Science Philobiblon

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

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 riuerentiss.ma 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.

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