Dos libros, el uno que trata de todas las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales, que sirven al uso de la medicina, y el otro que trata de la piedra bezaar….

Seville: Hernando Diaz,1569.

Segunda parte del libro de las cosas que se se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales.

Seville: Alonso Escrivano, 1571.

£7,500

8vo. two works in one. 1) ff 141. [A-R⁸ S4] 2) FIRST EDITION. two parts. ff. 131, (i) [blank] 48. [A-Q⁸ R⁴; A-F⁸]. Roman letter some Italic. Woodcut portrait of Monardes on first title-page, woodcut printer’s device on verso of last leaf of first part, woodcut head and tail-pieces and initials, 11 full page woodcuts of medicinal herbs, including tobacco, sassafras, etc, early autograph effaced at foot of second title, “A.” stamped, 19th-century inkstamp on penultimate leaf, with shelf mark, bookplate of Cornelius Hauck on pastedown. First title a little soiled in lower corner, light browning and some minor spotting throughout first part, light dampstaining on first few leaves of first and last few leaves of second. A good copy of the first and a very good copy of the second vol. with good margins (many deckle edges) in green sheep over marbled boards c1800, a little worn and rubbed. a.e.r. Green morocco pull-off case.

Exceptionally rare first complete edition of Monardes’ early work on the medicinal plants of the New World, first published in 1565, and the first edition of the second part which completed and illustrated the treatise. Monardes, a Spanish physician from Seville, never traveled to America. He was able, however, to study exotic plant specimens in his native city because of Seville’s control over the navigation and commerce operating between Spain and the New World. Monardes maintained a botanical garden filled with native and exotic plants and made scientific studies of those imported from the Americas including coca, mechoacan, tobacco, sunflower, sarsaparilla, and sassafras detailing their curative virtues. The first edition was printed in Seville by Sebastian Trugillo in 1565. The second work is divided into two parts the first a general treatise dealing with the botanical, animal and mineral products and the medicinal plants of America. The second deals with specific cures provided by such plants and includes descriptions of such things as the Bezaar stone. Monardes was the first physician to write about the medicinal use of tobacco. He described over sixty-five diseases which he claimed it could cure. His treatise was so influential that it led to the idea that tobacco could cure all diseases and conditions. It introduced to Europe the words tobacco and nicotine.

“The Spanish discovery of the new world produced not only a supply of precious metals but of rare plants apt for study as potential drugs and the means to miraculous new cures. Early among those who pursued these botanical novelties was Nicolás Monardes of Seville, who collected, studied, catalogued, grew and integrated them into his medical practice. After many years, he wrote a singular treatise which was translated into several languages including English and Latin in several spirits at once: a botanical collection; a book of Pharmaceutical simples; a treatise on miraculous cures; a book of wonders; and a work promoting the commercial exploitation of overseas resources… Monardes’ treatise is not only scientific in its import, but a print culture phenomenon revealing how the new instruments for the mass dissemination of astonishing new data could reconstruct the popular imagination. …Nicolás Monardes of Seville, .. realized as early as the 1530s that these simples might not only contain miraculous healing powers but fetch very high prices, prompting him to collect, classify, and even grow a goodly number of them for incorporation into his clinical practice. The account he at last published, after some thirty years of collecting and study, appeared in parts beginning in 1565 and 1569, and in its entirety in 1571. It became a seminal work in circulating news of these discoveries not only among botanists and apothecaries throughout Europe, but among common readers of the vernacular, for Monardes had chosen to publish in Spanish rather than the Latin of medical specialists. Therein is to be found the earliest accounts of sassafras, cannafistola, sarsaparilla, and the carlo sancto root, a scant four among the seventy-one simples comprising the work. …He had created two works in one, a botanical dictionary, .. but simultaneously a book of wonders, a published “cabinet of curiosities,” Donald Beecher, “Nicolás Monardes, John Frampton and the Medical Wonders of the New World.”

Palau 175485, 175485. Sabin 49936 and 49937; Wellcome I,4391. Hunt 106 “A reissue of the first edition of 1565. Both editions are rare.”

L2579

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