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An Extraordinary Document: The Constitutions of the Accademia dei Lincei – With Notes toward a History of the Society, A List of the Academy's Members, & A History of the Invention & Development of the Telescope

[Accademia dei Lincei] Vandelli, Domenico (1732-1815); Faber, Johann (1570-1640)
Considerazioni sopra la notizia degli Accademici Lincei Scritta dal Signor Giovanni Bianchi, E promissa all' Opera Intitolata Phytobasanos di Fabio Colonna Restampata in Firenze nel 1744 presso Pietro Gastano Viviani in quarto Reale, Opusculo di Domenico Vandelli. [Bound with, as issued:] Praescriptiones Lynceae Accademiae curante Joan. Fabro Lynceo Bamberg Interamnae, In typ. Guerrerii, 1624 " Hic liber typis editus extat Romae in Bibliotheca Barberina"

Modena: Bartolomeo Soliani, 1745


Quarto: 19.3 x 14 cm. [1]-48, [49]-64 p. With a divisional title page.

I. "Praescriptiones Lynceae Accademiae"

Prepared for publication by Johann Faber, the Chancellor General of the Lincean Academy, the "Praescriptiones" articulated the society's founding principles and detailed the nature and scope of its activities.


Favaro, Bib. Galileiana, 483; Tiraboschi, Biblioteca Modenese, p. 342

A Complete Set of Aldrovandi’s Natural History Works – With Noble Provenance and all Volumes in First Edition

Aldrovandi, Ulisse (1522-1605)
The complete 13-volume set of Aldrovandi’s natural history works. Vols I-III. Ornithologia; Vol. IV. De Piscibus; Vol V. Monstrorum Historia; Vol VI. De Quadrupedibus Digitatis Viviparis [et] Oviparis; VII. Quadrupedum omnium bisulcorum historia; VIII. De Quadrupedibus solidipedibus; IX. De Reliquis Animalibus Exanguibus; X. Serpentum, et Draconum Historiae; XI. Dendrologia; XII. De Insectis; XIII. Musaeum Metallicum.

Bologna: Various printers, 1599- 1668


Folio. Each volume 35.3 x 24.5 cm.

Over the course of the second half of the sixteenth-century, the brilliant Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi’s sought to carry out an encyclopedic description of the natural world. Given the limits of the science of his day and the difficulty of obtaining accurate descriptions and specimens of animals, plants, and minerals from the four corners of the world, it is staggering how close he came to achieving this objective.


Aldrovandi’s Natural History of Monsters - The First Treatise on Teratology

Aldrovandi, Ulisse (1522-1605); Ambrosini, Bartolomeo (1588-1657)
Monstrorum historia

Bologna: Typis Nicolai Tebaldini, 1642


Large Folio: 35 x 23.5 cm. Two volumes in one: I. †4 (including engraved t.p.), A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Ppp6, Qqq8, Rrr6, Sss8; II. A-O6 (final signature O has 5 leaves, as in all copies examined. See note at end of description.)

Aldrovandi’s “Monstrorum historia” was the first treatise on teratology, the study of deformities, monstrosities, and prodigies. The subjects are drawn from across the spectrum of the natural world, from animals and plants to minerals and monstra (portents such as comets and atmospheric phenomena). Some of the specimens were physically kept in Aldrovandi’s renowned museum and gardens in Bologna, others were represented in his collections by paintings, engravings, and written accounts.


Garrison-Morton 534.53; Krivatsy 187; Wellcome I, 172; Goldschmid 43; Alden and Landis 642/2; Nissen, ZBI 74.R. As regards the 5-leaf final signature O in the “Paralipomena”, I have left the quire as “O6” in my collation since it is unclear if there was a cancelland leaf O5, or if final O6 was a blank. Either way, the final quire is consistent with all copies examined.

Charting Comets & Renaming the Constellations

ASTRONOMY. COMETS. Weigel, Erhard (1625–1699)
Speculum Uranicum / Aquilae Romanae Sacrum / Das ist / Himels Spiegel / darinnen ausser denen ordentlichen auch die ungewöhnli- chen Erscheinungen des Himmels / mit gebührender Anführungen abgebildet / vornemlich aber 7 der im Gestirne des Adlers / jüngst- hin entstandene Comet / nebst einer neuen Himmels-Charte unter dem Adler des H. Römischen Reiches / dargestellt wird / von Erhardo VVeigelio, ...

Jena: bey Samuel Krebsen, in Verlegung Thomas Matthias Götzen, 1661


Quarto: 19.8 x 16 cm. [128] p. π1, ):(4, A-M4, a-c4

A rare astronomical work by the astronomer Erhard Weigel, a teacher of Gottfried W. Leibniz. The engraved frontispiece shows a man holding a telescope, standing before the University of Jena, with other astronomical instruments (quadrants, sextants, a globe, etc.


Zinner p. 582; Poggendorff II, 1283; Kenney 20; Brüning 1061; Pogg. II, 1283; Struve 17; Bircher A1193; FdF 1506-07; not in Hou-zeau-L.; Lit.: Klaus-Dieter Herbst (ed.). Erhard Weigel (1625–1699) und die Wissenschaften. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang 2013

The Controversy over the use of Telescopic Sights. Hevelius observes the Skies with Edmond Halley Two Months Before his Observatory is Lost to Fire

ASTRONOMY. Hevelius, Johannes (1611-1687)
Johannis Hevelii Annus climactericus, sive Rerum uranicarum observationum annus quadragesimus nonus; exhibens diversas occultationes, tam planetarum, quàm fixarum post editam machinam coelestem; nec non plurimas altitudines meridianas solis, ac distantias planetarum, fixarumq́ue, eo anno, quousque divinaconcessit benignitas, impetratas: cum amicorum nonnullorum epistolis, ad rem istam spectantibus: & continuatione historiae novæ stellæ in collo Ceti, ut & annotationum rerum coelestium ...

Danzig: Sumptibus auctoris, typis D.F. Rhetii, 1685


Folio: 34.8 x 22.5 cm. [6] lvs. 24, 196 pp. Collation: )( 6, )(4, )()(4, )()()(4, A-Z4, AA6. With engraved title page vignette and 7 (1 double-page) engraved plates.

“Annus Climactericus” was the last of Hevelius’ works published in the author’s lifetime. The book comprises observations of the planets, sun, moon, and fixed stars, many of which were made alongside the English astronomer Edmond Halley. The observations were made from 8 January until 25 September 1679, subsequent to the publication of the second volume of Hevelius’ “Machina Coelestis”, almost the entire press run of which was lost in the fire that destroyed Hevelius’ observatory on 26 September 1679.


VD17 39:125045B; DSB 6, 363; Honeyman 1675. For a thorough discussion of the Hevelius-Hooke controversy, see Saridakis, “Converging Elements in the Development of Late Seventeenth-Century Disciplinary Astronomy: Instrumentation, Education, and the Hevelius-Hooke Controversy”, p. 129 ff.; For an assessment of the relative accuracy of Halley’s and Hevelius’ computations at Danzig, see Cook, “Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas”, p. 93 ff.; For Hevelius’ work on the binary star Mira Ceti, see Hatch, “Hevelius- History and Identity”, in “Change and Continuity in Early Modern Cosmology”, p 158 ff.; For D. Capellus’ contemporary account of the fire and a detailed inventory of Hevelius’ losses, see MacPike, “Hevelius, Flamsteed, Halley”, Appendix I. (London, 1937)

Astronomy and Meteorology; Flora and Fauna: The Natural World in the Middle Ages. With 15th c. Provenance. Bound at the Monastery of St Zeno

Berenger of Landorra, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (circa 1262-1330), and Gregory of Vorau (ed. Matthias Farinator)
Lumen Animae. Incipit: Liber moralitatum elegantissimus magnarum reru[m] naturalium lumen anime dict[us]: cu[m] septe[m] apparitorib[us] necno[n] sanctoru[m] doctoru[m] orthodoxe fidei p[ro]fessorum Poetaru[m] etia[m] ac oratoru[m] auctoritatib[us] p[er] modum pharatre s[e]c[un]d[u]m ordine[m] alphabeti collectis feliciter incipit.

Strasbourg: Printer of the 1481 Legenda aurea, 22 March 1482


Folio: 29.2 x 21.8 cm. 274 unsigned leaves. [A-C]8, [D]10; [a-m]8, [n]6,[o-z]8, [aa-ff]8, [gg]10. Complete with the initial and final blanks.

The arrival of printed books is so often regarded as one of the inaugural moments of the renaissance that it is sometimes forgotten that the first years of print also represented the last great flowering of the Middle Ages. The “Lumen Anime” (Light of the Soul), is testament to that. Formerly attributed to the Carmelite friar Mathias Farinator of Vienna (who compiled the index), the “Lumen Anime” is now known to be Berenger of Landorra, General of the Dominican order and archbishop of Campostella from 1317 to 1325.


BMC I, 97; Hain-Copinger 10333*; Goff L-396; Proctor 413; Polain 1468; Wellcome I, 2175; Klebs 631.3; Thorndyke III, 546ff. Sources: Mary A. and Richard H. Rouse, ‘The Texts called Lumen Anime,’ Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, 41 (Rome, 1971), 5-113; N.R. Ker, Records of All Soul’s College Library. 1437-1600 (Oxford, 1971), 27.

Boyle's Law

Boyle, Robert (1627-91)
New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, touching the Spring of the Air, and its effects, made, for the most part, in a new pneumatical engine… London: Printed by Miles Flesher for Richard Davis, Bookseller in Oxford, 1682. [bound with] [2] A Continuation of New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring and Weight of the Air, and their effects. The I. Part. Oxford: Printed by Henry Hall…for Richard Davis, 1669. [bound with] [3] A Continuation of New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring and Weight of the Air, and their effects. The second part.

London: Printed by Miles Flesher for Richard Davis, 1682


Quarto: 19.5 x 16 cm. 3 works in 2 volumes (the two continuations bound first): 1st Vol. "Continuation… the I. Part"(1669) and "Continuation… the second part"(1682). Collations: *4, **4, A2, B-Z4, Aa-Dd4, Ee2. With 8 engraved plates after p. 198; A4, a4, b2, B-Z4, Aa-Cc4, Dd2. With 5 plates bound after p. 198. 2nd Vol. "New Experiments"(1682) in 3 parts. Collation: A4, a4, B-Z4, Aa-Tt4, Vv4 (-Vv4), a-o4. With 2 engraved plates. The last part is bound first.

THIRD EDITION of Boyle’s book on his original experiments on air, his first scientific work and the one on which his fame rests. This edition, like the second, includes his controversial tracts against Linus and Hobbes, the former provoking an attack to which Boyle wrote a defence that contained “Boyle’s law”, first published in the second edition and present here.



Wing B4000, B3934, B3935. Fulton 15, 16, 18. See Horblit 15, PMM 143, and the Norman catalogue 300 for the second edition. Neville I, p. 192, has the same combination of works as are present here.

Cardano’s Great Encyclopedia of Science & Nature. \"The most advanced representation of physical knowledge up to his time.” (Dibner)

Cardano, Girolamo (1501-1576)
De subtilitate libri XXI. nunc demum recogniti atque perfecti.

Basel: L. Lucius, 1554


Folio: 32 x 21.5 cm. [24], 561 pp. Collation: [alpha]-[gamma]4, a-z4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa5. Last leaf blank and lacking.

Cardano’s “De Subtilitate” "Represents the most advanced representation of physical knowledge up to his time and the idea that all creation is in progressive development" (Dibner). This is the second folio edition. It includes Cardano's famous statement 'Igitur his arbitrio victoriae relictis' (p. 354), which caused Cardano's denouncement for heresy (see below) and which was therefore edited out of subsequent editions.


VD 16, C 932; IA 132.064; Adams C 670; Riccardi I/1, 252, 6.3; Durling 847; Alden-L. 554/10; See Dibner 139, Sinkankas 1145 & DSB III, 66.

Observing Kirch's & Newton’s Comet

COMETS. Hagen, Joachim Heinrich
Joachim Heinrich Hagens / eloqv. poes. et mathes. Prof. Publ. / Bemerkung / der jüngsten grossen / Comet - Erscheinungen / auf Hoch= Fürstlichen gnädigsten Befehl / verabfasst und hervorgegeben.

Bayreut(h): Johann Gebhard, im Christ Jahr 1681


Quarto (200 x 160 mm.) [8], 79 p. Collation: ):(4, A-K4

An extremely rare work on the great comet of 1680 with references to Riccioli, Hevelius, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Descartes, et al. by a friend and pupil of the mathematician & astronomer Erhard Weigel (1625 – 1699). I have located only 1 copy outside of Germany (at the Adler Planetarium.


VD17 12:161198H; Brüning 1410; Robinson no. 22; Reiss XXXXVI, 814. KVK: München, Erlangen, Coburg, Heidelberg, Göttingen, Leipzig, Halle; outside Germany exceedingly rare with only one copy at Adler Planetarium.

A Method for Teaching the "Deaf-Mute" to Speak & Surveying the physiological bases of human expressive behaviour

Philocophus: or, The deafe and dumbe mans friend. Exhibiting the philosophicall verity of that subtile art, which may inable one with an observant eie, to heare what any man speaks by the moving of his lips. Upon the same ground, with the advantage of an historicall exemplification, apparently proving, that a man borne deafe and dumbe, may be taught to heare the sound of words with his eie, & thence learne to speake with his tongue. By I.B. sirnamed the Chirosopher

London: for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, 1648


"Philocophus" was the first English work treating at length the subject of deafness and its accompanying language problems. It was dedicated to two deaf men, the brothers Sir Edward and William Gostwicke, who, Bulwer relates, although proficient in signing, earnestly wanted to learn to speak, accounting their inability to speak their "greatest unhappiness.


I. Wellcome II, p. 270; ESTC R3977; Wing B5469. II. Norman 340; Wellcome II, p. 270; Krivatsky 1952; ESTC R8806; Wing B5468

With an Account of Benjamin Franklin's Kite Experiment

ELECTRICITY. Calandrelli, Giuseppe
Ragionamento sopra il conduttore elettrico Quirinale dell'abate Giuseppe Calandrelli

Rome: nella stamperia Salomoni, 1789


Octavo: 20.5 x 140 cm. [2], xxxvi p.

First edition of this rare publication, dealing with the construction of the lightning conductor installed on the Quirinal Palace in Rome (in order to prevent further damage from lightning strikes.)

Calandrelli discusses the electrical experiments of other well-known scientists such as Priestley, Toaldo, Landriani, De Saussure, Reccaria, Lord Malion, and above all, those of Benjamin Franklin, including Franklin's iconic kite experiment of June 1752.


Wheeler Gift 554

"The True Foundation of Modern Entomology" - First Edition of the first Natural History book Written and Printed in England

ENTOMOLOGY. Moffet, Thomas (1553-1604); Penny, Thomas (ca. 1530-1589)
Insectorvm Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrvm: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono. Conrado Gesnero. Thomaqve Pennio inchoatum: Tandem Tho. Movfeti Londinatis opera sumptibusq; maximis concinnatum, auctum, perfectum: Et ad vivum expressis Iconibus supra quingentis illustratum.

London: ex Officina typographica Thom. Cotes. Et venales extant apud Guiliel. Hope, ad insigne Chirothechae, prope regium Excambium, 1634


Folio: 30 x 19 cm. A6, a4, B-Z6, Aa-Dd6, Ee4

FIRST EDITION of the "true foundation of modern entomology"(Raven, English Naturalists from Neckham to Ray, 1947).  The ‘Insectorvm Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrvm' (Theater of Insects, the Smallest of Animals) is the first substantial scientific treatise devoted exclusively to entomology and the first original treatise devoted to natural history composed in England.


Garrison-Morton 288; Lisney, pp. 4-9; Norman 1528; Raven, English naturalists, ch. 10; STC 17993a; Huntington Catalogue p. 297; Nissen 2852; Horn.-Schenkl. III, 15547; Hagen I, 553

"Second only to Agricola in the number of original contributions to the literature of mining and metallurgy and the beauty of the graphic treatment of the crafts."(Dibner)

Ercker, Lazarus (ca. 1530-1594)
Aula Subterranea domina dominantium subdita subditorum, das ist, Untererdische Hofhaltung: ohne welche weder die Herren regiren, noch die Unterthanen gehorchen können : oder, Grundliche Beschreibung derjenigen Sachen so in der Tieffe der Erden wachsen, als aller Ertzen der königlichen und gemeinen Metallen…

Frankfurt: Johann David Zunner, 1684


Large Quarto: 22.5 x 19.5 cm. [1] leaf (engraved t.p.), [14], 220, 123, [5], 68 p. COLLATION: )(-)()(4A-Dd4Ee2(A)-(Q)4a-h4i2.

"Ercker's treatise is the most authoritative contemporary work on 16th-century metallurgy and assaying. Ercker gave a systematic review of methods of testing alloys and minerals and of obtaining and refining various metals, as well as methods of manufacturing acids, salts and other chemical compounds, including saltpeter. He described the apparatus and laboratory equipment used in metallurgy and assaying and gave a detailed account of laboratory methods, all of which he himself had used.


Hoover 284; Darmstaedter, Probierbüchlein p. 92; DSB IV, 394; Lipperheide 4

''The first attempt to show the connection between psychology and physiology'' (Garrison-Morton)

EUGENICS. Huarte y Navarro, Juan, (1529-1588); Carew, Richard (1555-1620), translator
Examen de ingenios. The examination of mens vvits. In whicch [sic], by discouering the varietie of natures, is shewed for what profession each one is apt, and how far he shall profit therein. By John Huarte. Translated out of the Spanish tongue by M. Camillo Camilli. Englished out of his Italian, by R.C. Esquire

London: Printed by Adam Islip, for C. Hunt of Excester, 1594


Quarto: 19 x 14 cm. [16], 333, [3] pp. A-Y8

“To Distinguish and discern these natural difference’s of man’s wit, and to apply to each by art that science wherein he may profit, is the intention of this my work.”

“This sentence concisely summarizes the ultimate purpose of one of the most successful and influential Spanish scientific books published in the early modern period, one with long-lasting influence upon the European intellectual world: the ‘Examen de Los Ingenios para Las Ciencias’ (1575), by the Spanish physician and philosopher Juan Huarte de San Juan (1529-1588)… Huarte is now hailed as the precursor of several branches of pedagogy and psychology, including differential pedagogy and differential psychology, and their practical applications, professional orientation, and selection.


STC (2nd ed.), 13892; Garrison-Morton 4964 (1575 Spanish edition); Durling 2498. Hunter & Macalpine, p. 46. Thorndike VI, pp. 413-14

Fine’s Astronomical & Mathematical Magnum Opus

Finé, Oronce (1494-1555)
Protomathesis opus uarium, ac scitu non minus utile quàm iucundum, nunc primùm in lucem foeliciter emissum: cuius index uniuersalis, in uersa pagina continetur.

Paris: Impensis Gerardi Morrhij & Ioannis Petri, 1532


Large Folio: 33.5 x 24 cm. Collation: AA8, A-L6, M-N6, O-Z8, Aa-Bb8, Cc6, Dd8 (including both blanks, F8 and N6.) Complete.

The “Protomathesis”, a universally acclaimed monument of book production and design, is profusely illustrated. The book is introduced by a fine architectural title page border with a lunette of Hercules defeating the Lernean Hydra. This is followed by the well-known full-page image of the goddess of astronomy, Urania, lecturing Finé, who holds a book and an astrolabe, beneath a spherical model of the solar system.


Hoover 312, Lalande, p. 50; Smith, Rara Arithmetica, pp. 160-61; Stillwell, The Awakening Interest in Science during the First Century of Printing, 838

De Bry’s Important Florilegium, complete with all 142 plates

FLOWERS. GARDENING. BOTANY. Bry, Johann Theodor de (1561-1623?)
Anthologia magna, siue, Florilegium novum & absolutum, variorum maximeque rariorum germinum, florum ac plantarum, quas pulchritudo, fragrantia, vsus varietas, differentia commendat, & non tantum noster hic, sed & aduersus veteribusque ignotus orbis è foecundo suo procreat gremio: eicones elegantissimæ, summa cum diligentia ad vivum, quantum artifici manu per monochromata fieri potuit, æri incisæ, & cum suis caulibus, scapis, folijs, flosculis, calyculis, bulbis, radicibusque ad naturæ inuidiam anthophili spectatoris oculis expositæ. Additis eorum proprijs, veris ac genuinis nominibus.

Frankfurt: Ex officina Bryana, 1626


Folio: 31.5 x 20 cm. 6 lvs. (Engraved title page, booksellers’ addresses to the beholder, preface (addressed to the “flower-loving reader”), poem, 2-page description of “some exotic plants” in this book), and 142 engraved plates (five folding) of plants as follows: 1-23, 1-37, 37 bis, 38-50, 50 bis, 51-110, 1 unnumbered plate (numbered “111” in ink), 112-116, 1 unnumbered plate. The plate 23 bound here in the first sequence is usually bound after plate 23 in the second sequence. Complete.

This is a greatly expanded edition (with 55 additional plates) of the author’s “Florilegium Novum”(ca. 1612), which had only 87 plates, all of which are included here. 

“Johann Theodor de Bry belonged to a noted family of engravers from Frankfurt. De Bry’s father, Theodor, a draughtsman, engraver and goldsmith, was born in Liege but eventually transferred to Frankfurt, where he set up a printing shop.


Nissen, BBI 273; Pritzel 1446; de Belder 92

“Perhaps the First to Use a Keplerian Telescope for Regular Planetary Observation” (King)

Fontana, Francesco (1602-1656)
Novae Coelestium Terrestriumq[ue] Rerum Observationes, et fortasse hactenus non vulgatae à Francisco Fontana, specillis a se inventis, et ad summam perfectionem perductis editae.

Naples: Apud Gaffarum, Mense Februarii, 1646


A truly remarkable work, the  “Observationes” has been called the first true lunar atlas (preceding that of Hevelius by one year.) Moreover, the work includes the first illustrations of the planet Mars made from telescopic observation (in 1636 and 1638). The first chapter includes a very early history of the telescope. Fontana claims to have invented both the “Keplerian” telescope (composed of two convex lenses) in 1608, and the compound microscope (consisting of two converging lenses, one functioning as objective, the other as eyepiece) in 1618; while his claims to have invented these instruments have been proven untrue, Fontana did in fact construct and use both of these instruments and with them he observed Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon; as well as fleas, flies, ants, bees and human hairs.


Carli and Favaro 211; Houzeau and Lancaster II, 1328; Riccardi I/1 467 (‘raro ed apprezzato’); Literature: King, The History of the Telescope p. 46; Clay, The History of the Microscope p. 9; Ashworth, The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo, p. 4)

Including Two of the Most Important Books in Early Observational Astronomy: Galileo's "Starry Messenger" and Kepler's "Dioptrice"

Gassendi, Pierre (1592-1655); Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642); Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)
Petri Gassendi Institutio Astronomica: Juxta Hypotheseis tam Veterum quàm Recentiorum. Cui accesserunt Galilei Galilei Nuncius Sidereus; et Johannis Kepleri Dioptrice. Tertia editio prioribus Correctior.

London: typis Jacobi Flesher. Prostant apud Gulielmum Morden, bibliopolam Cantabrigiensem, 1653


Octavo: 18 x 11.5 cm. [16], 199, [1]; 173, [1] p., 4 leaves of plates : ill., diagrams (woodcuts). Collation: A-N8, O4; A-L8 (lacking final blank)

Gassendi's "Institutio Astronomica," has been called the first modern astronomy textbook. It is divided into three sections: the first details the so-called theory of the spheres, the second describes astronomical theory, and the third discusses the conflicting ideas of Brahe and Copernicus. The present edition is important for the inclusion of two seminal works of telescopic astronomy: Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" (first ed.


Wing G291 (with the comma in line 3 of the title); Cinti, 128; Riccardi, I, col. 508; Sotheran, I p. 73 (1448); cf. PMM 113 and Dibner, Heralds of Science, #7 (the 1610 edition)

Johnson’s Celebrated Edition of Gerard’s Herbal Describing Numerous American Plants

Gerard, John (1545-1612)
The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London Master in Chirvrgerie. Very much Enlarged and Amended by Thomas Johnson Citizen and Apothecarye of London.

London: A. Islip, Joice Norton, and R. Whitaker, 1633


Folio: 34.5 x 22.5 cm. ¶8, ¶¶-¶¶¶6, A-B8, C-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Zzzz6, Aaaaa-Zzzzz6, Aaaaaa-Vvvvvv6, Xxxxxx4, Yyyyyy-Zzzzzz6, Aaaaaaa-Bbbbbbb6. (lacking the first and final blank leaves.)

"This is the first edition enlarged and edited by Thomas Johnson (1595-1644) who corrected many of Gerard’s more gullible errors, and improved the accuracy of the illustrations by using Plantin’s woodcuts." (Hunt)

John Gerard is to this day one of the best known of English herbalists. In 1586 the Royal College of Physicians established a garden of physic and appointed Gerard its curator.


STC 11751; Hunt 223; Nissen 698; Graesse Vol. III, p. 56; Henrey 155.

The First Edition of the Most Famous English Herbal

Gerard, John (1545-1612)
The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London master in Chirurgerie

London: by [Edm. Bollifant for [Bonham Norton and] Iohn Norton, 1597


Folio: 31.8 x 21 cm. A⁴B⁶ ²A-3V⁸ 3X¹⁰ 4A-4T⁸ 4V⁶ 5A-5I⁴.

The rare first (only 16thc.) edition of the most famous of the early English herbals. It differs greatly from the subsequent editions (of 1633 and 1636), which were heavily altered by Thomas Johnson. The more than 1,800 woodcuts have a distinguished history.


Henrey 154; Hunt 175; Luborsky & Ingram. Engl. illustrated books, 1536-1603, 11750