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First Latin edition, printed by Plantin, of Belon's illutrated oriental travel account, with 43 woodcuts

BELON, Pierre.
Plurimarum singularium & memorabilium rerum in Graecia, Asia, Aegypto, Judaea, Arabia, aliisq. exteris provinciis ab ipso conspectarum observationes, tribus libris expressae.
(2) BELON, Pierre. De neglecta stirpium cultura, atque earum cognitione libellus: edocens qua ratione silvestres arbores cicurari & mitescere queant. Antwerp, Christoffel Plantin, 1589. 2 works in 1 volume. 8vo. With Plantins woodcut compasses device on each title-page, 43 woodcuts in text (6 full-page), woodcut decorated initials. With an unrecorded 2-page corrigenda leaf. Contemporary overlapping limp vellum. [16], 495, [1 blank]; "78" [= 87], [1 blank], [2] pp.
€ 4,750
Belon's account of his voyage through the Levant, here in the first Latin edition, by Christoffel Plantin translated (from Plantins 1555 edition in the original French) and with a few additional notes by the great botanist Carolus Clusius, formerly director of the botanical garden of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II at Vienna and later that of Leiden University. From 1546 to 1549 the famous French naturalist Pierre Belon (or Bellon, Belon du Mans; 1517-1564) made a journey through Greece, the Greek Islands, Alexandria, Lower Egypt, Judea, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and back to Rome. His original intention was to study the indigenous plants, because he had read much about their medicinal value. He also made notes on the religion and customs of the local population and on ancient buildings and other antiquities. He published his findings under the title Les Observations de Plusieurs singularitez & choses memorables, trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Iudée, Egypte, Arabie, & autres pays estranges ... (Paris, 1553). The work received wide attention and Plantin published the first edition outside Paris (Antwerp, 1555): one of the first books he published. Pieter van der Borcht and the woodblock cutter Gerard Janssen van Kampen made the present woodcuts for the present edition after those of Plantin's French edition of 1555 (whose woodcuts had been sold at an auction in 1562). They depict plants and trees, animals, a map of Turkey and a view of Alexandria. Plantins grandson, successor to his Leiden office, published a second Latin edition in 1605. Clusius also translated the second work into Latin, from the first French edition of Belons Les remonstrances sur le default du labour et culture des plantes, et de la connoissance d'icelles, contenant la maniere d'affranchir et apprivoiser les arbres sauvages (Paris 1558). It discusses exotic trees that might be introduced into France.
The present copy has as additional singleton 8vo leaf bound at the end, printed on both sides, containing corrections for both works (including those noted in the Plurimarum singulariums integral corrigenda), not mentioned by Voet, Adams, Bibl. Belgica, USTC, etc. It shows no watermark, but is set in 16th-century types, probably the roman and italic used for the Plurimarum singulariums privilege.
With an early Leipzig owners inscription on the title-page ("David Aich. Heuser") and a 19th-century(?) Transylvanian(?) library stamp (Bibliotheca Cranziana) on title-page, and a modern bookplate on first free endleaf (L. Façee Schaeffer). Vellum slightly stained and curled, top of spine slightly cracked. Otherwise in very good condition. Ad 1: Adams B566; Bibl. Belg. B123; Index Aurelius 116334; Nissen, ZBI 305; Pritzel 695; USTC 402196; Voet 639. Ad 2: Adams B556; Bibl. Belgica B124; Pritzel 609 note; USTC 402197; Voet 638.
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Islamic culture  >  Medicine & Science | Natural History
Middle east & islamic world  >  Arabian Peninsula & Gulf States | Mediterranean Regions