Description du premier voyage faict aux Indes Orientales par les François en l¿An 1603. [including separate title pages for the Description et Remarque de quelques animaux, episceries, drogues¿ and the Traicte du Scurbut].François Martin, de VITRÉ (4) ff., 134 (i.e. 131) pp. Bound in contemporary vellum, housed in modern book box. Signature I misbound. Impeccable copy, excellent. Extremely rare first edition of the first French account of the East Indies to appear in print (cf. Lach & van Kley, III: 373), here in an impeccable copy bound in early vellum. The work is that of the French adventurer François Martin de Vitré (c. 1575-c. 1631), who, upon his return to Brittany from the East Indies in 1603, prepared this lively account at the behest of King Henry IV (1553-1610). Martin¿s narrative inspired Henry in 1604 to establish the first iteration of the French East India Company (Compagnie des Indes Orientales) with designs on exploiting the treasures described in the present work (cf. Lombard, ¿Martin de Vitré, Premier Breton à Aceh¿). Likely enlisted as ship¿s surgeon aboard the Croissant, François Martin of Vitré, along with several companions from Saint-Malo and Laval, sailed from Britanny in 1601, rounding the Cape of Good Hope in May of that year. The Croissant¿s companion ship, the Corbin, wrecked in the Maldives, but Martin eventually succeeded in reaching Ceylon and trading with the Aceh in Sumatra. Upon his return journey he was captured by the Dutch at Cape Finisterre but finally returned to France in 1603. In his preface Martin summarizes the European powers¿ incursions in the East and laments the tardiness of the French to exploit the region¿s riches: ¿This has made me deplore the defect of the French, who more than any other nation are provided with a vivacity of spirit and a formidable worthiness, but who have nevertheless languished for so long in a slumber of idleness, ignoring information on the treasures of the East Indies with which the Portuguese and Spanish have enriched themselves¿ (p. 3). In the first two sections of the work Martin gives ample space to the discussion of flora, fauna, and commercial matters relevant the regions he visits (aromatic plants, spices, crops, the elephant, rhinoceros and tiger, the crocodile, tortoise and bird of paradise, livestock, the hunt, woods, weights and measures, currency, etc.), but he also includes a great deal of anthropological detail. Evidently the stereotypical red-blooded Breton seafarer, Martin, in his chapter on the ¿habits and customs we observed during our stay in the Indies¿ (pp. 38-66) dwells mainly on women ¿ the prostitution of premarital women, their perfumes, their bathing rituals, their medicines, and their punishment for adultery. He also notes gestures of salutation (two hands together before one¿s forehead), marriage customs (¿they can marry seven wives if they have the means to support them¿), and gives detailed reports on the traditions and inner workings of both Hinduism and Islam. He notes Turkish merchants to be frequent visitors to these lands, and writes of seeing a cannon of Chinese manufacture. Martin¿s intriguing 4-page dictionary of words useful for the traveler includes a section on counting in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar. The volume also contains a brief but significant ¿dictionary¿ of the Malay language, described here as ¿Elegant and easy to learn, like Latin¿ (¿fort beau & facile a aprendre ¿ comme le latin en leurope¿). Finally, in his presumed role as ship¿s surgeon, Martin penned a third section treating scurvy, recommending among other cures the use of citrus fruits and an aqueous preparation of alum. OCLC lists only two U.S. copies of this 1604 first edition: NYPL and the Minnesota¿s Bell Library (lacking 2 prelims). The work was reprinted in 1609, and of this second edition OCLC locates U.S. copies only at Harvard and the Boston Athenaeum. * Atkinson 444; Brunet, Supl. I, 920 (citing only the second edition); cf. also Denys Lombard, ¿Martin de Vitré. Premier Breton à Aceh (1601-1603),¿ Archipel 54: 3-12 (1997).
Astronomicarum Institutionum Libri III. Quibus doctrinae sphaericae elementa methodo nova, facili, & ad captum Tyronum aptissima traduntur.NAIBOD, Valentin / [NABOD] (8), 192 ff., with numerous textual woodcut illustrations. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine. Minor rubbing to binding, some wrinkling to spine. Minor browning in some quires, some minor marginal worming not affecting text, a few contemporary inscriptions in the text. Generally very good. Very rare first edition, second issue of this understudied work, ¿apparently the earliest Italian imprint to depict and discuss the Copernican system¿ (Gingerich) by the Cologne-born Professor of Mathematics at Padua. The work includes a printed diagram of the geo-heliocentric system of Martianus Capella (41r) as well as a diagram and exposition of the Copernican system (leaf 41v). The work is included in the Galileo bibliography of Cinti (no. 5) owing to the Copernican diagram. Cinti does not comment further than this, but it is interesting to speculate that the young Galileo (b. 1564), whether as a student at Pisa or a lecturer at Padua, may have encountered the Copernican hypothesis in the present work. It is not surprising that the exegesis of Copernicus would come relatively late to Catholic Italy in comparison to Protestant, German speaking countries, in light of both the establishment of the Index of Prohibited Books (1559) and the widespread efforts of the Counter-Reformation to insure doctrinal conformity in printed books. That it passed the watchful eye of the censor at all is probably due to its appearance in an unassuming astronomy primer and the somewhat hypothetical manner in which the theory is expressed. Although the impact of Naibod¿s work in Italy is difficult to assess, it is positively known that a copy of the first issue was owned by Tycho Brahe, still extant in the Clementinum in Prague, and it has been argued by the historian of astronomy Robert Westman that Tycho¿s encounter with the geo-heliocentric diagram of Martianus influenced the development of the Tychonic system. It also has been suggested that the Tycho assistant Paul Wittich was familiar with this work, and that the concept of ¿world system¿ (systema mundi) employed by Kepler, Tycho and Galileo originated with the present work. ¿In his elementary textbook of astronomy Valentin Nabod gave the system of Martianus Capella in which Mercury and Venus revolve about the sun. He added that Copernicus had taken occasion from this to make Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, and indeed everything included within the sphere of the moon, revolve about the sun as center of the universe, while the sun and fixed stars remain unmoved. Copernicus had thus ¿with so small a number of spheres¿ saved all the phenomena through the ages, as no one before him had done, with the greatest praise and admiration of the learned. Nabod then presented a figure of the Copernican system, which, as we have seen, was an unusual thing to do in an elementary textbook. He remarked that no one should be greatly offended by the movement of the earth and quiet of the sun. If, however, anyone preferred to consider the earth at rest and the sun as in motion, he could reach the same results by practically the same demonstrations, as was understood by all who knew anything about mathematics¿ (Thorndike, VI.40). Naibod (d. 1593) matriculated at Wittenberg in 1544, one year after the publication of De Revolutionibus, when the faculty included such important Copernicans as Reinhold and Melanchthon. He also wrote commentaries on the astrologer Alcabitius and on the Sphere of Sacrobosco. He acquired a certain amount of fame in the astrological literature of his own time for the rare feat of successfully predicting the day of his own death (see Thorndike VI.121). OCLC lists Huntington (Dibner), CIT, Harvard, University of Michigan, American University and University of Oklahoma. No American copy of Primarum de coelo (Venice 1573), though OCLC lists 4/5 German/Swiss copies. Cinti 5; not in Riccardi and no mention in Rose, The Italian Renaissance of Mathematics; Weil Cat.29.39 (c. 1950); Thornd
BARBÉ, Jean-Baptiste / VAN LOON, Theodoor Single-sided engravings, (1) engraved title, (20) engravings. Unbound, fixed with small staples at top edge. Minor marginal handsoiling and spotting, small marginal holes to a few leaves, minor edge wear, light browning to a few leaves. Generally very good. Very rare first edition of a set of engravings by the Antwerp printmaker Jean-Baptiste Barbé (1578-1649) after the designs of Theodoor van Loon (c.1581-1649), a Flemish painter noted as an early stylistic follower of Caravaggio (1571-1610). The work presents bust-length portraits of the Holy Family, the Four Evangelists, and the Twelve Apostles, each set within a fancifully designed sculptural frame, with the wording of the collection¿s title ¿ Icons with their Frames (¿parergis¿)¿ emphasizing the importance of the relationship between painted image and its enclosing frame. While the strong shading of some plates recalls Caravaggio¿s tenebrism, facial types, which gaze sweetly into the distance, are perhaps more indebted to those of Guido Reni (1575-1642), who was working in Rome and at the height of his popularity around the time these engravings were produced. Each ¿icon¿ is depicted with his attribute or an instrument of martyrdom (e.g., Peter¿s keys, Luke¿s ox, Andrew¿s cross), and the frames often echo these iconographic connections (e.g., herms flanking the portrait of James the Major are dressed as pilgrims). The emphasis on framing devices here is likely related to the rise in an interest in Christian archeology that began around 1600 and greatly influenced the way venerable images were treated in the remodeling of major churches and their altarpieces: For example, Theodoor van Loon certainly would have known his countryman and exact contemporary Peter Paul Rubens¿ (1577-1640) early Roman commission to enclose the ancient Santa Maria in Vallicella icon at Chiesa Nuova in an elaborate, pictorial altar frame (1606-08). This suite of engravings by Barbé should not, therefore, be seen only as a collection of images suitable for personal devotion, but also as a thoughtful visual treatise concerning the way artists were asked to confront and re-present early Christian art and iconography in the first half of the seventeenth century. Interestingly, these engravings are prominently dedicated on their title page to Wenceslas Cobergher (1560-1634), a painter, architect, engineer, theorist of institutional pawn shops (monti di pietà), numismatist, and collaborator of van Loon who was deeply interested in Roman and early Christian antiquities and their use by contemporary artists. * Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish, vol. 1, p. 100, nos. 45-64; M. Funck, Livres belge à gravures, p. 356; I. Baldriga, et al., Theodoor van Loon: ¿Pictor ingenius¿ et contemporain de Rubens, 2011; T. Meganack, De kerkelijke architectuur van Vensel Cobergher in het light van zijn verblijf te Rome, 1998. OCLC and KVK locate copies at the National Gallery (D.C.), Clark Art Institute, BnF, and Vlaamse Erfgedbibliotheek (Antwerp).
In Novum Testamentum ab eodem denuo recognitum, annotationes, ingenti nuper accessione per autorem locupletatae.ERASMUS, Desiderio / [MÜNSTER, Sebastian] 576 pp., lacking final two leaves Bb vii-viii (address to readers, errata, index ternionum, and printer¿s device). Handsome woodcut title page given to Ambrosius Holbein, woodcut initials throughout. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, somewhat rubbed, some wormholing, chipping on spine, clasps missing, raised bands, remnants of vellum manuscript pastedown inside back cover. Some page toning and waterstaining, occasional marginal chipping and small tears not affecting legibility of annotations. First collected edition of Erasmus of Rotterdam¿s annotations to his Greek New Testament, containing manuscript marginalia derived from the polymath Sebastian Münster¿s Hebrew translation of the Gospel of Matthew. The volume recalls the importance of Hebrew studies among Renaissance humanists and serves as a fascinating reminder of the double role played by Jewish language and culture during the Protestant Reformation. Fervent Reformers examined Jewish antiquities both to equip themselves better in arguments with contemporary rabbis and to understand more clearly the original Hebrew texts that lay behind the Latin Vulgate defended by so fiercely by sixteenth-century Catholics. In a precise sixteenth-century humanist hand, an unidentified scholar painstakingly copied out the Latin/Hebrew commentary from Münster¿s Evangelium secundum Matthaeum in lingua Hebreica (Basel, Henricus Petrus, 1537) into his Erasmus. This contemporary scholiast shows some facility with Hebrew, fluidly reproducing the language¿s difficult characters (but rarely quoting longer Hebrew passages in their entirety). The Book of Matthew was a natural point of focus for Christian Hebraists: Early church authorities, including Jerome, held that Matthew¿s gospel had originally been composed in Hebrew, not Greek, and so humanists asserted that a proper reexamination of the text must account for the peculiarities of the ancient Jewish language. (At one point, as if to hearten himself about the importance of his Hebrew labors, our unidentified annotator notes that even Erasmus confirms the patristic opinions concerning Matthew¿s textual origins.) Modern scholars agree: ¿High Renaissance humanists like Erasmus found it second nature to argue that one must study texts in their original languages, including Hebrew¿ (A. Grafton, p. 100). Nor was word-for-word copying considered a rote or passive activity at that time. Anthony Grafton stresses the importance of ¿copying as a tool of scholarship,¿ noting that Isaac Casaubon (d. 1614) copied out the Hebrew book of Esther in emulation of Demosthenes, who was said to have copied the histories of Thucydides eight (!) times. ¿[Joseph] Scaliger [d. 1606] did the same, starting ¿ as many did ¿ with the medieval Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew, part of a commentary on which he copied out in his own hand¿ (A. Grafton, p. 103). Our anonymous sixteenth-century scholar formed part of this intellectual milieu. The purpose of Münster¿s project, though, was more than philological. Having worked with Jews and having studied with the scholar-poet Elia Levita (d. 1549), he sought to directly counter contemporary Jewish misunderstanding about Christianity by writing to rabbis in their own literary language and by reworking the misleading Hebrew translation of Matthew then current, a now lost text associated with Spanish scholar Shem-Tov Ibn Shaprut (c. 1380). In his manuscript copy the anonymous annotator of this volume omitted both Münster¿s direct Hebrew address to contemporary Jews and Münster¿s Hebrew edition of Matthew, focusing instead on Münster¿s rich philological notes and keying them to the appropriate passages in Erasmus. *VD16 E 3093; Adams E 887; Anthony Grafton, ¿The Jewish Book in Christian Europe: Material Texts and Religious Encounters.¿ Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity.
[TRADE] / [2 INSURANCE POLICIES] / [MARTINIQUE] Two folio bifolia [43.1 x 27.7 cm], each with letterpress text, woodcuts, and manuscript text on the first leaf. Retaining deckle edge on all sides, folded and annotated as typical of such documents, one of the documents a bit weak at the folds, otherwise very well preserved. Two rare folio-size maritime insurance policies from 1770s Marseille relating to mercantile voyages to France's American colonies in the Caribbean, and valuable witnesses to the more practical, bureaucratic aspects of maritime trade in late 18th-century France. Each document is illustrated with the three large woodcut seals of the city and carries in letterpress the standard legal formulas particular to Marseille, as well as extensive manuscript notes and signatures completing the policy. The earlier of the two policies, signed in May of 1774, relates to the vessel La Gentille, likely the frigate later recorded as having taken part in the 1780 Battle of Martinique, a stalemate between the French and British navies during the American War of Independence. The second policy, signed on 3 November 1777, concerns the Bon Pasteur, a ship under the command of captain Pierre Antoine Massier. Historical records show that this policy was nearly redeemed: Returning from Martinique in late December, the Bon Pasteur was fired upon by the British frigate Westmoreland off the coast of Cabo de Gata in Spain, boarded by six men (each armed with a brace of pistols and a saber), and Captain Massier roughly handled. The English suspected that the Bon Pasteur was not carrying goods from Martinique, but from New England (tobacco, rice), which would have been in violation of the protectionist economic policies common in both the French and British colonies in the Americas. After several sailors aboard the Bon Pasteur were thoroughly questioned, the ship was sent on its way (and its insurers in Marseille breathed a sigh of relief). OCLC does not locate any institutional copies of Marseille policies of this sort. * B.-M. Emerigon and P. S. Boulay-Paty, Traité des assurances et de contrats à la grosse, vol. 1, pp. 54-5; Bulletin de la Socété archéologique, historique et artistique, vol. 3, pp. 277-8; Observations sur le Mémoire justificatif de la cour de Londres (1780), pp. 12-3.
FAULHABER, Johann 38 pp., (1) f. integral blank, (3) folding plates, with engraved title, half-page engraved arms at dedication, and three engravings lettered A-C in the text (first two being half-page and the third full-page). Quarter bound in modern tan calf and pasteboards, title gold tooled on spine, red sprinkled edges. Very minor rubbing to binding. Small printer's crease to corner of title, some dampstaining at pp. 19-33, an occasional minor spot in the margin, small tear where third plate connects to binding. Overall excellent. Rare first edition of this illustrated treatise on instrument making by the Ulm mathematician and military architect Johann Faulhaber (1580-1635), a work principally important in the history of science and technology for its engraved technical illustrations of Galileo Galilei's (1564-1624) famous 'proportional compass' - the first such illustrations to appear in print - and for its revealing anecdote of how Faulhaber came to learn of the instrument and of its inventor, "Gallileus de Gallilei Professor zu Padua." This device - more usefully described as 'Galileo's Sector' to distinguish it from the various 'compasses' which appeared in the late sixteenth century - has been called the forerunner of the pocket computer, and so revolutionary was its utility that it "suddenly made it possible for nearly everyone to deal effectively with almost any [mathematical] problem arising in practical matters by following rather simple instructions" (Drake, p. 10). Galileo invented his remarkably useful instrument around 1596, calling it the geometrical and military compass. The device bears nine sets of lines or scales for calculating square and cube roots, determining interest rates, making monetary exchanges, squaring the circle, performing trigonometric calculations for surveying, and determining specific weights of metals and stones (essential for artillery). Galileo first described this instrument in 1606 in a privately printed user's guide La Operazione del Compasso. (printed in only 60 copies in his house) to accompany the instrument but without illustrating it so as to minimize the risk of piracy, a serious and chronic problem for him at the time. In the present work, Faulhaber explicitly credits Galileo with being the instrument's first inventor ("and not I"), and illustrates the two sides of the proportional compass for the first time in print, on separate folding plates, with his calibrations stressing its mercantile qualities with adjustments for the measuring standards of Ulm. He includes a summary of the instrument's wider uses and marvels at its flexibility, noting that his good friend, the excellent painter Georg Brentel of Lauingen (1581-1634) has already devised a way to use it for recalibrating sundials (Brentel would publish on Galileo's invention in 1614). The Galileo scholar Stillman Drake tells us that Faulhaber's text relates (p. 27) "that his acquaintance with [the instrument] dated from a visit paid to him (probably in 1603) by Mathias Bernegger en route from Austria to Strasburg. Faulhaber had recognized the value of the instrument, although he considered some of its scales less useful than others that he put in their places. He said further that before publishing he had made careful inquiries to determine the name of the original inventor and had learned that this was Galileo Galilei, professor of mathematics at Padua. Because Bernegger seems never to have visited Italy, it is probable that he had seen the silver example of the instrument sent by Galileo to the Archduke of Austria and in that way knew of its inventor. Faulhaber's inquiries were probably made because of other claimants who appeared in the meanwhile" (S. Drake, p. 26), professing to be the author and/or maker of Galileo's remarkable device.
Histoire de la maladie singuliere, et du l’examen du cadaver d’une femme, devenue en peu de tems toute contrafaie par un ramollissement général des os.MORAND, Jean-François-Clément 112 pp., (1) f., with (1) folding woodcut, woodcut headpieces. [bound with:] SAILLANT, Charles-Jacques. Mémoire historique sur la maladie singulière de la veuve Mélin, dit la femme aux ongles. Paris, chez Méquignon l'aîne, 1776. 8vo, (2) ff., 45 pp., (1) p. blank verso [bound with:] DESMARS, J.-T. Lettre à M*** sur la mortalité des chiens, dans l'anné 1763. Amsterdam and Paris, chez la Veuve de D. Ant. Pierres, 1764. 8vo, 40 pp. Bound in contemporary marble-painted calf, spine with title label and gold tooled in six compartments, triple-ruled gold borders on covers, marbled endpapers, marbled edges. Upper cover tender, headband loosening, minor edge wear. Free flyleaves browned, occasional minor spotting, otherwise internally excellent. Sammelband of three rare first editions concerning unusual cases of human and animal disease in 18th-century France. In the first work, the celebrated surgeon J.-F.-C. Morand (1726-84) provides the case history of Anne-Élisabeth Supiot's debilitating bone disease from the onset of her symptoms in 1747 to her death in 1751. The tract includes Morand's post mortem autopsy and a folding woodcut illustrating Supiot's (horrifically contorted) body. The second title treats the case of the widow Mélin - the so-called 'Woman with Claws' - who suffered from an acute skin condition. The cleric and physician C.-J. Saillant (1747-1804) describes in detail the woman's various deformities and notes that when she died at age 47 (after having not slept for 3 years), her corpse was dissected and the skeleton along with a preserved arm were given to the Physician's College in Paris. The third tract included here treats not human disease, but the notorious 1763 pandemic of canine distemper, which affected dogs and other species across Europe. These three serious (if somewhat sensational) scientific works, here collected together in a handsome contemporary binding, make for an odd juxtaposition and highlight how fluid the boundaries of medical practice and inquiry remained in the eighteenth-century. OCLC locates copies of these tracts at the following U.S. institutions: Morand: Columbia, Stanford, Yale, Chicago, Harvard, National Library of Medicine, Minnesota, Duke, Rochester Medical. Saillant: No U.S. copy Desmars: No U.S. copy * Waller 6658; Blake 311; Wellcome IV, 169; Conlon 52, 898; Barbier, Ouvrages anonymes, vol. 3, col. 137; The Critical Review, vol. 52 (1781), pp. 63-4.
HUSWIRT, Johannes (20) ff. Bound in early pasteboards, bookplate of Robert John Verney, Lord Willoughby de Broke (1809-62) inside upper cover. Some staining to boards. Contemporary annotations on title page and final page, restoration to bottom corner or title page not affecting text. Rare 1504 second edition (first in 1501) of this early computational handbook, the Enchiridion novus Algorismi of Johannes Huswirth, one of the earliest books on the Arabic system of numerals printed in Germany (see De Morgan, p. 4), containing the rules of the numerical operations and including the first commercial computing rules. The scarcity of early editions (a third was printed in 1507) of this text is perhaps due to its frequent use in calculation - the Greek 'enchiridion' means 'that which stays in the hand' - and indeed the book might even be considered an early form of portable calculator. "This is the earliest treatise on algorism printed at Cologne. It is divided into four 'Tractati' and includes the fundamental operations, a brief treatment of abacus or line reckoning, common fractions, rule of three, partnership and over twenty miscellaneous rules. In the algoristic treatment of integers, Huswirt places 'duplatio' (doubling) after multiplication, and 'mediatio' (halving) after division [.] It is interesting to see how these chapters on doubling and halving, of which we have traces in ancient Egypt, persisted throughout the Middle Ages and well into the sixteenth century" (Smith, 74-5). 'Algorism,' the technique of performing basic arithmetic by writing numbers in place value form and applying a set of memorized rules and facts to the digits, quickly superseded earlier calculation systems that used a different set of symbols for each numerical magnitude and often required a device such as an abacus. The word 'algorism' derives from the name of Al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-850), a Persian mathematician and astronomer working in Baghdad. His Arabic-language treatise was translated into Latin in the 12th century under the title Algoritmi de numero Indorum; in late Medieval Latin, algorismus, the corruption of his name, simply meant the "decimal number system." In 17th-century French, the word's form, but not its meaning, changed to 'algorithm,' following the model of the word 'logarithm,' this form alluding to the ancient Greek arithmos ('number'). English adopted the French very soon afterwards, but it was not until the late 19th century that 'algorithm' took on the meaning that it has in modern English. In English, the term it was first used about 1230, and then Chaucer used it in 1391. The mathematician Johannes Huswith (fl. 1501) was born in Saanen, studied at Cologne, where gained the title of magister atrium, and after his service as army chaplain and personal confessor to Cardinal Matthäus Schiner during the Siege of Pavia (1512), in 1515 he received the parish of Saanen with papal decree. OCLC locates no U.S. copies and only 2 copies worldwide of this second edition (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany, and Basel/Bern University, Switzerland). Columbia, Michigan and Wisconsin hold copies of the 1501 first edition; no U.S. institutions hold the 1507 third. * Smith, Rara Arithmetica, pp. 74-7; Augustus De Morgan, Arithmetical Books, p. 4; Graesse, v. 3, p. 396; VD 16 H6209.
The Ichnology of Annandale or Illustrations of Footmarks Impressed on the New Red Sandstone of Corncockle Muir.JARDINE, Sir William (vi) pp., 17 pp., (6) pp., with chromolithographed title, vignette view of Corncockle Muir Quarry, vignette 'Rain Drops' (in sandstone), geological section, and 13 chromolithographed plates, of which 11 are double-page. Bound in original blue cloth. Rebacked with black cloth, new black cloth corners, endpapers renewed. Presentation inscription, stamp and release stamp of the Edinburgh Nature Conservancy on front flyleaf, occasional minor spotting, otherwise a nice copy. Rare first edition presentation copy of a work on fossilized reptile footprints found in the New Red Sandstone formations of Corncockle Muir, located near Templand in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The naturalist William Jardine (1800-74) here records many specimens he found on the family estate, as well as items collected from other nearby quarries. This lavishly printed work - its illustrations of specimens reproduced at life size - is said to have been published in fewer than 140 copies (Jackson, p. 112). The fine, hard sandstone of Corncockle Muir was much quarried in the nineteenth century as an excellent building material, and during this work numerous fossilized footprints were found beginning in 1837. Jardine focused on the fossils excavated from the Permian formation at Corncockle Muir, reopening in 1847 a quarry that had worked to a depth of over 200 feet. Jardine collected specimens from Corncockle and other sites, making intricate descriptions and drawings. In the present work he presents his discoveries of three new genera and five new species. After his death, the fossil collection was sold by his son for £150 to the Edinburgh Museum, where it is still housed. The Corncockle Quarry sandstone provided building material for Victorian row houses in Glasgow and Edinburgh and was shipped across the Atlantic as a favored material in constructing the brownstones of New York City. The quarry at Corncockle is still active today. The present volume is a presentation copy, carrying the inscription 'Presented by Sir William Jardine to Charles Ratcliff'; Colonel Ratliff (d. 1885) was an assistant to Jardine who married his youngest daughter shortly after the naturalist's death. *Christine Jackson, William Jardine, a Life in Natural History, pp 107-113.
GONZALEZ DE MENDOZA, Juan Rare first French edition here in a magnificent, contemporary Parisian binding of the Spanish Augustinian Juan Gonzalez de Mendozas (1545-1618) groundbreaking treatise on China, a work considered the most comprehensive and popular book on Ming China to appear in Europe (Lach, I.ii, p. 330). Though substantially based on Cruz' earlier book on China, it became One of the outstanding best-sellers of the sixteenth century It is probably no exaggeration to say that Mendozas book had been read by the majority of well-educated Europeans at the beginning of the seventeenth-century. Its influence was naturally enormous, and it is not surprising to find that men like [ Michel de Montaigne,] Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh derived their notions of China and the Chinese primarily, if not exclusively, from this work. Even travellers who, like Jan Huighen van Linschoten, had themselves been in Asia, relied mainly on Mendozas Historia for their accounts of China (Boxer, xvii). Mendoza led a mission to China in 1580 on behalf of King Phillip II of Spain. The embassy disembarked at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in the summer of 1581, but, because of political instability in the Philippines, the party sailed no further. Mendoza returned to Spain in 1583 and proceeded to Rome, where Gregory XIII commissioned him to write, in the words of a contemporary reader, a history of things that are known about the kingdom of China (Lach, I.ii, p. 473). Originally composed in Spanish, Mendozas treatise was first published in Rome in 1585, and soon became widely translated and reprinted. The first part of the Historia describes the geographical borders, natural produce, religious beliefs and ceremonies, political structures, education, and maritime activities in China. A section on language contains, according to Brunet, the first published examples of Chinese characters in a western book. The second part covers the approach to China from the Philippines, giving an account of missionary activities (in 1577, 1579 and 1581) on the mainland and the islands. The final section treats the voyage of Martin Ignacio (c. 1550-1606) from Spain to China via the Canary Islands, Santo Domingo, Jamaica, Mexico, the Ladrones and the Philippines. The present French edition also contains extensive information prominently announced on the books title page about Antonio de Espejos celebrated 1583 expedition to New Mexico, information not contained in all early editions of Gonzalez de Mendozas work. Gonzalez de Mendoza later served as Bishop of Lipari (1593), Chiapas (1607) and Popayán (1608). The translator of this first French edition, the Parisian jurist Luc de la Porte, also translated the Letters of the future saint Juan de Ávila (1499-1569) (Paris, Fizelier, 1588) and the poetical works of Horace (Paris, Fizelier, 1588). Michel de Montaigne appears to have read Mendoza in this Luc de la Portes translation: In 1588 the philosopher added to his Essais a passage on the extreme antiquity of Chinese innovation (Des coches), scolding Europeans for being so tardy in their (supposed) invention of artillery and printing (see Pinot, p. 194). The present copy of Histoire du grand royaume de la Chine is finely bound in late 16th-century Parisian morocco, exquisitely decorated with gilt wreathes, flowers, stars and GR monograms (unidentified) in the manner of the volumes famously associated with the library of the Venetian diplomat Pietro Duodo (1554-1611) and with bindings produced around the reign of Henri IV, especially for Marguerite de Valois (cf. Michel, plate VIII), perhaps in the workshop of Clovis Eve (1565-1634/5).
, 123,  ff. (printer's device on verso). Bound in modern red crushed morocco, raised bands, spine in six compartments, spine gold tooled and lettered, covers blind tooled, gold-tooled board edges, gold-tooled dentelles, blue ribbon bookmark, red sprinkled edges. Only very minor rubbing corners, bookplate inside upper cover. Title a bit dusty, inscription on title ("Masson"), minor pale spotting to first few leaves, a few minor marginal stains, contemporary signature to f. 80 ("Didier Langreve"?), verso of final leaf a bit dusty. Rare first French edition of the work considered "the first to give anything approaching a correct and detailed account of China and the Far East" (PMM), and perhaps the most influential travel book of all time. This first appearance in French should possibly be linked to topical interest in the wider world: The description of China in Münster's Cosmographia is mentioned in the preface and one should recall that the 1550s saw intensive French exploration and colonization in the Americas. "Marco Polo was a member of a prosperous Venetian family engaged in commerce. He set out with his father and uncle in 1271 on a journey to the East. Starting from Acre the party traveled through Persia and the Upper Oxus to the Pamir plateau, and then through Mongolia and the Gobi Desert to the extreme north-west of China, reaching Shantung in 1275. Here they sojourned at the court of Kublai Khan until 1292, finally arriving back in Venice, after travelling through south-east Asia and Southern India in 1295. During his stay in China Marco Polo took an active part in the administration of the country and travelled widely in the great Khan's service. He saw--or obtained knowledge of--large parts of China, northern Burma. Tibet, Japan, south-east Asia, the East Indies, Ceylon, southern India, Abyssinia, Zanzibar and Madagascar, Siberia and the Arctic" (Printing & the Mind of Man). The account was dictated by Polo while a prisoner after the Venetians lost to Genoa. The text was curiously composed in French, and circulated widely in manuscript: 138 are extant today. The first printed edition appeared even more curiously in German, but it was in the Latin edition of 1483/4 and the Italian of 1496 that it began to make a wider impact. The present edition is the work's first (printed) appearance in French and was brought out simultaneously by three different Parisian booksellers, issued with variant titles and different final leaves: the present issue, that by Vincent Sertenas, and one by Etienne Groulleau. They made a similar arrangement for a 1559 translation of Machiavelli, from which we know positively that Groulleau did the printing. * Cordier Sinica III.1977-78; Adams P-1791 (Groulleau); Printing & the Mind of Man 39 (Italian 1496); Hill p. 237 (modern edition, with cross-reference to Ramusio).