Stockholm: Lars Salvii, 1753/56/61. Three volumes bound in two. ,484,; ,526,; ,403,344-538 [i.e. 598, as issued],pp., including in-text illustrations, plus folding plate. 12mo. Contemporary three quarter calf and marbled boards, raised bands, spine gilt. Boards rubbed and edgeworn, corners lightly bumped. Old paper label at head of spine of first volume, early ownership signature on front pastedown of both volumes. Moderate tanning, else internally clean. Very good. Item #WRCAM55047
The very rare first edition of this important early work on American natural history, in the original Swedish. This is the only complete edition, as the text was abridged to varying degrees in later editions. Kalm, a noted Swedish botanist, travelled through North America from 1748 to 1751 to study the flora and collect specimens of plants in order to determine whether they were candidates for propagation in Sweden. Commissioned by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and urged by Linnaeus, Kalm visited Philadelphia, Germantown, Wilmington, New Bristol, Trenton, Princeton, New York, Salem, Rapaapo, Albany, Saratoga, Fort Anne, Lake Champlain, Montreal, Quebec, Lorette, Bay St. Paul, and Sault au Recollet. His narrative includes observations on the natives and their customs, religion, and social institutions. "Most trustworthy description of Swedish settlements in 18th century Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania" - Howes. This edition contains a few illustrations in the text and a folding view of Cohoes Falls. HOWES K5, "b". BELL K6. JCB I:1003. SABIN 36986. TAXONOMIC LITERATURE 3493. WINSOR V, p.244. Coats, THE PLANT HUNTERS, pp.277-79.