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Original price £3,000.00 - Original price £3,000.00
Original price
£3,000.00 - £3,000.00
Current price £3,000.00

[Travel] [Chemistry and alchemy] Tollius, Jacobus [Hennin, Heinrich Christian von]: Epistolae itinerariae ex auctoris schedis postumis recensitae, suppletae, digestae ; annotationibus, observationibus et figuris adornatae, cura et studio Henrici Christiani Henninii. Amstelaedami [Amsterdam], typis Francisci Halmae [...] veneunt in officina Joannis ab Oosterwyk [...] 1700.

First edition of this illustrated work which describes a writer’s tour through Central Europe, Germany and Italy, meeting learned people, seeing curiosities, recording wonders and examining libraries. The interests of Toll or Tollius (d.1696), who was an academic and trained physician, include chemistry and alchemy, and he writes on minerals and mineral waters, on chemical gold and medals produced from it, and on scientists. In Berlin, he visits with the chemist Johann Kunckel (1630-1703) (46-47). Toll’s book is composed of six discursive letters, all indexed together. The original recipients were the politician, colonial administrator and Fellow of the Royal Society Nicolaes Witsen (1641-1717) (two letters); the scholar Johann Georg Graevius (1632-1703); the philosopher Gerard de Vries (1648-1705); the physician and scholar Theodoor Jansson (1657-1712); and the Prussian nobleman Dodo von Knyphausen (1641-1698). The book is edited by the insectologist Heinrich Christian von Hennin (c.1655-1703), who includes notes and observations at the end of each letter. Illustrations include an engaging statue of the pagan god Crodo, a fold-out of a set of medical instruments, Arabic inscriptions from the city of Buda, and two views of that city.


First edition. One volume, 24.2 cms. x 19 cms., in quarto, pp. [18] 260 [14] + 16 etched and engraved leaves of plates (4 folded). With frontispiece, title-page vignette, head-piece and initial (at beginning of preface and at p. 1), and in-page illustrations at pp. 130 and 244, all also etched and engraved. Title-page printed in red and black, woodcut decorations and initials, small woodcut diagram at p. 97, letterpress copies of ancient inscriptions. Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, roman, italic and fraktur letter. Light or medium browning, bound in contemporary vellum boards, title inked to spine, red sprinkled edges. Front pastedown with three contemporary manuscript notes, recording references to libraries of manuscripts in Leipzig, Dresden and Buda.

STCN 108585026. See John Ferguson, Bibliotheca chemica: a catalogue of the alchemical, chemical and pharmaceutical books in the collection of the late James Young of Kelly and Durris (2 vols., Glasgow 1906), II, 459 (a source for my present note).