Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque ... Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque ... Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque ... Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque ...

Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque Pennio inchoatum

Moffet, Thomas

Published by Ex Officina Thom. Cotes. Et venales extant apud. Guiliel Hope, London, 1634
Condition: Good Hardcover

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Large Quarto. (20) 326 (4)pp. Original calf with gilt stamped coat of arms of the "Society of Writers to the Signet" on covers and gilt lettering on red label of spine; raised bands. Illustrated title page woodcut; decorative head -and tail-pieces and initials, some historiated. First entomological work printed in England. The title page woodcut of a beehive, here surrounded by 11 images of insects, is reproduced on page 4 w/o surrounding insects. Four full pages with woodcuts of insects at rear. Approximately 500 remarkable in-text woodcuts in various sizes and placement on pages, including some full page displays. Text in Latin. Binding scuffed on cover and along edges. Front cover attached only at top band, back cover detached. Small leather plate with handwritten numeral glued to lower spine. Small bookplate glued to upper left corner of inside cover. Foxing in margins of book block not affecting text for the most part; sporadic soiling in margins. One inch tear at top right corner of page 133, 2 1/2" tear in lower left corner of page 323. A few printer errors in pagination, page 48 is printed as 52, 129 and 286-295 omitted, though text is continuous and complete. Pages of book block rippled with circular indentations throughout. Binding in overall poor, interior in good condition. Thomas Moffet (Muffet, Mouffet, Moufet), physician, naturalist, and proponent of the Paracelsian system of medicine, had completed the manuscript by 1590 but it wasn't until 1634 that Sir Thomas Mayerne published it. Considered a valuable work on the natural history of insects, their habits, habitat, breeding, and economic impact; it was partly compiled from the writings of Edward Wotton, Conrad Gesner, and from papers left to Moffet by his friend Thomas Penny. In 1658 it was translated into English by J. Rowland as "The Theatre of Insects, or Lesser Living Creatures" and appended with the plates to Topsell's "History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents." The Dictionary of National Biography, a standard work of reference on notable figures from British History: "Haller. praises the copiousness of the species described and the character of the engravings, and while admitting that Moffet gave credence to too many fabulous reports, acknowledges him to be the prince of entomologists before John Swammerdam (1637-80)." Rave, in English Naturalists from Neckham to Ray," devotes a 20 -page chapter to this work: "If we compare it with the only contemporary work on the same theme, Aldrovandi's seven books "De insectis," our admiration of the Theatrum is manifestly increased." According to Garrison-Morton, 288, "To date, this was the best work of its kind and it set a new standard of accuracy in the study of invertebrates." And the STC 17993a: "A rare and important work, has the first depiction of the American butterfly (large woodcut on p. 98).". Bookseller Inventory # 35494

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum...

Publisher: Ex Officina Thom. Cotes. Et venales extant apud. Guiliel Hope, London

Publication Date: 1634

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First edition, second issue.

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