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Liber secretorum ... De virtutibus herbarum - ALBERTUS MAGNUS (pseudo) - 1954. 
Earl of Southesk sale, Sotheby, 18 October 1954, 255 (this copy); EDIT16 CNCE 29555 (2 copies); Honeyman 51 (this copy); KVK & WorldCat (5 copies). Rare early edition (one of perhaps four or five early editions with the main text set in a roman type) of two works written ca. 1300 by an unidentified follower of Albertus Magnus concerning the extraordinary properties (magical, astrological, medicinal, etc.) of 16 plants, 45 minerals or gems and 18 animals (including many birds), and concerning the "wonders of the world". The first includes means to become invisible, feel no pain, arouse love, interpret dreams and make prophesies. The second includes mental manipulation of matter, cures for diseases, magic made with fire or light, means of breaking charms, and seeing the future in dreams. The woodcut is remarkable for its depiction of both numerous books with bosses, clasps, etc., and numerous accoutrements, such as a wedge-shaped book stand, a copy stand in the form of a four-sided pyramid on a pedestal, pens, ink wells and penknives. Senna used it again in 1504 on the title-page of John Pecham's Perspectiva communis. Though this edition, like many others, attributes the works to Albertus Magnus (ca. 1194?-1280) on the title-page and at the end of the texts, the attribution is believed to be spurious. An attribution to his follower Henry of Saxony (d. ca. 1378) has also been challenged.With a faded inscription in red ink below the colophon, in a 16th-century italic hand. With the engraved armorial bookplate of James, Earl of Southesk, on the front pastedown. With a short worm trail at the head of the last 2 leaves, and a small marginal chip (repaired) and tear, neither approaching the text, but otherwise in very good condition. The binding shows some small minor blemishes and its spine is slightly faded, but it is otherwise fine. A rare early edition of a popular book of botanical, mineral and zoological wonders.
[Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books (Since 1830)]
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