Piss-A-Bed, Dog's Tooth, & Dragons, Colored Plates Too
Meyrick, William. The new family herbal, or, Domestic physician: enumerating, with accurate descriptions, all the known vegetables which are any way remarkable for medical efficacy; with an account of their virtues in the several diseases incident to the human frame. Illustrated with figures of the most remarkable plants, accurately delineated and engraved. Birmingham: Printed by Thomas Pearson; and sold by R. Baldwin, London, 1790. 8vo (21 cm; 8.25"). Frontis.,  f., xxiv, 498, 14 plates; without the final three leaves of advertisements.
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Originally issued in 1789 in parts and then in 1790 as a single volume, Meyrick's herbal isan alphabetical list by the English common name of several hundred plants, herbs, trees, and bushes with either medical or culinary uses. He provides data on roots, stems, leaves, flowers, blossoms, seeds, etc., and region of “origin.”
Among the New World herbs and flora are guaicum, rattlesnake root, sarsaparilla, sassafras, benjamin tree, cashew tree, cocoa, chocolate nut, tobacco, ipecacuanha, Jesuit's bark, and jallap, to mention a few.
We note that camphor is said to come from Japan, which may be the only reference to that nation in the book.
The plates are copper engravings, were engraved by Robert Hancock (1730–1817), and arehand-colored in this copy. Hancock is remembered as an engraver for Worcester Porcelain Works where his engraving were integral to the firm's transfer printed patterns, and later for Stratfordshire Potteries. Later still, he was a noted mezzotint artist.
ESTC T83981; Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature, 1092; Rohde, Old English herbals, 223. Not in Nissen, Botanische Buchillustration; not in Johnston, Cleveland Herbal, Botanical, and Horticultural Collections. Contemporary quarter calf, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label, joints reinforced and boards fittingly recovered with tan marbled paper; spine with leather cracked and extremities chipped. Without the final three leaves of advertisements for books A clean copy with the watercolors bright, fresh looking, and precisely applied. (34645)
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