Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "The Most Complete Materia Medica of the Time"

    Pierre Pomet. Histoire Generale des Drogues, traitant des Plantes, des Animaux & des Mineraux; Ouvrage enrichy de plus de quatre cent figures en taille-douce tirees d'apres nature; avec un discours qui explique leurs differens noms, les pays d'ou elles viennent, la maniere de connoitre les veritables d'avec les falsifiees, & leurs proprietez, ou l'on decouvre l'erreur des Anciens & des Modernes; le tout tres utile au public. Paris, Jean-Baptiste Loyson, & Augustin Pillon, et Estienne Ducastin, 1694. First edition, text in French. Folio. 15.75 x 9.75 inches. [12], 16, 304 [i.e. 336, like in all copies following page 232 of the first part are 32 pages numbered I to XXXII (while continuing normal pagination alongside), followed by and continuing from page 233]; 108; 116, [38] pages. Illustrated with more than 400 engravings in the text of plants and animals, pictorial head- and tail-pieces and decorative initials, title page printed red and black, with half-title present but wanting frontispiece portrait. Full contemporary mottled calf rebacked at an early date preserving the original spine tooled in gilt in compartments with raised bands. Some repair or renewing to corners. Covers rubbed, scuffed and scratched with some staining and spotting. Joints rubbed and top of joint at rear board starting. Some pages lightly browned or faintly foxed and spotted, dampstaining to the top margin of some preliminary leaves, including the title page, miscellaneous dampstaining in a few other places though mostly minor and marginal, significant paper tears touching text and/or images to leaves Niv; Ti; Bbi; Ppiii in the first part and Ci; Eiii; Fi; and Kiv in the second part. Other miscellaneous short tears to the margins. Early ink marginalia on shoulders, and preliminary and terminal leaves, and ink notes under or beside many of the engraved text illustrations. Altogether, and despite the flaws noted, still a very good, attractive and desirable copy of the first edition of this important work.

    More Information:

    French pharmacologist Pierre Pomet (1658-1699) was a chemist and botanist who was the chief supplier of drugs to Louis XIV. He travelled widely in Europe collecting botanical, mineral and medicinal samples and on his return opened a shop selling drugs. He was asked to give lectures at the Jardin des Plantes on the preparation of his products and he issued regular catalogues of them. Pomet's work was later translated into English and German. The scope of the subjects includes botanical medicine with illustrations of useful plants and practices; animals and their uses in medicine including unicorns, rhinoceros, silk production, beekeeping, whales, tuna and elephants; and a section on the Egyptians and Mummies; fossils, precious stones, and minerals including gold and silver. Garrison-Morton, 1827.1: "The most complete materia medica of the time"; Krivatsy, No. 9136; Wellcome Library, Volume IV, page 411.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2012
    8th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,308

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 43 days left to consign to the 2021 February 27 - 28 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search