RISSO, Joseph Antoine (1777-1845) and Pierre Antoine POITEAU (1766-1854)
Histoire Naturelle des Orangers
Paris: Imprimerie de Mme. Hérrisant le Doux, 1818-. 4to. (13 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches). Half-title, 2pp. dedication to the Duchesse de Berry, 109 fine stipple-engraved plates printed in colors and finished by hand after Poiteau by V. Bonnefoi, Chailly, Dien, Gabriel, Legrand, T. Susémihl and Texier.
19th-century full orange morocco, richly gilt by Riviere, gilt and red edges, marbled endpapers.
First edition of this beautiful work depicting sweet and bitter oranges, lemons, limes, citrons, and grapefruit.
This work "contains exquisite drawings of every known variety of orange, lemon and grape fruit, and their congeners, fruits that hang from the leaves, alternately like suns or moons, with every kind of rind, and shaped like gourds or pitchers ... or again, authentic globes of fire, whether pale, as of moonlight, or red-gold like the sun but half-hidden, as in poetry, in its own green shade. A beautiful and inspiring work, in its way not less so than Redouté's Les Liliacées ... or Les Roses" (Great Flower Books). The text covers every aspect of citrus fruit: its history and mythology, its taxonomy and cultivar descriptions of sweet oranges, bitter oranges, bergamot oranges, limes, grapefruit, lumies, lemons, citrons and related genera. The author, Antoine Risso, a French apothecary and botanist, lived and worked in Nice in the south of France. Antoine Poiteau, the illustrator, began his career as an apprentice gardener at the Jardin des Plantes, and spent some time in the Caribbean collecting plants before returning to Paris in 1800 and turning to botanical illustration, with an initial style modelled on Van Spaendonck and Redouté. Apart from the illustrations, he provided much information on citrus varieties native to the Tropics. The dedicatee of the work was the Duchesse de Berry, daughter of Francis I of Naples, and her crowned coat-of-arms appears on the title-page. First published in 19 parts between July 1818 and August 1820, a second edition would be published in 1872, though the present first edition is much preferred.
Oak Spring Pomona 76; Nissen BBI 1640; Great Flower Books (1990) p.133; Dunthorne 263; Stafleu and Cowan 9248; Cleveland Herbal 815.