Conrad Gesner, three main works in one volume: "Vogelbuch, Thierbuch, Fischbuch", Zurich, Froschauer, 1557/1563
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A fabulous anthology, uniting the three main parts of Gesner's famous zoological encyclopaedia, which had appeared separately, in the first German editions. "An encyclopaedia intended to replace not only medieval compilations but even Aristotle's work of the same title" (PMM 77). The original Latin edition was published by Froschauer in four volumes between 1551 and 1558, the fifth volume on snakes was published posthumously in 1587. Conrad Forer provided the translation of the animal book, which combines the first two volumes of the original edition, with Johannes Herold working on a few chapters. "Though published while Gesner was still alive, it was probably not authorized by him. It contains some passages (especially fanciful of mythical animals) not found in Gesner's original". The somewhat abbreviated translation of the bird book was done by Rudolf Heusslein, while the fish book was also transcribed in German by Forer.
Folio (41 x 27 cm). With three title woodcuts and approx. 1000 text woodcuts, some full page sized. Collation: 6 nn, 263 num., 1 w.; 4 nn., 172 num.; 6 nn., 202 num. folios. Contemporary, blind-embossed, pigskin bindings, dated 1573, over wood covers, with chased brass corner fittings and originally two clasps (one bar is missing), slightly stained and scuffed. Some patches slightly stained brown or soiled, a few pages with restored tears, one folio with replaced corner imperfection, several woodcuts in the bird book (including the title woodcut) partly coloured. The title page of the bird book with the owner's inscription in ink (partly rubbed out), the purchase note penciled in the inner cover, both dated 1751.
VD 16, G 1728, 1734, 1741; Nissen, ZBl 1552, IVB 350, ZBl 1555; Wellisch A 23/24.4., A 25.5, A 26.4.
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