Linnaeus receives the Order of the Polar Star

In the year 1753, Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) published his epoch-making work Species plantarum, the starting point of the binomial nomenclature. In the same year, the botanist was made knight of the Order of the Polar Star (Nordstjärneorden). In Uppsala L.M. Höjer, printer to the academy, published a poem by one R.H.L.S.A. celebrating this occasion. The booklet consists of only a half sheet of quarto (four pages). Today not many copies of this delicate piece of printing seem to have survived. The British Museum possesses a copy, described in Soulsby’s well known Catalogue of the Works of Linnaeus (1933) under number 2586. Another copy is cherished in my private collection (see illustrations below).

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