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De unicornu observationes novae. Secunda editione auctiores & emendatiores editae à filio.Amsterdam, Henricus Wetstein, 1678. 12mo. With an engraved frontispiece by Romeyn de Hooghe, a folding engraved plate, 20 full-page and 3 smaller engraved illustrations. Contemporary vellum.
- Krivatsy 822; Roling, "Der Wal als Schauobjekt", in: Enenkel & Smith (eds.), Zoology in early modern culture, pp. 172-196; Verkruijsse, Romeyn de Hooghe 1678.01; Wellcome II, p. 107. Second, expanded and illustrated edition, of a scientific study of unicorns and the miraculous properties of their horns. It was written by Thomas Bartholin (1616-1680), a Danish physician best known for his discovery of the lymphatic system. The author's father, Caspar Bartholin (1585-1629), and uncle, Ole Worm (1588-1654), had previously studied the horns of unicorns in a systematic way, with Worm concluding that the horns were in fact the tusks of a Narwhal. In De unicornu observations novae, Thomas combined all previous knowledge on unicorns and other horned animals and paid particular attention to the narwhal. Bartholin concluded that the Icelandic traders had sold the "horns" for hundreds of years, knowing they were the tusks of the Narwhal, a marine mammal, and that mainland Europeans took them for unicorn horns. Nevertheless, Bartholin saw no reason to consider the unicorn a fictitious animal.This second edition is expanded with Bartholin's study on the medicinal properties of the horns, prepared by his son Caspar (1655-1738). Bartholin concluded that the medicinal qualities were ascribed to them correctly and that the horn worked "like an early form of aspirin" (Roling). The second edition was also the first to be illustrated with numerous illustrations showing the narwhal and other horned animals, objects made from horns and a number of horns and tusks. The frontispiece by Romeyn de Hooghe shows an allegory of the traditional unicorn accompanied by several horned creatures.With bookplates and ownership inscriptions and annotations. With a few spots and the binding slightly soiled; a very good copy.
      [Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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