TORNAMIRA, Francisco Vicente de

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE

Chronographia, y repertorio de los tiempos.

Pamplona, Tomás Porralis, 1585.

£5,250

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. (8), 560, (8). Roman letter; printer’s device on title and final verso, foliated initials, first historiated ‘A’ with charming Dance Macabre, numerous large astronomical woodcut illustrations, tables and diagrams, original correction slip pasted at foot of p. 60; browned in places. A good copy in eighteenth-century half vellum stained to resemble calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled boards and endpapers, all edges blue; early ‘SE’ ink stamp at foot of title.

Rare first edition of a wide-ranging astronomical, cosmographical and historical book, one of the first of its kind to be directly written in Spanish. Little is known of the life of Francisco Vicente de Tornamira (1534 – 1597), born in Tudela, Navarre. Chronographia was the most influential work of this prominent Spanish astronomer, illustrating in 162 chapters the creation of the universe, the various branches of philosophy, the movement of planets, the constellations and the Zodiac, the universal chronology realm by realm, a series of calendars, almanacs and weather forecasts. All the subjects were elucidated further with a large number of illustrations, including, most notably, a traditional depiction of the Armillary Sphere and other globes, the Astronomical Man and the Roman gods on their chariots representing the planets named after them.

A fervent supporter of Ptolemaic vision of the universe against the heliocentric theory, Tornamira comes up with convoluted explanations to bridge the gap between mathematical calculation and the traditional model of planetary movement. A most interesting part is devoted to the solar calendar and the recent reform introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, discussing the exact days of the year in which Lent, Corpus Domini and Easter should be celebrated. Tornamira expanded on this topic in his subsequent work, the Spanish translation of the new Gregorian calendar (1591).

“On p. 40 there is a reference to the Magellan circumnavigation; on p. 497 a list of the midsummer’s days of the New World; on p. 538-539 locations of New World cities.” Alden 585/67.

Rare outside Spain. Only one recorded copy in the US (New York Public Library).

Not in Brunet. BM STC Sp., 204; Adams, T 803; Graesse, VII, 174; Houzeau & Lancaster 2763; Palau 334501. Cantamessa III 8057.

L2100

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MILLER, Thomas

Turner and Girtin’s Picturesque Views, Sixty Years Since.

London, J. Hogarth, 1854.

£200

Imperial 8vo. (lx) 164 + 30 engravings on copper. Publisher’s red, half-morocco with gilt back, minimal browning to plate edges, boards slightly discoloured in places. A nice copy.

The first re-printing (third state) of Turner and Thomas Girtin’s thirty contributions to the “Copper-Plate Magazine” (1794-98), the second states of which appeared in the “Itinerant” (1798). Thomas Miller in his preface describes the recovery of the original plates and the efforts required to clean and prepare the plates for this 1854 edition. In 1873, a second re-print was undertaken (fourth state; Rawnlinson, Reprint B), but the results were poor. The volume includes important, early biographies of both artists. The full page views are the earliest engravings after Turner and Girtin. The book is “worth having” (Muir, p.81).

Rawlinson, vol I 1-15a, reprint A.

X66

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BACON, Francis

De Verulamio Novum Organum, sive Indicia Vera De Interpretatione Naturae. Cui Praefixa Reliqua Instaurationis Magnae; Et Subjecta Parasceve Ad Historiam Naturalem et Experimentalem.

Glasgow, J. & J. Scrymgeour, 1803.

£75

8vo., pp. (xxxvi) 305, (i). Roman letter, undecorated, ‘Deaccession’ stamp in lower blank margin of first, faded and repeated on pastedown. Light age yellowing, a good copy in contemporary tree calf, re-backed spine and label neatly remounted.

B71

BACON, Francis

Historia Naturalis & experimentalis de ventis.

Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1662.

£950

12mo. (viii) 232, (xvi). Roman and italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, engraved title page depicting the creation of a tempest through magic. Light age yellowing, a good clean, well-margined copy in ornate straight-grained red morocco by Bozerian with gilt-ruled and -rolled panels, compartments richly gilt on spine, all edges gold, marbled endpapers, armorial bookplate of Holland House on pastedown. Arthur Houghton’s acquisition note on rear free end paper.

B48

BACON, Francis

Scripta in Naturali et Universali Philosophia.

Amsterdam, Ludovico Elzevir, 1653. [with]

Historia Naturalis & Experimentalis de Ventis.

Leiden, Francis Hack, 1648.

£1,250

12mo. Two volumes in one. pp. (xii) 336 + fold-out 337-496, (xvi) 232, (xvi).

FIRST EDITION of first, and FIRST LATIN EDITION of second work. 1) Roman and Italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, engraved title page depicting three debating philosophers with various instruments (astrolabe, globe, sextant), printed title page with Elzevir device. 2) Roman and Italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, engraved title page depicting the creation of a tempest through magic. Light age yellowing, fold-out plate torn with no loss, C19 ex libris on fly, in contemporary polished vellum, title written in brown ink on spine, all edges speckled blue.

Gibson 223 “important collection,” 110a.

B38

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STRABO

A GEOGRAPHY MANUAL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND ANCIENT GREECE

De situ orbis.

Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius, 1516.

£55,000

FIRST EDITION thus. Folio, pp. 348 (i.e. 366); Greek letter; Aldine device on title and final verso, elegant section titles, vine-work initials and head-pieces in red at beginning of each book; minor repair to title, light damp stains, mainly on gutter and upper margin; paper flaws on 65 just affecting a couple of letters. A very good, well-margined copy in nearly contemporary limp vellum, author’s name inked in Greek capitals along spine and fore-edge; slightly dust-soiled; Feltrinelli’s label on front pastedown and blind stamp on lower outer margin of front endpaper.

Editio princeps of one of the earliest and most influential geographical surveys of Antiquity. Scion of a prominent family of the Pontus region, Strabo (64/63 BC – c. 25 AD) travelled extensively through Southern Europe, North Africa and Middle East, mostly during the peaceful reign of Augustus. The Geography is his only surviving work and the first comprehensive account of the subject as known to his contemporaries.

The topography, geology, history and political features of the main regions of the Roman world are thoroughly described, relying on first-hand investigation and many Greek sources now lost, such as the writings of the first systematic geographer, Eratosthenes (c. 276 – 195/4 BC), and of Hipparchus (c. 190 – 120 BC). Above all, however, Strabo regards Homer as the most authoritative writer. Strabo’s descriptions of the Mediterranean regions, Asia Minor and Egypt are excellent, while those of Gaul and Britain are weaker. Almost unknown to the Romans, the Latin version of the Geography became the standard geographical reference work during the Middle Ages. Among many other significant remarks and hypotheses, Strabo was the first scholar to discuss in detail fossil formation and vulcanism (both in Book 3).

This editio princeps – beautifully enriched with section titles, capitals and head-pieces printed in red (an unusual feature for the Aldine press) – was accomplished by Benedetto Tirreno and Andrea Torresani, most likely with the help of Marco Musuro; the dedication to Alberto Pio of Carpi bears a touching encomium of Aldus, recently passed away. The text was drawn from a rather corrupted manuscript, now in the BnF (Par. gr. 1395). The enterprise was wholeheartedly encouraged by Jean Grolier, who urged Torresani to continue editing and publishing Greek and Latin classics, as Aldus had done throughout his career.

BM STC it., 648; Adams, S1903; Hoffmann III, 453; Renouard, 77:7; Brunet, V, 554; Graesse, VI, 505.

K49

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DIONYSIUS Periegetes

THE GEOGRAPHY OF ANTIQUITY IN VERSE

De Situ Orbis

Ferrara, Ioannes Maciochus, 1512.

£1,950

EDITIO PRINCEPS, 4to., 52 unnumbered leaves. A-E8F, G6. First half Greek letter, rest Roman, quite undecorated. Slight age yellowing, the Greek text with marginal annotations in a 16th C Greek hand. Very slight marginal soiling to last couple of leaves, a good, clean, well margined copy in 19th C tan morocco, joints a bit rubbed.

First edition of the original Greek text of Dionysius, first edition of the Latin translation of Remmius Palaemon and first edition of the commentary and additions of Celio Calcignini: the whole was edited by the printer, together with Ludovicus Bonaciolus. Dionysius, fl. probably in Alexandria in the first century B.C., produced this elegant and terse description of the habitable world in Greek hexameters. It was probably intended as a school geography, and certainly was used as such in the ancient world; it achieved great popularity as one of the earliest descriptions of far away places, both in antiquity and again, in translation, in the first decades of printing.

BM. STC. It. p. 217. Adams D 643. JFB D 206. “Première édition rare”: Brunet II 729. NUC records copies only at Lib. of Congress, Princeton, Newberry and Univ. of Minnesota.

L2135

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BOILEAU DE BOUILLON, Gilles

FINE MAP OF THE AMERICAS

La Sphere des deux mondes, composee en Francois, par Darinel, pasteur des Amadis

Antwerp, Iehan Richard, au Soleil d’Or, 1555.

£18,950

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. ff. (iv) 57 (i.e. 58), (ii) . π⁴ A-M⁴, N4(N2 folding+’N3′), O-P⁴ last blank. Roman and Italic letter. Woodcut printer’s device on title, another on verso of last, woodcut initials, historiated woodcut tailpiece, typographical ornaments, 28 small woodcut illustrations in text, 19 full page maps, one folding. Age yellowing, t-p slightly dusty, two small tears in lower margin just touching imprint with no loss, some marginal soiling in places, the odd ink splash or mark, outer upper corner torn to map of Tunis with minor loss, tiny single worm hole in first four quires. A good copy in modern limp vellum antique, yapp edges remains of ties, spine with morocco label gilt.

A most interesting and unusual cosmography, exceptionally rare and beautifully illustrated with 19 important early maps including a fine world map and the most important Bellère map of the New World. Boileau de Bouillon was savant polymath who had extensive knowledge of various languages, principally French, Flemish, Latin, German and Spanish. He seems to have lived for many years in Liege and Antwerp before joining the service of Charles V with whose forces he travelled to Germany, France, Hungary and Italy. He was named ‘Commissaire et Controleur’ of the town of Cambrai for his services, but fell in disgrace shortly afterwards and had to take refuge in Paris, where he was taken in by Nicolas de Herberay, ‘Seigneur des Essarts’ who was also famous for his translations. He made his living with the pen as a poet and translator, but also with a particular interest in geographies and map-making. Apart from the fine series of maps in this work he published two very important original maps of Burgundy and Belgium.

This work is composed, curiously, of both text and poetry. The maps are not of his creation but are most judiciously chosen as the most up to date and accurate of the period. The 19 woodcut maps include a beautiful cordiform map of the world: “Universalis Cosmographia” and a very rare map of the Americas: Jean Bellère “Peru, brevis exactaque totius Novi Orbis ejusque Insularum descriptio recens a Joan Bellero edita.” This map “was popular during the middle of the sixteenth century and had great influence in showing more accurately the size and shape of the great South American continent” ‘World’. It is a particularly important and influential map, illustrating the south of the US, Central America, the Antilles, Bermuda and the Azores, and South America down to Magellan’s Strait. Apart from ‘Cuzco’ ‘Xaquixaguana’ and ‘Quito’, only coastal towns are covered, although the mountains of the southern USA, the Andes and the river Amazon are shown. Each map is accompanied by a curious cosmographical stanza. This is a particularly rare work and according to American Book Prices Current, no copy sold at auction in the past 35 years.

BM STC Dutch C16th p. 59 (under Darinel.) Alden & Landis 555/4. ‘Contains also the Bellère map of the New World found in edns of Cieza de Leon & Gomara of 1554’. Church 101. Sabin 18576. “A poetical volume of some rarity” see ‘The World Encompassed’ 201. JCB I:185.

K22

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ACOSTA, José de

AN ENLIGHTENED DESCRIPTION OF SOUTH AMERICAN NATIVE SOCIETIES

De natura novi orbis … et de promulgatione Evangelii apud babaros.

Cologne, officina Birckmannica, 1596.

£2,750

8vo., pp. (16), 581, (3). Roman letter, little italic. Jesuit device on title; slightly yellowed, occasional oil mark in margins; tiny burn mark affecting one letter on p. 1 and 373; few unprinted words completed in contemporary manuscript and later pencil at bottom of pp. 126 and 274. A good copy, in an early seventeenth-century English brown calf, blind-tooled plain style, probably Cambridge, multiple ruled borders with saw tooth edge, double fillet, central undecorated frame with fleurons at corners; a bit scratched and worn; rebacked, spine part remounted, all edges red; pastedowns from an early Roman letter edition of the King James Bible (2nd Maccabees, III, 1-21 and III, 25-40; IV, 1-2).

Third unaugmented edition of these pioneering treatises on the geography, anthropology and evangelisation of South America, previously published in Salamanca in 1588/ 1589 and 1595. José de Acosta (1540 – 1600) was among the first Jesuit missionaries to embark for the Spanish New World. He spent much of his life in Peru. The main settlement of the order was at that time in the village of Juli, on Lake Titicaca. Here, a college was set up to study the languages of the natives, while the newly-funded Jesuit printing press issued the first printed book of the Americas in 1577. Later, Acosta moved to Lima and taught theology at the university.

In the Third Council of Lima (1582 – 1583) reorganising the American church, Acosta took a very active part and became its official historian. Following an adventurous journey through Mexico, in 1587 he head back to Spain, where he was appointed head of the Jesuit college in Valladolid and later Salamanca. A prolific writer, he is mostly famous for his very successful Historia natural y moral de las Indias. This knowledgeable, realistic and detailed description of the New World was sought after and soon translated into Italian, French, German, Dutch and English. The Natura novi orbis opening this edition represents the early draft of the Historia. In it, Acosta provided the first account of altitude sickness, which affected him while crossing the Andes. He also divided the Amerindians into three categories, acknowledging the Incas and Aztecs as fairly advanced societies in the civilisation process.

The second part comprises a very innovative essay on evangelisation. Acosta struggles to demonstrate to his contemporaries that Amerindians were part of the original God’s plan for mankind and thus were not inferior creatures undeserved of being Christianised and saved. In grounding his argument, the idea that the first inhabitants of America migrated from the biblical world (specifically from Asia), played a crucial role. Indeed, he was the first writer to postulate the existence of a land bridge at the northern or southern extremities of the two continents, long before the discovery of the Bering Strait. In his missionary zeal, Acosta was much concerned with the preparation and morality of priests, who he encouraged to study the aboriginal languages as an essential part of their duties.

‘One of the earliest writers who have treated philosophically of America and its production.’ J. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Related to America, I, p. 17.

BM STC Ger., p. 2; Adams, A 124; Brunet, I, 41; Graesse, I, 15; Leclerc, 4; Palau y Dulcet, I, 1979; Sabin, I, 120. Not in JFB nor in Alden.

L1787

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METIUS, Adrian

CELESTIAL GUIDANCE FOR NAVIGATORS

De genuino usu utriusque globi tractatus adjecta est nova Sciatericorum, et artis Navigandi ratio novis Instrumentis et inventionibus illustrata. [with] Mensura geographica et usus globi terrestris, Artisque Navigandi Institutio, novis Instrumentis et Inventionibus adaucta.

Franeker, Ulderich Balck, 1624.

£2,750

4to. Two works in one. pp. (viii) 210 (ii) 84. Roman and Italic letter, separate title page with printer’s large woodcut device to each work, very numerous printed and woodcut scientific diagrams of astronomical and navigational instruments, star and sea charts and geometrical computations. General age yellowing, first title page with two very old repairs, faint early collegiate ex libris at head, small water stain to lower inner corner of some leaves. A good copy in fine contemporary Dutch morocco, border of gilt flowers within double ruled lines to covers, quadruple blind rules with gilt cornerpieces within, gilt floral ornament within lozenge in centre of both, spine in four compartments each with gilt floret and divided by gilt rules; all edges gilt with the floral border repeated on paper edges nearest to corners.

Metius, son of the distinguished cartographer and military engineer to the Dutch States, was born in Alkmaar and studied at the University of Franeker in Frisia, and at Leiden under Snellius and Van Ceulen. He worked under Tycho Brahe at his observatory at Hven, moving to Rostock and Jena, where he gave his first, and very successful, astronomy lectures. In 1600 he was appointed professor of mathematics, surveying, navigation, military engineering, and astronomy at Franeker, a position he held until his death.

He was an acquirer of mathematical and astronomical instruments, observed sunspots, and was familiar with the telescope, of which his brother Jacob was co-inventor. His lectures were well attended by an international audience including, in 1629, Descartes. Metius wrote extensively (though there is no satisfactory bibliography) and his books were widely used. In astronomy he followed Tycho Brahe’s theory of the solar system, but also showed respect for the Copernican system.

The present works (second editions completely revised and enlarged) concern principally the understanding and use of globes, terrestrial and celestial, in particular for the purposes of marine navigation. The proper use of other instruments such as azimuths, quadrants, compasses and astrolabes is also treated in some detail, as well as the principles of astronomy and relevant mathematical propositions, such as the computation of longitude and latitude, and the earth’s position in relation to the sun, are carefully explained and illustrated with examples. In the first half of the C17th, the Dutch were the prominent naval power, and the present work must have had considerable value in training navigators and sea captains, serving as a practical reference work on their monumental voyages. There are scattered references to Brazil and the Americas.

Graesse IV p. 507 (1st work, earliest edn.). No edn. in Simoni, Alden, J.F.B. cat., Kenney or Honeyman. Houzeau and Lancaster 2820 (1st work only).

L105

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