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    Cristobal Acosta. Tractado de las Drogas, y Medicinas de las Indias Orientales. Burgos, Spain: Martin de Victoria, 1578. First edition. Twelvemo (7.375 x 5.5 inches; 187 x 140 mm). Eleven unnumbered leaves, 448 pages, 38 pages, and colophon. Complete with 48 woodcuts, including title page portrait of Acosta, 45 woodcuts of medicinal plants and herbs, and 2 of Asian elephants. The volume also includes woodcut initials heading each chapter. Bound in original vellum boards with leather ties. Faint dampstaining, worming to several pages towards the end, toning throughout, and expected age wear. Some internal foxing and scattered dampstaining. Overall, good-very good condition.

    This a rare first edition of a treatise of the drugs and medicines of the East Indies by physician and botanist Cristobal Acosta. This work of therapeutic botany, describing non-European flora and plants with medicinal properties, is based to some degree on the previous work by the botanist Garcia da Orta, whose 1563 work was the first European account of Indian materia medica. Acosta met da Orta during his travels in Asia. Highly influential in its day, Acosta's work describes and, in some cases, illustrates both East and West Indian plants, herbs, and spices, including cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg, coconut, sandalwood, and pineapple, all relatively unknown to Europe at the time. There is also a chapter on opium and one on Asian elephants, the latter described-and illustrated-for the first time in a scientific publication. Sabin 113.

    A nice copy of this essential early work in therapeutic botany.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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