Natural History

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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

$35,000.00

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.

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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.

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

$7,500.00

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.

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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.

"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

$6,800.00

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.

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

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

$9,500.00

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.

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

A Revolution in Zoology & Zoological Illustration

Gesner (also Gessner), Conrad (1516-1565)
Icones animalium quadrupedum viviparorum et oviparorum. [BOUND WITH] Historiae animalium liber II. de quadrupedibus oviparis. Item oviparorum quorundam appendix.

Zürich: Christoph Froschauer, 1553 and 1554

$15,000.00

Folio: 2 books bound as one: 40.25 x 25.5 cm. I. 64, [3] p. Collation: A-G4, H6. II. [6], 110, 27 p. Collation: a4 (a4 blank and present), A-H6, I8 (I8 blank and present); a6, b-c4

First editions of these landmarks in zoology and zoological illustration. The works are illustrated with 146 fine woodcuts of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. The full-page woodcut of the rhinoceros is based on Dürer’s iconic engraving. At the end of the "De quadrupedibus oviparis” (egg-laying quadrupeds) volume is an appendix of additional material for Gessner's volume on those quadrupeds that bear live young (the subject of Vol.

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VD 16, G 1724 & 1726; Nissen, ZBI 1550-51; Wellisch A 24.1 & 29.1; PMM 77

Gessner's Encyclopedia of Birds –Bound in Contemporary Pigskin

Gessner, Conrad (1516-1565)
Vogelbuch, darinn die Art, Natur unnd Eigenschafft aller Vöglen, sampt irer waren Contrafactur angezeigt wirdt : allen Liebhabern der Künsten, Artzeten, Maleren, Goldschmiden, Bildschnitzeren, Seydenstickeren, Weydleüten unnd Köchen, nit allein lustig zu erfaren, sunder gantz nutzlich und dienstlich zebrauchen, erstlich durch Doctor Conradt Geßner in Latin beschrieben, neüwlich aber durch Rudolff Heüßlin mit Fleyß in das Teütsch gebracht unnd in eine kurtze Ordnung gestelt.

Zürich, Christoph Froschauer, 1582

$17,500.00

Folio: 37.5 x 23.5 cm. [6], CCLXI, [1] lvs. Collation: a6, A6, b-z6, A-T6, V4, X5 (final blank absent)

A fine copy of the German translation of Conrad Gessner’s landmark book of birds "De avium natura”(1555), the third published volume of his lavishly illustrated encyclopedia of animals, considered “the basis of modern zoology” (Horblit). The book was translated from the Latin by the Zurich clergyman Rudolf Huesli (or Heusslein, 1530-1600). All 217 original woodcuts were reused and supplemented with two woodcuts borrowed from Olaus Magnus’ 'Historia de gentibus septentrionalis' of 1555.

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Nissen, IVB, n°350; VD16, G 1736; Horblit, n°39 (for the first edition of Historiæ animalium, « considered the basis of modern zoology »)

Illustrated with 83 Engraved Plates. A Large Paper Copy

Grew, Nehemiah (1641-1712)
The Anatomy of Plants. With an Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants. And several other Lectures, Read before the Royal Society.

London: printed by W. Rawlins, for the Author, 1682

$15,000.00

Folio: 36 x 23 cm. [ ]4, a4, B-Z4, Aa-Ii4, Kk2, Ll-Xx4, Yy-Zz2, Aaa-Ccc2. With 83 added engraved plates. Plates 30-31 bound after 41; plates 32-33 bound after 42)

“The English botanist, physician, and microscopist, Nehemiah Greww is considered, along with the Italian microscopist Marcello Malpighi, to be among the founders of the science of plant anatomy.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

“In 1682 Grew’s magnum opus, ‘The Anatomy of Plants,’ was issued. Of the four ‘books’ of this work, the first, second, and third are second editions of ‘The Anatomy begun,’ ‘The Anatomy of Roots,’ and the ‘The Anatomy of Trunks,’ extending to 49, 46, and 44 folio pages respectively, and illustrated by four, thirteen, and twenty-three plates.

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Wing G-1945; Le Fanu, pp.98-105; Horblit 43B; Hunt 362; Nissen, BBI, 758; Hook/Norman 946; Plesch 243; Pritzel 3557; Henrey 162.

The Illustrated Catalogue of the Natural History

Jacobaeus, Oliger (1650-1701)
Muséum Regium Seu Catalogus Rerum tam naturalium, quàm artificialium, Quæ In Baslilica Bibliothecæ Augustissimi Daniæ Norvegiæq; Monarchæ Christiani Qvinti Hafniæ asservantur, Descriptus Ab Oligero Jacobæo, Me. & Phil. Prof. Regio.

Copenhagen: Joachim Schmetgen, 1696

$16,000.00

Folio: 35 x 23 cm. )(4 [includes the engraved frontispiece], )(4, A-Z4, Aa-Bb4, Cc-Dd2. With 37 added engraved plates.

The Royal Danish Kunstkammer was founded by King Frederick III in 1650 and was continued by his son, Christian V (1646-1699), to whom this book is dedicated. The Kunstkammer existed until 1825 when its collections were dispersed among the many specialized museums created around that time. This catalogue is an invaluable illustrated record of the collections as they stood in the 17th century. The author, the comparative anatomist Oliger Jacobaeus taught philosophy, history, geography and medicine at Copenhagen.

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Balsinger p.141 and 279-80; Brunet III, p. 479; Murray, II, p. 190; Nissen ZBI, 2081; Ward & Carozzi, 1676; Wilson, The History of Mineral Collecting, p. 209, only citing 18 plates. See: “Det Kongelige danske Kunstkammer 1737 = The Royal Danish Kunstkammer 1737”, Bente Gundestrup (Copenhagen: 1991)

The First Description of Kircher’s Museum With the Engraved Frontispiece Showing the Museum’s Interior - Bound with Kircher's Final Work on Mummies & Hieroglyphics

Kircher, Athanasius (1602-1680); Sepi, Georgio de (fl. 1678)
Romani Collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum Celeberrimum, Cujus magnum Antiquariae rei, statuarum, imaginum, picturarumque partem Ex Legato Alphonsi Donini, S.P.Q.R. A Secretis, munifica Liberalitate relictum. P. Athanasius Kircherus Soc. Jesu, novis & raris inventis locupletatum, compluriumque Principum curiosis donariis magno rerum apparatu instruxit BOUND WITH Sphinx Mystagoga, sive, Diatribe hieroglyphica qua mumiae, ex Mempheticis pyramidum adytis erutae & non ita pridem in Galliam transmissae, iuxta veterum hieromystarum mentem, intentionemque, plena fide & exacta exhibetur interpretatio.

Amsterdam: Jansson-Waesberg, 1678 and 1676

$22,000.00

Folio: 37 x 24.5 cm. Folio: 37 x 24.5 cm. I. *4 (*1 is the engraved title), A-I4. With an engraved title page, an added engraved portrait of Kircher, 17 engraved plates, 10 of which are folding, and 21 text engravings and woodcuts. II. II. *4, **4, A-I4, K3. With five engraved plates, two of which are double-paged, and numerous text illustrations.

I. Kircher's "Most Celebrated Museum of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus"

The only description of Kircher’s museum in the Collegio Romano as it appeared in his lifetime, with the only extant depiction of the museum in all its fantastic glory.

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DeBacker Sommervogel IV, 1076; Wellcome III, 396; Cicognara, 3399; Caillet 5784 Not in Merrill; Wm. Schupach, "Cabinets of Curiosities in Academic Institutions," in Impey/MacGregor, The Origins of Museums (Oxford 1985), pp. 174-5; J. Browne, The Secular Ark (Yale 1983); Kangro, DSB VII. II. DeBacker Sommervogel IV, 1069, no. 34; Merrill 27.

A Private 17th c. Museum annexed to Aldrovandi’s Studio, Illustrated with Numerous Woodcuts of Specimens and a folding engraved Frontispiece of the Museum’s Interior. With the FIRST PUBLISHED DESCRIPTION of the Pre-Columbian "Codex Cospi"

Legati, Lorenzo (d. 1675); Cospi, Ferdinando (1606-1683)
Mvseo Cospiano Annesso A Qvello Del Famoso Vlisse Aldrovandi E donato alla sua Patria dall' Illustrissimo Signor Ferdinando Cospi Patrizio Di Bologna E Senatore Cavaliere Commendatore di S. Stefano, Balì d’Arezzo, e March. Di Petriolo, fra Gli Accademici Gelati Il Fedele, e principe al presente de' medesimi. Descrizione Di Lorenzo Legati Cremonese Dottor Filosofo, Medico, e Pubblico Professore delle Lettere Greche in Bologna, Accademica Apatista, e Ansioso. Al Serenissimo Ferdinando III Principe di Toscana

Bologna: Per Giacomo Monti, 1677

$18,000.00

Folio: 32 x 20.8 cm. [24], 532 pp. Collation: †6, ††6, A-Z6, Aa-Vv6, Xx-Yy4. With an added, double-paged plate of the museum

The sole edition of the only illustrated catalogue of the museum of Ferdinando Cospi, annexed in 1657 to the Studio Aldrovandi, the museum and botanical garden of Ulisse Aldrovandi in Bologna. The Cospi museum occupied a large apartment with two annexes in the Palazzo Pubblico, adjacent to the Aldrovandi museum. The detailed catalogue and its illustrations - in particular, the folding frontispiece image of the museum’s interior- serve as an invaluable record of the contents and configuration of the museum prior to the redistribution of both Aldrovandi’s and Cospi’s collections in 1742.

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Cicognara 3403; Nissen, ZBI 2421; Graesse IV, 144; Balsiger, Kunst und Wunderkammern, 1970: 303-9; Cabinets de Curiosités: no. 97; Schlosser, Kunst- und Wunderkammern, 1908: 103-4; Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 40 & 165; Wunderkammer to Museum: no. 25. (Cospi). Cobres I p. 10 n. 4; Murray I p. 89; Nissen ZBI 2421. On the Codex Cospi, see Laura Laurencich Minelli, “A Note on the Mesoamerican Codex Cospi” in Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 1999, Vol 85, issue 85, pp. 375-386

The Most Influential 17th c. Text on Monsters and Deformities

Liceti, Fortunio (1577-1657)
De Monstrorum Natura, Caussis, et differentiis Libri duo. Aeneis iconibus ornate et aucti.

Padua: Apud Paulum Frambottum, 1634

$10,000.00

Quarto: 20.5 x 15.2 cm. [16], 262, [26] pp. π4, †4, A-Z4, Aa-Nn4

“One of the earliest classifications of deformities, Liceti’s work was still under review in works on malformation in the 19th century. The work includes both real and imaginary cases and accurate descriptions of cases observed in the years following the first edition.” (Garrison-Morton) “The composite beasts and monsters described in the text draw from a long tradition of written accounts of monsters and prodigies.

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Krivatsky 6958; Wellcome 3786; Garrison and Morton 534.52 (the 1616 ed.); Caillet II. 498

Catalogue of the Museo Moscardo, Profusely Illustrated with Natural History Specimens & Ethnographic artifacts. An Untrimmed Copy with Deckled Edges Throughout

Moscardo, Lodovico (ca. 1596- after 1671); Kircher, Athanasius (1602-1680)
Note Overo Memorie Del Mvseo Del Conte Lodovico Moscardo Nobile Veronese Uno De Padri Nell' Accademia Filarmonica. Dal medesimo descritte in Trè Libri. Nel primo si discorre delle cose anitche; che in detto Museo si ritrovano. Nel secondo delle Pietre, Minerali, e Terre. Nel terzo de Corali, Conchiglie, Animali, Frutti, & altre cose in quello contenute. Furono consacrate, nella prima editione alla Gloriossimo momoria [sic!] Dell'Altezza Serenissima Di Francesco Fv Duca Di Modena E Reggio Con l'aggiunta in questa Seconda Impressione della Seconda parte dello stesso Autore, accresciuta di cose spettanti particolarmente all'antichità, Con l'Indice d'uno gran parte delle sue Medagli, & Pitture, come anco delli ritratti de Prencipi, & altri Illustri huomini, così in arme, come in lettere.

Verona: 1672

$16,500.00

Folio: 31.5 x 22 cm. 2 parts in one volume, continuously paginated. Collation: [π]4 (π1 is the engraved title page), §4, A-Z4 Aa-Pp4, Qq2; Rr-Zz4 AAa-KKk4, LLl-SSs2, VVv-YYy2. Complete.

This is the second, greatly expanded edition of the Veronese Count Lodovico Moscardo’s celebrated museum of natural history specimens, archaeological remains, and ethnographic objects. The engravings and woodcuts illustrate: gems, minerals, rare earths, fossils; plant and animal specimens, including corals and shells; ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Byzantine sculpture, pottery, metal-work and other ethnographic artifacts.

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Grinke, From Wunderkammer to Museum, 23 (this edition); Balsinger, Kunst und Wunderkammern, pp. 331-42; Cicognara 3412; Dance, Shell Collecting, 39; Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 409; Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 279; Murray, Museums, 34; Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 40 & 18; ZBI, 2898; Sinkankas, Gemology, 4611; Wilson, The History of Mineral Collecting, p 218; Jahn, The Lying Stones, pp. 165-66

A Private Mineralogical Museum - With Numerous Specimens from the Americas & The Collection of Albertus Seba

MUSEUMS. CABINETS OF CURIOSITY. MINERALS. Romé de Lisle, Jean-Baptiste Louis de (1736-1790); Dávila, Pedro Francisco (1713-1785)
Catalogue systématique et raisonné des curiosités de la nature et de l’art, qui composent le cabinet de M. Davila, avec figures en taille-douce.

Paris: M. Lambert for Briasson, 1767

$9,500.00

Three tall octavo volumes: Vol I: xxxvi, 571 pages.; Vol II: vj, 656 pages; Vol III: vi, 290, 286, [1] pp. Collation: I. a-b8, c2, A-Z8, Aa-Mm8, Nn6 (plus 22 plates); II. a3, A-Z8, Aa-Ss8; III. a3, A-S8, T4, a-s8 (plus 8 plates)

First and sole edition of this comprehensive catalogue of the collection of Pedro Francisco Dávila. The Dávila catalog (as it has become known) describes 8,096 mineral specimens that encompass a large range of localities, including a suite of specimens from Potosí in Spanish America (as well as many items from Canada, Mexico, and Paraguay.

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Conlon 67:1238; Nissen (ZBI) 1050; Sinkankas 1594; Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 136-40, 166 & 209 [provides a detailed history of the collections]

The Generation of Living Things from Non-living Matter

Needham, John Turbeville (1713-1781)
New Microscopical Discoveries; containing observations, I. On the calamary... II. On the Farina foecandans of plants... III. On the pistil, uterus and stamina of several flowers... IV. On the supposed Embryo Sole found on the bodies of shrimps... V. On Eels or Worms... VI. On several other curious particulars relating to the natural history of animals, plants, &c.

London: Printed for F. Needham, 1745

$4,500.00

20 x 12 cm. pp. viii, 126, (2) adverts, 6 fine folding stipple-engraved plates by Henry Roberts.

Needham’s first book, containing some important biological discoveries. “His valuable discoveries have been somewhat overshadowed by the spontaneous generation controversy. In fact he made admirable contributions to the physiology, sexual and general, of cephalopods and cirripedes, he studied pollen grains as analogues of spermatozoa and was the first to see Brownian motion in them, and he described the horned eggs of elasmobranch fishes” (Needham, History of embryology).

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Cole Library 1491 (indicating that this issue, with the altered title and cancel title leaf, is the later of two which appeared in 1745)

An Exceptional Copy of the First Edition of Holland’s Pliny. One of the Most Important Elizabethan Science Books

Pliny, the Elder (23-79 A.D.); Holland, Philemon (1552-1637), translator
The Historie of the World. Commonly called, the Naturall Historie of C. Plinius Secundus. Translated into English by Philemon Holland Doctor in Physicke. The first [& Second] tome.

London: Impensis G. Bishop, 1601

$16,500.00

Folio: 33 x 22 cm. π6 [par.]4 a-b6 A8 B-3I6 3K4; A-3G6 3H4 3I-3O6 3P8 (lacking blank leaves π1 and 3P8) Complete in two parts; with a divisional title page to the second tome and the errata/colophon on leaf 3P7

“The ‘Natural History’ of Pliny the Elder is more than a natural history: it is an encyclopaedia of all the knowledge of the ancient world… It comprises 37 books with mathematics and physics, geography and astronomy, medicine and zoology, anthropology and physiology, philosophy and history, agriculture and mineralogy, the arts and letters… The ‘Historia’ soon became a standard book of reference; abstracts and abridgements appeared by the third century.

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Pforzheimer, 496; STC (2nd ed.), 20029

The Single most Valuable contribution to Wunderkammer Studies. The Complete 3 Volume Edition

Valentini, Michael Bernhard (1657-1729)
Museum Museorum, oder vollständige Schau-Bühne aller Materialien und Specereyen, nebst deren natürlichen Beschreibung. Aus andern Material-Kunst- und Naturalien-Kammern, Oost- und West-Indischen Reiss-Beschreibungen.

Frankfurt: heirs of Johann David Zunner and Johann Adam Jungen, 1714

$24,000.00

Folio: 3 volumes in one. 38.5 x 24 cm. With two engraved titles, 95 engraved plates, of which many double-page, 287 engravings, and 5 woodcuts in text. Collation: Vol. I: π1 (half-title), 1 (engraved t.p.), π4, )(4; ) () (2, )( )( )(2, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Ttt4, **2, A-I4, K2, π2, (A)-(P)4. Vol. II: π1 (half title), 1 (engraved t.p.), π4, )()( 6, A-Z4, Aa4, Bb2, a-o4, p2. Vol. III: π4, [A]-[Z]4, [Aa]-{Ff]4, [Gg]2, *4, **2, a6.

A complete three-volume copy of Valentini’s “Museum of museums”, a comprehensive survey of European Wunder- kunst- und Schatzkammern. “Valentini was the personal physician to the Margrave of Assia and professor of experimental science and medicine at Giessen. His 'Museum Museorum' is the single most valuable contribution to Wunderkammer studies as it reprints many early collection catalogues [many of which are completely unobtainable now] and gives a list of all the museums known to exist at the time (some 159).

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Cobres I p. 106 n. 9; Eales 1259; Ferguson II pp.493-95; Nissen BBI 2035 and ZBI 4217; Alden 714/146.