Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvees en Grece, Asie, Iudée, Egypte, Arabie, & autres pays estranges, redigées en trois liures. Reueuz de nouveau & augmentez de figures. Le catalogue contenant le plus notables choses, est en la page fuyuante.
Item ID 61015
Anvers [Antwerpen, Antwerp], Christofle Plantin, 1555. Small, thick 8vo (14.3 x 9.4 x 4.5 cm). [lxxvi], 375 numbered leaves [= 749 pp.], one printed leaf with the privilege, one larger, folded map/view. Later vellum. Spine with black printed title. The first Antwerp edition of this influential work on the history, geography, and natural history of the Near and Middle East by the French naturalist and explorer Pierre Belon du Mans (born 1517 – murdered in Paris, 1564). Belon travelled through these regions between 1546 and 1550 and made numerous observations on the plants and their use, on animals (including a great deal on herpetology), people (with their various costumes), and towns. The work includes the folded "map" with a view on Mont Sinai, and in the text a similar map/view of Alexandria. His reports are generally correct and not rooted in fantasy and hearsay as is often the case with his contemporaries, the sole exception being the illustration of a small dragon-like creature. Other woodcuts show trees, birds, mammals, snakes, a crocodile, a giraffe, a lobster, etc. The partially dyed fore and bottom edges suggest that this book may once have been bound in an oblong form. Some light, mostly marginal spotting but generally quite clean. The binding is modern in contemporary style. Rare in any a state. Brunet, 4533 [p. 762, with illustration of the Plantin mark]; Nissen ZBI, 304. The most influential work on the history, geography and natural history of the Near and Middle East