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2013-10-07 17:45:02
FERNÁNDEZ RAJO (or RAXO), Francisco.
De Cometis, et Prodigiosis eorum portentis, Libri Quatuor.
- Woodcut printer?s device on title & two woodcut diagrams in the text. 10 p.l., one leaf of errata, 96 leaves, 12 unnumbered leaves. Small 4to, cont. limp vellum (well-rebacked in vellum), remains of deerskin ties. Madrid: G. Drouy, 1578 [as in other copies the "8" has been filled in by hand]. First edition of one of the rarest books in the literature on the famous comet of 1577, an "extraordinary apparition The works published on this comet form a turning point in the history of astronomy because precise observations were used to demonstrate that the Aristotelian views on comets, which had remained dominant for nearly two millennia, were incorrect. The comet of 1577 was shown to be well above the moon."?Yeomans, Comets, p. 33. Fernández (d. 1605), physician to Philip II and proto-medicus of Aragon, begins with a general discussion of comets, their origins, appearances, and medical and astrological significance. In the fourth book (pp. 61-96), he gives a detailed description of the comet of 1577 which he observed in Spain. There are two large woodcuts depicting his observations of the comet in the sky. I believe this is the only report of the 1577 comet coming from the Iberian peninsula. Minor browning but a very good copy. The errata leaf, as in other copies, seems to have been inserted into the binding at a later date. ? Palau 89613. Picatoste 258?(giving a long and detailed account of the contents). [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Inc.
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