About the original edition
Vienna, Matthias Andreas Schmidt, (1799-) 1802-1812. 3 volumes. Folio (488 x 345mm). pp. (4), xxxii, 1-104; (2), xxxii, 105-221, (1); (2), 223-310, (2, index), with large sepia aquatint view at beginning of preface to vol I and 280 beautifully handcoloured engraved plates of which 16 folding. Contemporary marbled green boards with 2 red gilt lettered labels. A fine, uncut and unusually fresh copy of the first (and only) edition of this monumental flora of Hungary and adjacent territories, including Croatia, with splendid plates in the Viennese ‘Jacquin’ style. The text is by Paul Kitaibel (1757-1817), professor of botany at the University of Pest. ‘He spent much of his career roaming Hungary and collecting botanical, zoological, and mineralogical specimens as well as folklore. His collections of botanical and mineralogical specimens formed the basis for the natural history collection in the Hungarian National Museum’ (Johnston). The work was financed by Count Franz Waldstein (1759-1823), an Austrian military leader who fought against the Turks and North African states as a Maltese knight and in the Austrian-Turkish war and the Prussian campaign. From 1789 he devoted himself to botany, travelling with Kitaibel through Hungary collecting plants, interspersed with military service. His herbarium is in Prague. The aquatint view is signed by Hirscher. The plates are engraved by Karl Schutz after drawings by his son Johann.