Editio secunda novis iconibus… Francofurti, in Bibliopolio Henrici Laurentii, 1620. Folio (370 x 240mm). pp. (40), 1052, 30, with hand-coloured woodcut on title page and over 700 fine contemporary hand-coloured woodcuts, of which many very large or full-page, together with 41 contemporary coloured or plain pen drawings or paintings in the text. (Together with) Historia Animalium liber V. Qui est de Serpentium natura… adiecta est ad Calcem, Scorpionis insecti historia… Francofurti, Impensis Henrici Laurentii, 1621. Folio (370 x 240mm). pp. (16), 170, with woodcut on title and 31 woodcuts. Contemporary vellum.
A unique copy with contemporary hand-coloured woodcuts and contemporary coloured- or pen drawings by Christophorus Schulterus. The drawings have sometimes been pasted in the margin of the text, occasionally drawn on the printed paper, and more frequently inserted as a slip. The format varies, some are small others almost as large as the printed book. The drawings are beautifully executed and have a lot of charm. The copy has numerous annotations and Schulterus makes frequent reference to Aldrovandi’s work on fishes, also other works as Schoenfels ‘Ichthyologica’. The drawings are in many cases after the woodcuts of Aldrovandi’s work. We were unable to find information about Christophorus Schulterus. He must have been a keen ichthyologist.
The title-page, with faint old stamp and insignificant small paper repair on verso, has the following inscription ‘Christophorus Schulterus D. suo me sibi comparavit.’ The meaning of this sentence is unclear. The name can also be read as Christophorus Schultetus (Stargard 1602 – Stettin 1649) who was a theologian and priest at Stettin, and author of several religious works.
Book V on snakes and insects has not been coloured.
Book IV ‘Fishbook’ is the third Latin edition, the first edition was published in Zürich in 1558. Book V ‘Snakes’ is the second Latin edition, the first edition was published in 1587.
A beautifully contemporary coloured copy, of Gesner’s history of fish and aquatic animals, part of his great encyclopaedia of the animal kingdom, and the first systematic treatise on zoology of the Renaissance. These woodcuts form the fourth great series of ichthyological illustrations, after Belon (1551), Rondelet (1554), and Salviani (1554), but are also the first general series of marine illustrations not confined to fish. A number of molluscs, crustaceans, shells, coral, and other marine organisms and products are illustrated.
“The fourth book…included much information about molluscs, illustrating with woodcuts many shells from the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific region for the first time. It cannot be regarded primarily as a conchological treatise but it deserves an honoured place among the books that advanced the study of Mollusca (Dance, P. Delights for the eyes and the mind, p. 6). The final Book V was published posthumously by Gessner’s friends Carron and Wolf from his notes and is mostly missing and rare.
A fine copy without the usual browning. Insignificant marginal worming at the inner margin towards the end.
Wellisch A. 26.3 & A 27.2.;