Parkinson, John. Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants. [1640].

Parkinson, John. Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants. Or, An Universall and Compleat Herball. Composed by John Parkinson Apothocarye of London, and the Kings Herbarist. London: Printed by Tho[ma]s: Cotes, 1640. Heavy Folio measuring 13.75” x 9.5” x 4.25”. Title page is a full page copper engraving by William Marshall, picturing two standing figures Adam and Solomon, 4 mythological figures including a rhinoceros, and a portrait of the author, (expertly reinforced ca. 18th century); following is the printed title Theatrum Botanicum: Theater of Plants. Or, An Herbal of a Large Extent: Contains therin a more ample and exact History and declaration of the Physicall Herbs and Plants that are in other Authours, encreased by the accesse of many hundreds of new, rare and Strange Plants from all the parts of the world, with sundry Gummes, and the Physical materials, than hath beene hitherto published by an before; And a most large demonstration of their Natures and Vertues. Shewing with all the many errors, differences and oversights of sundry Authors that have formerly written of them; and a certaine confidence, or most probable conjecture of the true and genuine Herbes and Plants. Distributed into Sundry Classes or Tribes, for the more easie knowledge of the many Herbes of one nature and property, with the chiefe notes of Dr. Lobel [Matthiae de L'Obel], Dr. [Thomas] Bonham, and others inserted therein. Collected by the many years travaile, industry, and experience in this subject, by John Parkinson Apothecarye of London, and the Kings Herbarist. And Published by the Kings Majestyes especialle priviledge. London, Printed by Tho[ma]s. Cotes. 1640. xvi, followed by the table or Plan of 17 Classes and Tribes, 1,755pp., gloriously illustrated with approximately 2,620 quite clear and detailed woodcut illustrations by Christopher Plantin (presumably borrowed - although nowhere specifically attributed - see biblio. notes); printed on various thicknesses of handmade paper with a watermark throughout depicting a large bunch of grapes. Pages 1,673-1,688 following is Theatro Botanico Appendix. An Appendix to the Theater of Plants, or Addition of those things have been overslipt, mistaken, or to be amended in the Worke Precedent, to be referred as the number of the Pages declare. Pages 1,689-1,734 following is Index Nominum Huius Operis Latinus, with headpiece & tailpiece in woodcut. Pages 1,735-1,746 following is The Table of English Names. Pages 1,747-1,755 following is The Table of Vertues, and The Properties of all the Herbes and Plants, contained in the Worke; (9)pp. [general] index, errata page with a headpiece in woodcut (expertly reinforced ca. 18th c.). Three quarter dark brown morocco (rebacked ca. 19th c.) over smooth brown calf, ruled, with 6 raised bands, gilt lettering on spine, all edges colored red, endpapers ca. 19th century. Corners and covers lightly rubbed w/ a quarter-size mar to front cover, sm tear to front free endpaper, bottom corners of pages 493, 913 & 1,745, outer edge of page 785, top edge of 1,175 chipped (not affecting text). Several handwritten signatures by previous owners present; John Seal, Hill Cliff Lane, Derby [Turnditch] with a gift inscription in large hand Given to Him by Sarah Slater of Corkery, 1812. Two signatures of the English Bishop of Wakefield, William Waslam, Derby 1844. Also present is a handwritten (in Latin) owner’s name of Hugh Bateman, dated 1656 on the original front free endpaper, somewhat darkened, sm ½” tear at gutter, fragile. A few examples of specimens include: the corke, oake, chestnut, wallnut, wild olive, mulberry, plantaine, figge, cherrie, and cokar nut trees, cassia from Brassil, peppers, chervill, artichocke, beanes, peony, sea sponge, sea mosses, coral, cereals, foxtaile, rushes (including an illust. of a sturdy cane made from a rush w/ a carved top), potatoes, foxglove, Egyptian Watery Millions, horse reddish, Unicorne horn, liquid amber, Mumies (illustration of a man w/ a large cut to his abdomen), as well as a illustrated chapter on Hemp. Very Special, Quite Rare. Henrey, 286; Hunt, 235; Nissen, 1490; STC, 19302