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A magnificent pictorial document of the flowers grown in the greatest German garden of its time, the Book of Plants is in a class of its own when it comes to the variety and range of flowers engraved.
Working under Basilius Besler, a team of at least ten engravers worked on this massive project, translating in situ and specimen drawings faithfully to copper plates. Nearly four hundred years old, the book has survived though the gardens did not; they were destroyed by invading Swedish troops in 1634. However, in 1998 a reconstruction of the original garden opened to the public in Eichstätt.
This facsimile's reproductions - structured by seasons - are taken from a hand-painted edition, one of only a few still extant. In auction, the asking price for a first edition copy is half a million dollars. You can now enjoy its unique qualities for somewhat less.