Lovely copy of Linnaeus's Genera plantarum, with 2 plates and a table
Carolus Linnaeus. Genera Plantarum Eorumque Characteres naturales, secundium Numerum Figuram, Situm, & Proportionem omnium Fructificationis partium. [...] Editio secunda [= tertia], nominibus Plantarum Gallicis locupletata.
Paris, Michel Anton David, 1743. 8vo (19,9 x 12,5 cm). XXXII, , 413,  pp. With 2 folding engraved plates and 1 folding letterpress table.
Contemporary speckled calf, gold-tooled spine, red sprinkled edges, marbled endpapers. Name on title-page ("Chalette"), the occasional foxspot, corners bumped, top of spine damaged, otherwise in very good condition.
An attractive copy of the third edition of Linnaeus's groundbreaking work on botanical taxonomy.
First published in 1737 and dedicated to Herman Boerhaave, Genera Plantarum is a significant stepping stone toward the development of a standardised biological nomenclature. Dividing the plant kingdom into 24 classes, Linnaeus presents a system based on 'natural characters' of genera.
"The Genera plantarum was Linnaeus's most important book, even more than the Systema naturae, with respect to the practical introduction of his ideas. [...] His reform was daring and thorough, based on an exceptional and practical knowledge of plants; although influenced by somewhat outmoded ideas, it had exactly the salutary effect which he wanted it to have: consistency and simplicity. These two were prime needs for taxonomy in 1737" (Stafleu).
The present edition contains the text of the 1742 edition, augmented with the French vernacular plant names.
Soulsby, A catalogue of the works of Linnaeus, 299; Stafleu and Cowan, Taxonomic literature, 4725; Stafleu, Linnaeus and the Linnaeans, p. 103.