FULL TITLE: Elements of Botany: or, Outlines of the Natural History of Vegetables. Illustrated by Thirty Plates.
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Written by Benjamin Smith Barton, M.D.
Printed by J. Johnson, London, 1804.
BARTON, Benjamin Smith. Elements of Botany; or, Outlines of the Natural History of Vegetables. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1804. First UK edition, 8vo, xii,, 344, 35 pp.: illustrations; 25 cm; thirty coloured plates, 1 foldout. Armorial binding in contemporary red morocco, gilt title and decoration on spine, gilt crest of Theodore Williams stamped on front and back covers, marbled endpapers.
The very first edition of Barton's Botany, appeared in 1803 and was published in Philadelphia, representing the first botany book published by an American in the United States. The copy for sale here is the 1st UK edition which once belonged to bibliophile, Theodore Williams (1785-1875).
"Williams was the son of James Williams of Westmoreland, Jamaica. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, matriculated from there on 23 December 1805, and transferred to Trinity College 5 April 1806. Ordained deacon, by the Bishop of London, 1 October 1809, and priest 23 September 1810, he was Vicar of Hendon for sixty three years, from 1812 to 1876. As a young man he collected a magnificent library, which he had sumptuously bound...His library was sold at auction in London by Stewart, Wheatley and Adlard 5 April 1827..." (BAB, U of T).
The front board is stamped with William's crest, a raven's wings elevated, atop an Esquire helmet, with motto "Deus alit me," encircling monogram "T.W.". On the back board the stamp is that of arms on a fess sable between three ravens and three crescents, in chief a spearhead with raven crest above
CONDITION: Very good condition, collated complete, with tape repair/reinforcement at both gutters; edge, joint, and spine wear; scrapes and lacks on front and back boards; minor staining and foxing throughout; worming starting from Plate 1 (2 holes) and ending at Plate XX., some words/letters obscured; fore-edge tear p. 17 and bottom edge tear at p.224.
BOOK MEASUREMENTS: 8vo. 24 cm x 15.5 cm; 9.5" x 6"
TOTAL LENGTH: xii,, 344, 35 pp.