Insectorum sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque Pennio inchoatum ...
Londini, ex Officina typographica Thom. Cotes, 1634. Folio (295 x 190mm). pp. (20), 326, (4), title-page with woodcut of a bee hive surrounded by various insects and about 500 woodcuts in the text, 4 full pages with woodcuts of insects at end. Later vellum.
First edition, third issue, with the same collation as given by Lisney (Bibliography of British Lepidoptera, p. 8), who also amply describes the other issues and the interesting and complicated genesis of the work. It is the first book dealing entirely with Entomology to be published in the British Isles. "Ulysses Aldrovandi's 'De Animalibus insectis' (1602) was the first book to be devoted to insects... It was followed by Thomas Moffet's (1525-1605) 'Theatrum Insectorum' in 1634. The manuscript of this remarkable work, the first book on insects to appear in England, was actually begun before Aldrovandi's but its publication was delayed; however when it eventually appeared the book proved to be very successful and sold well... The woodcuts in the printed work are superior to those in the Aldrovandi work, and many of the butterflies can be identified" (P. Gilbert p. 2). Moffet's work remained unpublished during his lifetime, the manuscript eventuelly came into the hands of the physician and scholar, Sir Theodore de Mayerne who was able to find a publisher. Last leaf with small paper repair at the lower outer corner, the missing legs of an insect have been supplied by pendrawing. A few leaves with some tiny marginal worming. An attractive copy of this important work. Nissen ZBI, 2852.
Item nr. 9866
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