PRAZ, Mario

PRAZ, Mario. Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery (SUSSIDI ERUDITI, issues No. 16 & 17)

Rome, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1974-75.


4to. 2 vols (the first part being the 1975 offset reprint – Sussidi Eruditi no. 16 – of the 1964 edition): 607 p., with 77 facsimile illustrations throughout, including a full-page portrait; 108 (4) p., most gatherings uncut. The second part contains the addenda and corrigenda to the first issue, together with a chronological list of emblem books by Hilary M. J. Sayles. Fine copies.





[HOOKE. Robert, ed.]


[HOOKE. Robert, ed.] Philosophical Collections

London, Printed for John Martyn, [Moses Pitt, Richard Chiswell], for the Royal Society, 1679-82.


FIRST EDITION. Compete set of 7 parts in one volume, 210 pp., 6 folding plates, one full-page engraving (no. 5, p. 161), one half-page engraving (no. 4, p. 92), Bound in modern half calf and buckram over boards by Sangorsky & Sutcliffe. A fine copy. 

The polymath Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was authorised by the Council of the Royal Society to publish the Philosophical Collections after the official Transactions ceased publication on Henry Odenburg’s death in 1677. Ordinary publication of the Transactions was resumed in January 1682- 3. The purpose of the journal was to provide an up-to-date account of any sicientific topic, such as physical, anatomical, chemical, mechanical, astronomical, optical, natural-philosophical and natural-historical observations, and to advertise the publication of such books. Complete sets of these seven numbers are very uncommon. The present volume also includes anatomical and medical studies. Hooke here published important papers, especailly An optical discourse, which concerned a cure for short-sightedness. One finds in the present collection Leeuwenhoek’s discovery of spermatozoa through the study of animal semen; Lana’s “flying chariot”; Borelli’s De motu musculorum; Tyson’s Anatomy of a porpess (sic); and astronomical observations by Hevelius, Flamsteed, and Cassini on the eclipse of Jupiter by the moon in 1679 and 1681. Furthermore, major discoveries by Malpighi, Moxon, Thomas Burnett, Edmund Halley, Bernoulli, and Leibniz are published in this series for the first time. The plates show Bernier’s flying machine, Borelli’s underwater breathing apparatus, and a new lamp invented by Robert Boyle. William Brigg’s A new theory of vision, a discussion of the optic nerves, is accompanied by a plate illustrating a dissected eye; this detailed physiological study of vision motivated Newton to republish it in 1685 with his own introduction. The Royal Society, founded in 1660, is the oldest scientific society in Great Britain and one of the oldest in Europe. Founders and early members included the scientist Bishop John Wilkins, the philosopher Joseph Glanvill, the mathematician John Wallis and the architect Christopher Wren, who wrote the preamble of its charter.

Keynes, Hooke 24. Norman 1100 (listing only 3 folding plates). See PMM 148 for the ‘Philosophical Transactions’.

KEILL, James

KEILL, James. The Anatomy of the Human Body Abridged : Or, a Short and Full View of All the Parts of the Body. Together with Their Several Uses, Drawn From Their Compositions and Structures

London, Printed for William Keblewhite, 1698.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo. 12 ff. (title, dedicatory letter, preface and errata), 328 pp., plus 4 ff. (table of contents and publishers ads), 4 final blank leaves. Ink autograph of “R.d Taylor, 1833” on left pastedown. Title within in double-fillet frame. Very occasional pencil underlining. Clean and fresh internally. Bound in contemporary calf over boards, triple fillet blind-tooled panels on centre of covers with external angular fleurons, double fillet frame along edges. Skilfully rebacked preserving original spine in four compartments, and restored on corners. An excellent copy.

“James Keill (1673-1719), author of the most popular English anatomical compendium of the close of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth centuries, also enjoyed renown in the latter century as one of Britain’s leading iatromathematical physiologists…Keill felt himself sufficiently prepared to lecture on anatomy as early as 1698 for in that year he published the first edition of his popular Anatomy of the Humane Body abridged (London). The book is dedicated to Edward Tyson (1650-1708), lecturer in anatomy at Chirurgeons’ Hall and England’s leading comparative anatomist whose encouragement Keill credits with having led him to publish the work and whose ‘private Favours and Civilities’ Keill acknowledges. The dedication was retained in later editions but Tyson appears not to have figured further in Keill’s career. As a small, concise compendium, Keill’s Anatomy filled a definite gap in English anatomical works of that time but it was hardly an original effort. Keill himself made no secret of the fact that his ‘small Pocket-Book’, as he described it, was based upon the anatomical epitome of ‘M. Bourdon … who has expressed some things especially in his first Chapter, so briefly, and yet altogether so fully, as that I thought I could not do better than to Copy after them.’ However, some sections of Keill’s Anatomy, such as that on the brain, diverge considerably more from Bourdon than the earlier pages. It is thus incorrect to call it simply a copy of the French work, for although it appears that Keill had a copy of Bourdon’s work in front of him when he wrote his own, he had no hesitation in adding sentences or paragraphs to Bourdon’s text, deleting items such as clinical references, and otherwise rearranging material as he saw fit.” (JAMES KEILL OF NORTHAMPTON, PHYSICIAN, ANATOMIST AND PHYSIOLOGIST by F. M. VALADEZ and C. D. O’MALLEY)

ESTC R16835.


GERARD, John. The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by Iohn Gerarde of London Master in Chirurgerie, Very much Enlarged and Amended by Thomas Iohnson Citizen and Apothecarye of London

 London, Adam Islip Norton and Richard Whitakers, 1633.


Folio. Title-page, pp. (xxxvi) 1630 (xliv, i.e., 44 out of 48 original pages); missing initial blank and final blank (as usual) and two leaves at the end: 6z6 (from the “Table of English Names”, supplied with two leaves written in a late C18th or early 19th hand), 7b5 (the final leaf with errata). Engraved title-page laid down, lower outer corner torn, affecting the illustration only marginally. Mainly Roman and Italic letter, little Greek and Gothic, very sporadic Hebrew. Head- and tail-pieces, decorated initials (both historiated and floriated). More than 2500 beautiful and accurate botanical illustrations. Early owner’s autograph on verso of second leaf “Wilfrid Browne”. A few extensive tears without loss: 2×6, 3h3 (extensive), 3m6 (extensive but repaired with paper reinforces) and 5e3. Occasional ink spotting and candle burnings throughout, occasional age yellowing and wear to margins, otherwise in very good condition. A thoroughly used book that has remained surprisingly clean and functional. Rebound in modern brown skin over boards; spine in five compartments divided by double sewing support, with gilt-stamped title. Notwithstanding some flaws, a good copy of an important work in the history of botany.

Second edition, perhaps the best and most complete of all. A beautifully and fully engraved title-page by John Payne. This is Johnson’s enlarged version of the botanist’s major work, first published in 1597. The London apothecary Thomas Johnson (c.1595-1644) revised the original work, making it possible to distinguish his additions. This edition brought a new and more scholarly focus to Gerard’s Herball. Indeed, it was greatly esteemed and reprinted in 1636. It is extensively illustrated and Johnson drew several of the diagrams himself. The woodcuts included in the first edition were printed from wood-blocks obtained from Frankfurt, which had been used to illustrate the “Eicones plantarum” of Taberaemmontanus (1590). Johnson supplemented these with superior illustrations from the stock of Antwerp’s famous printer Plantin. “Gerard contributed greatly towards the advancement of the knowledge of plants in England, and in his Herball he described and illustrated several hundreds of our native flowering plants, including about 182 which were additional to those recorded in earlier works” (Henrey, p. 47).

Henrey 155; Nissen BBI 698; STC 11751.

GREW, Nehemiah

GREW, Nehemiah. The Anatomy of Plants with an Idea of Philosophical history of Plants. And Several Other Lectures, Read Before the Royal Society

London, W.Rawlins, 1682.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. 83 fine engraved plates, including 3 folding and two double-page and mounted on guards, woodcut headpieces and initials (numerous 7- and 9-line tall). Contemporary calf, rebacked, gilt spine in 7 compartments with raised bands, decorative panels on covers with external angular fleurons, single-fillet roll gilt along cover edges. Text-block Fore-edge marbled. Bookplate of “Hugh Cecil Earl of Lonsdale” on left pastedown. A fine copy.

Rare LARGE PAPER-ISSUE of the first complete edition of “Grew’s chief work which gained him the reputation of being one of the most distinguished scientists of the 17th century” (Hunt). “THE BIRTH OF MICROSCOPIC ANATOMY OF PLANTS” (Grolier Science). “This key work collected together all the botanical research that Grew had presented to the Royal Society during the previous decade. Grew was a conscious pioneer in a hitherto neglected area: as he put it in dedicating his “Comparative Anatomy of Trunks” to Charles II in 1675, ‘I may, without vanity, say thus much, That it was my fortune, to be the first that ever gave a Map of the Country’ (sig. A2v). It is on his findings in this area that his reputation as a scientist is chiefly based. His work was primarily marked by his brilliant observation and description of plants and their component parts; having begun by making observations using only the naked eye, Grew supplemented these with the use of a microscope under the tutelage of his colleague Hooke. His presentations to the society began in 1672-4 with the roots, branches, and trunks of plants, proceeding thereafter to their leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. In each area he was innovative, studying for the first time many features of plants that have since been taken for granted, such as their cell-like structure and the growth rings in wood, and deploying techniques which have since become commonplace, such as the use of transverse, radial, and tangential longitudinal sections to analyse the structure of stems and roots. He was also an innovator in the terminology he used to describe plants, first using such terms as ‘radicle’ or ‘parenchyma’, a word adapted from its use in animal anatomy by Francis Glisson” (DNB). Along with Marcello Malpighi, Grew is considered the founder of plant anatomy.

Grolier Science 43b; Henrey 162; Hunt 362; Nissen BBI 758; NLM/Krivatsy 4986; Norman 946; Pritzel 3557; Wellcome III, p.164. 


ARISTOPHANES. Kōmōdiai endeka. [Comoediae undecim]

Leiden, Ex Officina Plantiniana, Apud Christophorum Raphelengium,…, 1600.


12mo, pp. (iv) 620, A-G8 H4 I-Z8 a-q8 s2 (wanting A3 and final blank). Greek letter, sporadic Roman. Plantin device on title page and autograph of the English courtier Sir Robert Stapylton (1607-69)), dated 1654, plus another early autograph. Bookplate of the Right Honourable John Hookham Frere (1769-1846) on front pastedown. Slightly trimmed, annotated and underlined throughout with pencil, lightly browned and dampstained, leaves m2, n2 and o with marginal worm tracks and occasional minimal affection of text; q with part of upper margin torn apart with loss of a few letters. Faded pencil annotations on front and rear endpapers, marbled pastedowns. In a late elaborate mid C18th silver binding with floral motives, boards covered in scarlet velvet, clasps and catches. An interesting yet slightly defective copy in a remarkable binding and with a prestigious provenance.

An acclaimed and attractive pocket edition of the plays and dramas of Aristophanes printed at the Plantin Press. Aristophanes was the greatest of the Athenian comic dramatists and one of her greatest poets. For richness and fertility of imagination probably only Shakespeare is comparable and Aristophanes’ direct influence on English literature was considerable; the comedies of Jonson, Middleton and Fielding derive from him. Apart from constituting one of the surviving glories of Hellenic culture Aristophanes’ comedies are an invaluable source for its social history. His surviving plays, out of a probable forty or fifty, provide us with an accurate if satirical commentary on the political, religious, sexual, economical and domestic life of Athens over a period of thirty six years. His changes in style and content match the concurrent constitutional and social changes in the State itself. The plays’ themes are invariably contemporary, a mocking mirror to the condition of the city. This edition has the benefit of the scholia of Thomas Magister, John Tzetzes and Demetrius Triclinus themselves incorporating much of the more ancient commentaries of Appolonius, Callimaches, Didymus and others, which were superseded in later editions by much newer but also much inferior work.

 Adams A1717




PINDAR. ΠΙΝΔΑΡΟΥ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑ ΝΕΜΕΑ ΠΥΘΙΑ ΙΣΘΜΙΑ = Pindari Olympia, Nemea, Pythia, Isthmia. Una cum Latina omnium Versione Carmine Lyrico per Nicolaum Sudorium.

Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1697.


FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the Greek text. Folio, pp. (xxxiv) 56, 59-497 (xciii) 77 (iii). Greek, Roman and Italic letter. Double-column text, single-column commentary; exceptionally well margined. Engraved frontispiece by M. Burghers with Pindar’s portrait within an oval coat of arms placed on a wide plinth inscribed with encomiastic Greek verses; to the sides, Apollo and Hermes laying a laurel crown on the head of the poet; above, an angel plays a trumpet while holding a palm branch in his other hand. Large title-page vignette, again by Burghers, of the goddess Athena as patron of the arts with her aegis (shield with the head of Medusa) and other artistic attributes; in the background, a view of Oxford and some of its iconic buildings, among them the Sheldonian. Endpapers and a few first and final leaves very slightly browned, negligible, and not affecting the beautiful and unstained initial illustrations; a few light thumb marks and some spotting or toning. In a sumptuous nearly contemporaneous gilt-ruled red morocco over thick boards, inner dentelles, lettered spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers with two C19th bookplates to the front (the earliest one is of the chief commander of the Greek freemasonry linked to the Supreme Council, 33°; the other one is probably linked to the Greek island of Chios). Joints and cover edges a little worn and rubbed, corners with signs of skilled restoration. A fresh, crisp, exquisitely clean and large paper copy in an elegant binding, a.e.g.

Large paper copy of this ‘excellent edition’ regarded as dated by Brunet but patriotically supported by Lowndes. This is the first English edition of the Greek text of Pindar, edited by Richard West and Robert Welsted, both then young fellows at Magdalen College (and both of whom left Oxford shortly afterward, West for the priesthood and Welsted for medicine). Pindar’s Epinician Odes, or odes on victory, were written in honour of the victors at the four great panhellenic Games, and are accordingly grouped as Olympian, Pythian, Nemeana and Isthmian. Pindar was held in great regard in Oxford in the second half of the seventeenth century, as this edition evidences. English Pindarics were also in vogue as one can see from the popularity of Cowley’s versions (Abraham Cowley, “Pindarique Odes” in “Poems” (London, 1656)). The continental influence of Pindar can be detected in such diverse work as Galileo Galilei’s introduction to Siderus Nuncius”. The present book includes the Latin verse translation by Nicolas Le Sueur (1545-1594) along with the Greek text, plus a Latin prose paraphrase, the Greek scholia, Latin notes, a chronology of the Olympiads, multiple ‘Lives’ of Pindar, and, in a section at the end, a collection of Pindaric fragments. Dibdin calls it ‘a beautiful and celebrated edition’.

ESTC R20960; Moss II 410; Dibdin II 289; Brunet IV, 659; Lowndes V, 1868; Wing P-2245.


BIBLE. Biblia sacra, quae praeter antiquae latinae versionis necessaria emendationem, & difficiliorum locorum succinctam explicationem, (ut plurimum ex beatae recordationis viri, D. D. Lucae Osiandri, &c. Andreae Parentis, Commentariis Biblicis depromptam)…

Frankfurt am Main, Typis Matthiae Beckeri…, 1611.


Folio, ff. (vi = title page, portrait and preface), 286 (Old Testament), 110 (Prophets), 101 (New Testament), (xxv = indexes), ):(6 a-4a4 4b6 a-3G4 3H6. Roman and Italic letter. Decorated initials, tailpieces, pages ruled in black, central double-column text, each column with two side narrower rows of gloss and references, diagrams and chronological and genealogical tables. Beautiful title in compartments, within portico, with Moses and Aaron, the four Evangelists to the corners, a scene of Adam, Eve and God in the Garden of Eden, to the top, and the Nativity at foot. The following leaf, the portrait of Frederick Duke of Württemberg-Teck by Jacob Heyden, within an architectural border with personification of Justice and Prudence, his coat of arms to the top, declamatory verses at foot. The very occasional early ink underlining, some light soiling and a few marginal wormholes. In a contemporary German Protestant pigskin binding with original red morocco label and gilt lettering to spine with raised bands. In the centre of the front board, a stamped portrait of Luther with an open book in his hands and underneath the Latin sentence “Nosse cupis faciem Lutheri hanc / cerne tabellam si mentem libr / os consule certus eris”, which can loosely be translated as “You want to know the face of Luther, look at this picture; if his mind, be sure to read his books”. Lower corner of the board a little browned. Compartments with blind-tooled motives and stamped profiles of human figures, perhaps saints, alternating with floral elements and shields, or coat of arms, in a grotesque-like style. Central panel on the rear board somewhat worn and difficultly interpretable, but possibly shows four icons of saints. Swirling marbled pastedowns. This fine volume is perfect with the exception of the last few leaves with dampstained margins, a.e.r.

Fourth edition of this famous emended and commented version of the Vulgate, which was first published in 1522 with the revision and corrections of Andreas Osiander (1498-1552); today also known as the Osiander bible. A humanist, reformer, and theologian, Osiander embodied the various circles in which many Protestants ran, but also the complicated relationship between those various circles that led to tensions and divisions within the Reformation. A trained humanist, he mastered Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, he studied the Jewish Kabbalah and composed a harmony of the Gospels. He also became an early supporter of Luther’s reforms. The present copy not only shows Andreas’s commentary and glosses, but these were also enriched and expanded by his son Lucas the Elder (1534-1604). Lucas was a German pastor of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg and a composer of Lutheran church music.

Not in Darlow and Moule.

WRIGHT, Abraham (Ed.) – Delitiæ delitiarum

WRIGHT, Abraham (Ed.). Delitiæ delitiarum sive Epigrammatum ex optimis quibusq[ue] hujus & novissimi seculi poetis in amplissimâ illâ Bibliothecâ Bodleiana, et penè omninò alibi extantibus, ανθολογια, in unam corollam connexa.

Oxford, Excudebat Leonardus Lichfield impensis Gulielmi Webb, 1637.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. (xvi) 247 (i), †8 A-K12 L4, first leaf blank. Roman letter, a little Italic. T-p boxed within a frame, headpieces and fretwork decorations. Ms. autograph of Charles Stonor Bodenham (1712-1764), “Esq. of Rotherwas, m. Frances Pendrill, descended from Richard Pendrill, who saved King Charles II” (B. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. 1, London 1906, 11th ed., p. 154), on t-p. Small tear affecting foot of D2 and large tear to margin and centre of F5, no text loss. Light browning and age yellowing, some waterstainingon initial and final leaves, a very few ms. notes throughout. In early calf binding, gilt title on red morocco label to spine, spine and corners somewhat worn.

A Bachelor of Arts and Fellow of St. John’s College, Abraham Wright (1611-1690) published the results of his lighter reading in the Bodleian in a little volume printed by Leonard Lichfield. This book is mainly in verse and it is an anthology including poetry extracts, poems, and epigrams by various authors, from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, whose books are kept in the prestigious Oxford library. It includes an epigram on tobacco at page 218, which testifies to the novelty of tobacco smoking and chewing and the spread of its consumption at the time. During C17th, tobacco and its properties were debated all over Europe, with many supporters and as many opponents, King James I among the latter.



IAMBLICHUS (Gale, Thomas, Tr.). ΙΑΜΒΛΙΧΟΥ ΧΑΛΚΙΔΕΩΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΟΙΛΗΣ ΣΥΡΙΑΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΩΝ ΛΟΓΟΣ.= Iamblichi Chalcidensis ex Coele-Syria, De mysteriis liber. Præmittitur epistola Porphyrii ad Anebonem Ægyptium, eodem argumento.

 Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1678.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, pp. (xl) 316 (viii), *-2*2 a-h2 A-Z4 Aa-Zz2 Aaa-Nnn2. Roman and Greek letter, some Italic; Greek and Latin in parallel columns. Large title-page vignette of the Sheldonian Theatre. Some light browning and spotting throughout. Ex libris on front pastedown of Richard Fort, lord of the Read Hall manor, Lancashire, during the beginning of C19th; another unidentified bookplate, probably French, with initials “C. E. De M. K.”. In early gilt-ruled polished calf over boards, joints (especially the upper one) somewhat worn and rugged, gilt lettering to decorated spine in compartments with raised bands, marbled pastedowns and fore-edges. Covers and corners a little rubbed, leather repair to lower corner of rear board. An excellent, crisp and clean copy.

This is the first edition of Iamblichus’s De mysteriis, provided with a Latin translation by the English Classical scholar, antiquarian and cleric Thomas Gale (1636-1702). Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325) is among the most important of the so-called Neoplatonic philosophers, second only to Plotinus. He was a student of Plotinus’s disciple Porphyry. His influential treatise Theurgia, or On the Mysteries of Egypt deals with a ‘higher magic’ which operates through the agency of the gods. Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance authors like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.  “In 1678 Gale published the editio princeps of the De mysteriis, with fragments of Porphyry’s Epistle to Anebo, Eunapius’s Life of Iamblichus, and a biographical entry from the Suda, a Byzantine lexicon. Gale had received an exemplar of the De mysteriis from his teacher, Isaac Vossius, and used this as the basis for his edition. This exemplar is now known as Leidensis Vossianus graecus Q22. A number of variants given in Gale’s notes, however, are from codices regii (Paris), given to him by E. Bernard, Professor of Astronomy in Oxford, and by the French scholar J. Mabillon. Gale, who was once Professor of Greek in Cambridge (1666), and later Dean of York Cathedral (1677), had originally planned an edition of all of Iamblichus’s works; only the De mysteriis appeared, and Gale recognised its weakness, including the drastic omission of words and phrases as a result of printing errors. Moreover, Gale’s Latin translation contains many of his conjectures, and does not always follow the Greek text.” Iamblichus: De mysteriis, translated with an Introdction by Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell, 2003, p xiv.

 ESTC R13749; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), I26, Madan, III, 3179.