Versuch einer vollständigen Geschichte vorzüglicher Holzarten in systematischen Abhandlungen zur Erweiterung der Naturkunde und Forsthaushaltungs-Wis
Offer updated on 6/18/2021
First edition. Berlin: bey Joachim Pauli, 1783-1787-1800. Three parts in two. Square quarto (9 3/16" x 8", 233mm x 202mm). [Full collation available.] Collated complete with all engraved plates (44 plus a frontispiece and two dedications) and with the four folding letterpress tables, which are not mentioned in Stafleu-Cowan or in Nissen. Bound in contemporary half calf over brown marbled boards. On the spines, seven horizontal black (oxidized silver?) rolls. In the panels, a black central ornament. Title black to beige calf in the second panel. Number gilt to a green circular label in the fifth panel (with the volumes switched). All edges of the text-block speckled blue. An entirely unsophisticated copy. With some bumps and wear to the extremities, and rubbing to the boards. Head of vol. 1 split. Tanning and foxing throughout, but quite evenly. Excellent margins, especially at the fore-edge (deckles preserved at i.a. vol. I Ff4 (fore), vol. II Aa1 (lower)). Fine original color (not present in all copies) heightened with gum arabic. With a branch of spiraea inserted to a slit label laid in at the front of vol. 1. Burgsdorff (as his name is more commonly spelled, 1747-1802) was eventually chief forester to King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia. Son of a chief forester to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Burgsdorff initially superintended to forest at Tegel, outside of Berlin, and dedicated the first part of the book to Friedrich von der Schulenburg. He entered the service of the king in 1786, and so the second part (in two fascicles) is dedicated to him. Printed almost entirely in blackletter, the Versuch (essay) on a complete history of species of tree only coveres beeches (standard German Buche, but here Bueche) and oaks (Eichen). Burgsdorff nevertheless builds on Linnæan principles, and also includes tables to align the names of oaks in Latin, German, French and English (printed in Roman type). The work is quite rare on the market, and is seldom found unsophisticated in contemporary boards. Nissen BBI 301, Pritzel 1385, Stafleu-Cowan 925.