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Lot 273: MILLER, JOHN. Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei... An Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus.

MAPS & ATLASES; NATURAL HISTORY; PLATE BOOKS

by Swann Auction Galleries

December 8, 2016

New York, NY, USA

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Description: MILLER, JOHN. Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei... An Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus. Engraved emblematic frontispiece and title-page, list of subscribers, 104 hand-colored engraved botanical plates printed before letters, most printed in brown, 4 hand-colored engraved plates of leaf forms all by Miller, without the 2-page errata. Folio, 21x14 inches, early 19th-century full green morocco gilt, neatly recased and with newer marbled endpapers, extremities lightly rubbed, spine slightly faded; small tear to margin of frontispiece, plates generally clean and bright, far sheet edges with faint toning. London: by the author, [1770]-1777

Notes: A fine copy of Miller''s elegant illustrations of the sexual system of Linnaeus. This work was originally issued in twenty parts between 1770 and 1777, and according to the list of subscribers 105 copies were ordered by 85 individuals: Queen Charlotte subscribed for two copies, whilst the booksellers P. Elmsley and B. White each took ten copies. The plates were issued in both colored and uncolored states (with only the hand-colored present in this copy). Linnaeus was sent the first two parts of the published work and responded enthusiastically, stating that the plates were "more beautiful and more accurate" than any he had seen. Wilfred Blunt, a later but equally discriminating judge, noted that they were excellent. BM(NH) III,p.1370; Dunthorne 206; Great Flower Books (1990), p.120; Henrey III, 1153 and cf. 1154; Nissen BBI 1372; Stafleu & Cowan III, 6482.

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