was some confusion about the correct number of plates. The present copy is complete with 300 plates but this includes plate 128 in vol.I which displays two specimens of roses numbered (according to the original numbering system) R8 and R9. This 'double' plate led to the assertion that 301 plates was the correct number.
Cf. Great Flower Books (1990) p.62; cf. Hunt 538; cf. Nissen BBI 1081.