14 November 2007
MERIAN, Maria Sibylla (1647-1717). Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis. Amsterdam: Johannes Oosterwijk, .
3 parts in one volume, 4° (188 x 143 mm). Hand-coloured engraved allegorical frontispiece by Simon Schijnvoet dated 1717, engraved armorial headpiece opening dedication, 3 sectional titles and 149 (of 150) hand-coloured engraved plates. (Last plate in facsimile, some light browning, slight marginal damspaining to last 14 leaves.) 19th-century brown calf (rebacked). Provenance: T.Harrison (signature on front endpaper dated 1820) -- J. Gough (signature on front endpaper) -- Harry Harnold Arnbarrow (armorial bookplate).
FIRST LATIN EDITION of Sybilla Merian's Raupenbuch, a work with a complex publishing history. Although the Erucarum ortus appeared one year after her death, Merian was very much involved in its publication. From at least 1705 she had intended to issue her work on European insects in Latin and Dutch, completing it with a third part. Ill health at the end of her life delayed publication of the third part until just after her death, but the complete Latin edition followed only one year later. It was printed by Johannes Oosterwijk, an Amsterdam publisher who acquired all the plates and texts of Merian's works from her daughter, Dorothea, before she left Amsterdam to take up residence in St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1717. Nissen BBI 1342; Dunthorne 205; Hunt 483; Landwehr 135.
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