[Title page colored by Georg Mack Jr. to : Hortus Eystettensis, Sive Diligens et Accurata Omnium Plantarum, Florum, Stirpium,. . .]
$4000 / ≈ €3477
Engraved by Wolfgang Kilian. This particular example is in extra ordinary coloring, heightened with gold and the colors and gold where most probably applied by Georg Mack Jr of Nuremberg.
Georg Mack Jr. was one of the most famous colorists 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 colored 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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