Rare Book Gallery
Discours Admirables, de la Nature des...
Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.
8 p.l., 361,  pp. Small 8vo, cont. flexible vellum, ties gone. Paris: Martin le Jeune, 1580. First edition, and a splendid pure copy in its... More
8 p.l., 361,  pp. Small 8vo, cont. flexible vellum, ties gone. Paris: Martin le Jeune, 1580. First edition, and a splendid pure copy in its first binding, of a rare and important book in the history of chemistry, hydrology, geology, agriculture, etc., etc. Palissy (ca. 1509-89), who is best known for his discovery of the secret of enamelling pottery, was far in advance of his time in scientific ideas. The "Discours admirables, probably incorporates Palissy's Paris lectures. It...deals with an impressive array of subjects: agriculture, alchemy, botany, ceramics, embalming, engineering, geology, hydrology, medicine, metallurgy, meteorology, mineralogy, paleontology, philosophy, physics, toxicology, and zoology. The book is divided into several chapters, the first and longest of which is concerned with water. The others take up metals and their nature and generation; drugs; ice; different types of salts and their nature, effects, and methods of generation; characteristics of common and precious stones; clay and marl; and the potter's art... "Palissy's views on hydrology and paleontology, as expressed in the Discours, are of particular interest. He was one of the few men of his century to have a correct notion of the origins of rivers and streams, and he stated it forcefully, denying categorically that rivers can have any source other than rainfall... "Palissy discussed fossils extensively...[He] held other advanced views. From experimentation he concluded that all minerals with geometric crystal forms must have crystallized in water; his classification of salts was nearly correct; and he suggested the concept of superposition for the development of sedimentary rocks... "Palissy was probably one of the first men in France to teach natural sciences from facts, specimens and demonstrations rather than hypotheses."-D.S.B., X, pp. 280-81. In the eighth section, Palissy investigated the hardness and properties of gems and precious stones. The Discours was written in the form of a dialogue between "Theory" and "Practice" and it is always "Practice" that instructs "Theory." A fine copy in its first binding, preserved in a box. Contemporary signature on title of "G. Passart" (maybe) and with a number of knowledgeable contemporary notes in many margins. This book is extremely rare; Ferguson acquired his copy, now in the University of Glasgow, after years of searching and has written on the flyleaf: "At last, after long, long waiting and watching." It is one of the very few books in Denis Duveen's collection of which he reproduced the title-page in his Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica. ❧ Adams, The Birth and Development of the Geological Sciences, pp. 90, 261, & 446-48. Brunet, IV, 319-20 & Suppl., II, 133-"une pi? aussi int?ssante que rare." Duveen, p. 446-"A book of great importance in the history of chemistry and science generally." Geikie, The Founders of Geology, pp. 104 & 118. Hoover 621. Partington, II, pp. 69-77. Zittel, pp. 18 & 132. . Less
Price: 75000.00 USD
An album of original watercolour...
GREIN (artist, Dutch/Flemish school, 17th century)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown... More
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown watermark, each watercolour titled in ink below image, the first watercolour signed "Grein" at the lower right. Contemporary vellum over pasteboard, contained in a modern dark green morocco box, the covers with gilt-ruled borders, the spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with elaborate repeat pattern made up from flower-sprays and various small tools. A spectacular album containing finely-executed images on vellum of all the greatest 17th century varieties of tulips: a landmark in the history of botanical art in the Low Countries, and a unique record of the bulbs that inspired the speculative financial-madness called Tulipomania. The tulip, introduced to Europe in the middle of the sixteenth century from the Ottoman Empire, experienced a strong growth in popularity boosted by competition among the wealthy for possession of the rarest varieties. The tulip rapidly became a coveted luxury item, appearing in main-stream art as a symbol of wealth and as a decorative motif on ceramics and textiles. Special varieties were given exotic names or named after popular figures of the time: generals, admirals, etc. The most spectacular and highly sought-after tulips were the so-called "broken" varieties. These had two or more vivid colours: often a base colour of white or cream with red lines, or flames to the petals. The present album is devoted exclusively to these most expensive varieties. Tulipomania eventually reached a level where fantastic, unsustainable prices were being paid for individual bulbs. In 1637, the bubble burst and the over-heated market collapsed. For some years after this, the tulip's popularity remained at a low level but by the time the present album was produced its unique beauty was beginning once again to be appreciated. Tulip albums were produced for two principle reasons. First, as a selling tool for the bulb dealers: accurate images of what the bulbs they were offering were going to look like were obviously vital and the high prices of the tulipomania era set a precedent of employing artists of a very high quality to record the colours and details of the bulbs. These albums are almost exclusively made up of drawings on paper. One of the best known examples of this type of album is probably the 1637 tulip book of P. Cos, a nurseryman from Haarlem, Holland (now in the collection of the Wageningen Universiteit en Researchcentrum). Second, albums were produced as a collective record of the ephemeral beauty of the blooms grown by individuals, either professional growers or wealthy amateurs. The present album probably falls into this latter category: the original presentation of this album is on a much more luxurious scale than trade albums. The most obvious sign of this is the fact that each of the drawings is on vellum. Vellum, especially the prepared vellum used for the present album, was an expensive luxury material and an indicator that the drawings were commissioned by a wealthy individual (in France, for instance, King Louis XIV had all his botanical drawings executed on vellum: the so-called "velins du Roi"). Tulip albums, whatever their origin, are now very rare: according to Sam Segal (a world-renowned expert on tulips and the author of "Tulips in Visual Art",) there are now only about 50 of these albums extant. This includes albums with drawings on paper and also 18th century albums; thus, the actual number of seventeenth century albums with drawings on vellum is almost certainly no more than a handful. Most albums are in institutional collections, so the present album may well be the final example offered on the open market. Sam Segal offered the following information about the present album: the artist "Grein" is an unrecorded artist, but his name "is a Dutch name known since the early seventeenth century." The paper used for the interleaves is watermarked with a horn and crown, similar to paper known to have been made in Amsterdam and Leiden from 1665. The tulip types are from this period as well, before a relative great change in form and size during the eighteenth century. The flowers themselves carry names that "are known from the 1630s and 1640s, the period of and directly after the tulipomania ...they include the very expensive types of that period, like the 'Semper Augustus' and 'Viceroy.' As in many tulip books meant as a catalogue of a seller of bulbs, the illustrations show many related types. That might mean that they are tulips from one nursery or one collection from which the owner gave an order to the artist to paint his collection. The names of some of the tulips could point to a possible commissioner of the album, like 'General Doriszlav' and 'Grootvorst van Moscovicz.'" Dash,Tulipomania , London, 1999; Goldgar,Tulipomania , Chicago, 2007; Pavord,The Tulip,London, 1999; van der Goes (editor) Tulipomanie, Zwolle/Dresden, 2004; Wijnands,Tulips portrayed, Wageningen, 1987. Less
Price: 225000.00 USD
AMERICA: BEING THE LATEST, AND MOST...
Ogilby, John [trans. & pub.]: [Montanus, Arnoldus]:
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
London: Printed by the Author, 1671.. Engraved frontispiece, thirty-seve plates (six portraits, thirty-one views and plans [two of these folding,... More
London: Printed by the Author, 1671.. Engraved frontispiece, thirty-seve plates (six portraits, thirty-one views and plans [two of these folding, twenty-nine double- page]), nineteen maps (two folding, seventeen double-page), sixty-six engraved illustrations. Ruled in red throughout, title printed in red and black. Folio. Contemporary English paneled calf gilt, covers with paneling tooled with fillets and roll tools, the inner panels with lozenge-shaped stylized floral-spray tools, expertly repaired, the spine in seven compartments with raised bands, green morocco lettering-pieces in the second and third compartments lettered in gilt, edges stained in gilt. Portrait facing p.60 expertly remargined, some small neat repairs to margins and folds. Very good. In a tan morocco-backed cloth box, lettered in gilt on spine. A very fine large copy of Ogilby's first edition of this important work, here ruled in red for presentation and including the rare Lords Proprietors map of Carolina. The binding, the size and the rubrication of this copy of Ogilby's most important publication all suggest that this copy was prepared for presentation. The ruling in red of a book (an essential part of manuscript production in the middle ages) had come to be a costly extra process by the second half of the 17th century, and one that was reserved for copies of books that were intended for presentation. The McGill University copy of Francis Willughby's ORNITHOLOGY (published in 1678) was edited by John Ray and presented by him to Samuel Pepys (probably when he was President of the Royal Society) - it is ruled in red. From the spine labels on the present volume which are lettered "Ogilby's / Atlas / Vol.3. / America" it is clear that this copy formed part of a collection of works published by Ogilby, that were placed under the general title of "Ogilby's Atlas" by the 18th-century owner and would probably have included his volumes on Africa, Asia, China and Japan. The present copy is also unusual in that it contains the so-called Lords Proprietors map "A New Discription [sic] of Carolina By Order of the Lords Proprietors" - a map that was commissioned by Ogilby for this work, but which was not included in the earlier issues of the book as it was apparently not available until, at the earliest, 1672 and possibly as late as 1675. The present copy is the second issue of the first edition and is complete. Our definition of the first three issues of the first edition is as follows: 1) dated 1671, with both the "Arx Carolina" plate and the "Virginia pars australis..." map, without the "Carolina" map, possibly without the "Barbados" map, and with the plate list including the "Arx…" and "Virginia...," but not the "Carolina" or "Barbados." 2) dated 1671, with the "Carolina..." map replacing both the "Arx..." plate and the "Virginia..." map. The "Barbados" map is included, but the plate list still includes the "Arx…" and "Virginia...," but not the "Carolina" or "Barbados." 3) dated 1671, with the "Carolina..." map replacing both the "Arx..." plate and the "Virginia..." map. The "Barbados" map is include, and the plate list has been removed and substituted by a reset cancel that no longer includes either the "Arx…" or the "Virginia...," but probably still does not include the "Carolina" or "Barbados." These definitions are somewhat at variance with Cumming GEOGRAPHICAL MISCONCEPTIONS, Baer MARYLAND and EUROPEAN AMERICANA - but they all contradict each other to some degree as well, and none of them agree with either Sabin or Borba de Moraes. The work is an English translation of Arnold Montanus' DE NIEUWE EN ONBEKENDE WEERELD, but with a number of additions concerning New England, New France, Maryland and Virginia. The work is divided into three books or sections and an appendix: the first gives an overall survey of the most important voyages and expeditions to the Americas; the second book offers a description of Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda, and North America; the third deals with South America and the appendix includes a miscellany of information including notes on the "Unknown South-Land," the "Arctick Region," and the search for the northwest passage. ARENTS 315A. BAER MARYLAND 70A-C (ref). BORBA DE MORAES, p.626 (ref). CHURCH 613. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 671/204-207 (ref). JCB III:227-228. SABIN 50089. STOKES VI, p.262 (ref). K.S. van Eerde, JOHN OGILBY AND THE TATE OF HIS TIMES, p.107. WING O-165. Carolina map: CUMMING SOUTHEAST IN EARLY MAPS 70. DEGREES OF LATITUDE 13. Less
Price: 95000.00 USD