GESNER, Conrad (1516-65). Pandectarum sive Partitionum universalium libri XXI. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer, 1548.
Median 20 (315 x 192 mm). Final leaf blank. Mostly roman type, double column. Printer's woodcut device. Bound with two other important works by Gesner (see below) for Constantijn Huygens: Dutch sprinkled calf of the second quarter of the 17th century, over pasteboard, gold-tooled spine in compartments, sprinkled edges, (covers bowed). Provenance: Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687, poet, father of the scientist Christiaan), his motto Constanter on title-page dated 1633 -- Sir Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653-1716, Scottish patriot, and one of Britain's greatest bibliophile at the time of the Glorious Revolution, whose library was reconstructed by P.J.M. Willems in 2001), his signature on back pastedown -- A.N.L Munby (1913-74, bibliographer, King's College librarian), bookplate.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST GENERAL SUBJECT INDEX to all of literature, demonstrating the author's deep study of the books listed in his Bibliotheca Universalis (see previous lot). It stamps Gesner a true polymath, treating as it does, in 19 books, Philology, Dialectics, Rhetoric, Poetry, Arithmetic, Mathematics, Music, Astronomy, Astrology, the Occult, Geography, History, Mechanics, Natural Philosophy, Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, Economics, Politics, Law; 21 books had been planned, but Gesner says that lack of time forced him to postpone bk. 19, Medicine, which never appeared, and bk. 20, Theology (see below). Each section is dedicated to a prominent publisher, including Froschauer, Bebel and Isingrin, Robert Estienne, Petri, Paulus Manutius, Gryphius, Wechel, Herwagen, Giunta; he consulted their catalogues -- probably the earliest use of them for bibliographical purposes -- and lists the productions of many of them. He is also the first briefly to list library catalogues (fol. 21). FINE ASSOCIATION COPY from the libraries of two important 17th-century collectors and an equally important 20th-century book historian.
Huygens had the book bound with Gesner's Partitiones Theologicae (ibidem: 1549), the promised book XXI of the Pandectae, and with his Appendix Bibliothecae (ibidem: 1555), the continuation of his general bibliography (see previous lot).