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1524 - 2011






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Life sciencesThere are 33 items

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  • Giovio (Paolo), 1483-1552

    Rome, Francesco Minuzio Calvo, 1524 (August)
    First edition of the papal physician Paolo Giovio’s first published work, “Of Roman fish”, conceived at a banquet Clement VII gave for François Louis, cardinal of Bourbon, during which the nomenclature of fish and seafood available in Roman markets had been disputed, and Giovio encouraged to compose his treatise.
  • Gersaint (Edmé François), 1694-1750

    Paris, Flahault & Prault, 1736
    The catalogue of an auction sale commenced on 30 January 1736, in which 450 lots of shells and 132 of Surinamese insects and reptiles were offered. To recruit connoisseurs to the collecting of marine naturalia, Gersaint prefaces the catalogue with “Observations sur les Coquillages”, in which shells are elevated to the status of works of art, and described as a source of inspiration for architects, sculptors, and painters; with a “Liste des Principaux Cabinets”; and with a list of the authors who have described shells. At the head of the catalogue, is a still-life of shells and coral, designed by François Boucher, and engraved by Claude Duflos, which serves as a condensed illustration of the collection and its decorative potential, while identifying Gersaint as the source of Rococo chic.

    Bound with Catalogue raisonné d’une collection considérable de diverses Curiosités en tous Genres, contenues dans les Cabinets de feu Monsieur Bonnier de la Mosson. Paris, Jacques Barrois & Pierre-Guillaume Simon, 1744

    The second work in this volume is Gersaint’s catalogue of the collections gathered by Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson (d. 26 July 1744), divided for sale in nine sections, comprising shells, insects, and animals stuffed or in preserving fluids; scientific instruments, pharmaceutical apparatus, and machinery; ornamental turning, bronzes, porcelain, clocks, and other works of art; pictures and prints; and furniture. This copy was bound for Jean-Claude Fauconnet de Vildé, Conseiller de la ville de Paris (d. circa 1765).

  • Ginanni (Giuseppe), 1692-1753

    Venice, Antonio Bortoli, 1737
    First edition of the first work to deal exclusively with birds’ eggs and birds’ nests, illustrating the eggs of one hundred species, classified into three groups: predatory and non-predatory land birds, and aquatic birds, each with a brief account of the nest, breeding time, and physical features of the eggs. Ginanni had created on his property in Ravenna a garden rich in exotic plants and a “piccolo Museo di cose naturali”, containing many of the specimens here engraved. The continuation promised on the title-page never appeared, for the reason (published in the dedication of the author’s Opere postume 1755) that “non essendomi riuscito di fare altra sufficiente Raccolta di Uova d’Uccelli”.
  • Heron-Allen (Edward), 1861-1943

    London, Oxford University Press & Humphrey Milford, 1928
    (23 cm), xv, 180 pp. 8 plates, text illustrations. Publisher’s black cloth binding. - According to ancient myth, geese were not hatched from eggs, but grew from barnacles on the shoreline. The myth lived on until the beginning of the 18th century among scholars of good reputation. Based on a discourse to the Sette of Odd Volumes at the 410th Meeting, 26 January 1926. ¶ Author’s presentation inscription to Clifford & Iris Burton, dated 23 November 1928, on half-title. Very good copy.
  • Ransome (Hilda M.)

    London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1937
    (23 cm), 308 pp., 12 plates and 35 text illustrations (according to title-page; in fact, 48 and 94 respectively). Publisher’s cloth, dust jacket. - Classical Greek myths and legends related to honey and bees. Original edition (reprinted in 1986, 2004). ¶ Dust jacket soiled, repaired (reinforced on verso). Bright, unmarked copy.
  • Brooks (Jerome Edmund), 1895-1983, Dickson (Sarah Augusta); O'Neil (Perry Hugh), compilers
    New York Public Library, Arents tobacco collection

    New York, Rosenbach Company (vols. I-IV: Camden, NJ: Haddon Craftsmen; vol. V: Portland, Maine: Anthoensen Press) / New York Public Library, 1937-1952; 1958-1969

    Five volumes (34 × 24.5 cm), I (Imprints 1507-1615, 1937): xvi, 544 pp., including colour frontispiece, numerous illustrations printed with the text (7 printed in two or more colours). II (Imprints 1615-1698, 1938): xii, 564 pp., including frontispiece “View of the Library at ‘Hillbrook’, Rye, New York”), numerous illustrations printed with the text (10 printed in two colours). III (Imprints 1698-1783, 1941): viii, 546 pp., plus colour frontispiece (folding), numerous illustrations printed with the text (17 printed in two colours). IV (Imprints 1784-1942, 1943): (12) 386 pp., including colour frontispiece, numerous illustrations printed with the text (1 printed in two colours). “A synoptical chart [illustrating the chief divisions of the history of tobacco] has been placed at the inner back cover” (inserted in a pocket). Printed slip tipped-in at end: “In the Colophon the name of Richard Ellis was inadvertently omitted. He should also [with Jerome E. Brooks] be given credit for designing this book”. Printed card loosely inserted: “Such a large amount of additional material has been included in TOBACCO it will be necessary to publish a fifth volume containing the Index and notes on recent acquisitions. This volume is in preparation and will be sent without additional charge to those who have subscribed to a set of TOBACCO. May 1st, 1944”. V (Index, 1952): (8) 328 pp., including frontispiece portrait of George Arents, Jr. The five volumes uniformly bound in publisher’s orange cloth, bevelled boards, morocco lettering-pieces.

    Offered with [Supplement] Tobacco: a catalogue of the books, manuscripts and engravings acquired since 1942 in the Arents Tobacco Collection at the New York Public Library. New York: New York Public Library, 1961-1969. Ten parts bound in two volumes.

    A fine, complete set of the catalogue of the private library of George Arents Jr (1875-1960), privately printed in New York between 1937 and 1943 in an edition of 300 copies (this set is number 292). In 1944, the collection was received by the New York Public Library, and in 1952, an index volume (names of authors and subjects) was prepared by the New York Public Library. Ten supplements describing later additions to the collection were compiled by Arents Librarian Sarah Augusta Dickson and Curator Perry O’Neil from 1958 to 1969; subsequent acquisitions have been catalogued electronically. There are 3956 individual, catalogued entries (4235 separate, physical items). “Although the collection is devoted to tobacco and includes almost every important work dealing with the subject, it also contains many historical, literary, and artistic works in which tobacco appears only incidentally” (NYPL). ¶ Faultless set.

  • White (Virginia V.), compiler; Marquand (Eleanor Cross), 1873-1950, introduction
    Pierpont Morgan Library (New York)

    New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1947
    (24 cm), 70 pp., frontispiece and 11 plates. 187 catalogue entries. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Exhibition of manuscripts, books and drawings from the collection of Mrs J.P. Morgan (née Jane Norton Grew, 1868-1925), bequeathed to her two sons Junius S. Morgan and Henry S. Morgan (and passed to the Pierpont Morgan Library in the 1950’s and 1960’s). Item 1 is a manuscript on vellum of Dioscorides in Byzantine Greek (early 10th century). Preface by Mrs Allan Marquand (text of an address delivered 26 April 1947). 500 copies printed. ¶ Fine copy.
  • International Antiquariaat / Menno Hertzberger (Amsterdam)

    Amsterdam, Internationaal Antiquariaat, 1951
    (24.5 cm), 52 pp., illustrations. 40 lots. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Auction sale catalogue of a portion of the library of the botanist Friedrich Wilhelm Tobias Hunger (1874-1952); the remainder was sold posthumously (Menno Hertzberger, Herbals, early books on botany, history of sciences, etc., from the library of the late Dr F.W.T. Hunger, Amsterdam, 4 November 1951). See Bob de Graaf, “Kruidenboeken in veiling. De aucties (1951-1952) van de Botanische Bibliotheek van Dr F.W.T. Hunger” in Waardevol oud papier: feestbundel bij het tienjarig bestaan van Bubb Kuyper Veilingen Boeken en Grafiek 1986-1996 (Haarlem 1996), pp.102-105. ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.
  • Dickson (Sarah Augusta)

    New York, New York Public Library, 1954
    (26 cm), xiv, 227 pp., frontispiece, [11] leaves of plates (some in colour), text illustrations. Publisher’s green cloth, gilt “Armes of the Smoakie Society” on upper cover. - A scholarly survey of tobacco in sixteenth-century literature, written by the curator of the incomparable Tobacco Collection assembled by George Arents and housed in the New York Public Library. Was the leaf balm or bane? cure or curse? a “holy herb” (a term apparently coined by Damião de Góis)? Limited edition (400 unnumbered copies). Originally published in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 1953-1954. ¶ Clipping from the Antiquarian Bookman, 5 February 1955, on pastedown. Excellent, unmarked copy.
  • Nissen (Claus), 1901-1975

    Munich, Robert Wölfle, 1956
    (30 cm), x, 83 (3) pp., illustrations. 50 catalogue entries. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The text accompanying a “leaf book” (50 folios, extracted “aus deutschen, französischen, niederländischen, englischen, italienischen und schweizer Kräuterbüchern”) of the same title distributed by Robert Wölfle Antiquariat, in an “edition” of 200 numbered sets. ¶ Fine copy.
  • Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh), Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
    Quinby (Jane), 1901-1965; Stevenson (Allan H.), 1903-1970, compilers

    Pittsburgh, Hunt Botanical Library, 1958-1961
    Two volumes bound as three (26 cm), I (1958): lxxxiv, 517 (3) pp., frontispiece, 25 plates. II (1961): ccxliv (2) pp., frontispiece. III (1961): ix (1), 655 (3) pp., 9 plates (some in colour). Uniform publisher’s green cloth, gilt lettering and decoration. - Exhaustive descriptions of 750 botanical books and manuscripts in the collection of Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt (1882-1963), now housed in the library of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation of Carnegie Mellon University. Volume 2, part I, consists of a series of articles on bibliographical method, botanical prints, gardening books, and an excellent survey by William T. Stearn of “Botanical gardens and botanical literature in the eighteenth century”. First edition, printed in an edition of 750 copies. Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), pp.170-171. ¶ Very fine, unmarked copy.
  • Lisney (Arthur A.)

    London, Privately printed for the Author by Eyre & Spottiswoode, The Chiswick Press, 1960
    (25.5 cm), (2) xviii, 315 (1) pp., frontispiece, 39 plates. Publisher’s green cloth (no dust jacket issued). - Provides a biographical introduction for each writer; 419 entries. The finest of these “butterfly books” were issued in parts, and their make-up and bibliography pose complicated problems not always recognised by Lisney (cf. Graham Pollard’s review, in The Times Literary Supplement, 4 November 1960, p.715). Edition of 500 copies. ¶ Superior copy.
  • Balis (Jan)
    Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er (Brussels)

    Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, 1962
    (25.5 cm), 87 (1) pp., 2 leaves of plates, text illustrations. 75 catalogue entries. Publisher’s printed wrappers. ¶ Edges of wrapper rubbed; otherwise a very good, unmarked copy.
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), Kenneth Spencer Research Library
    Williams (Terrence)

    Lawrence, KS, University of Kansas Press, 1964
    (23 cm), (10) 73 (1) pp. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - An impressive collection, founded on a bequest to Kansas in 1945 by the collector Ralph Nicholson Ellis, Jr. (1908-1945), augmented by purchases in 1953 from the library Thomas Jefferson Fitzpatrick (1868-1952), professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The list is limited to books printed before 1835. ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.
  • Nissen (Claus), 1901-1975

    Stuttgart, Anton Hiersemann Verlag, 1966
    Three parts in one volume (31 cm), I (Geschichte): x (2), 264 pp. II (Bibliographie): (4), 316 pp. III (Supplement): 97 (1) pp. Publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket. - Revised second edition, containing about 2500 entries (including 300 in the Supplement). Publisher’s retail price €290 ( ¶ Very fine, unmarked copy.
  • Nissen (Claus), 1901-1975

    Munich, Robert Wölfle, 1968
    (30 cm), 108 (2) pp., illustrations. 60 catalogue entries. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The text accompanying a “leaf book” of the same title (60 folios, extracted from various publications of the 15-19th centuries), jointly distributed by the booksellers L’Art Ancien SA (Zürich), Robert Wölfle Antiquariat (Munich), Weiss-Hesse Antiquariat (Olten), in 1968 (”edition” of 200 numbered sets). ¶ Fine copy.
  • Nissen (Claus), 1901-1975

    Stuttgart, Anton Hiersemann Verlag, 1969-1978
    Two volumes (30.5 cm), I (Bibliographie, 1969): (8) 666 (2) pp. II (Geschichte, 1978): xvi, 604 pp., including tipped-in photographic portrait of the author, and 57 text illustrations, plus 92 illustrations on 48 plates. Publisher’s cloth, dust jacket (volume I; volume II issued without dust jacket). - 4826 entries, with multiple indices. Included in volume II is Hartmut Walravens, “Zoologische Illustration in China und Japan” (pp.413-448). In 1973 the work was awarded the Triennial Prize for Bibliography of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. Publisher’s retail price €340 ( ¶ Short tear in dust jacket. Fine copy.
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), Kenneth Spencer Research Library
    Mengel (Robert M.), 1921-1990, compiler; Mason (Alexandra), 1931-2011; Helyar (James), editors

    Lawrence, KS, University of Kansas Libraries, 1972; 1983
    Two volumes (25.5 cm), I (1972): xxix (1), 259 (1) pp. 454 catalogue entries. II (1983): (6) 176 pp. Entries 455-735. Uniform publisher’s printed wrappers. - Abandoned catalogue (no more published) of the huge library (some 15,000 bound volumes, as well as a very large quantity of pamphlets, letters, original drawings, and manuscripts) collected by Ralph Nicholson Ellis, Jr. (1908-1945). It incorporates most of John Gould’s library – multiple copies of Gould’s publications, bound and unbound, plates in various states, manuscripts, and original lithograph stones – that Ellis found in the basement of Henry Sotheran Ltd, in 1936-1937. ¶ Very good set.
  • Henrey (Blanche Elizabeth Edith), 1906-1983

    London, Oxford University Press, 1975
    Three volumes (27 cm), xxvi, 290; xvi, 748; xviii, 142 pp., frontispiece in each volume, profusely illustrated (32 plates in colour, 1 folding). Publisher’s cloth (no dust jackets issued), original slipcase. - A catalogue of books on botany, gardening, and silviculture, nearly all seen and collated by the author herself. “A magnificent book, a rock on which all future work in this field can be securely grounded” (from a review by John Collins, in The Book Collector, Summer 1977, pp.279-280). First edition, first printing. Awarded the Sixth triennial prize of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. ¶ Few marks on slipcase; a fine copy.
  • Sotheby, Parke Bernet & Co. (London)

    London, Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., 1975-1976
    Three volumes (28.5 cm), I (16-17 June 1975): (10) 250 (2) pp., colour frontispiece, black & white text illustrations. Lots numbered 1-308. II (17-18 December 1975): (8) 265 (3) pp., colour frontispiece, text illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 309-618. III (15-16 March 1976): (8) 209 pp., colour frontispiece, text illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 619-863. Lists of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed boards. - “Mr Plesch was what might be called an eclectic collector. He must have bought from dealers all over the world, possibly without realizing that some know more than others and some are more agreeable to deal with than others. The result has been an astounding mixture. Some of his books were superb; some almost, if not quite, unique. Others seemed to me – this is my own view, but comes from some experience – to be inferior, and wrong in various ways. A large number were in modern or at least not contemporary bindings. All the great collectors who really knew what they were about, like the late Jack Abbey or the late Henry Broughton, would not touch books that were bound later, unless it was impossible – and it never really is – to find another copy. Nor would they have touched a book that had been coloured some time, possibly on occasion a very long time, after it was published. Many of Mr Plesch’s books failed the first of these tests … Some failed the second … In my opinion several of the most important books failed this [second] test” (saleroom report by Handasyde Buchanan, in The Times Literary Supplement, 19 December 1975, p.1525). Cf. Jacques Pley, “Contemporary collectors XXVII: Arpad Plesch” in The Book Collector, Summer 1961, pp.164-176. ¶ Good copies (annotation in Part I only; otherwise, unmarked).
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