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    Sale 2170

    Important Botanical Books

    24 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 181

    RENOU, Jean de (17th century). Les oeuvres pharmaceutiques. Lyon: Antoine Chard, 1626.

    Price Realised  


    RENOU, Jean de (17th century). Les oeuvres pharmaceutiques. Lyon: Antoine Chard, 1626.

    2o (346 x 220 mm). Title within architectural engraved border with medallion portraits of doctors. Full-page engraved plate entitled "Boutique pharmaceutique" and 6 engraved plates of botanical specimens, woodcut initials in text. (Title laid down, a few leaves with minor marginal repairs not affecting text, some occasional staining.) Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt (joints starting, small area of loss on front cover, some light wear). Provenance: Philippe Hecquet (1661-1737), physician, medical reformer, and author (bookplate, manuscript notation on front free endpaper, annotations throughout).

    Second edition in French, translated by Louis de Serres from the Latin edition of 1608 and following the first French edition of 1624. Written by Jean de Renou, a French pharmaceutical authority and chief physician to the French king, this work proved to be extremely popular and served to right numerous common errors regarding the curative virtues and properties of many plants and herbs. Pharmacopeias like Renou's became quite common in the 17th-century as apothecaries were recognized for their knowledge and skill. Popular belief at this time also held that these medical works should be translated into native languages to better benefit those who did not understand Latin, thus explaining de Serres efforts with this French translation and Richard Tomlinson's later English translation of 1657. See Hunt 272 (English edition).

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