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Historiæ Naturalis de Piscibus et Cetis Libri V. Cum æneis figuris. + Historiæ Naturalis De Exanguibus Aquaticis Libri IV. Cum figuris Æneis.


Amstelodami (Amsterdam), Johannes Jacobi Schipperi, 1657. Folio. Bound in one later (ca. 1800) hcalf w. marbled boards, uncut. Back w. six raised bands and coloured title-labels. Hinges, capitals and corners w. traces of use. First 12 leaves of "De Piscibus" w. repair to lower margin (ca. 4 x 10 cm. and decreasing) w. waterstaining around it, neither repair nor waterstaining affecting text or illustrations. Otherwise internally nice and clean. Engr. t-p. and 48 engr. plates (most of them depicting between 7 and 20 animals that live in water), 5, (3), 160 pp. (De Piscibus) + woodcut title-vignette and 20 engr. plates (most of them depicting between 10 and 20 shell-fish etc.), 58, (2) pp. ¶ Second edition of both works. The "Exanguibus Aquaticis" is in accordance with Nissen's description of the second edition (Nissen 2134), the second edition of the "De Piscibus", however, is described in Nissen without year and as containing 47 plates, as the first edition, whereas this copy has 48 plates (all numbered), place and printer are the same. The first editions were both printed in Frankfurt in 1650.
Johnston (1603 - 1675) was born in Poland and of Scottish descend, he was primarily a medic and natural historian. His works are usually seen as compilations of information with no personal judgment accompanying it. None the less his works of natural history were of great importance to the growing interest in this field of the time. "For example four of his dictionary-style works on fish, birds, quadrupeds, and insects -published between 1650 and 1653 with excellent illustrations- were widely read and translated" (D.S.B. VII:164). Though he relied a lot on the writings of others (e.g. those of Aldrovandi), his works became of great importance, first of all because of their new educational approach, but they were also of paramount importance to the development of natural history in Japan. The first collected edition in Dutch of the Historia Naturalis published at Amsterdam in 1660, was presented as a gift to the Japanese ruler Shogun Yoshimune. It was the only source of knowledge of western natural history in Japan, until in 1750. "Jonston's writings were a useful contribution to seventeenth-century thought, although he was not in the forefront of changing concepts of the time." (D.S.B. VII:165).
These two works are the separate volumes three and four of Johnston's six-volume work "Historia Naturalis". All the beautifully executed plates are by Merian, who printed the first edition. Wood mentions this 1657-edition as the "editio princeps" (Wood p. 409). Nissen 2133 + 2134.

31 944 SEK

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