Harvey Miller Publishers, (2000). First Edition. Hardcover. Item #215204
424 pages. 8-1/2 by 11-1/4 inches. A catalog of early seventeenth-century drawings from the Royal Library. With 317 illustrations, 135 in color. Includes a bibliography, concordances, glossary and indexes. First edition (first printing). Light bump to front bottom corner of the spine else a fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Errata slip laid in. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: 'For Stephen Jay Gould, in admiration and with affection -- David Freedberg / March 21, 2002.' A large, heavy book. From the Harvard office library of the paleontologist and leading advocate for evolution, Stephen Jay Gould. With a tipped in bookplate indicating the provenance. *** Intellectually, Gould understood the true nature of these bookplates, but the book collector in him appreciated them. In his essay 'A Seahorse for All Races' Gould writes about one of his prized possessions, a book from Charles Dickens' library: 'Dickens made no annotations, but a bookplate on the cover, presumably inserted as a come-on for a sale after Dickens' death in 1870, does prove that [he] kept and shelved the book.' *** We offer our Gould bookplates, printed letterpress in two colors, in the same spirit.
This new Catalogue Raisonne, Part III in the series on Natural History, is based on the collection originally formed by Prince Federico Cesi in the early 17th century and later acquired by Cassiano. These drawings constitute the first truly scientific study of fossilized woods and are executed with such finesse, skill and detail that they will be of immense interest both to art-historians and to historians of science. The drawings, the majority of which have remained unstudied and unpublished until now, include specimens of wood and animal fossils, ammonites and concretions, pyrits and baked clays, as well as a series of field drawings giving the sites where these specimens were found. The introductory essays discuss the background to Cesi's project as well as the importance of the drawings to the history of seventeenth- century culture and science.