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    Finely Illustrated Work on Magic, Divination, Sibyls, Lycanthropy, Incubi, and Succubi

    Jean Jacques Boissard.Tractatus posthumus Jani Jacobi Boissardi Vesuntini De Divinatione & Magicis Praestigiis: Quarum Veritas ac Vanitas solidè exponitur per Descriptionem Deorum Fatidicorum qui olim Responsa dederunt; eorundemque Prophetarum, Sacerdotum ... / Adiunctis simul omnium Effigiebus, ab ipso Autore è Gemmis, Marmoribus, Talibusq[ue] antiquis ad vivum delineatis; iam modò eleganter aeri incisis per Joh. Theodor. de Bry ... prostat. Oppenheim: Hieronymus Galler, [1615.] First Edition. Folio. (4. 2)(4, 3)(6, A-2Y4). [28], [Two portraits of author,] 358, [12] pages. Engraved architectural title page, engraved dedication leaf with coat-of-arms on verso, fifty-two engraved text illustrations including two portraits of the author and one of the engraver (dated 1615) by Johann Theodore de Bry; and seven text diagrams. Modern half vellum over paste-paper boards, gilt royal emblem in center, stamp of "Bibliothek Regia in Berlin" on verso of the title page, light foxing and minor dampstains on some pages, a few of the preliminary leaves smaller (supplied from another copy?), small early repair in gutter of 2Y4; book-label of Ezechiel Spanheim (1629-1710, numismatist, diplomat, and scholar). The volume has a red morocco title-piece on its spine from Boissard's 1627 second edition of Parnassus Biceps, which presumably was bound in this volume with the Tractatus... and then removed. There is a resultant gap between the title page and the front cover. Archival reinforcement on both hinges. Boards have small spots of surface paper loss. Otherwise in very good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Jean Jacques Boissard (1528-1602), "French antiquary and Latin poet, was born at Besancon. He studied at Louvain; but, disgusted by the severity of his master, be secretly left that seminary, and after traversing a great part of Germany reached Italy, where he remained several years and was often reduced to great straits. His residence in Italy developed in his mind a taste for antiquities, and he soon. formed a collection of the most curious monuments from Rome and its vicinity. He then visited the islands of the Archipelago, with the intention of travelling through Greece, but a severe illness obliged him to return to Rome. Here he resumed his favorite pursuits with great ardour, and having completed his collection, returned to his native country; but not being permitted to profess publicly the Protestant religion, which he had embraced some time before, he withdrew to Metz, where he died on the 30th of October 1602". (EB, 11th edition.)

    This work on divination, necromancy, and magic is mainly based on earlier authors such as Trithemius. It also deals with different occult arts with such particular themes as lycanthropy, Simon Magnus, incubi and succubi. Greek verses on the subjects and their Latin translations are included. There is also an account of the oracle gods and seers of antiquity with a portrait of each: Jupiter of Dodona, Ammon, Themis, the Pythian Apollo, Trophonius, Serapis, the Sibyls, and many others.              

    VD17 1:001108C. Rosenthal, Magica, 1249. Caillet 1348. "Ouvrage fort rare et très recherché." Cicognara 4681. Brunet 1,1068. Thorndike V,504. Mellon 72. Coumont B90.3.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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