London, South Kensington
23 September 2010
COLONNA, Fabio (1567-1650). Minus cognitarum stirpium aliquot, ac etiam rariorum nostro coelo orientium \KEKPHRASIS\k. Item de Aquatilibus aliisque nonnullis Animalibus. De Purpura ab Animali tetaceo fusa. Rome: Jacob Mascardi, 1616. 4 parts in one volume, 4° (220 x 155 mm). 3 engraved titles with putti and the Colonna arms, half-title, engraved portrait, 152 full-page etchings, of which 131 of plants, the remainder of shells, marine life, insects and a hippopotamus (some minor marginal browning and staining). 19th-century red morocco by Staggemeier & Welcher with ticket (spine darkened, edges bumped).
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION in a Staggemeier & Welcher binding. Second edition of parts 1-2, first edition De Purpura. The great success of Fabio Colonna's De Purpura guaranteed the Neapolitan author one of the first places in the Accademia dei Lincei founded in Rome in 1616. The plates 'are executed in pure etching ... Moreover, they are botanically accurate, with separate details of flowers and fruit frequently shown' (Blunt & Stearn pp. 100-101). Colonna identified the herb valerian as the remedy Dioscorides recommended for epilepsy and his first book, Phytobasanos, was published in 1592 (he is believed to have executed the etchings himself after drawings from actual specimens). Brunet II, 172-3; Blunt and Stearn, pp. 100-101; Nissen BBI 385; Nissen ZBI 927 (De Purpura); Pritzel 1823.
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