Description

    Wilhelm Reich's Copy of Kircher's Ars Magna

    Athanasius Kircher. Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae In X. Libros digesta. Quibus Admirandae Lucis & Umbrae in mundo, atque adeo universa natura, vires effectusque uti nova, ita varia novorum reconditiorumque speciminum exhibitione, ad varios mortalium usus, panduntur. Editio altera priori multo auctior. Amsterdam: Johann Janssonius von Wesberge and Heirs of Elizaeus Weyerstraten, 1671. Second edition. Folio. Approximately 14.75 x 10 inches. *-2*4, 3*6, (*)2, A-4X4. [28],810 (710), [10] pages. Engraved title-page by Pierre Miotte , three engraved plates [lacks portrait of Johann Friedrich Graf Wladstein, and folding Jesuit horoscope], forty-three text engravings and over 400 text cuts. Contemporary full vellum, ink titles on spine. Spine damaged with small losses, text browned (as usual). Text soiled. Bookplate of Enoch Karrer, gift label to Wilhelm Reich from Aurora Karrer dated 1955, signature of Wilhelm Reich on front free endpaper (detached and torn). Old catalogue note from Sotheran's affixed to title-page. Provenance: [1] Girolamo Tuschi, early stamp on title-page; [2] scientist Enoch Karrer Sr. (1887-1946), bookplate; [3] Aurora Karrer, biologist at the National Institutes of Health (who was romantically involved with Reich), tipped-in note presenting this book to Wilhelm Reich; [4] psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) with his signature dated "Orgonon, 12 September 1955". Fair. A very tall copy, with an excellent provenance.
    STCN 167102. Dunnhaupt 7.2. Caillet 5770. Ferguson I, 466. Graesse IV, 21. Brunet III, 666. Poggendorf I, 1259. Sommervogel IV, 1050. Liebermann & Wahl 937. Frizot, Photography, 17ff. Harvey, Luminescence, 103ff. From the Collection of Krown & Spellman.
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    More Information:

    Kircher, Athanasius. Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae In X. Libros digesta. Quibus Admirandae Lucis & Umbrae in mundo, atque adeo universa natura, vires effectusque uti nova, ita varia novorum reconditiorumque speciminum exhibitione, ad varios mortalium usus, panduntur. Editio altera priori multo auctior. Amsterdam: Johann Janssonius von Wesberge & Heirs of Elizaeus Weyerstraten, 1671. Folio. *-2*4, 3*6, (*)2, A-4X4. [28],810 (710), [10]p. Contemp. vellum, spine damaged with small losses, bookplate of Enoch Karrer, gift label to Wilhelm Reich from Aurora Karrer dated 1955, signature of Wilhelm Reich on f.e.e.p. (torn across and repaired), browned (as usual), very tall copy, old catalogue note from Sotheran's.
    Provenance: [1] Girolamo Tuschi, early stamp on t.p.; [2] scientist Enoch Karrer Sr. (1887-1946), bookplate; [3] Aurora Karrer,biologist at the National Institutes of Health who was romantically involved with Reich, tipped-in note presenting this book to Wilhem Reich; [4] psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)his signaure dated "Orgonon, 12 September 1955". Engraved Title-page by Pierre Miotte , 3 engraved plates.[ Lacks port of Johann Friedrich Graf Wladstein, and folding Jesuit horoscope']43 text engravings and over 400 text cuts. "In Ars magna lucis et umbrae Kircher discusses the sources of light and shadow. The work deals especially with the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Kircher also treats phenomena related to light, such as optical illusions, color and refraction, projection and distortion, comets, eclipses, and instruments that use light, such as sundials and mirrors. He theorizes about the type of mirror supposed to have been used by Archimedes to set Roman ships afire, drawing from notes of his own experiments performed in the harbor of Syracuse. The work includes one of the first treatises on phosphorus and fireflies. Here Kircher also published his depictions of Saturn and Jupiter as he observed them through a telescope in Bologna in 1643. On that occasion he observed that the planets were neither perfectly round nor self-luminous, contrary to the popular Aristotelian belief that they are perfect, unchanging spheres. Kircher takes a great interest in sundials and mirrors in this book, and several interesting engravings are of fanciful sundials.... Kircher also discusses an odd ancestor of the modern projector: a device called the 'magic lantern,' of which he is generally, though erroneously, considered the inventor." [Brian Merrill,Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680).BYU Cat.]
    "Kircher centainly did some kind of natural magic, In his Ars magna lucis et umbrae...there is a section on Magia lucis et umbrae; this magic is described as, not a diabolic, but a natural magic. The section concludes with the ecstatic chapters on Pseudo-Dionysius and Trismegistus on light which is somewhat reminiscent of similar developments of light themes in Patrizi." [Frances Yates, Giorgano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition.]
    "He gives the first printed picture of Saturn, whose rings he seems to have perceived as two small ellipses flanking the planet, and of Jupiter with two versions of its markings as he saw them through a telescope in Bologna in 1643." [Joscelyn Godwin, Kircher.] STCN 167102. Dunnhaupt 7.2. Caillet 5770. Ferguson I,466. Graesse IV,21. Brunet III,666. Poggendorf I, 1259. Sommervogel IV, 1050. Liebermann & Wahl 937. Frizot, Photography, 17ff. Harvey, Luminescence, 103ff.



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    April, 2015
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