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MARTYN, Thomas.

Flora Rustica: exhibiting accurate figures of such plants as are either useful or injurious in husbandry.

Drawn and engraved by Frederick P. Nodder, botanic painter to Her Majesty, and coloured under his inspection. With scientific characters, popular descriptions, and useful observations.

London: P. Nodder, 1792-1794 Stock Code: 138556
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"plants useful or injurious in husbandry"

First edition of Martyn's Flora Rustica, with 144 hand coloured plates by Frederick P. Nodder, Botanic painter to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte. Nodder (fl. 1777-1800) "made illustrations for Erasmus Darwin's Botanic Garden, and a number of delicate little plates for T. Martyn's Flora Rustica - a volume dealing with 'plants useful or injurious to husbandry' - and other works. There are some skilful but rather stiff original drawings by him both at Kew and in the Natural History Museum" (Blunt, The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 151).

Chair of Botany at Cambridge from 1762, succeeding his father John to the chair, Thomas Martyn (1735-1825) was an early follower and proponent of the views of Linnaeus, teaching the Linnaean system of botany for the first time in an English university in 1763.

In the preface Martyn explains the purpose of the publication: "It is our design to present the Public with such figures and descriptions of those plants with which the husbandman is principally concerned, as may leave no doubt upon his mind what object is intended, when one of them is recommended to him for its utility, or another is pointed out as proper for destruction. Most of the vegetables in common cultivation, must of course be well known; but many even of these are confounded in a multiplicity of local names and corrupted appellations: while the grasses, it must be confessed, are hardly distinguished by any. These being the least known, and yet of the greatest general utility, we purpose gradually to figure and describe the greater part of them, if not the whole; so that whilst the Agriculturist becomes acquainted with their form and qualities, the Botanist may possess a set of figures which he will search for in vain, either united, or scattered in various works."

"The work was 'begun in the autumn of 1791, and published in numbers'; it was 'dropped, however, for want of support, in 1795'" (Gorham, Memoirs of John Martyn... and of Thomas Martyn, quoted in Henrey).

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4 volumes, octavo (205 x 120 mm). Contemporary tree calf, spines ruled gilt in compartments, red morocco labels, marbled endpapers.


144 engraved plates, hand coloured.


Front joint to volume I cracked but firm, spine ends and corners a little worn, corner of front free endpaper cut away, occasional light spotting; a very good set.


Henrey 1023; Hunt 721.


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