CROIX, Louis-Joseph de (1725-1816) and Pierre de Savary
– Recueil des plantes les plus usuelles peintes d’apres nature. Tome second.

Lille, 1763.

4to (250 x 200 mm) Contemporary leather binding with spine gilt. (6), 453, (1), XXIV pp. With 226 full page botanical watercolor and gouache drawings with handwritten explanatory text on the opposite page.

This unpublished manuscript was written by the Lille-based pharmacist Louis-Joseph de Croix (1725-1816), who was responsible for the botanical descriptions, and the merchant (?) Pierre de Savary, who created the drawings. The beautiful and decorative drawings have their own charm and the visual representation refers to a herbarium. In the preface, the two authors point out that Mr. Savary went to great lengths to paint the plants in their natural form. The colors of the plants and their blossoms caused him the greatest difficulty. Since he painted all the plants according to natural exhibits, and one can assume that these were mostly dried specimens, and that the colors of those plants change or fade, this difficulty is all too easy to understand. Furthermore, the authors point out that at the end of the volume they also added some plants from Africa and America. The text descriptions each give the Latin names, often with references to Bauhin, Mattiolus, Gerardus, Dodonaeus, Tournefort, Fuch etc. sometimes as well as the nomenclature of Linnaeus, which was added in a slightly later hand. The manuscript includes also some roses, autumn crocuses and mushrooms. –

A very rare botanical manuscript from the 18th century.

This volume is one of a total of 12 volumes containing illustrations and descriptions of medicinal plants, written and drawn from about 1762 to 1773. Volumes 3-12 are stored in the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington, D.C.. Volume 1 has so far been lost.

Lit.: Notes de bio-bibliographie médicale Lilloise. In: Revue d’histoire de la pharmacie, 20me année, n°78, 1932. p. 70. Vgl. Nature, Vol. CX, July 1, 1922, p. 20 (refering to the antiquarian catalog of Dulau & Co. Ltd., London, in which all volumes of the series were offered); Dumbarton Oaks Digitized Rare Books: