Item #69100 Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. John GERARD.
Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes
Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes
Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes

First Edition of Gerard's Famous "Herball"

Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London, Master in Chirurgerie.

London: Edm. Bollifant for Bonham and John Norton. 1597.

Full Description:

GERARD, John. The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London, Master in Chirurgerie. London: [Edm. Bollifant for Bonham and] John Norton, 1597.

First edition. Folio. (12 3/8 x 8 1/4 inches; 315 x 210 mm). [20], 1392, [34 index] pp. Engraved title-page by William Rogers with woodcut arms verso. Engraved portrait of Gerard by Rogers. With more than 2,000 woodcut illustrations of plants in the text, numerous woodcut historiated initials and head- and tailpieces. Bound without the final 19 leaves (5e2-5i4) which comprise all the English indexes. The Latin indexes are present. There are numerous mispaginations, but collation is correct and complete for the text.

Full 19th century mottled calf, rebacked with original spine preserved. Spine with two original red morocco spine labels, lettered in gilt. Boards double ruled in blind. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. dentelles tooled in blind. Rubbing and flaking to spine and board edges. Title-page trimmed close at bottom margin, touching lower part of engraving. Some minor repairs to upper outer corner of title-page. Previous owner's armorial bookplate on front pastedown. Front free endpaper with remnants of bookplate. Some minor, light old ink marginalia. Overall a very clean, good copy.

"Gerard's famous Herball, important among other things for having the first illustration of the potato" (Hunt). Gerard was the keeper of gardens for William Cecil, first Baron Burghley, and curator of the physic garden of the College of Physicians, London. Most of the woodcuts had been previously published, many in the 1590 Frankfurt edition of Tabernaemontanus's Eicones plantarum, but about sixteen, including that of the potato, were cut for Gerard's text.

“The first edition of Gerard’s herbal [1597] held the field without a competitor for more than a generation. It was not until it began to noised abroad that a certain John Parkinson would soon produce a new herbal to take its place, that the successors of Gerard’s original publisher were brought to the point of undertaking a second edition." (Arber, Herbals, p. 134).

Henrey 154. Hunt 174. Nissen, BBI, 698. STC 11750.

HBS 69100.

$3,500.

Price: $3,500.00

Item #69100

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