Fabio Colonna, Phytobasanos Sive Plantarum Aliquot Historia

(Naples: Orazio Salviani for Giovanni Giacomo, 1592)

This is the first strictly botanical book to feature copperplate etchings. It is believed that the drawings and etchings were done by Colonna himself.  He states that he used wild plants as models wherever possible, as cultivation can produce alterations in form.  A lawyer by profession, Colonna suffered from epilepsy and he became interested in medicinal plants while searching for a cure.  Happily he believed he cured his epilepsy by using the herb valerian which he discovered through Dioscorides.

The College copy was bought on 30 September 1669 in Paris by Patrick Moray.