Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1658-1730)
Description du Danube, depuis la montagne de Kalenberg en Autriche, jusqu'au confluent de la riviere Jantra dans la Bulgarie: contenant des observations geographiques, astronomiques, hydrographiques, historiques, et physiques... traduite du Latin. The Hague: Jean Swart, 1744. 6 volumes, broadsheet (592 x 435mm). Titles in red and black with engraved vignettes, head- and tailpieces, initials, 90 illustrations and 5 double-page letterpress tables, 285 engraved plates and maps, 35 double-page, 2 folding, after Longhi, R. Manzini and others, by M. Pool and others. (Frontispiece and 2 final plates with old creasing.) Contemporary figured half calf speckled paper boards, spines in eight compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second, numbered in the third, uncut (small tears to spines with occasional loss to head and foot, covers scuffed with some loss to surface of paper).
Second edition, the first edition in French. A fine unsophisticated copy of this "early classic on the natural history of the River Danube" (Wood), including 29 plates of fish and and 59 graceful bird plates after Raimondo Manzini. The work was first published in Latin by Gosse in 1726. The present edition follows the plan of the original: volume I is on the geography, astronomy and hydrography of the river and its environs (38 plates and maps, including a survey of the course of the river printed on 18 double-page or folding plates, and 8 plates showing various phases of the moon); volume II is on Roman military antiquities (67 plates and maps); volume III on geology and metalurgy, including mining (35 plates and maps); volume IV on fish, crustaceans, shells and amphibians (33 plates); volume V on birds and their nests and eggs (74 plates comprising 59 plates of birds, 15 of nests and eggs); volume VI miscellaneous articles (28 plates and maps). The plates of the birds are particularly fine, and in many cases appear to have been drawn from actual specimens. The original drawings are by Raimondo Manzini (1668-1744), who was for some years the official court painter to the Duke of Modena and the Margrave of Baden. The original drawings are in the library of the University of Bologna. Cf. Anker 326; BM(NH) III,p1247; Brunet III,1474; Nissen IVB 594 & ZBI 2698; cf. Wood p.452 (1st edition); (6)