• Travel, Science & Natural Hist auction at Christies

    Sale 9540

    Travel, Science & Natural History

    10 October 2013, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 32

    ATHANASIUS KIRCHER (1602-1680)

    Price Realised  

    ATHANASIUS KIRCHER (1602-1680)

    Mundus subterraneus. Amsterdam: J. Jansson and E. Weyerstraet, 1682. 2 vols in one, 2° (392 x 248mm). Engraved frontispiece, engraved title vignette, 13 engraved plates of which 7 double-page and 6 folding, 4 tables, 80 engraved illustrations of which 8 full-page and 2 volvelles [pp185, 187]. (Small tear to 3 folding plates, one repaired, tiny repair to margin Q2, occasional browning.) Contemporary calf, spine in compartments, lettered and decorated in gilt (some rubbing, corners bumped). Provenance: Bibliotheca Kircheriana (book label).
    FOURTH, MOST COMPLETE EDITION of 'PERHAPS KIRCHER'S MOST POPULAR WORK' (Merrill). First printed in 1664-65 in Latin, this is the first Dutch edition. It was based on Kircher's visit to Sicily in 1637-38 during which he witnessed eruptions at Etna and Stromboli. His observations led him to conclude that the centre of the earth was a massive internal fire for which volcanoes were mere safety valves. Merrill 17; cf. Dorbon-Aine 23887 (1678 edition); Duveen p.322 (1678 edition); Caillet II, 5783 (1665 edition).


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