7 - 8 April 2004
ELEPHANTS -- GILLES, Pierre (1490-1550). Descriptio nova elephanti. Hamburg, Phillip de Ohr, 1614
Small 8° (157 x 95mm). Title with woodcut printer's device. Early 19th-century red straight-grained morocco gilt, the panelled covers with tooled cornerpieces, spine in compartments, titled and tooled in gilt, g.e. (extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: William Beckford (1760-1844), Hamilton Palace Sale II, lot 166 -- Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1829), his sale Sotheby's, October 27 1975, lot 78.
The Beckford-Rosebery copy of this early work on the elephant, the sea elephant, the hippopotamus, the camel and the crocodile. Pierre Gilles of Albi, a prolific writer, scholar and naturalist, was associated with the court of Francis I. His work was first published in Lyon in 1562.
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