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Early Printing & Manuscripts / Asia & Middle East

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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First Italian edition of a pioneering work on medicinal plants in Asia & America

ACOSTA, Christoval. Trattato ... della historia, natura, et virtu delle droghe medicinali, & altri semplici rarissimi, che vengono portati dalle Indie Orientali in Europa, con le figure delle piante ritratte, & disegnate dal vivo poste a' luoghi proprii. Nuovamente recato dalla Spanuola nella nostra lingua.
Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1585. 4to. With 45 nearly full-page woodcuts of plants, 2 nearly full-page woodcuts of two Indian elephants. A few woodcuts of plants (leaves) have been simply coloured by a contemporary hand. Recased in early limp sheepskin parchment. New endpapers. Full description
€ 9,500
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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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First Spanish edition of an essential primary source for Portuguese India

CASTANHEDA, Fernão Lopes de (LOPES DE CASTAÑEDA). Historia del descubrimiento y conquista dela India por los Portugueses, ... traduzida nuevamente en Romance Castallano.
Antwerp, Martinus Nutius I, 1554. 8vo (16 x 11 cm). With Nutius's storks device. Set in roman and italic types. Contemporary (Antwerp?) calf, blind-tooled boards, showing a frame made from a vine, leaf and flower roll edged with triple fillets. Full description
€ 25,000
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Merchant voyages and trade with the Ottoman Empire, Persia, Egypt, Arabia, etc.

CIGNANO, Ludovico. Quieta solitudine di varii ragionamenti, discorsi, et concetti, ove si narra quattro navigationi …
Bologna, Alessandro Benacci, 1587. Small 4to (21×15 cm). With a woodcut coat of arms on the title-page. Goatskin morocco (ca. 1870/80?), richly gold-tooled spine and turn-ins, signed in foot of front turn-in by the Paris bookbinders "DARLAUD FRÈRES", gold fillets on sides and board edges. Full description
€ 45,000
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“The first European book devoted exclusively to China”
and “an irreplaceable source for the early history of the kingdom of Hormuz”

CRUZ, Gaspar da. Tractado em que se co[n]tam muito por este[n]so as cousas da China, co[m] suas particularidades, [e] assi do reyno d[’]Ormuz.
Evora, André de Burgos, 1569 (colophon: 1570). Small 4to in 8s (18.0 x 14 cm). Title-page with woodcut Portuguese royal coat of arms and a 4-piece woodcut border, and further with some woodcut initials. Modern richly gold-tooled red morocco, boards gold-tooled in a panel design, with earlier brass clasps and catchplates. Full description
€ 265,000
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Incunable edition of an influential second century description of the antique world,
including early mentions of China and Arabia

DIONYSIUS Periegetes. [incipit :] … de situ orbis habitabilis …
[Colophon:] Venice, Franz Renner, 1478. Small 4to (19 x 14 cm). With the first four lines printed in red and 9 white on black decorated woodcut initials (1 series), plus 1 repeat. Set in roman type, 26 lines to a page, with two words in Greek. Modern blind-tooled calf. Full description
€ 35,000
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