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Titel: De reliquis animalibus exanguibus libri ...
Verlag: Bologna, Giovanni Battista Bellagamba, 1606 [colophon 1605]
Folio (355 x 238 mm), pp [viii, including engraved title and portrait] 593 [recte 595] 29, with engraved title, engraved portrait, and ca 600 woodcuts in text; two small old marginal repairs to title (pre-binding), paper flaw on T1 not affecting text, blank corner of Qq torn, a very fine, crisp, clean copy on thick paper, in early eighteenth-century Italian vellum, spine gilt with greek key patterns and orange label, engraved bookplate and old ecclesiastical library stamp on recto of dedication leaf. £4000 First edition, with the rare portrait, of Aldrovandi's treatise on molluscs, crustacea, and zoophytes, one of the earliest works devoted almost entirely to shells. This was the largest assembly of conchological illustrations and descriptions to date, and was part of Aldrovandi's massive zoological encyclopaedia, which was both a rival to and an extension of Gesner's great survey of the animal kingdom. Many of the descriptions and illustrations are based on specimens in Aldrovandi's own museum of natural history specimens. This volume was edited and published posthumously by Aldrovandi's widow Francesca. The Aldrovandi Museum in the University of Bologna preserves most of the woodblocks, the drawings for them, and many of the original specimens depicted.Aldrovandi (1522-1605), the great Bolognan naturalist, was inspired to study natural history by meeting Guillaume Rondelet in Rome, where Aldrovandi was obliged to go to defend himself against charges of heresy. 'Rondelet was then gathering material for his work on fishes. Aldrovandi, who accompanied the French physician to fish markets in order to study the various species, finally decided to study natural history, and began collecting specimens for his own museum .'Although Aldrovandi is not identified with any revolutionary discoveries, his work as a teacher and as the author of volumes that constitute an irreplaceable cultural patrimony earns him a place among the fathers of modern science. Perhaps most importantly, he was among the first to attempt to free the natural sciences from the stifling influence of the authority of textbooks, for which he substituted, as far as possible, direct study and observation of the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds' (DSB).The portrait, often missing, is after Carracci according to Nissen.Nissen ZBI 68. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2046
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