Medicine and Natural History Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

Living in Platonic Style

30. Ficino, Marsilio (1433-1499)

De vita libri tres (De triplici vita); Apologia; Quod necessaria sit ad vitam securitas. Add: Poem by Amerigus Corsinus. Antonio di Bartolomeo Miscomini, 3 December 1489.

Folio (257x187 mm). Collation [*]2, a-d8, e6, f-k8, l6, m4. [90] leaves. Text in one column (the tables in two columns), 32 lines. Type: 112R. Four lines of gilt letterpress at the head of the text on the recto of fol. a2. Woodcut printer's device on colophon. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Eighteenth-century red crushed morocco, covers within three-line gilt-ruled border. Spine gilt tooled, with stemmed acorns, circlets, crescent handles, and stars. Gilt edges. A fine, wide-margined copy. A blind stamp touching two letters of text.

Provenance: Wigan Free Public Library, United Kingdom (embossed stamps on four leaves); deaccessioned by 2002 at the latest.

First edition, presented in a fine, wide-margined copy, of this influential medical-astrological treatise by the leading Platonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino, famous for his translations into Latin of the Corpus Hermeticum, and of Plato, first published in 1484. As the eldest son of the physician to the Medici family, Marsilio also received a professional training in medicine and natural philosophy.

The work is divided into three books (Lib. I. De vita sana; Lib. II. De vita longa; Lib. III. De via coelitus comparanda) and dedicated, at the beginning of the second Book, to the wealthy Florentine nobleman Filippo Valori, who paid for the printing. Ficino deals here with health and diet, touching on magic and astrology, especially in the short writing appended to De triplici vita – the Apologia quaedam, in qua de medicina, astrologia, ac vita mundi – addressed, on 15 September 1489, to the so-called 'three Pieros', i.e., Piero del Nero, Piero Guicciardini, and Piero Soderini. The work had a complex redaction. The first Book dates to 1480 and was originally part of Ficino's epistles, the third Book was composed between 1486 and 10 July 1489, and the second Book was written between August and October of 1489.

“He begins by advising students on relieving the melancholy, and Ficino recommends health and dietary measures to temper its influences. But it is in the third book, entitled 'De vita coelitus comparanda', that Ficino goes beyond the common medical-astrological astral influence. Building on the Platonic tripartite division of intellect, soul and body, Ficino introduces the originally Stoic concept of 'spiritus mundi' which is composed of the four earthly elements plus the divine 'aether', or cosmic spirit” (M. L. Ford, Christ, Plato, Hermes Trismegistus, Amsterdam 1990, 1, p. 179).

The De triplici vita enjoyed wide and enduring popularity. Its influence is detectable in numerous other works produced in the Renaissance, and was an important source for Paracelsus's De vita longa as well as for the famous engraving Melancholia executed by Albrecht Dürer.

The first lines of text on fol. a2r are set in capital letters and exceptionally in this copy printed in gold, a technique first introduced by the leading Augsburg printer Erhard Ratdolt, who moved to Venice in 1476, for printing the prefatory epistle in two dedication copies of his Euclid of 1486.

HC (+Add) 7065*; GW 9882; BMC VI, 639; IGI 3868; Goff F-158; Rhodes Firenze, 299; P. O. Kristeller, Marsilio Ficino and his Work after 500 Years, Firenze 1987; M. Ficino, Three Books on Life, ed. by C. V. Kashe, and J. R. Clark, Binghamton, NY, 1989; D. Laube, “The Stylistic Development of German Book Illustration, 1460-1511”, D. De Simone (ed.), A Heavenly Craft. The Woodcut in Early Printed Books. Illustrated Books purchased by Lessing J. Rosenwald at the Sale of the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins, New York-Washington 2004, p. 55; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 30.

Renaissance military surgery, complete with the two 'fugitive sheets'

98. Gersdorff, Hans von (ca. 1455-1529)

Feldtbuch der Wund Artzney, sampt vilen Instrumenten der Chirurgey dem Albucasi contrafayt. Chiromantia Jo. Indagine. Das ist, die Kunst der Handtbesehung. Natürliche Astrologey, nach warem Lauff der Sonnen. Physiognomey, uss des Menschens Anblick und Glyderen, sein angeborne Neygung zu erlernen... Wie auch, und wenn sich der Artzney zugebrauchen. Johann Schotten, 3 December 1540.

Three parts in one volume, folio (289x190 mm). Collation: [π]4, a-z4, Aa-Bb4, Cc6; A4, B6; aa4, B-R4, S6. [8], CCX [i.e. CCXII]; XX; CXLV, [3] pages (with errors in numbering). Complete with fol. S6 blank. Gothic type. Woodcut printer's device on fol. S5r. Twenty-four full-page woodcut anatomical and medical illustrations (fols. d4v, f2v, g3v, g4r, h1v, i4r, k4v, l1r, l2v, l3r, l4v, m1v, m2r, m3v, m4r, n2r, n4v, o1r, o4v, q3v, u1r, x2v, x4v, A1r), several illustrations of surgical instruments (fols. A2r-B6v); 36 chiromancy hands (fols. aa2r-H2v), eleven double physiognomic portraits (fols. H3r-K2r); a portrait of Johannes ab Indagine by Hans Baldung Grien dated 1540 (fol. M3v), thirty-three astrological diagrams and allegorical chariots (fols. N1r-R3r). The copy is complete with the two fugitive sheets, featuring two extremely rare folding woodcut plates (382x265 mm) representing an anatomical figure showing internal organs – the 'viscera-manikin' – and a skeleton (see below). Woodcut animated initials. Contemporary blind-tooled half-pigskin, over wooden boards. Spine with three raised bands, inked title on upper cover, traces of clasps. A good copy. Repairs to the margins of the title-page and the final leaves, tiny wormholes on a few leaves, some marginal stains, tear repaired to one of the folding plates, contemporary annotations on the verso of the last leaf and rear pastedown.

First edition of this collection of texts, which includes – along with the German translations of the famous treatise on surgical instruments by Albucasis (Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi, 936-1013) and the Chiromantia by Johannes ab Indagine (d. 1537) – Gersdorff's Feldtbuch, the first book to illustrate actual surgical procedures and one of the very first illustrated books on surgery to ever be published. It is arguably the most advanced surgical manual of its time, containing original information on amputations, early anaesthesia, and the treatment of gunshot wounds, all accompanied by the very best surgical illustrations of the period.

The Feldtbuch is the third German-language book on surgery after Heinrich von Pfolsprundt's Buch der Bündth-Ertznei (1460) and Hieronymus Brunschwig's Buch der Cirurgia (1497); it also predates the first French publication in the genre, that of Ambroise Paré, which appeared in 1545. Gersdorff's work was first printed in Strasbourg by Johann Schott in 1517 and was an immediate success. It was reprinted in Strasbourg in 1526, 1528, 1530, and 1535 (all editions in quarto) and was also republished in Augsburg by Heinrich Steiner in 1530 and 1532 (both folio editions).

“The practical nature of Gersdorff's book and its fine illustrations caused it to become very popular and it was frequently referred to, widely quoted and freely plagiarized. The work went through at least twelve editions between the time of its first publication in 1517 and the early seventeenth century. The book also appeared in several Latin and Dutch editions” (Heirs of Hippocrates, 149).

Little is known about the early life of Hans von Gersdorff, one of the most noted German surgeons of the late fifteenth and early sixteen centuries. It is not known how or where he received his education, but it is evident that he was especially well-known for limb amputations, of which he is reputed to have performed at least two hundred. “Gersdorff was a military surgeon who had gained wide experience during the course of some forty years of campaigning and was an expert in the care and treatment of battlefield injuries. His work is divided into four books which treat of anatomy, surgery, leprosy, and glossaries of anatomical terms, diseases, and medications [...] Gersdorff emphasized a well-founded knowledge of anatomy because the surgeon was frequently called upon to deal with extensive bodily trauma. He derived his anatomy primarily from the Arabic authors and works of Guy de Chauliac” (History of Medical Illustration, London 1970, p. 142).

The edition is rightly famous for its numerous woodcut illustrations, many of which are full-page, depicting such operations as trepanations and amputations; surgical techniques such as trephining, bone setting, and traction bandages; and numerous surgical instruments. Counting among these illustrations are the first published depictions of an amputation and brain dissections. Gersdorff invented several surgical instruments, including a tripod screw-elevator for raising depressed skull fragments and machines for reducing fractures and dislocations. The woodcuts are partly attributed to the German artist Johann Ulrich Wächtlin or Wechtlin, who was also known as 'The Master of the Crossed Pilgrim's Staves'.

Of particular interest are the two folding plates, also attributed to Wechtlin, which are not usually found in copies of the present edition. The sheets were published by Johann Schott in Strasbourg in 1517 and included in the first edition of Gersdorff's treatise (likewise published by Schott that same year) as individual fugitive sheets to be hung on walls. They were subsequently adapted to volume form, but never completely lost their original function; presumably many owners of the book preferred to be able to use them separately as opposed to having them sewn in, hence why many copies are now missing the plates.

Numerous variants of the sheets are known; the woodcut never changes but the letter-press component is altered, i.e., the caption titles and the verses below which were reset, sometimes bearing Schott's subscription and device, as in the original version of 1517. The woodcuts are also occasionally surrounded by a typographical frame. Variably titled 'Warhafftige Anatomey der ynneren Glyderen des Menschens' and 'Warhafftige Anatomey der Beyn Glyderen des Menschens', or 'Anatomia corporis Humani 1517” and “Anatomia aller Beynglyder des menschen', the two plates are also found in the 1518 Strasbourg edition of Laurentius Phryesen von Colmar's Spiegel der Artzney, as well as the 1528 and 1530 editions of the Feldtbuch. As these two latter editions were issued in quarto format, the folio sheets found in some copies are lacking the verses underneath the image as they were removed to better fit the smaller size.

The 'viscera-manikin' plate shows part of a male figure, from the head to below the knees, with a wide piece of cloth strewn over the thighs, and the thoracic and abdominal cavities dissected; there are also seven accessory figures, the brain, cranial cavity, and tongue, with engraved German designations on the plate. At the top, above the head, is engraved the inscription 'Anatomia corporis Humani 1517'. Below the plate are typeset verses in German and the statement 'Gedruckt zu Strassburg durch Joannem Schott'.

The second fugitive sheet shows a skeleton in frontal view with the head slightly turned to the right and arms hanging down; on both sides and wherever there is space, Latin names of bones have been engraved upon the plate. At the top, above the plate, is printed in type 'Anatomia aller Beynglyder des menschen'. Below the plate, printed in type, are twenty-four verses of moral reflections upon death: “Der Todt binn ich grausam ungstalt, Vnd doch des lebens vfenthalt [...] Eer Gott, dein acht, die welt vernicht. Dein seel ewig, der leib verblicht”.

It is extraordinary that the present addition includes both plates. “Fugitive sheets (fliegende Blätter) with pre-Vesalian anatomy, representing whole figures with the names of the parts or explanatory texts, were published either on a single broadside or on two sheets, each with printing on one side only. In this period several appeared. They were generally intended to disseminate popular information, or to give instruction to barbers and surgeons, and were probably to be hung up in their anterooms. [...] They were, in the nature of things, predestined to be scattered and lost, and, on this account, are now all of them exceedingly rare” (Choulant-Franck, p. 156).

VD16 G-1625; Cushing G-200; Durling 2059 (1517 ed.); Garrison-Morton 5560 (1517 edition); Wellcome 2761; Choulant-Franck, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration, Chicago 1920, p. 156; A. Carlino, Paper Bodies: A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets 1538-1687, London 1999, pp. 90-91; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 98.

A bio-bibliographical survey on surgery and surgeons, by the Father of Bibliography

119. Gessner, Conrad (1516-1565)

Chirurgia. De Chirurgia Scriptores optimi quique veteres et recentiores, plerique in Germania antehac non editi, nunc primum in unum coniuncti volumen.... Andreas and Jacob Gessner, March 1555.

Folio (321x205 mm). Collation: †6, *4, A-Z6, a-z6, Aa-Yy6, α-β6, γ8. [10], 408 [i.e. 406], [21] of 22 leaves. Lacking the final blank leaf, but complete with blank *4. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Printer's woodcut device on the title-page and fol. Yy6v. 260 woodcut illustrations in the text (some full-page) cut by Jos Murer. Seventeenth-century half-vellum, boards covered with decorated paper. Spine with four raised bands. Title inked on the spine and tail edge, in an early hand. Covers somewhat rubbed and worn. A good copy, title-page slightly stained with a short tear not affecting the text; second leaf remargined, pale waterstain to the upper margin of the final leaves.

Provenance: early ownership inscription ('Ego Gabriel [?]', barely legible) and small old stamp on the title-page.

First edition of this collection of works on surgery selected and edited by Conrad Gessner, who also included his own treatise, De medicinae chirurgicae praestantia et antiquitate.

The book can rightly be considered both a history and a bio-bibliography of surgery and surgeons, one of the first of its kind. It covers 150 authors, including Guido Guidi, Jean Tagault, Jacopo Dondi, Mariano Santo, Angelo Bolognini, Michelangelo Biondo, Bartolomeo Maggi, Alfonso Ferri, Jacques Houllier, and Joachim Lang, to mention just a few.

The woodcut skeletal illustrations were taken from Vesalius, the field surgery scenes from Gersdorff (see no. 98), and the depictions of surgical instruments mainly from Guidi.

Conrad Gessner was a polymath: one of the leading Hellenists of the sixteenth century, he was also a physician, botanist, zoologist, bibliographer, prolific editor, and professor of philosophy. He was a native of Zurich and studied classical languages and theology in Strasbourg, followed in 1533 by studies in medicine undertaken in Bourges, Paris, and Montpellier. In 1537 he was appointed professor of Greek at the Academy in Lausanne. In 1541 he settled in Zurich, where he practiced medicine. In 1546, in addition to his medical activities, he also became professor of physics, natural philosophy, and ethics. In 1565 the plague – which has been identified, based on Gessner's description, as a form of pulmonary bubonic – came to Zurich, and he succumbed to it on 13 December.

Besides the Chirurgia, three other major projects preoccupied Gessner in his life. The first was the Bibliotheca universalis (1545), which earned him the title of the 'father of bibliography'. The second project was the Historia animalium (four volumes between 1551 and 1558), a monumental encyclopaedia of animals. The third was the Historia plantarum (1541), a magnificent herbal, for which Gessner worked to produce a significantly augmented edition up until his early death in 1565 at age 49.

Adams G-520; Durling 960; Garrison-Morton 5562; Waller 1959; Wellcome 1460; L. Pinon, “Conrad Gessner and the Historical Depth of Renaissance Natural History”, G. Pomata - N. S. Siraisi (eds.), Historia: Empricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, MA 2005, pp. 241-268; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 119.

Had the plates been published at the time they were executed, Eustachi would undoubtedly have ranked with Vesalius as a founder of modern anatomical studies — Heirs of Hippocrates

132. Eustachi, Bartolomeo (1500/10-1574)

Opuscula anatomica. Quorum numerum & argumenta auersa pagina indicabit... Venice, Vincenzo Luchino, 1563-1564. (offered with:) Idem. Tabulae Anatomicae Bartholomaei Eustachii... quas e tenebris tandem vindicatas.... Francesco Gonzaga, 1714.

I. Three parts in one volume, 4° (197x137 mm). Collation: *6, 2*4, A-Z4, Aa-Ii4, Kk2, Ll-Ss4; a-h4, 2I-N4; 3A-V4, X2, α-β8, κ4. [12], 323 [i.e. 331, the eight full-page plates uncounted in the pagination], [1]; [8], 95, [1]; [204] pages. In this copy the Index relating to the Opuscula is bound at the end. On the first title-page the final 'i' in imprint date 'MDLXIIII' appears to have been stamped on after printing (see Adams E-1103). Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's devices on the two first title-pages and on fol. N4v of the second part. Eight full-page engravings in text. Woodcut decorated initials. Nearly contemporary limp vellum. Traces of ties. Smooth spine, title inked in an early hand (faded). A very fine, unsophisticated copy. A few small spots and fingermarks; ink stain to the blank outer margin of fol. D4. A short tear to the lower blank margin of fol. N3, without any loss; minor repairs to the lower margin of fol. f4, slightly affecting a few letters. Numerous marginal notes (a few slightly trimmed), corrections, and underlining.

Provenance: gifted by the author to Pietro Matteo Pini (Eustachi's address on fol. A1r of the third part 'Petro Matthaeo Urbinati discipulo optimo Bartholomaeus praeceptor donauit''; the note 'Addendae Annotationes meae' probably in Pini's own hand on fol. *1v); small, and now barely legible, eighteenth-century stamp on the first title-page, referring to the Pini family.

II. Folio (283x253 mm). xliv, [2], 115, [13] pages. Roman and italic type. Large engraved vignette on the title-page showing a dissection, signed by Pietro Leone Ghezzi (1674-1755). Thirty-nine engraved plates. Fine decorated engraved initials. Contemporary hazel calf, over pasteboards. Covers within border of gilt fillets, floral tools at each corner. At the centre, gilt coat of arms of Pope Clemens XI. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Edge boards decorated with narrow frieze. Edges mottled red. Some small stains to the covers, leather slightly abraded. A very good copy. Foxing in places, a few minor spots, and ink stains. An early shelfmark 'K.XXIII.5' on the verso of the second front flyleaf.

Provenance: the famous physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720; Clemens XI Albani's armorial binding), given as a gift to the Pini family (small, and now barely legible, eighteenth-century stamp on the title-page).

A highly significant set, consisting of two fine dedication and association copies. The first edition of the Opuscula anatomica by the famous anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi or Eustachius, bearing on the title-page of the third part his autograph address to his disciple Pietro Matteo Pini, and the magnificent Tabulae anatomiche executed by Pini on behalf of his teacher and posthumously printed in 1714 by another leading figure in the history of medicine in Rome, Giovanni Maria Lancisi, and offered by him to the heirs of Pietro Matteo Pini.

In Venice, between 1563 and 1564, Bartolomeo Eustachi – a San Severino-born professor of anatomy at Sapienza University, and physician to the Pope – published his Opuscula anatomica, a collection of writings on various medical topics, including the first treatise ever printed on dentistry – De dentibus –, introduced by a separate title-page, bearing the date '1563'. The final quires contain, as a third part, the Annotationes horum opuscolorum ex Hippocrate, Aristotele, Galeno, aliisque authoribus collectae, the annotations to Eustachi's anatomical treatises collected by his relative and pupil from Urbino, Pietro Matteo Pini (b. ca. 1540), and introduced by a divisional half-title-page. As the copy presented here attests, Pini had received those quires directly from Eustachi, and bound them together with the first two parts of the Opuscula, which at the time were already printed, and therefore in his hands. In fact, another great point of interest lies in the note 'Addendae Annotationes meae' ('my commentary has to be added'), written by Pini on a paper slip tipped-in on the verso of the general title-page of the Opuscula, owing to the fact that his Annotationes were at that point still in print.

In 1552, Pini had also executed a series of forty-seven anatomical drawings for Eustachi, which were then engraved by the renowned Venetian artist Giulio de' Musi, two on the obverse and reverse of a single copper plate. These engravings should have illustrated the Opuscula anatomica, but only eight were included in the 1564 publication. The other thirty-nine illustrations, which, for unknown reasons, had not been published in 1564, were long sought after by Marcello Malpighi following Eustachi's death in 1574, and it was ultimately assumed they had been lost entirely. Quite to the contrary, Eustachi had bequeathed the copper-plates to his disciple Pini, and after 162 years they were discovered in the possession of one of his descendants. Owing to their great importance, the series of copper-plates was purchased by Pope Clemens XI for the sum of 600 scudi, and were subsequently given to the outstanding physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720), professor of anatomy at Sapienza University as well as the Pontiff's archiatre.

In 1714, heeding the advice of Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682-1771), another famous anatomist of the age, Lancisi published these thirty-nine engravings, together with the eight smaller plates which had already appeared in the Opuscula anatomica of 1564. Each of the larger plates is within a three sided graduated border (the eight smaller illustrations have a fourth rule at the bottom), in order to easily identify the structures depicted. Numerous eighteenth-century editions were published from these original copper-plates, and the plate showing the sympathetic nervous system was included in 1817 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The title-page of the 1714 volume bears an engraved vignette signed by the renowned Italian artist Pier Leone Ghezzi, showing a physician (perhaps Eustachio) at the dissecting table in an anatomical theatre; at the right side a skeleton on a pedestal, with the inscription, 'LACEROS IVVAT IRE PER ARTVS' i.e., 'it is a pleasure to move among torn limbs'.

“Eustachio's illustrations make no attempt to represent cadavers as they would appear when lying dissected on an anatomy table [...] The figures of Vesalius attempt to copy the natural appearance of anatomical structures; Eustachio's figures are maps of human anatomy, not representations from a single viewpoint. They demand careful study, and not a quick all-embracing glance. Nevertheless, the appearances of the figures are easily reconciled in the imagination to actual slender men, gesturing on an unexcited, stylized manner. They are elegant, classical figures [...] the precise soft line of copper engraving is entirely appropriate to the unhurried drawing. And yet, where faces can be seen, there is in them depth of expression” (Roberts - Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body, p. 192).

The Tabulae anatomicae, edited by Lancisi and accompanied by his notes, is presented here in a splendid copy, finely bound in brown calf and bearing the arms of Pope Clemens XI: it is the copy offered by Lancisi to the heirs of Pietro Matteo Pini.

I. Adams E-1103; Choulant-Frank, p. 200; Cushing E-111; Durling 1408; Heirs of Hippocrates 323; Norman 739; Wellcome 2091; H. Moe, The Art of Anatomical Illustration in the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, Copenhagen 1995, pp. 43-48; B. Eustachius, A Little Treatise On The Teeth: The First Authoritative Book in Dentistry, ed. by D. A. Chernin and G. Shklar, Canton, MA 1999. II. Choulant-Frank, p. 202; Cushing E-113; Durling 1408; Garrison-Morton 391; Heirs of Hippocrates 322; Osler 2543; Wellcome 536; K.B. Roberts - J. D.W. Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body. European Traditions of Anatomical Illustration, Oxford 1992, pp. 188-203; H. Moe, The Art of Anatomical Illustration in the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, Copenhagen 1995, pp. 43-48; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 132.

The first enlarged Latin edition with a full set of splendid large woodcuts, in contemporary German binding

136. Mattioli, Pietro Andrea (1501-1578)

Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de Medica materia... Adiectis magnis, ac nouis plantarum, ac animalium Iconibus, supra priores editiones longe pluribus, ad uiuum delineatis.... Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1565.

Folio (357x243 mm). Collation: *6, **8, A-M6, 2A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Zzzz6, Aaaaa-Zzzzz6, Aaaaaa-Ffffff6, Gggggg4, Hhhhhh6. [172], 1459, [13] pages. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's devices on the title-page, and fols. Gggggg4v and Hhhhhh6v. Full-page woodcut portrait of Mattioli within elaborate strapwork border with cartouche and flanking figures on the verso of fol. M6. Over 900 large woodcuts of plants, herbs, animals, insects, and distillation processes, most of them by Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck, the majority filling three quarters of the page. Strictly contemporary German blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, dated '1569' on the upper cover. Covers within concentric rolls, tooled with palmettes and foliate motifs, and the images of the Salvator Mundi, John the Baptist, St Paul, and King David. Remains of metal clasps to the upper cover. Spine with five raised bands. A few scratches to the lower cover, corners restored. A wide-margined copy on thick paper with neat impressions of the woodcuts. Repair to the upper outer corner of the title-page, without any loss. Marginal spots, some quires browned, large stain in the upper margin of the last fifteen leaves, tiny wormholes affecting the lower cover and last quires. Small round stamp erased from the title-page.

Provenance: early ownership inscription on the title-page inked out; two annotations on the front pastedown: ‘Collationné le 9 juin 1733', and ‘à Charsin ainé 1816 ed.on estimée et la meilleure'.

First enlarged Latin edition, the first with a full set of the splendid large woodcuts by Giorgio Liberale from Udine of the most popular Renaissance commentary of Dioscorides (fl. 50-70 AD). According to Hunt, the Venetian edition of 1565 is the “most valued for its completeness”.

The first edition of Mattioli's celebrated commentary on Dioscorides' De materia medica – the most significant botanical book from antiquity and the most authoritative source on medical botany during the Renaissance – first appeared in the Italian language in Venice in 1544 as an unillustrated edition titled Di Pedacio Dioscoride Anazarbeo Libri cinque della historia et materia medicinale. The publishing initiative was met with immediate success, and unauthorised editions soon appeared, including that of 1549, printed in Mantua. The event led Mattioli to produce an expanded Latin edition of his work, which was issued in 1554 by the Venetian printer Vincenzo Valgrisi and included new information on herbs and plants, along with the first appearance of small woodcuts that would assist in the reading and studying of the text.

Mattioli dedicated his work to Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg, who named him personal physician of his son Ferdinand, governor of Bohemia. Mattioli moved to Prague in 1555, and this high patronage allowed him to employ a number of artists and engravers to produce near full-page illustrations for his Dioscorides. The Venetian Commentarii of 1565 is the first edition to contain – along with the small woodcuts that first appeared in 1554 – over 600 near full-page illustrations designed by the Italian artist Giorgio Liberale, who was also active at the Imperial court, and cut by Wolfgang Meyerpeck, a leading printer and block cutter from Meissen. These woodcuts are considered among the most impressive illustrations of natural history. They appear primarily in the Czech edition printed in Prague in 1562, as well as the subsequent German edition, likewise issued in Prague in 1563 by Jiri Melantrich in partnership with Vincenzo Valgrisi. These large woodcuts are “the culmination of technical virtuosity in botanical woodcut design, being images of considerable size and unprecedented complexity [...] morphologically detailed and carefully shaded images whose style contrasts notably with the airy, simple elegance of Fuchs' illustrations. Apart from the close massing of foliage, fruit, and flower, such details as veins and even hairs are often depicted or suggested with great skill” (Bridson-Wendel, Printmaking in the Service of Botany, no. 5).

The 1565 Latin edition published by Valgrisi is also the first to be supplemented, in the last quire, with Mattioli's De ratione distillandi aquas ex omnibus plantis, and contains a number of additional zoological and genre illustrations not included in the previous editions of Mattioli's masterpiece.

This edition is rarely found in its strictly contemporary binding, as it remarkably is in this copy. This fine German binding was executed – as attested by the date stamp on the front cover – in 1569. One of the rolls used in its production is the 'Salvator-Johannes der Täufer-Paulus-David', which was often employed in Nuremberg for stamping books for the church councillor Hieronymus Paumgärtner the Younger (1525-1602).

Adams D-672; Hunt 94; Nissen BBI 94; Bridson-Wendel, Printmaking in the Service of Botany, Pittsburgh 1986, no. 5; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 136.

'manu Joachim Camerarii Fil. sunt scripta’ — Gottlieb Christoph Harless

156. Hippocrates (ca. 460-370 BC)

Hippocratis Coi Asclepiadeae gentis sacrae Coryphaei viginti duo commentarii tabulis illustrati: Graecus contextus... emendates. Latina versio Iani Cornarij... correcta... Theod. Zvingeri Bas. studio & conatu.... Eusebius Episcopius and Heirs of Nikolaus Episcopius, 1579.

Folio (320x208 mm). Collation: α6, β8, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, AA-DD6, EE8, FF-LL6, MM10. [28], 594, [114] pages. Roman, italic and Greek type. Woodcut printer's devices on the title-page and verso of the last leaf. Woodcut animated and decorated initials, on seven lines that on fol. α2r. Contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges. Traces of ties. Smooth spine, with inked title. Red edges. A very good, unsophisticated copy; paper slightly browned, as expected. Small repairs to the gutter of the title-page.

Provenance: the Swiss physician and humanist Theodor Zwinger (1533-1588); given by him as a gift to Joachim Camerarius the Younger (1534-1598; the inscription 'Joachimo J.F. Camerario Donus Autoris [sic]' on the title-page; some annotations and underlining in his own hand); the German scholar Gottlieb Christoph Harless (1738-1815; ownership inscription 'D. Harles 1795' on the title-page; his autograph notes on the flyleaves).

A highly interesting copy of the authoritative bilingual edition of Hippocrates edited by the physician and philologist Theodor Zwinger, celebrated author of the Theatrum vitae humanae (1565), and gifted by him to Joachim Camerarius the Younger, son of the renowned humanist and great editor of classicsJoachim Camerarius the Elder (1500–1574). The edition contains a selection of twenty-two writings from the vast Hippocratic corpus, supplemented with the Latin translation by Janus Cornarius (ca. 1500-1558), and commentary with the help of tables and charts.

Camerarius was born in Nuremberg. After his early studies at Wittenberg and Leipzig, he turned to medical pursuits under the tutelage of Johannes Crato von Krafftheim, physician to the emperors Ferdinand I and Maximillian II, and dedicatee of this edition of Hippocrates. He studied medicine at the University of Padua, and took his doctorate in Bologna in 1562. He subsequently returned to Nuremberg to establish his medical practice. In 1592 the Nuremberg city council founded the Collegium Medicum; Camerarius served as dean of this latter until his death. He corresponded with other pre-eminent physicians and scientists such as Gaspard Bauhin, Carolus Clusius, Thomas Erastus, and Konrad Gessner.

In the present copy, some annotations in Camerarius' own hand are visible – as in the list of Hippocrates' works written on the front flyleaf – thus offering a striking testimony to Camerarius' interest in the ancient medical tradition.

This copy was subsequently held in the library of the classical scholar and bibliographer Gottlieb Christoph Harless. Harless was appointed professor of oriental languages and eloquence at the Gymnasium Casimirianum in Coburg in 1765, and professor of poetry and eloquence at Erlangen in 1770; he also edited a revised, twelve-volume edition of the Bibliotheca Graeca of Johann Albert Fabricius, which appeared in 1790-1809. On the front flyleaf of this Hippocrates, Harless included some notes regarding the rarity of this edition, the import and value of which are increased by the presence of marginalia which – as he here states – 'manu Joachim Camerarii Fil. sunt scripta'.

Adams H-621; VD16 H-3791; Choulant 36; Durling 4805; Wellcome 3252; Hieronymus (ed.), Griechischer Geist aus Basler Pressen, Basel 2003, no. 325; Hoffmann II, 415; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 156.

The first printed book on plastic surgery

172. Tagliacozzi, Gaspare (1545-1599)

De Curtorum Chirurgia per insitionem, libri duo. In quibus ea omnia, quae ad huius Chirurgia, Narium scilicet, Aurium, ac labiorum per insitionem restaurandorum cum Theoricen, tum Practicen pertinere videbantur.... Gaspare Bindoni, 1597.

Two parts in one volume, folio (322x215 mm). Printed on large paper. Collation: †6, χ2, ††8, A-H6, Aa-Hh6; Aaa-Ddd6, a-b6, c4. [32], 94, [2], 95, [1]; 47, [33] pages. Roman and italic type. Engraved architectural frontispiece attributed to Oliviero Gatti (1579–1648), including on the sides the standing figures of Hippocrates and Galen, on the upper panel the arms of the dedicatee Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and on the lower one Bindoni's device. A different printer's device on the following printed title-page. Woodcut illustrations in the text, including twenty-two full-page woodcuts with keys on opposite pages. Woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary limp vellum, traces of ties. Smooth spine. A good, wide-margined copy, with engraved frontispiece almost untrimmed. A few leaves uniformly browned, pale waterstain to the lower margin of the first leaves, light foxing in places. Slip of paper with a note dated 1616 pasted onto the verso of the title-page.

Provenance: Cardinal Carlo Oppizzoni (1769-1855; ex-libris on the front pastedown), from 1802 Archbishop of Bologna.

A landmark in the history of surgery: the first edition – presented here in its first issue, without the license to print dated 9 October 1596 on the verso of the title-page – of the first book devoted exclusively to plastic surgery and reconstruction, written by Gaspare Tagliacozzi, a pupil of Girolamo Cardano and professor of surgery and anatomy at Bologna.

The treatise describes in detail surgical operations to repair the ears, nose and lips, employing skin grafts taken from the upper arm of the patient. The De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem (On the Surgical Restoration of Defects by Grafting) is considered one of the most important medical books of the sixteenth century. It enjoyed wide and enduring popularity, owing to the fact that plastic surgery and reconstruction – and most especially rhinoplasty – were much in demand in the age, particularly as remedies for both the injuries resulting from duels and from the deformities caused by syphilis. It was pirated by the Venetian printer Roberto Meietti in the same year, and in 1598 it was reprinted in a smaller size in Frankfurt.

“Tagliacozzi's most important innovation was the development of a means of replacing the missing nose, for a person without nose is bound to be 'unhappy' and his unhappiness could well make him or her ill. It also marked that person as not only deseased but also infectious, whether or not actual 'infection' as we know it, was present. The stigma was real enough. The noseless were poluted and polluting. Here the problem of the relationship of reconstructive surgery to aestetic surgery appears at the very 'origin' of aestetic surgery. It seems self-evident, that anyone without a nose will be unhappy, and the reconstruction of the nose will make that person happier and therefore healthier. Tagliacozzi recognized this” (S. L. Gilman, Making the Body Beautiful, pp. 67-68).

This Venetian edition is also famous for its illustrative apparatus, with twenty-two full-page woodcuts depicting surgical instruments as well as textual explanations of various surgical procedures. These woodcuts were skilfully executed by an anonymous designer, perhaps one of numerous artists in the circle patronized by Duke of Mantua Vincenzo Gonzaga, the financial backer and dedicatee of Tagliacozzi's work.

This copy of the De curtorum chirurgia belongs to a limited issue printed by the Venetian publisher Bindoni on large and thick paper. “There are two issues of De curtorum chirurgia. The majority of copies, printed on ordinary paper, have an imprimatur on the verso of the title-page. Other copies, which lack the imprimatur, are printed on large and thick paper that can be distinguished by its watermarks. These copies were undoubtedly intended as presentation copies” (Norman).

Adams T-59; Mortimer Italian, 488; Cushing T-16; Durling 4310; Garrison-Morton 5734; Heirs of Hippocrates 379; Norman 2048; Waller 9541; Wellcome 6210; The Illustrated Bartsch, 41, p. 76; M.T. Gnudi - J. P. Webster, The Life and Times of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, New York 1950, pp. 183-216; S. L. Gilman, Making the Body Beautiful. A Cultural History of Aestetic Surgery, Princeton 1999, pp. 66-73; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 172.

Wind Roses and Compasses

179. Padovani, Fabrizio (fl. 16th-17th century)

Tractatus duo, alter De Ventis, alter perbrevis De Terraemotu. Adiecto indice copiosissimo.... Giovanni Battista Bellagamba, 1601.

Folio (312x217 mm). Collation: †4, A4, B4+1 (a singleton signed B3 added after quire B), C-Y4. [8], 1-16, 17*-18*, 17-163 [i.e. 165], [13] pages. Italic, roman, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Thirty-nine engravings, including three full-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary cardboards. A very fine, wide-margined copy.

The rare first and only edition of this finely illustrated book, including fine engraved maps and plates of wind roses and compasses, among other technologies and technical schemata.

The work is by Fabrizio Padovani, the 'philosophus ac medicus' from Forlì; it addresses the effects of winds and contains a full-page chart of the world, the Carta Marina, which also shows the Americas in a style that recalls the famous Nova Tabula executed by Giacomo Gastaldi for the Italian edition of Ptolemy's Geography in 1548.

As announced on the title-page, the last leaves concern earthquakes, as it was traditionally believed these could be caused by subterranean winds. Padovani based his illustrations primarily on historical sources – above all Pliny – as well as contemporary accounts. He “envisioned an early warning system for earthquakes, and, also, categorized phenomena that were either concurrent with or subsequent to an earthquake, similarly to the typology of things seen before, during, and after an eruption that Vesuvius writers described three decades later. Earthquakes were more frequent than eruptions, and in this respect he was not lacking in a language of observation” (S. Cocco, Watching Vesuvius, p. 31).

The work is especially praised for the handsome illustrative apparatus, and the engravings depicting wind roses are of the highest quality.

Bruni-Evans 4375; Alden 601.78; Honeyman VI, 2387; Riccardi I, pp. 230-231; Shirley 232 (world map); S. Cocco, Watching Vesuvius: A History of Science and Culture in Early Modern Italy, Chicago 2013, pp. 29-32; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 179.

The correct eyebrow length

180. Olmo, Marco Antonio (fl. 16th-17th century)

Physiologia Barbae Humanae. In tres sectiones divisa, hoc est de fine illius philosophico, & medico. Giovanni Battista Bellagamba, 1601.

Folio (286x198 mm). Collation: †4, ††6, A-I4, L-Y4, Z1 (singleton), Aa-Rr4, Ss2. [20], 1-72, 81-317, [1] pages. The book is complete: quire K omitted by the printer. Roman and italic type. Title-page printed in red and black with woodcut coat of arms of Pietro Aldobrandini, the dedicatee of the work. Woodcut on fol. Y1r. Contemporary limp vellum. Smooth spine, title inked vertically. Covers lightly stained, minor wear to the upper board edge of the lower cover. A very good copy, title-page slightly browned, a few stains and spots. Fol. Y1 mounted on onglet.

Provenance: the Count Arthur Dillon (d. 1893; ex-libris on the front pastedown).

Rare first edition of this curious treatise by the Paduan Marco Antonio Olmo, which provides a medical as well as philosophical point of view on the true nature of beards and hair. It is an expanded version of a pamphlet that the author had published on these topics a few years earlier: the Opinio de fine medico barbae humanae, which appeared in Modena in 1599.

The Bolognese edition of 1601 is dedicated to Pietro Aldobrandini and divided into three books. For this work, Olmo relied on sources from Antiquity, such as Crisippus and Diogenes, as well as later authorities, including Augustinus and Lactantius. The volume is illustrated with a woodcut depicting the correct proportions of the face and eyebrows necessary to not obstruct the viewing angle (fol. Y1r). The 1601 publication is recorded in only four Italian institutional libraries.

A second, enlarged edition of the work was printed in 1603 by the same Bolognese printer.

STC 17th century, 926; Bruni-Evans 3713; Krivatsy 8425; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 180.

The first original work on obstetrics published in England by an Englishman — Hagelin

203. Harvey, William (1578-1657)

Exercitationes de generatione animalium. Quibus accedunt quaedam de partu: de membranis ac humoribus uteri: & de conceptione. William Dugard for Octavian Pulleyn the Elder [Elzevier], 1651.

4° (225x159 mm). Collation: [π]4, a4, B-Z4, Aa-Ss4. [32], 301, [3] pages. Complete with the blank leaves [π]1, C4, and Ss4. Roman and italic type. Engraved frontispiece on fol. [π]2v, showing Jove seated on a pedestal, opening an egg to release all of creation, with the inscription 'Gulielmus Harveus de Generatione Animalium'. Woodcut ornament on the title-page, decorated initials, and headpieces. Contemporary calf, unidentified gilt coat of arms at the centre of the covers, with the motto, only partly legible, 'TOTA SS MF ED PAS'. Spine with five raised bands, inked title on paper label and the letters 'pb' in gilt at the foot. Joints cracked. A good copy. Browned throughout owing to the paper quality, upper margins of the last quires slightly spotted.

Provenance: old library stamp on the recto of the frontispiece leaf (faded); Giorgio Borio (ex-libris on the front pastedown).

The very rare first edition of Harvey's most important work on conception, embryology, and birth, the text of the chapter De partu being the first original English work on obstetrics. A book which has an important place in the history of science.

“After the publication of De motu cordis, Harvey turned his attention to the study of generation. Even if Harvey had not discovered the circulation of the blood, his remarkable work on embryology would have placed him in the front ranks of biological scientists. Without benefit of the compound microscope, his work was necessarily limited; nevertheless, nothing comparable had been done since Aristotle. He disbelieved the previously held doctrine of 'preformation' of the fetus, maintaining instead that it proceeds from the ovum by gradual building up of its parts. Always slow to publicize his findings, Harvey was only after some years persuaded by his friend, Sir Georg Ent, to put them into print” (Heirs of Hippocrates, 271).

The work is divided into seventy-two exercitationes or chapters (in this first edition misnumbered seventy-one, the fifth chapter being numbered as the fourth), and collects notes and observations on generation which Harvey had assembled between 1628 and 1642. Three subsequent editions, in smaller format, followed in the same year in Holland, issued by Daniel Elzevier. The first translation into English appeared in London in 1653.

Although the original intention was to include Harvey's portrait, the engraved allegorical frontispiece shows Jove seated on a pedestal, opening an egg and releasing a variety of animal forms; in the background is a landscape with buildings, and on the egg is the famous inscription 'EX OVO OMNIA', i.e., 'all things from an egg'. This engraving is often lacking in the known copies. Keynes suggests the name of Richard Gaywood as the possible author of this frontispiece.

Wing H-1091; G. Keynes, Bibliography of the Writings of W. Harvey, 34; Garrison-Morton 467; Norman 1011; Waller 4118; Wellcome II, p. 219; G. Keynes, The Life of William Harvey, Oxford 1978, pp. 329-360; W. Harvey, Disputations Touching the Generation of Animals. ed. by G. Whitteridge, Oxford-London 1981; B.P.M. Dongelmans - P.G. Hoftijzer, Boekverkopers van Europe. Het 17de-eeuwse Nederlandse uitgevershuis Elzevier, Zutphen 2000, pp. 197, 200; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 203.

Eustachio Divini’s copy

208. Manzini, Carlo Antonio (1599-1677)

L’Occhiale all’Occhio. Dioptrica practica... Doue si tratta della Luce; della Reffratione dei Raggi; dell’Occhio; della Vista; e degli aiuti, che dare si possono à gli Occhi per vedere quasi l’impossibile.... Vittorio Benacci's Heirs, 1660.

4° (207x148 mm). Collation: ☩6 (fol. ☩3 signed ☩2), A-Z4, A-Ll4. [12], 268, [4] pages, lacking the engraved portrait of Eustachio Divini. Roman and italic type. Woodcut vignette on the title-page showing a telescope, with the inscription 'REFERT INGENTI FOENORE' in a cartouche. Numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams in the text, one full-page woodcut on fol. P4v depicting a 'Moletta Forfice'. Woodcut decorated initials and tailpieces. Eighteenth-century cardboard 'alla rustica', recased. Nineteenth-century paper label on the spine, bearing an early shelfmark. A few small stains on the covers. A very fine copy, slightly spotted, more heavily to the blank outer margin of the first quires.

Provenance: from the library of the celebrated telescope maker Eustachio Divini (1610-1685; his ownership inscription on the title-page 'Eustachio Diuini'); monogram combining the letters O and K at the bottom of the title-page; Giorgio Tabarroni (1921-2001; ex-libris on the front pastedown).

An exceptional copy – owned by the well-known optical instrument manufacturer Eustachio Divini – of the first edition of the first comprehensive work on telescope and lens making.

Manzini's magnum opus, the Occhiale all'Occhio, deals with all aspects of optics, from ocular anatomy to the characteristics of light and its refraction, focusing especially on techniques for manufacturing all kinds of telescopes and microscopes. The author, a Bolognese nobleman, was the pupil of the renowned astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini, and was acquainted with numerous scientists of the day, such as Bonaventura Cavalieri, Ovidio Montalbani, and Giovanni Battista Riccioli. Among his technological accomplishments counts “a further improvement on a lathe for polishing and grinding lenses”, and the treatise of 1660 has been deemed “one of the most important early works on the subject of practical optics and lens making” (S. A. Bedini, “The Aerial Telescope”, p. 397).

In the Proemio al Lettore, Manzini celebrates Eustachio Divini as the first experimenter to have perfected the art of telescope making. Born in San Severino delle Marche (Ancona), Divini was active in Rome as of 1646 as a maker of clocks, lenses, microscopes and long-focus telescopes. Indeed, Manzini even defines the science of dioptrica as a 'divine art', a play on Divini's own name (fols. ☩5r-v).

His close relationship with Divini is demonstrated by two of the latter's works, which take the form of letters addressed to Manzini: the Lettera all' Conte Carl'Antonio Manzini. Si ragguaglia di un nuovo lavoro, e componimento di lenti, che servono à Occhialoni (Rome 1633), and the Lettera intorno alle macchie novamente scoperte nel mese di Luglio 1665 nel pianeta di Giove con suoi cannocchiali all'Illustriss. Sig. Conte Carlo Antonio Manzini (Rome 1666). There Divini describes the construction of his new 'occhialone' of fifty-two spans and the astronomical discoveries made possible by his telescopes, also recalling Manzini's Dioptrica of 1660.

The copy presented here may have been sent to Divini by Manzini shortly before its effective publication; this would explain why Divini's portrait is missing, as it was printed on different paper and bound after the printing in the standard copies. This copy contains textual corrections, emending misprints or inserting words omitted by the compositor (see fols. B1v, E4v, M1r, S1v, Y2v, Ff1v, Hh2v and Hh4v). These emendations are certainly authorial and added in the printing house.

STC 17th Century, 530; NLM/Krivatsy 7389; Riccardi II, p. 96; Wellcome II, p. 48; S. A. Bedini, “The Aerial Telescope”, Technology and Culture, 8 (1967), p. 367; M. L. Righini Bonelli - A. Van Helden, Divini and Campani: A Forgotten Chapter in the History of the Accademia del Cimento, Firenze 1981; V. Ilardi, Reinassance Vision from Spectacles to Telescope, Philadelphia 2007, p. 229; R. Bellé, “L'occhiale all'occhio. Un testo del XVII secolo sulla costruzione dei telescopi”, Atti della Fondazione Giorgio Ronchi, 64 (2009), pp. 453-480; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 208.

One of the 'One Hundred Famous Books in Science’ — Horblit

214. Steno, Nicolaus (1638-1687)

De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus. Insegna della Stella, 1669.

4° (225x169 mm). Collation: [π]2, A-K4. [4], 78, [2] pages. Complete with fol. [π]1 blank. Roman and italic type. Title-page printed in red and black, with engraved vignette. Seven-line decorated initial on fol. A1r, head- and tailpieces. Large folding plate, with engraved diagram and explanatory letter-press. Contemporary limp vellum, spine with inked title; blue edges. A very good copy, some minor foxing, a few spots.

First edition of this “great work [...] which outlines the principles of modern geology” (DSB), by the Danish anatomist Niels Stensen, better known as Nicolaus Steno, then physician at the Florentine court. The De solido is dedicated to Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In this work, a cornerstone of geology based on data collected in the Arno Valley, Steno sought to describe the anatomy of the earth and to explain the entire system of nature stratum super stratum. His contributions to plate tectonic theory and to stratigraphy is based on his theory that layers or strata of the earth, which are not horizontal, must have been tilted or folded by a force, such as an earthquake, after they formed. His principle of superposition also applied to other geologic events on the surface, such as lava flows and ash layers from volcanic eruptions.

Although brief in form – the work was only intended as an introduction to a larger work that Steno would never write – the impact of De solido was far greater than its modest size would suggest, establishing important principles of geology and elaborating upon new tools for writing its history. In his treatise, the Danish geologist “described the composition of the earth's crust in Tuscany and a famous diagram in his book shows six successive types of stratification: the first attempt ever made to represent geological sections. This was a sequence which he believed would be found all over the world. He explained the true origin of fossils found in the earth as being remains of once living things and he discriminated between the volcanic, chemical and mechanical modes of the origin of the rocks. He was the first clearly to recognize that the strata of the earth's crust contain the records of a chronological sequence of events from which the history of the earth can be reconstructed. He attempted to find the principles of stratigraphy [...] He deduced that these changes in the original position of the strata are the real causes of the unevenness of the earth's surface. This was in direct contradiction to the accepted belief that mountains had existed ever since the beginning of things or had simply grown” (PMM).

STC 17th Century, 877; Bruni-Evans 5151; Dibner 90; Horblit-Grolier 96; Norman 2013; PMM 151; D.R. Oldroyd, Thinking about Earth, London 1996, pp. 60-76; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 214.

Ex dono Auctoris

219. Meyer, Cornelius (1629-1701)

Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti con trè Tavole in lingua Latina, Francese, & Ollandese. Parte prima. Delli ordegni per cavar pali. Armature della calamita. Del modo di levare i sassi sott’acqua, e trovar la lega dell’oro, e dell’argento... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1696. (bound with:) Idem. Alla Santità di N.S. Papa Innocentio XI. Beatissimo Padre. [Rome, Giacomo Antonio de Lazzeri Varese, 1679]. (bound with:) Idem. Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce dall’Ingegneiro [sic] Cornelio Meyer per eccitare l’ingegno de’ virtuosi ad aumentarli, ò aggiungervi maggior perfettione... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1689. (together with:) Idem. L’Arte di restituire à Roma la tralasciata Navigatione del suo Tevere. Divisa in tre parti.... Giacomo Antonio de Lazzari Varese, 1685.

Two volumes containing four works, in near uniform bindings.

First volume. Three works bound together, folio (411x261 mm). I. [28] unsigned leaves, including title-page with a large engraved vignette showing a dragon with the caption 'Drago come viveva il primo di Decembre 1691 nelle paludi fuori di Roma'; dedication to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III dated Rome, 22 June 1696; 22 leaves consisting of plates with letter-press explanatory text, all of them half-page (except two full-page and three double-page); 4 leaves of indices in Latin, French, and Dutch. Roman and italic type. II. Collation: A14. [14] leaves. Issued without title-page, opening with dedicatory epistle to Innocent XI. Twelve numbered half-page engravings accompanied by explanatory text below, printed on recto only. Roman and italic type. The plates are partly dated between 1677 and 1679, engraved by Giovanni Battista Falda and Jacques Blondeau, after Meyer. III. Collation: [π]2-1, A-D2, 2D2, E2-1. [12] leaves. Roman and italic type. Typographical ornament on the title-page. Fifteen engravings in the text, two of which are double page. Most of the plates signed by Meyer as designer, and sometimes as both designer and engraver. The double-page astronomical engraving is signed by Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus.

Contemporary limp vellum. Extremities of the spine damaged. Fine, unsophisticated copy. Worm-tracks on the upper margin of several leaves not affecting the text, some leaves somewhat loose.

Second volume. Three parts, folio (401x265 mm). [92] leaves, 15, [1] pages. All leaves are unsigned, except for fols. [9-10] signed A-A2 and the final 8 leaves signed A-D2. The edition includes: two additional titles with dedication to Innocent XI and a large allegorical engraving present here in two states (one variant has the caption title 'Fluminis Fluctus Letificant Civitatem' written on a cartouche on top of the engraving, while the second version has 'D.O.M.' instead); a letter-press title with a woodcut ornament; sixty-eight engraved illustrations and maps (six double-page, one full-page and the rest half-page). The final 15 pages contain the relations of the Sacra Congregatio riparum Tyberis, and end with the colophon 'Romae, ex Typographia Rev. Cam. Apost., 1685'. The first illustration of part two, a double-page map showing the Delineatione del stagno di Maccarese, is captioned: 'In Roma, nella stamperia di Nicol'Angelo Tinassi, 1681'. The comet plate referred to in the list of plates is absent, in keeping with all other copies. At the bottom of the figura quarta in Part one are two contemporary ink drawings of technical structures. Roman and italic type. Woodcut head- and tailpieces.

Contemporary vellum, over thin boards. Spine with inked title, partly damaged and with a few losses. A genuine copy, with good margins. Some browning and foxing, double-page map of Delinatione del stagno di Maccarese heavily browned.

Provenance: I. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf; on the front pastedown nineteenth-century armorial ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, bearing the motto 'per servire s'acquista servi quando poi', and engraved by Michelassi. II. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf.

Two-volume set containing four rare first editions by Cornelius Meyer (Cornelis Meijer), both volumes bearing the author's inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris'. Dedication copies of these already rare works are extremely hard to come by separately, and even more so bound together, and in copies complete with all their parts. This is the case of this set, in which the first volume also bears the ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, and it is especially noteworthy that Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi was the patron of Meyer as well as the dedicatee of the second edition bound in this volume.

I. The first work bound – Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti... Parte prima – though printed seven years later, in 1696, forms the first section of a two-part work, which gathers some of the author's technical inventions and scientific experiments. The second part, Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce, was issued first, in 1689, but both texts are clearly related insofar as the index to both parts is printed at the end of the Part one.

The plates show inventions and experiments undertaken by Meyer in Rome and other places like Livorno and Civitavecchia: among others, the large magnet of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, instruments and technical tools to raise cannons and poles from below the sea and to break stones underwater, methods for melting metals, canalization and other hydraulic works, a plan of the harbor of Livorno, fortification works, spectacles, games and curiosities including how to break a glass with a musical instrument, the eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite, a map of the mouth of Po river, chariots, the design of a room, the orbit of a comet, and fountains. One of the plates included here shows the Civitavecchia harbor, where the author recovered the hull of a sunken vessel.

The third work included in the first volume – the one bound in the middle – is the rarest of all three. It was issued without a title-page and opens with a dedication to Innocent XI Odescalchi. Meyer's name appears at the end of the dedication, while the imprint is at the bottom of the last two leaves. As stated in the notice to the reader, with this publication Meyer intended to show to the general public how he so brilliantly completed the first task assigned to him by Clement X upon his arrival in Rome.

Born in Amsterdam, Cornelius Meyer left his country in 1674 for Venice, then a popular destination for Dutch engineers seeking employment. He moved to Rome one year later. Pope Clement X put Meyer in charge of a major project aimed at protecting the Via Flaminia against the flooding of the Tiber. Meyer, whose plans were less expensive than those proposed by the project's former head engineer, Carlo Fontana, constructed a passonata, i.e., a row of piles, in the Tiber, which deflected the river's current away from the Via Flaminia.

II. First edition of Meyer's important work on the restoration of the Tiber River for navigation, L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere, which is considered his masterpiece, and is presented here in its second issue (the first issue is dated 1683 on the title-page).

After this first successful work on the Tiber, Clement X and his successor Innocent XI hired Meyer to improve navigation on the river with the purpose of increasing commerce. Meyer came up with revolutionary solutions to expedite travel along the river and in 1683, with the help of artist Gaspar van Wittel, he published his projects in L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere. The book, which is divided into three parts, was both a record of Meyer's engineering skills as well as a form of self-promotion for seeking further commissions. It includes a beautiful series of etchings by Meyer himself as well as by Giovanni Battista Falda, Gaspar van Wittel, Jacques Blondeau, Barend de Bailliu, Balthasar Denner, Gomar Wouters, Johannes Collin, and Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus. It was with his designs in L'arte di restituire that Meyer consolidated his reputation among the artistic and scientific elite of Rome.

Michel & Michel V, p. 161; Cicognara 3791-3792; Olschki 17589; Poggendorff II, 134; Rossetti 7022-7023c; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 219.

A fine association copy, gifted by the author to the Italian historian Francesco Saverio Quadrio

224. Vallisneri, Antonio (1661-1730)

Opere diverse... cioe: I. Istoria del Camaleonte Affricano, e di varj Animali d’Italia. II. Lezione Accademica intorno all’Origine delle Fontane. III. Raccolta di varj Trattati accresciuti con Annotazioni, e con Giunte. Giovanni Gabriele Hertz, 1715.

Three parts in one volume, 4° (231x156mm). [12, including frontispiece], 200; [8], 87, [1]; [4], 261, [3] pages; complete with the last blank leaf. Engraved author's portrait as a frontispiece. Thirty engraved folding plates. Contemporary vellum, ink title on the spine. Marbled edges. A very good copy, pale waterstains to the lower outer margin, small wormholes to the gutter of a few leaves, without any loss.

Provenance: Antonio Vallisneri, given as a gift by him to the Italian scholar and historian Francesco Saverio Quadrio (1695-1756; see Vallisneri's dedication on the recto of the first leaf, 'All'Illmo P.R.D. Francesco Xauerio Quadrio della Comp.a di Gesù L'Authore in segno de Stima, e di eterne obbligazioni').

First edition of this collection of Vallisneri's writings on natural history, offered here in a fine copy gifted by him to the renowned Italian historian Francesco Saverio Quadrio, who is especially well-known for his Della storia e della ragione di ogni poesia, a voluminous history of poetry, theatre, and music.

Antonio Vallisneri was born at Trassilico, in Garfagnana, on 3 May 1661. His education initially followed the traditional path of the Jesuit schools – a path reserved for the sons of the 'best' families of the day. In 1682, he started attending Bologna University, where he became one of Malpighi's students. In 1685, he was awarded a degree from the College of Reggio (Emilia), after which he extended his practical knowledge and experience in Venice, Padua and Parma. He subsequently returned to his homeland, where he practised his profession and simultaneously initiated an extremely intense period of natural history studies. Vallisneri's works and observations evince an original interpretation of the themes and perspectives of the Galileian medical tradition followed by Malpighi and Redi and were positioned along the most advanced front of the debates between natural history and life science that were then under way in Europe. Vallisneri was inclined to set his scientific hypotheses within a general theoretical framework although maintained a Baconian respect for empirical data, and he committed himself to overcoming the limits of Cartesian dualism and mechanism, first with reference to Malebranchian thought and then to that of Leibniz. His teachings were based on his meticulous observations of natural science, particularly in the fields of entomology and comparative anatomy; he was convinced that scientific knowledge is best acquired through experience and reasoning, and this principle was followed in his anatomical dissections and carefully drawn descriptions of insects.

Vallisneri's research into reproduction demonstrated the non-existence of spontaneous generation and anticipated evolutionist theory.

In the collection presented here the Lezione Accademica intorno all'Origine delle Fontane is especially noteworthy. The lucidity of Vallisneri's experimental approach makes it a perfect example of the Galileian method.

Garrison-Morton, 302; Pritzel 9675; M. Sabia, Le opere di Antonio Vallisneri medico e naturalista reggiano (1661-1730). Bibliografia ragionata, Rimini 1996, pp. 106-120; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 224.

The foundation of Criminology. A dedication copy to the Italian Psychiatric Society

275. Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909)

L’uomo delinquente studiato in rapporto alla antropologia, alla medicina legale ed alle discipline carcerarie. Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

8° (225x160 mm). [4], 255, [1] pages. With four illustrations in the text, one of which is pasted on page 65 and reproduces the photograph that three murders made of themselves, as a memory, while miming the crime that they had just committed. Contemporary half-cloth with gilt title on spine. Spine repaired at the extremities. A very good copy, gutter of the first quire reinforced.

Provenance: gifted by Cesare Lombroso to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, i.e., the Italian Psychiatric Society (large paper strip on the half-title, bearing Lombroso's autograph dedication 'per i soci della Freniatrica Italiana / tutti voi / C. Lombroso / Pavia 6 Dic 1883'); the medical-legal physician Angiolo Filippi (1836-1905; pencilled ownership inscription on the half-title leaf).

Rare first edition – in a precious association copy – of the work that marks the birth of criminal anthropology. The book went through five editions in Italian and was published in various European languages, including English in 1900.

Born in Verona to a wealthy Jewish family, Lombroso studied literature, linguistics, and archaeology at the universities of Padua, Vienna and Paris, before becoming an army surgeon in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed visiting lecturer at Pavia and in 1871 he took charge of the mental asylum at Pesaro. He became Professor of Forensic Medicine and Hygiene at Turin in 1878. Later he was appointed as Professor of Psychiatry (1896) and Criminal Anthropology (1906) at the same university.

The Criminal Man, immediately welcomed as extremely innovative in the psychiatric and medical world of the time, is also addressed to judges and lawyers. It illustrates Lombroso's theories on the correlation between somatic and mental deformities with reference to specific factors as atavism, degeneration, and epilepsy. Lombroso also deals with the legal implications of his theories, particularly in relation to the issue of 'moral insanity', understood as a serious disturbance of social behavior. Lombroso was convinced of the pathological nature of the 'born criminal', and is considered the founder of criminology.

“Lombroso [...] maintained that criminals are more often found to suffer from physical, nervous and mental abnormalities than non-criminals, and that these abnormalities are either inherited or the result of physical degeneration [...] 'Criminal Man' was a revolutionary work which not only caused a considerable stir when it first came out but had a practical effect which was wholly beneficial. The division which it indicated between the congenital criminal and those who were tempted to crime by circumstances has had a lasting effect on penal theory. Again, by connecting the treatment of crime with the treatment of insanity, Lombroso initiated a branch of psychiatric research which has cast new light on problems, such as criminal responsibility, which lie at the root of human society” (PMM).

This copy bears Lombroso's autograph address to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, dated 'Pavia, 6 Dic 1883'. The Società Freniatrica Italiana – the Italian Psychiatric Society – was established in 1873, and Lombroso was among its founders. Its fourth congress took place in Voghera, near Pavia, on 16-22 September 1883. Later the volume came into possession of Angiolo Filippi, who was the leading medical-legal authority in Italy at that time. Filippi published the first Italian treatises on forensic medicine – the Principii di medicina legale per gli studenti di legge ed i giurisperiti (Firenze 1889) and the Manuale di medicina legale conforme al nuovo codice penale per medici e giuristi (Milano 1889) - in which some sections are devoted to criminal anthropology. Filippi was in correspondence with Lombroso, with respect to whom he often had differing opinions. Some notes in the present volume, written in his own hand, confirm the critical approach he had towards Lombroso's work, offerring striking testimony to the Italian debate on criminology.

CLIO, Catalogo dei libri italiani dell'Ottocento (1801-1900), IV, p. 2667 (MI185); Garrison-Morton 174; Norman 1384; PMM 394; H. Mannheim, Pioneers in Criminology, Chicago 1960, pp. 168-227; M. Gibson, Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Italian origins of Biological Criminology, Westport 2002; G. Seppilli - L. Bianchi (eds.), Atti del IV Congresso della Società Freniatrica Italiana tenuto in Voghera dal 16 al 22 settembre 1883, Milano 1883; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 275.

‘Normal’ versus ‘criminal’ woman, such as ‘the prostitute’

279. Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909)

La donna delinquente. La prostituta e la donna normale. L. Roux, 1893.

8° (242x154 mm). XI, [1], 640 pages. With the engraved portrait of Messalina on the title-page, eight plates (four folding) and several diagrams, photographs, and statistical tables in the text. Possibly original blue cloth, gilt title on spine. Joints weakened. A good copy, only slightly browned, plate VI loose.

Rare first edition of this very influential work on the criminal woman, considered the first modern criminology text to focus exclusively on the subject.

A first draft of the work, written in collaboration with Salvatore Ottolenghi, had appeared two years earlier in the Giornale della R. Accademia di Medicina (nos. 9-10). The final draft was written in collaboration with the author's son-in-law, the talented law student Guglielmo Ferrero (1871-1942).

In Criminal Woman, Lombroso – convinced of the pathological nature of the born criminal – applies to women the same theories expressed in his Uomo delinquente (Criminal Man), published in 1876, the work that marks the foundation of criminal anthropology. In the text, he outlines a comparative analysis of 'normal women' as opposed to 'criminal women' such as 'the prostitute'.

“These theories, published in L'uomo delinquente and several other works, caused a good deal of controversy, but also exerted a powerful influence that still persists, even though we no longer accept Lombroso's concept of the connection between atavism and criminality” (Norman 1384).

CLIO, Catalogo dei libri italiani dell'Ottocento (1801-1900), IV, p. 2667 (MI185); Garrison-Morton 174; H. Mannheim, Pioneers in Criminology, Chicago 1960, pp. 168-227; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 279.