Rare first illustrated edition of an early work on Spanish ornithology

Ferrer de Valdecebro, A.

Govierno general, moral y politico hallado en las Aves mas generosas, y nobles, sacado de sus naturales, virtudes, y propiedades le escrive el Padre Maestro Fray Andres Ferrer de Valdecebro...le consagra al gloriosissimo Padre, y apostol Valenciano San Vicente Ferrer.

Published 1670
Item ID 1472

excl. VAT

Madrid, M. Alegre, 1670. 4to (20.5 x 13.7 cm). [xl], 205 numbered leaves, 30 pp. of "tabla general" (general index); one engraved portrait of San Vicente Ferrer and 18 text engravings; all of the birds discussed. Limp vellum with beautifully contemporary calligraphed title on the spine.

Rare first illustrated edition. An interesting mixture of fact and fancy that throws much light on popular ideas regarding the ornithology of Spain in the 17th century, in which (with some information of value) one finds the usual pious adjuncts to be expected from this author. Although Wood only quotes 17 plates, we think it should have 18, as our copy has. It deals with the Aguila (eagle), Buytre (buzzard), Cigueña (stork), Garza or Garça (heron), Cisne (swan), Fenix, Pelicano (but the illustration suggests that the writer did not know this bird), Halcon (falcon), Gavilan (harrier), Buho (owl), Grulla (crane), Papagayo (parrot), Ansaron (goose), Avestruz (ostrich), Pavo Real (peacock), Cuervo (crow), Paloma (pigeon), and the Gallo (chicken). The leaf numbering is not entirely consistent. Some marginal foxing and one right corner of the text (p. 143) with some slight loss of paper, but without touching the text itself. Later flyleaves and a library stamp on the title page. Palau mentions a first, unillustrated edition from 1668. However, we find no references to that edition elsewhere. In any case, this is the first illustrated edition, including an engraved portrait of the author. The Licencia de la Orden is dated 30 de Setiembre 1669, the Aprobation Octubre 23 de 1669. Several later editions appeared. Jerez, p. 43; Palau, 90597; Wood, p. 339.

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