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2019-09-05 12:33:46
Engraved portrait of Georg Everhard Rumphius. Amsterdam 1741. 387 x 245mm.
The engraving has been mounted on old paper and on the verso is written a text in English by an old hand about the importance of this famous botanist. The portrait served as a frontispiece to the first volume of Rumphius' 'Herbarium Amboinense'. He would become known as Plinius Indicus (the Pliny of the Indies). In 1652 Rumphius enlisted with the Dutch East Indies Company and took up residence in Amboina in 1653. His sight was failing and by 1670, when his great work was ready for publication, he had become blind. His bad fortunes continued when in 1674 his wife was killed in an earthquake, and in 1687 a fire destroyed his library including his original drawings. These were drawn anew by his son Paul, and in 1692 the manuscript of the first six volumes was sent to Holland for publication, but the ship carrying it was destroyed by the French. Copies of the manuscript for the complete work did not reach Holland until 1697, where it languished for 32 years in the archives of the Dutch East Indies Company. It was Jan Burmann who rescued it and prepared it for publication.
Bookseller: Antiquariaat JUNK B.V. (Natural History Booksellers since 1899) [Netherlands]
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