Crispijn de Passe, the Younger


Princeton University Library does not, unfortunately, hold a complete copy of Hortus Floridus (A Garden of Flowers) engraved from 1614-16 by Crispijn de Passe, the Younger (ca. 1597-ca. 1670). This hand-colored title page and plate turned up in a collection of book leaves. The original book was published in five parts; the first four corresponding to the four seasons and the fifth labeled “Altera pars horti floridi.” Each section has engraved botanical images with letterpress Latin descriptions on facing pages. Crispijn’s brothers Simon and Willem helped in the production of the plates.

In the study The Hortus Floridus of Crispijn Vande Pas the Younger, Spencer Savage attempted to collate the leaves and compare the states of the engraved plates for every copy he could locate. Pagination varies from 175 to 200 leaves bound in an oblong-quarto but beyond that, the complex bibliography remains unsolved. He concludes “the production of the book was … of the nature of a continuous process.”

The consistent title page, shown above, is framed with figures representing the Sun and the Moon, holding up a curtain on which are medallion portraits of two celebrated botanists, Rembertus Dodonaeus (Rembert Dodoens, 1517-1585) and Carolus Clusius (1526-1609).