TOBACCO ILLUSTRATED

Traicté du tabac ou nicotiane, panacée, petun, autrement herbe à la reyne, avec sa préparation et son usage. … Auquel avons ajouté un traité de la thériaque

Lyon, chez Barthélemy Vincent, 1626

£1,750

FIRST EDITION thus. 8° pp.[viii], 342, [ii], 320, 303-313, (v). a⁴ A-X⁸ Y⁴: A-X8. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Small typographical ornament on title, woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, nine very interesting engraved plates seven of which are folding, two full page in text, all in good dark impressions, early mss. shelf mark on pastedown, library stamp rubbed from title (obliterating a few words of text). Age browning, heavier in places, the odd spot or mark. A good copy in contemporary limp vellum, slightly later orange paper label on spine, upper edges of covers very slightly chewed. 

Rare second edition of the first French translation, by Jacques Veyras, of this curious and most interesting work, finely illustrated, rich in medical recipes, the composition of which include the leaves or other parts of tobacco; the first to include a second part by Laurent Catalan, called for on the title, but very often missing. Johann Neander sees tobacco as a general panacea. He underlines the major role of the Dutch in the importation of American tobacco into Europe and deals with the cultivation, harvest, transformation, and storage of tobacco, as well as various ways of smoking tobacco using long pipes, such as those of the Indians and the Persians. Neander compiled his information mainly from sixteenth century herbals. Although he recommended the medical use of tobacco in recipes, he warned against its recreational abuse. It was, he said, ‘a plant of God’s own making, but the devil likewise involved; excesses ruined both mind and body.’ His work also contains the earliest known printed depictions of native Americans cultivating and curing tobacco. “Neander opposed the recreational use of tobacco, seeing its habitual use as physiologically harmful and socially toxic in a similar way to alcohol. He approved of its use in multiple medical applications, including treatments for wounds, ulcers, and other maladies. He thought it helpful as an eyewash for optical problems, restoring a keenness of sight even for elderly patients. Indeed, there were few non-fatal illnesses for which it did not serve as a panacea. In this he shared the common views laid out by Liebault, Monardes, and Everard. The second half of the book includes numerous recipes incorporating other medical ingredients and flavorings. In (one) illustration, young Native Americans harvest, dry, and boil tobacco leaves. A medical potion was thus prepared with the help of a fermented beverage, powdered ginger, and other spices. The resulting product was stored in closed vessels, and tobacco leaves could be dipped in it to achieve special potency. He notes that the Spaniards called this product caldo.” JCB ‘Drugs from the Colonies’.

“A drawing of a Persian qualyan is included in the earliest European compendium on tobacco, the Tabacologia, written by Johan Neander, and published in the Netherlands in 1622. Contrary to what one might expect, the images are not of primitive and crude contractions improvised from coconut shells, but of highly elaborate and intricate devices. The high quality craftsmanship suggests a relatively long process of technical advancement and aesthetic refinement. … Safavid Iran may have been one of the first societies outside of the New World and the Iberian peninsula where tobacco was diffused and became a commonplace article of consumption”. Sander L. Gilma. ‘Smoke: A Global History of Smoking’.

“In 1622, the year that English settlers and Powhatans went to war near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in a contest that helped colonists acquire more land for tobacco fields, Johannes Neander’s treatise on tobacco appeared in Europe. Though the book offered little news about the plant, it contained three remarkable illustrations depicting Native Americans’ techniques for cultivating tobacco. … While measuring readership is difficult because of the limited records for the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Neander’s book was apparently popular. It was sufficiently important to be reprinted in 1626 and included in a work on herbs two decades after its first appearance. A French translation was so popular that it was reprinted four times between 1625 and 1630. The text appeared for the first time in an English language translation in 1659, long after learned readers could have studied Neander’s text in its original Latin. That edition’s frontispiece depicts a sophisticate sitting at his desk in a book-lined study, smoking one pipe while two more lie on his desk near the manuscript he is writing.” Peter C. Mancall. ‘Tales Tobacco Told in Sixteenth-Century Europe’.

Complete with the second part called for on the title but most often missing, a most interesting pharmaceutical treatise by the apothecary, Laurent Catelan. professor of pharmacy at the University of Medicine at Montpellier. The practise of Theriaque apothecary was most popular and fruitful at Montpellier throughout the early modern period. The name theriac comes from the Greek term theria, which refers to wild beasts, and it was given to a preparation that served initially as an antidote and later as an all-purpose cure for a range of illnesses.

USTC 6903714. (without mentioning the second part). Krivatsy p.840. Dorbon 6347, “très rare”. Arents. “with accurate illustrations… among them are the earliest representations known to us of American natives engaged in cultivating and curing tobacco, of curious pipes, and of the kalian of Persia”. Bragge, Bibliotheca Nicotiana, 26. Osler 3490 (latin edn. 1626). Leclerc Americana 3399 (latin edition) Sabin 52173.

L3244

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