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PORTA Giovanni Battista della Magiae Naturalis libri viginti.


8vo (175 x 107 mm) 8 nn.ll., 663 pp. Contemporary flexible vellum, flat spine with manuscript title (some stains, slight worming to hinges).


1 in stock

Ferguson II, 216; Wellcome, 5185; NLM, 3928; Dorbon, 3728; Duveen, 481 (ed. 1651); Caillet, 8851 (for later editions).

Porta wrote this famous work on the secrets of nature at the age of 15. The first edition in five books, published in 1558, was enlarged to twenty books in 1589, and was a great success.

The work contains a wealth of information on natural history, medicinal and cosmetic preparations, optics – Porta was the first to describe the camera obscura – and alchemy: De metallorum transmutatione, De Distillationibus. Illustrated with woodcut figures in the text depicting furnaces and retorts. Good copy, small stain to lower outer corner at beginning. 

Unidentified rubber stamp on title with monogramm ‘AC’, bookplate Dr. Maurice Villaret.

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