KIRCHER, Athanasius (1602-1680). Arca Noe, in tres libros digesta. Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius, 1675. 2° (378 x 240mm). Engraved additional title, portrait of Charles II of Spain, 19 engraved plates and plans on 18 sheets including 13 folding, 3 engraved maps of which 2 folding, numerous engraved illustrations and woodcuts including over 100 of birds and animals. (Occasional browning and spotting, a few small marginal tears.) Contemporary vellum, blind-stamped centre-piece to covers within blind-stamped border, leather label and paper shelfmark on spine (joints splitting at spine ends, extremities lightly rubbed, a few scuff marks). Provenance: J. Jonglamand (ownership inscription dated 1831) -- unidentified armorial book label, stamp and shelfmark.
FIRST EDITION of this 'fascinating and delightful piece of imaginative exegesis, filled with curious speculations' (Merrill), which uses Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arab and Syriac types. Besides fine animals, birds and sirens, the plates 'd'une remarquable beaut d'excution' (Caillet) figure the deluge, the construction and plan of the arc as well as maps of the world, Europe including the Middle-East, Eden and Paradise. Caillet 5768; Merrill 26; Backer-Sommervogel IV, 1068, 33; Nissen ZBI, 2195.