4to, pp. 12, with 1 engraved plate; a large copy in very good condition and bound in contemporary marbled wrappers.
US $608 €540
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De Cervo Volante et eius Hybernaculo.
First and only edition of the earliest monograph on the stag beetle. The fine plate shows the insect in all its glory, also his winter quarters in the trunk of an oak tree.
Franz Ernst Brueckmann (1697-1753) was a physician at Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel who was also an avid collector and assembled a fine cabinet containing minerals, fossils, natural history objects, scientific instruments, and curiosities. He travelled widely in the German speaking lands and wrote a number of essays, styled travelling letters (epistola itineraria), on topics he was interested in, some also discussing fellow collectors and their collections. These epistolae were issued separately and privately printed for the author. This is epistola itineraria 78. Brueckmann was a member of the Berlin Academy and the Leopoldian academy at Vienna.
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Regia via crucis.
First edition of an important counter-reformation devotional emblem book, with a title-page designed by Peter Paul Rubens. Haeften (1588-1648) was provost of the Benedictine abbey of Affligem, Belgium, and played an important role in the reform of the Benedictine order. The Regia via crucis was his most important work, running to over 40 editions, including translations into Dutch, French, Spanish and other languages. The work was intended ‘to provide the (Catholic) reader with a good understanding of the significance of the Stations of the Cross, to inspire imitation of Christ’s example, and thereby to become acquainted with the way to the Kingdom of God. The rather abstract spiritual journey that the human soul had to make towards this goal is made more concrete by the ... selection of such principal figures as the Virgins Anima – the personification of the human soul – and Staurophila – a Greek name that literally means the one who adores the cross. Their experiences in the imitation of Christ and the resulting lessons of life were nothing else but allegorical examples that were to lead every reader to the just and good. The engraved illustrations are very important in this regard as they support the meaning of the text in a simple and clear emblematic manner.’ (The illustration of books published by the Moretuses p. 118-9).