RUDBECK, Olof (1630-1702). [Atlantica:] Atland eller Manheim, in Swedish and Latin. Uppsala: Henricus Curio, '1675' ; 1689; volumes III-IV: for the author, 1698-99; volume IV: Stockholm: 1863.
4 text volumes, 2° (313 x 195mm) and atlas volume (461 x 315mm). Vol. I with engraved frontispiece, full-page woodcut at end and a few woodcut text illustrations, vol. II with engraved frontispiece and 25 full-page woodcuts outside collation, vol. III with 27 full-page woodcuts within collation, atlas volume contains letterpress title, engraved portrait by Dionysius Padt Brugge, and 49 engraved and woodcut maps (15 double-page; 4 by Philipp Jacob Thelott). Leaf of Instructions to the Binder bound in manuscript index volume. (Several plates shaved, light browning, occasional spotting, heavier in a few plates, portrait mounted, short tear to one map.) Vols. I-III and atlas: contemporary citron goatskin, gilt spines, edges marbled and gilt (a few small scuff-marks, light wear at extremities). Vol. IV: uncut, without wrapper, a few quires loose, laid into modern card folder. Provenance: E. Pederberg (contemporary title inscription in gold ink) -- John Stuart (1744-1821, first Marquess of Bute, Luton Hoo Library; bookplate) -- Carl-Bertel Nathhorst (1907-1985).
AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE AND COMPLETE COPY. The Atlantica is the culmination of Swedish Gothicism, which was revitalised in order to glorify the new nation state. Rudbeck expands this tradition and sets out to prove that Sweden was the legendary island of Atlantis mentioned by Plato. He claimes that all classical culture had its origin in the North in the proto-Swedish kingdom, and attempts to substitute Swedish etymology for Greek. Despite his extremism, the Atlantica is valued for its extensive discussion of myth and detailed description of artefacts.
This Bute-Nathhorst set is one of only 13 complete sets known. It comprises the second edition of vol. I (mistakenly dated 1675), first editions of parts II, III and the atlas vol. (of which the title-page dated 1699 may be unique), the 1863 reprint of part IV (see below), and the Testimonia volume in contemporary manuscript. The great fire of 1702 at Upsala destroyed all but 9 copies of part IV; it was reprinted in 1863, with Nelson's Anteckningar. The set is accompanied by a manuscript vol. in near-uniform 18th-century English citron morocco (one spine label missing) containing an index to vol. III; one-leaf letterpress Instructions to the Binder (only four copies known, none in Sweden); two ms. indices of plates in French and Latin; testimonials by famous men. With two other related works: a prospectus for an edition to be published in 1727; and Gustaf Rudbeck, Olof Rudbecks Atland, Stockholm: 1907. Cf. Nelson, Anteckningar om Rudbeck's Atland (Stockholm: 1863) and Nordenskiold, 257. (8)