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Clusius’s important descriptions of exotic plants and animals

CLUSIUS, Carolus (Charles de l’ÉCLUSE).
Exoticorum libri decem: quibus animalium, plantarum, aromatum.
[Leiden], Franciscus Raphelengius II (Plantin printing office), 1605. 3 parts containing 6 works in 1 edition. With a letterpress general title-page in an engraved architectural scrollwork border and more than 200 botanical and zoological woodcut illustrations in the text (including 1 full-page).
With: (2) CLUSIUS, Carolus. Curae posteriores.
[Leiden], Franciscus Raphelengius II (Plantin printing office), 1611. 2 parts in 1 edition. With a letterpress general title-page in an engraved architectural scrollwork border and 34 mostly botanical woodcut illustrations in the text. 2 editions in 1 volume. Folio. Portuguese black morocco (ca. 1850?), richly gold-tooled spine, gold-tooled boards, board edges and turn-ins (signed at the foot of the turn-in "M. Gomes"), gilt edges. [16], 378, [9], [1 blank], 52, [12], 242, [1], [1 blank]; [6], 71, [1 blank]; 24 pp.
€ 15,000
Ad 1: First edition of the sequel to Clusius's Rariorum plantarum historia (1601), the first part of his collected works, containing further works not included in the former and mostly devoted to exotic plants and animals. The first six "libri" of the Exoticorum (libri I-VI) form a new unpublished botanical work written by Clusius: "an important work in exotic flora [that] includes everything [he] published on the subject" (DSB). In the first three books he describes exotic trees, fruits and seeds, the fourth covers various botanical topics, the fifth various animals (including the first scientific description of the dodo, giving it its first Latin name) and the sixth sea plants and fish. These six libri contain specimens from the New World, Southeast Asia, Africa, etc. Balis describes Clusius as the "founder of exotic zoology". These libri followed by several shorter works written, translated, edited or annotated by Clusius, including works by Da Orta, Acosta, Monardes and Belon.
Clusius's work "remains of high value even to-day, on account of his genius for detecting the essential specific features of plants ... again and again, in attempting to ascertain the correct application of names given by Linnaeus, the inquirer is led back to [Clusius's] work, which can be described as the starting point of our modern knowledge for many genera. ... Moreover, his enthusiastic cultivation of foreign plants, particularly those from Turkey and the Levant, prepared the way for the splendid gardens of seventeenth century France, Germany, Austria, Flanders and Holland" (Blunt).
Ad 2: First edition of Clusius's posthumous papers, together with the funeral oration by Everard Vorst (Vorstius), and laudatory verses and other contributions by various authors. It starts off with addenda and corrigenda to his Rariorum plantarum historia and Exoticorum, and to his translations of Monardes and Belon. It further includes an excerpt from a journal of Steven van der Hagen (the first admiral of the Dutch East India Company), found among Clusiuss papers.
A very good copy. Ad 1: Balis, Van diverse pluimage, pp. 28-29; Hunt 182; Johnston 151; Nissen BBI 369; J.C. Parish, The dodo and the solitaire: a natural history (2013), p. 107; ad 2: Johnston 156; Nissen, BBI 368 (folio ed. erroneously described as 4to); cf. Hunt 191 (4to ed.); for Clusius: Blunt, Botanical illustration, p. 64; DSB VIII, pp. 120-121.
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