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
A Monograph of the Phasianidae or...
ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud (1835-1915)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
New York: published for the Author, -1872. 2 volumes, folio. (23 1/2 x 18 inches). 2pp. subscriber's list. 79 fine hand-colored lithographic... More
New York: published for the Author, -1872. 2 volumes, folio. (23 1/2 x 18 inches). 2pp. subscriber's list. 79 fine hand-colored lithographic plates (including 1 folding plate of feathers) after Joseph Wolf by Joseph Smit (58) or John Gerrard Keulemans (21), printed by M. & N. Hanhart and P.W.M. Trap, coloured by J.D. White, 2 uncolored lithographic plates by and after Smit, on India paper mounted. (Expert neat repairs to titles, the lower margin of the folding plate of feathers, and the text leaf in vol. II describing the Lady Amherst's pheasant). Contemporary red morocco gilt by Bickers & Son, covers with elaborate gilt border composed from fillets, decorative rolls and stylized foliage tools at cornerpieces, spines in seven compartments with double raised bands, lettered in the second and fourth, the others with overall decoration of massed small tools, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, g.e. The most splendid of Elliot's great monographs, and a rare American publication of this elegant class of books. Issued in 6 parts between June 1870 and October 1872, A Monograph of the Phasianidae is described by Sitwell as "the equal in every way to any work by Gould." The magnificent size and beautiful coloring of the plates after Joseph Wolf's drawings reflect the importance which Elliot attached to the Phasianidae. Of all the families in the ornithological system, he regarded it as the one most vital to the human race, "containing within it the species that afford food for thousands of mankind, and also those which are the original source of all the domestic poultry met with throughout the civilized world." He generously dedicated the work "To my friend Joseph Wolf", calling his "unrivalled talent...its chief attraction." Anker 130; Fine Birds Books (1990), p. 95; T. Keulemans & J. Coldewey Feathers to brush... John Gerrard Keulemans 1982, p.61; Nissen IVB 295; Wood p. 331; Zimmer p. 206. Less
Price: 160000.00 USD
New Englands Prospect. A true lively,...
WOOD, William (1580-1639)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close... More
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close shaved to margins with two old neat repairs to verso, upper margins shaved touching headlines and occasional page number, neatly repaired wormtrack through outer blank margins of title and text leaves to C4). Twentieth century crimson morocco gilt bound for Myers & Co. of London, spine in three compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second compartment, gilt turn-ins. Black morocco backed slipcase. The rare second edition of Wood's 'New England's Prospect', with the very rare map: one of the classic works on early New England, important for descriptions of the land, natives, and of course its handsome map. The first edition of this remarkably accurate work was published in 1634. According to Vail it includes the earliest topographical description of the Massachusetts colony. It is also the first detailed account of the animals and plants of New England, as well as the Indian tribes of the region. Of particular note is a chapter describing the customs and work of Indian women. Part One is divided into twelve chapters and is devoted to the climate, landscape, and early settlements, and describes in some detail the native trees, plants, fish game and mineral ores, as well as including advice to those thinking of crossing the Atlantic. The early settlements described include: Boston, Medford, Marblehead, Dorchester, Roxbury, Medford, Watertown, New and Old Plymouth. These chapters also include four charming verses which are essentially a series of lists naming the native trees (20 lines, starting 'Trees both in hills and plaines, in plenty be, /The long liv'd Oake, and mournfull Cyprus tree/ ... '), the animals (12 lines, starting 'The kingly Lyon, and the strong arm'd Beare, / The large lim'd Mooses, with the tripping Deare, / ...'), the birds (28 lines, starting 'The Princely Eagle, and the soaring Hawke, / Whom in their unknowne wayes there's none can chawke: / The Humberd for some Queenes rich Cage more fit, / Than in the vacant Wildernesse to sit, / ... '), and the inhabitants of the seas and rivers (28 lines, starting 'The king of waters, the Sea shouldering Whale, / ... '). The chapter on the birds also includes what are clearly eye-witness descriptions of a number of birds including the Humming-Bird and the Passenger Pigeon. Part Two is devoted to the native inhabitants, and is divided into twenty chapters. The tribes described are the 'Mohawks', 'Connectecuts,' 'Pequants and Narragansetts.' Again Wood goes into some detail describing the clothing, sports, wars, games, methods of hunting and fishing, their arts, and ending with their language: the work ends with a five-page vocabulary of Indian words, one of the earliest published for New England. The map, which is often lacking, is here in a crisp, clean example. It is one of the most important early New England maps. It shows most of the New England coast north of Narragansett Bay. Philip Burden praises the map: `Although simply made, this map is of greater accuracy than any before it. Covering the area from the Pascataque River, in present day New Hampshire, to Narragansett Bay, it is, however, the Massachusetts Bay area that is shown with the most detail ...Wood's map was not improved upon until the John Foster map in 1677.' `Little is known of the author. The dedication to Sir William Armine, Bart., of Lincolnshire, may indicate that Wood was also from there. He was resident in New England, perhaps primarily in Lynn, from 1629 to 1633, when he returned to London to publish his book. He may have returned to New England afterward. The General Court of Massachusetts Bay voted thanks to him on the appearance of New England's Prospect. The exceptional charm and vivacity of Wood's writing, including flights of verse, is widely acknowledged.' (Siebert Sale). Burden 239 (map, state 2); Church 433; European Americana 635/134; JCB (3)II:258; Pilling Algonquin p.535; Pilling Proof-Sheets 4199; Sabin 105075; Siebert Sale 96; STC 25958; Vail 89 Less
Price: 75000.00 USD