24 June 2009
ORTA, Garcia da (ca 1500-1568). Aromatum et simplicum aliquot medicamentorum apud Indos nascentium historia nunc verò primòm Latina facta... à Carolo Clusio. Antwerp: C.Plantin, 1567.
8o (154 x 95 mm). Title-page with woodcut printer's device, woodcut initials and 16 woodcut illustrations, many full-page. Contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over boards covered in vellum manuscript leaf (some minor worming, lacking ties). Provenance: early signature on title-page.
FIRST EDITION IN LATIN AND FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Orta's important work on tropical medicinal plants, abridged from the first edition printed in Portuguese and published in Goa in 1563. Added are the woodcut illustrations and important new material relating to the New World, derived from Oviedo and Thevet. Orta, a Portuguese physician, initially practiced in Lisbon, but moved to India and set up in Goa where he established a large practice and an extensive medical garden, studying Indian plants and their uses. "His work provided Western scholars with their introduction to tropical medicine and with their basic data on almost all of the major cultivated plants of the region" [DSB]. Nissen BBI 949; NLM/Durling 3414; Palau 99516; Wellcome I, 4655. See Garrison-Morton 1815 ("The first account of Indian material medica and the first textbook on tropical medicine written by a European.") [Bound with:] [NEEFS, Marc (fl. 1563). De plantarum viribus poëmatium. Louvain: S. Valerius for H. Wellaeus, 1563]. 8o. (Lacking title-page, lacking last two leaves of index and final blank.) Wellcome I, 4527.
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