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Early Printing (15th & 16th Century) / Natural History & Science

Medical secrets plus a largely imaginary Medieval European view of India

[ACHILLINI, Alessandro]. Secreta secretorum Aristotelis.
Including:
ARISTOTLE [pseudo]. Maximi philosophi ... de signis aquarum: & tempestatum.
ARISTOTLE [pseudo]. Maximi philosophurum ... de mineralibus.
ALEXANDER OF APHRODISIAS. De intellectu.
AVERROES. De beatitudine anime.
ACHILLINI, Alexander. De universalibus.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT [pseudo]. De mirabilibus Indie.
(Colophon: Lyon, Antoine Blanchard, 23 March) 1528. Small 8vo (15 x 10.5 cm). With a title-page with a decorated woodcut border, woodcut printer's device on last page, 6 woodcut initials. Contemporary blind-tooled sheepskin(?) parchment over wooden boards, in a panel design, brass catch-plates and anchor-plates (straps and clasps lost). Full description
€ 11,500
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Rare early edition of a popular book of botanical, mineralogical and zoological wonders
with a large woodcut of the author among his books

ALBERTUS MAGNUS (pseudo). Liber secretorum ... De virtutibus herbarum: & animalium quorundam. Eiusdemq[ue] liber De mirabilibus mundi: & etiam de quibusdam effectibus causatis a quibusdam animalibus &c.
(Colophon: Venice, Johan Baptist Sessa, 12 February 1502). Small 4to (21 x 15.5 cm). With a large woodcut portrait of the author at his desk. Gold-tooled maroon morocco (ca. 1870/90?) for James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk (1827-1905), gilt edges. Full description
€ 12,500
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Largest assembly of natural history illustrations published before the 18th century

ALDROVANDI (ALDOVANDUS), Ulisse. [Opera omnia].
Bologna, 1599-1668. 13 volumes. Folio (35 x 24 cm). With engraved title-page to each volume, engraved full-page portrait of Aldrovandi in 3 volumes and several thousand woodcut illustrations in text, mostly after designs by J. Ligozzi and many full-page. Blind-tooled vellum (ca. 1645 & ca. 1670), with a large centrepiece on each board (the 11 volumes dated 1599-1642 from a single block; the 2 volumes dated 1648 & 1667 from a different block), the spines uniformly gold-tooled in the 18th-century. Full description
€ 150,000
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Famous sundial in the form of a poplar leaf, with beautiful woodcuts

APIANUS, Petrus. Folium populi.
(Colophon:) Ingolstadt, [Petrus Apianus], 22 October 1533. Folio (30 x 20.5 cm). With the text in Latin and German, title-page in red and black with a large woodcut by Hans Brosamer; a nearly full-page woodcut of the coat of arms of the dedicatee, J.G. of Loubenberg; a large woodcut diagram printed twice (in the Latin and in the German text); and 7 decorative initial letters. Without the folding plate included in a very small number of copies. Modern boards with the original fly-leaves preserved. Full description
€ 2,250
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Extensively illustrated classic of cosmography, geodesy, mensuration, perspective and optics

APIANUS (APIAN), Petrus and Gemma FRISIUS. Cosmographia.
Antwerp, Jan Verwithagen (colophon printed by Verwithagen), 1574. 4to. With a large woodcut on the title-page (with a terrestrial globe and other instruments); 4 printed paper volvelles with moving parts and a woodcut sun dial with a string attached to its centre; a folding woodcut cordiform mappa mundi (block size 19×27.5 cm) with letterpress text in the margins; well over 100 further woodcut illustrations, diagrams, maps, etc., in the text. Recased in 17th-century(?) limp sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 12,500
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First edition of Belon's account of his travels in the Ottoman Empire, with a folding map of Mount Sinai

BELON, Pierre. Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvées en Grece, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays estranges.
Paris, Guillaume Cavellat (colophon: printed by Benoist Prévost for Gilles Corrozet, Guillaume Cavellat), 1553. 3 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With Cavellat's woodcut device on title-page and the 2 part-titles, Corrozet's woodcut device on last page, 36 woodcut illustrations in the text (4 hand-coloured), numerous decorated initials (1 hand-coloured), and an extra added folding woodcut map (31 x 32.5 cm) showing Mount Sinai. 18th-century mottled calf, gold-tooled spine and board edges. Full description
€ 15,000
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Belon's account of his extensive travels in the Levant, with 44 woodcut illustrations

BELON, Pierre. Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvées en Grece, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays estranges.
Paris, Guillaume Cavellat (colophon: printed by Benoist Prévost for Gilles Corozet, Guillaume Cavellat), 1555. 3 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With title in woodcut border with Cavellet's device and initials at the foot, each part-title with Cavellet's woodcut device, 1 folding woodcut map (31.5 x 35 cm) showing Mount Sinai, 44 woodcuts in the text (including a portrait of the author by Geoffroy Tory), and numerous fine decorated initials. Overlapping vellum (ca. 1600?). Full description
€ 12,500
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Well-illustrated encyclopaedia of astronomical and surveying instruments from the time of Galileo,
with a world map in two hemispheres, and 3 volvelles

GALLUCCI, Giovanni Paolo. Della fabrica et uso di diversi stromenti di astronomia, et cosmografia, ove si vede la somma della teorica, et pratica di queste due nobilissime scienze.
Venice, Roberto Meietti, 1598. 4to (22 x 16.5 cm). With engraved title-page, folding woodcut plate, 3 woodcut volvelles with moving parts, and numerous woodcut illustrations in text. Including a world map in two hemispheres (incl. America and a scattering of islands at the location of Australia) on two facing pages, they reappear with volvelle attachments on both sides of leaf 149 and leaf 153. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 35,000
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Extensively annotated and illustrated edition of a classic treatise on astronomy, with further manuscript annotations and illustrations

SACROBOSCO, Johannes de (John of HOLYWOOD). Opus sphericum magistri Joa[n]nis de Sacro Busco natione Angli figuris verissime exculptis et i[n]terp[re]tatione familiari ad co[m]moditatem desiderantiu[m] iucundissima Artis Astronomice callere principia pulcherrime et iterata recognitione illustratum.
(Colophon: Cologne, sons of Heinrich Quentell, "Anno supra Jubileu[m] Magnu[m] Quinto ad finem Januarii" [= January 1505]). Small 4to (21 x 14.5 cm). With a full-page woodcut armillary sphere held by angels above and below, 27 half-page astronomical and cosmological woodcuts in text, 3 large (23-35 mm) woodcut decorated initials, and 1 smaller initial. The main text and commentary are set in a single size of Schwabacher type, the widely spaced lines of the main text distinguishing it from the commentary. The title-page and headings use 2 larger textura types. Modern grey boards. Full description
€ 7,500
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10 books found