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Early Printing & Manuscripts / 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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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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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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First edition of one of the most important natural history books of the Renaissance

BELON, Pierre. L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux, avec leurs descriptions, & naifs portaicts retirez du naturel: escrite en sept livres.
Paris, Guillaume Cavellat (colophon: printed by Benoit Prévost), 1555. 7 parts in 1 volume. Folio. With a woodcut portrait on the back of the title-page (apparently of the dedicatee King Henri II, though copied in other books as a portrait of the author), large woodcuts of the skeletons of a man and a bird on pp. 40-41, plus 158 woodcuts (157 birds, 1 bat) in text. Contemporary blind- and gold-tooled calf (rebacked, with the original backstrip laid down). Full description
€ 29,500
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Spanish handbook of chronography, with numerous woodcut illustrations

CHAVES, Jérôme de. Chronographia o reportorio de tiempos, el mas copioso y precisso, que hasta ahora ha salido a luz.
Sevilla, Fernando Diaz, Faustino de Magarino (colophon: printed by Fernando Diaz), 1584. 4to. With title printed in red and black with woodcut portrait of the author, Diaz's woodcut printer's device below the colophon on the last page, 2 full- or nearly full-page woodcuts, 19 half-page woodcuts, 7 half-page round woodcuts, and 43 small round woodcuts of phases of the moon. Many letterpress tables of the positions of the sun and moon, calendars, movable feasts, etc. Sheepskin parchment by Domingo V. Folch of the national bindery in Valencia (2nd half of 19th century), gold-tooled spine. Full description
€ 12,500
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One of the earliest herbals with etched plates

COLONNA, Fabio. [In Greek: Phytobasanos] sive plantarum aliquot historia in qua describuntur diversi generis plantae veriores, ac magis facie, viribúsque respondentes antiquorum Theophrasti, Dioscoridis Plinii, Galeni, aliorúmque delineationibus, ab aliis hucusque non animadversae. ... etiam piscium aliquot, plantarúmque novarum historia eodem auctore.
Naples, Horatio Salviani, Jacobus Carlino and Antonius Pace, 1592. 4to. With Salviani's woodcut device on title-page, 37 full-page etched botanical and ichthyological illustrations on integral leaves (8 x 13 cm), 33 of plants & 4 of fish and other marine species, each in a border built up from cast fleurons and rules. Gold-tooled brown calf (ca. 1700?). Full description
€ 14,500
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Rare edition of two medical works, on the mystery of the golden tooth and sleepwalking

HORSTIUS, Jacob. De aureo dente Maxillari Pueri Silesii, primum, utrum eius generatio naturalis fuerit, nec ne; deinde an digna eius interpretatio dari queat.
Including: HORSTIUS, Jacob. De natura differentiis et causis eorum, qui dormientes ambulant, vigilantium opera, eaq.
Leipzig, Valentinus Voegelinus (colophon: printed by Michael Lanzenberger), 1595. 2 parts in 1 volume. Small 8vo (14 x 9 cm). With woodcut printer’s device on title-page (repeated above the colophon). 19th-century half vellum. Full description
€ 5,000
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Important poem on the magical and medicinal qualities of precious stones

MARBODE (MARBODIUS) of Rennes. De gemmarum lapidumq[ue] pretiosorum formis, naturis, atq[ue] viribus eruditu[m] cu[m] primis opusculu[m], ... scholiis q[uo]q[ue] illustratu[m] p[er] Alardu[m] Aemstelredamu[m].
Cologne, Hero Alopecius [Fuchs], 1539. 8vo. With a woodcut illustration on the title-page, representing a Jewish priest behind a board with the names of 12 stones which represent the 12 tribes of Israel. 17th-century gold-tooled red morocco, richly gold-tooled spinel, gold-tooled fillets and small cornerpieces on both boards, gold-tooled board edges and turn-ins. Full description
€ 12,500
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Six lively dialogues by a Spanish humanist from Seville, bound for the Landgrave of Hesse

MEXIA, Pedro. Coloquios o dialogos compuestos por el magnifico cavallero Pero Mexia, vezino de Sevilla, en los quales se disputan y tratan varias y diversas cosas de mucha erudicion y doctrina. Al illustrissimo senor don Perasan de Ribera Marques de Tarisa &c.
Antwerp, widow of Martinus Nutius, 1561. Small agenda 12mo (14 x 6.5 cm). With Nutius's woodcut device on the title-page. 17th-century(?) blind-tooled overlapping vellum, each board with the coat of arms of the Landgrave of Hesse, gilt edges. Full description
€ 2,950
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16 books found / Show all