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Ost- und West-Indischer wie auch Sinesischer Lust- und Stats-Garten
N¸rnberg,: Johann AndreÊ Endter, 1668.. Thick folio, engraved title, followed by title-page in red & black, envoi to German Emperor Leopold I with separate armorial frontispiece, 65 plates, with one textual illustration and the terminal Errata leaf; contemporary full pigskin with blind-embossed armorial stamps "Insigne Preposit Rayhradensis Ordinis S Benedicti" (with manuscript annotations from the Benedictine library on title-page), leather straps on brass clasps repaired but original, banded spine with early manuscript spine title. A monumental work on the East and West Indies and Asia; a splendid copy, in a well-preserved binding from a Benedictine library, of this work of exotic natural history by one of the most prolific authors of the seventeenth century. This ornate and lavishly illustrated book was a good companion to aristocratic collections of curiosities and Wunderkammern. The descriptions of natural history are interspersed with ethnographical musings, homeopathic advice on folk medicines and the history of European exploration and expansion, both actual and fabulous.The three books of this vast work treat of the natural history, the customs, and the curiosities of the East and West Indies, and the Americas, 'with many very curious details' (Sabin), as curious as speculations about which animal might triumph in a fight between a tiger and a dragon, the anatomy of mermaids and mermen, or the habits of the flying tortoises of China. One of its delights is the extraordinary series of detailed plates, including two views of Batavia (founded 1623) showing the harbour packed with junks, packets, and exclusively Dutch ships.Erasmus Franz (or Franciscus), was born in L¸beck in 1627 and died in Nuremberg in 1694. A polymath, he is best known for his indefatigable collecting of all sorts of folklore, natural history and ethnography; his massive studies, often published under coy pseudonyms, were bestsellers in seventeenth-century Europe. It is said that his career as a writer was forced upon him after he broke both his legs in a bad fall and so took a position with the publishers Endter.As the work itself shows, Franz was knowledgeable about ancient and modern voyages and travels alike. One of the most interesting aspects of this publication is the 6-page preface listing the 'works consulted', which shows that he was able to access an amazing variety of published and manuscript material. Thus, works such as Caesar's De Bello Gallico, the Jewish histories of Flavius Josephus or the work of Pomponius Mela are listed alongside German editions of Thomas Cavendish and Francis Drake, or Latin editions of Columbus, Vespucci, Desiderius Erasmus, and the Cosmographia of the cartographer Sebastian Munster.Because of the work's scope, it is frequently cited by histories and bibliographies of the period. Borba de Moraes, for example, marvelled that the 'bibliography is quite complete, and for Brazil contains a considerable number of the books published up to that time, with the exception of Portuguese works'.Borba de Moraes, 323; John Carter Brown, 668/61; Sabin, 25463.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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