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Lot number: 39343
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Publisher: BESLER, Basilius (1561-1629)
Title: [Title page coloured by Georg Mack Jr. to : Hortus Eystettensis, Sive Diligens et Accurata Omnium Plantarum, Florum, Stirpium,. . .]
Published: Nuremberg, ca 1613

Size: 19.9 x 16.1 inches.
50.5 x 41.0 cm.
Colouring: In attractive strong original colours.
Condition:  Very good and dark impression. Spectacular original colours and gold highlighted. On un water marked paper and with date 1613.
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Title page to the first edition, one of about 300 copies printed, from one of the largest and most magnificent of the great flower books, depicting more than 1000 flowers from nearly 700 species.
Engraved by Wolfgang Kilian. This particular example is in extra ordinary colouring, heightened with gold and the colours and gold where most probably applied by Georg Mack Jr of Nuremberg.

Georg Mack Jr. was one of the most famous colourists of his time; he continued the work of his father Georg (ca. 1556 - 1601) and his grand father Hans (ca. 1536-1585). Georg Jr. established his own workshop in 1582.
The book must have been coloured for a wealthy or Royal person.

In bottom a scene in the Garden of Eden. Besler was a Nuremberg apothecary and collector of natural curiosities. Important influences were the botanical works of Joachim Camerarius the Younger, Charles de l"Ecluse, Caspar Bauhin, Castore Durante, Caspar Schwenckfeld, Jakob Theodor (Tabernaemontanus), and Matthias de l'Obel. The "Hortus" was complete in Autumn 1613 and at least 300 copies were issued. Most of the original "plate" drawings are still extant (having been preserved by Christoph Jakob Trew), and are now in the University Library, Erlangen. They are possibly by Wolfgang Kilian of Augsburg, the most important of the ten engravers involved, and are after drawings from nature by various artists.
Other engravers included Georg Gartner, Johann Leypolt, Levin van Hulsen and his son Friedrich, Peter Isselburg, Servatius Raeven and Heinrich Ulrich. The copper plates survived until 1817, when they were melted down by the Royal Mint in Munich.

Reference : Cleveland "Herbal" 159, Hunt 430 (1713 edition), Nissen BBI 158, Pritzel 745, Stafleu TL2 497, see also Nicolas Barker, "Hortus Eystettensis: The Bishop's Garden and Besler's Magnificent Book" (London, 1995).

Reference: For the colouring see : Goedings, Afsetters en meester-afsetters, page 64..

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Item category: Cartographic Curiorities | Title Pages

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Item category: Cartographic Curiorities | Title Pages

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