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    Sale 2170

    Important Botanical Books

    24 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 108

    HERNANDEZ, Francisco and Johannes FABER. Animalia Mexicana descriptionibus scholijsq. exposita. Thesauri rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae, seu plantarum, animalium, mineralium Mexicanorum historiae Francisci Hernandi..et Nardi Antonii Recchi..primi tomi pars. Rome: Jacobus Mascardus, 1628.

    Price Realised  

    HERNANDEZ, Francisco and Johannes FABER. Animalia Mexicana descriptionibus scholijsq. exposita. Thesauri rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae, seu plantarum, animalium, mineralium Mexicanorum historiae Francisci Hernandi..et Nardi Antonii Recchi..primi tomi pars. Rome: Jacobus Mascardus, 1628.

    2o (320 x 215 mm). \Kp\k2 Qq-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa6 (3 unnumbered preliminary leaves, pp. 459-840). Letterpress title with engraved arms of Cardinal Barberini, imprimatur leaf, section title Aliorum Novae Hispaniae Animalium Nardi Antonii Recchi imagines et nomina. Ioannis fabri Lyncei Bambergensis Philosophi, Medici, publici Professoris Romani & Summo Pontifici ab herbariis studiis expositione, with dedication to Cardinal Barberini on verso, woodcut pictorial headpiece on first text leaf, woodcut initials, 30 woodcut illustrations of the fauna of Mexico including a pelican, boars, two headed sheep, chameleon, dragon, pigs and snakes, recto of back endpaper with 18th-century manuscript index of the principal illustrations (Some light staining and spotting, a few leaves browned, outer margins of a few later leaves affected by worm.) Eighteenth-century limp vellum, panelled in gilt with floral cornerpieces and central arabesques (lightly rubbed, slightly restored), edges gilt. Front endpaper dated 8 Maggio 1747.

    FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of the zoological section of Hernandez's thesaurus, with the Mascardi imprint. VERY RARE: Nissen ZBI 1908 records 3 copies (British Library; Accad. Lincei, Rome; National Library of Medicine, Washington); Palau most likely never saw a copy as he gives no date or note.

    Francisco Hernandez (1514-87) was sent to Mexico in 1570 by Philip II of Spain, to whom he was physician, to make a study of the medicine of the country. He became totally absorbed in his task, making comprehensive notes on the natural history, customs and native medicines, staying 7 years. He returned with 20 large volumes of notes with plans for a grand publication. However, this was not to be and the volumes were bound and placed at the Royal monastery in the Escorial. After Hernandez's death Nardo Antonio de Recchi was asked to edit them, and extracted notes. The abridgement of the medical notes were translated by Francisco Ximenez and published in Mexico as Quatro libros in 1615. The original manuscript of de Recchi's Latin abridgement passed to his nephew after his death, who took the notes to Rome. There Prince Federico Cesi oversaw the re-editing and printing of the work, assisted on various sections by Giovanni Terrentio, Johannes Faber and Fabio Colonna. Cesi founded the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome and planned for Animalia Mexicana to be its inaugural publication, dedicated to Cardinal Barberini. The complete Thesaurus however, was not marketed at this time; Prince Federico died in 1628, and funds were not forthcoming. Nissen states that 2000 copies were printed, 1000 copies destined for Spain were lost, and the surviving text-sheets for 450 copies of the complete Thesaurus were offered to the trade in 1649 and 1651. The publication of the complete thesaurus was only made possible by Francesco Stelluti at the Accademia dei Lincei who obtained funds from the Spanish ambassador in Rome. It was first published in 1649 with the title-page Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus, while the 1651 imprints often have an extra letterpress title Nova Plantarum Animalium et mineralium Mexicanorum Historia, all with amended dedications as Cardinal Barberini had been banished from Rome by Pope Innocent X in 1644. Alden & Landis 628/p.280 (incomplete entry); Nissen ZBI 1908; Palau 113536 (incomplete entry). See Hunt 247 for a discussion of the complete thesaurus published in 1649 and 1651.

    [With:] Volume 2 of the complete thesaurus: Nova Plantarum Animalium Mexicanorum Historia. Rome, 1651]. 2o (325 x 220 mm), comprising the botanical section edited by Recchi and the Historiae Animalium Liber Unicus, Bbbb-Kkkk6, Llll2, A-M4; section title, pp.843-950, [2], 1-90, [5], [1] (errata). With the additional dedications to F.Cesi (additional leaf Bbbb3), to Don Roderico de Mendoza dated 1651 (additional leaf Gggg2) and the unsigned appendix leaf between pp 916 and 917. 14 woodcut botanical illustrations, woodcut head-piece to Historiae Animalium, initials (occasional spotting, without the 12 leaves of vocabulary and errata, first leaf slightly torn at upper margin). Contemporary calf, covers panelled in blind with flower motifs, spine gilt in six sections (joints cracked at head). Hunt 247.


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