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D'Amboinsche Rariteitkamer, behelzende eene Beschryvinge van allerhande zoo weeke als harde Schaalvisschen, te weeten raare Krabben, Kreeften, en diergelyke Zeedieren, als mede allerhande Hoorntjes en Schulpen, die men in d'Amboinsche Zee vindt: Daar beneven zommige Mineraalen, Gesteenten, en Soorten van Aarde, die in d'Amboinsche, en zommige omleggende Eilanden gevonden worden?
Amsterdam, Fran├žois Halma, 1705 - Folio (403 x 257 mm), pp [xxxii] 340 [44], title printed in red and black, with frontispiece and engraved portrait of the author, and 60 engraved plates, mostly after drawings by Maria Sybilla Merian, one woodcut tailpiece, and 5 engraved vignettes; a fine, clean copy in contemporary Dutch calf, two corners slightly worn; spine ornamented in gilt, red label.First edition of the first work on the molluscs of the Molucca Islands, and a great catalogue of an important collection of marine flora and fauna, minerals, and fossils. This is of one of the most important early shell books.Rumph spent most of his life in the East Indies trading centre Amboina in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, where his pioneer descriptions of the flora and fauna earned him the sobriquet 'Plinius Indicus'. 'Day by day Rumphius accumulated manuscript descriptions and drawings of everything he observed. Even a cursory examination of the Amboinsche Rarieteitkamer reveals the outstanding talents of its originator; for the "Amboinese Curiosity Cabinet", despite its unpromising title, is full of accurate and detailed observations on the invertebrate animals encountered by him and molluscs are given special attention. First and foremost he was a brilliant field naturalist' (Dance).In 1670 Rumph went blind, and in 1674 his original drawings were destroyed by fire. The plates in this work were therefore based on drawings done in Holland by Maria Sybilla Merian from exotic shell cabinets (this accounts for the occasional intrusion of Mediterranean and West Indian species). See Dance for an account of the plates, and Schijnvoet's role as editor of the text.The fine frontispiece, engraved by Jakob de Later after Jan Goeree, depicts a shell museum with cabinets, entered through an arch with a shell-cartouche with 'Archimbaldo' shell grotesques and festoons, flanked by statues of Cybele (with mural crown and key) and Poseidon. Bearers are bringing baskets and boxes (one Chinese) to a table where scholars examine and sort shells. An East Indian landscape can be seen in the background, with people gathering and cleaning shells. The portrait, engraved by de Later after a design by Rumph's son, shows the blind Rumph at his desk with books, shells, and plants, other natural history objects behind him. The vignettes are excellent, and were drawn and engraved by Jan van Vianen. See Nissen for further details on the plates.Cobres pp 103-4; Landwehr VOC 591; Nissen ZBI 3518
      [Bookseller: WP Watson Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-02-28           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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