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Printed by the first director of the Imprimerie Royale, with notes in Arabic and Syriac type

AL-SUYUTI, Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr.
De proprietatibus, ac virtutibus medicis animalium, plantarum, ac gemmarum, tractatus triplex.
Paris, Sébastien et Gabriel Cramoisy, 1647. 8vo. With 2 woodcut headpieces, a woodcut tailpiece and woodcut decorate initials, plus decorations built up from arabesque typographic ornaments. Set in roman and italic type with a few words in Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac. Contemporary vellum with manuscript spine label (faded). [24], 179, [17] pp.
€ 25,000
First Latin translation of a three-part pharmacological treatise on the nature and effect of medicines gained from animals, vegetables, and minerals (including some quite superstitious material), published under the name of the mediaeval Egyptian polymath Abd al-Rahman Al-Suyuti, whose "versatility stands out as unique in the history of Arabic literature" (Brockelmann, GAL II, p. 144), but probably assembled from various Arabic sources. The first part, covering animals, is likely Al-Suyutis own "Diwan al-Hayawan", translated by Abraham Ecchellensis after a manuscript in Cardinal Mazarins library; the authors and manuscript sources of the following two parts remain unidentified. The notes at the end include a few words set in Greek, Hebrew, naskh Arabic and serto Syriac type. Sébastien Cramoisy had been appointed director of the Imprimerie Royale in 1640 and was assisted there by his younger brother Gabriel. Although the present book nowhere uses the words "Imprimerie Royale", it calls Cramoisy "Regis & Reginae Regentis Architypographum" and notes its royal privilege. The Arabic and Syriac type are probably those of Savary de Brèves, which he brought to Paris in 1614. In 1641, Cramoisy had bought matrices for roman and italic types cut by Jean Jannon in Sédan, later mistakenly attributed to Claude Garamont, but he appears never to have used the romans and here not even the italics. The book it therefore set mostly in types by Claude Garamont and Robert Granjon.
18th-century French note on lower flyleaf; handwritten duplicate note and stamp on the title-page. Some browning; insignificant paper flaws in pp. 103-106, merely affecting the pagination; small edge tear in p. 151; chip in the foot margin of the second to last leaf (in the index, not touching the text). Krivatsy 11586. Choulant 389. Wellcome II, 2. Ebert I, 9151. Krüger, Bibliographia botanica 35. Catalogue of the Library of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London 145.
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Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700 | Pharmacology / Pharmacopoeia
Middle east & islamic world  >  Medicine & Science