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Title: Les Merveilles des Indes Orientales et Occidentales ou nouueau Traitté des Pierres precieuses & Perles, contenant leur vraye nature, dureté, couleurs & vertus: Chacune placée selon son ordre & degré, suiuant la cognoissance des Marchands Orfévres, Le tiltre de l
Description: A Paris, De L'Imprimerie de Christophe Lambin ruë petit Pont, à l'Image sainct Martin, 1669. (At the end: 'acheué d'imprimer le 18. Decembre 1668.'). 4to. Copy issued without the portrait. W. woodc. vign. on tile, woodc. floral initials. Contemp. full polished clf., spine and covers gilt tooled, covers w. gilt arabesque supralibros. (Spine ends, lower edges and corners some rubbing, 1 corner dam.; binding 3 or 4 small single wormh.(VIII, 152, II (blank) pp.). (Lower blank margin 1 or 2 tiny wormh.). (Old owner's inscr. in ink on title page 'de centrigtizey'?). Second enlarged edition (by appr. 40 pages), more interesting than the first because of the survey of prices of pearls and diamonds in chs. XVII and XVIII (pp. 130 - 138), and the "Suite du chapitre de la perle" (pp. 74 - 90) dealing with South America. Moreover there's a chapter "Contre les chercheurs de la pierre philosophale et souffleurs d'Arquemie" [sic].: Sinkankas, vol. I, 593: second enlarged edition. 'Robert de Berquen, goldsmith of Paris; Biogr. Univ., 4, p. 536 states that he is the son of the so-called "inventor" of diamond bruting & polishing in Europe, namely Louis de Berquen... Very early and important treatise on gemstones, gold & silver, but with far more space devoted to gemstones. The first chapter attempts to reconcile differing views of various writers, as cited by Berquen, on the origin of gemstones and precious metals, with following chapters taking up the principal gemstones, and some minor ones, as diamond, sapphire, topaz, ruby, spinel, emerald ... [the second edition] Entirely reset, with additions to some chapters ...The chapter on pearl is augmented with an appendix which recounts the history of Spanish conquest in the New World and additionally gives remarks on pearl fisheries, natural history, and production. ... The chapter on gold and other metals, is also enlarged, pp. 111 - 120, by remarks on the merits of gold and other metals, and by the comments of the celebrated alchemist Nicolas Flamel (d. 1418) on the philosopher's stone and alchemical attempts to transmute metals ... New chapters compromise Ch 17, on the pricing of diamonds according to size and quantity, and Ch 18 on pricing of pearls. In terms of substance, this edition is considerably superior to the first [1661]; both are rare.': Sabin, 4957: Brunet VI (Table), item 4780: John Carter Brown libr. II, 51 - 52: James Ford Bell Coll. comp. B237 (ed. 1661): 'A detailed description of the varieties, quality, and locations of various precious stones to be found in the East and West Indies.': Duveen, 71: 'The book is a very sound and sober attack on the believers in transmutation': Ferguson, comp. II, 295, describing another work dealing with the same subject by Pierre de Rosnel. : Neu 436: Goldsmith 1921: Palau, 28340:

Keywords: alchemy gems gemmology

Price: EUR 9500.00 = appr. US$ 10325.05 Seller: Antiquariaat B.M.Israel B.V.
- Book number: 708