3 December 2010
JONSTON, John (1603-1675). Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupetibus... de Piscibus et Cetis... .de Exanguibus Aquaticis; ...de Avibus...; de Insectis... de Serpentibus. Amsterdam: Johann Jacob Schipper, 1657.
6 parts in one volume, 2o (359 x 231 mm). 4 engraved titles, 2 woodcut title vignettes, one engraved additional title, 264 engraved plates after Matthaeus Merian the younger, Caspar Merian and others. (Some minor marginal worming to last 3 parts.) Contemporary blindstamped German pigskin over wooden boards, two brass clasps, ink lettered paper label on spine. Provenance: Hagenberg, Schlossbibliothek (early libary label); Philip Howard of Norfolk (bookplate); Oliver Howard (1905-1961), bookseller and managing director of Bernard Quaritch (bookplate).
Second edition of what became a standard 17th- century encyclopaedia of natural history. Jonston, the grandson of John Johnstone of Craigieburn, Nithsdale, Scotland, was born and raised in Poland. After studying botany and medicine and botany at Cambridge, he travelled extensively before settling in Leiden where he practised medicine. Jonston is now seen chiefly as a "learned compilor" (Johnston) and his sources for the present work were wide ranging, but probably the main influence was Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605). Merian's plates went on to be extensively reprinted and copied for over a century. Johnston Cleveland Collections 233; Nissen ZBI 2131, 2133, 2134; 2132, and 2135.
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