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Histoire universelle du règne végétal

Histoire universelle du règne végétal
Full title: 
Histoire universelle du règne végétal, ou nouveau dictionnaire physique et economique de toutes les plantes qui croissent sur la surface du globe.
Buchoz, Pierre-Joseph
1773 to 1778
Place & Publisher: 
Paris / Brunet

First edition of Buchoz’s greatest work, a monumental encyclopaedia of plants and the most botanically significant of of his works. The outstanding plates are derived from many sources, and include engravings from the original drawings in the Collection des vélins in the Muséum d’histoire naturelle in Paris, and in many cases are the first and only published form of these drawings. They include artists such as Robert, Aubriet, Bosse, and Mlle Basseporte. The principal engravers were ‘Dupin filius’, who signed 320 plates, and Claude Matthieu Fessard, who signed 109. The Histoire universelle was issued in 25 parts, 13 of text and 12 of plates, over the course of eight years. The plates were completed but the text was left unfinished. Each plate volume had 100 plates ‘numbered I-X in decades numbered 1-10 (with occasional lapses from roman numerals to arabic and vice versa; all botanical except plate I of decade I of the first volume, which is allegorical [i.e. the frontispiece’ (Johnston). The text, comprising plant descriptions arranged alphabetically, ends abruptly amidst the letter P, with the entry for Pennantia; the plates carried on in alphabetical order, without text, finishing with Xantoxylum aculcatum. In all, 196 plates were issued without text.