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Titel: Elephantographia Curiosa, seu Elephanti ...
Verlag: Erfurt, Johann Heinrich Grosch, 1715
4to (209 x 160 mm), pp [xxxii including frontispiece] 284 [recte 286] , with engraved frontispiece, 27 engraved plates, one folding, and one engraved plate in text; a very nice copy in contemporary sheep, minor repairs to spine. £8000First edition, presentation copy, of the first monograph on the elephant, by the Leipzig Burgomaster and professor of medicine, Petri von Hartenfels (1633-1718). The copy is inscribed by him to the Monastery of St Peter in Erfurt (see below).The first part of the work is devoted to fossil remains of elephants, the anatomy of elephants, their lives and habits, and the differences between Indian and African elephants. Much of this section concerns elephant teeth and tusks, their properties, use in art, etc. The second part deals with elephants' moral virtues and attributes, such as sympathy, gratitude, intelligence, courage, etc. The third part is devoted to the use of elephants in war, hunting, construction, etc.The frontispiece was designed by T.J. Hildebrandt and engraved by Jakob Petri, an Erfurt engraver; the plates are signed by the latter only. They depict a variety of scenes involving elephants, some being depictions of historical events, others showing elephants in their natural habitats engaged in various activities, such as feeding, washing, etc. The folding plate depicts elephant anatomy, with skeleton, skull, internal organs, dissected trunk, etc.There was a second edition published in 1723.Provenance: presentation copy from Hartenfels to the Monastery of St Peter in Erfurt, inscribed on front pastedown: 'Instructissimae Bibliotheca Regalis Monasterii Petrensis hunc de Elephanto Tractatum in sui memoriam offert Author. Erfordiae, die 3 Novembris, Anno 1714'; inscription of the monastery library on title; ownership inscription on blank recto of frontispiece of 'H. Graf du Moulin, München 20 Nov. 1839'Nissen ZBI 3149; C.A. Wood p 377. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2239
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