[Switzerland or Germany: circa 1835].
Folio notebook; loose gatherings in separate, ribbon-tied boards (38 x 25 cm.). Two hundred forty original drawings, with accompanying manuscript text, on individual trimmed leaves, each mounted thematically with others of its type, with brass pins to the inside of folio double leafs. Text is in German, with some plant names also in Latin. The lot housed in the original string-tied portfolio boards, heavy green cardstock with manuscript inscription to front. ~ A most uncommon manuscript work, profusely illustrated with pencil drawings, encyclopedic in its scope, devoted strictly to the study and classification of mushrooms, and dating to the formative era of medicinal mycology. Manuscript field notes accompany the drawings, in the form of scientific annotations, classification references, and occasionally with the month in which a living specimen was either collected or observed in its habitat. The notebook was made by an unidentified mycologist/botanist, and illustrates various species of fungi - edible, medicinal, and toxic. Numerous specimens shown were, and still are, popular and beneficial in homeopathic treatments. ~ The author of the present work is unknown, though the work is contemporary to that of notable pioneer mycologists such as Elias Magnus Fries, Christian Hendrik Persoon, Anton de Bary, and Lewis David von Schweinitz. The notes suggest that the writer observed living fungi specimens, between the months of May and October 1830, in Switzerland, Germany, and possibly London, drawing them on the spot, and subsequently identifying and classifying them according to the works of eighteenth century botanists. Specific regions identified include Muünsterlingen and Scherzingen in Switzerland, as well as St. Katharine, which may be the ancient “Royal Peculiar” jurisdiction by the Tower of London that became a civil parish until 1895. In the nineteenth century, St. Katharine’s by the Tower grew to be a village, flanking the banks of the River Thames. ~ Some light soiling to edges of leaves, but mostly clean and supple (the drawings and field notes were pinned on to a quality thick cotton rag paper). Rubbing and edge-wear to paper covered, green boards; light soil and some inks marks; ribbons present and nearly complete. Very good.