A Rare Work on Corn

De Grano Turcico Libri Tres.

Engraved vignette on title & three full-page engraved illus. 2 p.l., 54 pp., one leaf; 1 p.l., xviii pp., one leaf of errata. Two parts in one vol. Large 4to, cont. half-sheep & decorated boards, spine gilt, red leather lettering piece on spine. Bologna: ex Typographia Laelii a Vulpe, 1791.

First edition of this rare work on corn; WorldCat locates only one copy, at Lyon. Many Europeans first learned to consume corn from the Turks, hence its name “grano turcico.” By the mid-16th century, corn was cultivated in botanical gardens throughout Europe, and by the end of that century, it was widely grown throughout Italy as an important agricultural cereal.

This is an early monograph on corn by Zecchini (1739-93), who took his medical degree at Bologna and became, according to Hirsch, a much-loved professor. The book is divided into three sections: in the first, the author describes the anatomy of the corn seed, its cob, and leaves in great detail. The second section is concerned with strains of corn and methods of growing, along with its nutritional value. Finally, the author discusses the medical benefits of eating corn.

Fine copy of a rather handsome book. The attractive plates depict the structures of corn seeds and cobs.

❧ Hirsch, V, p. 1028.

Price: $3,000.00

Item ID: 6474