2 parts in 1 vol., folio: -425-, -415- pp. (sm. tear in front. underlaid, some minor local spotting, soiling or staining, lower flyleaf missing).
Contemp. vellum (soiled), spine with 7 raised bands and later red leather title label (front joint split), marbled edges. Good copy.
Rare first and only edition of the Dutch translation of "Mundus subterraneus" (1665), the most curious and lavishly illustrated work of the German Jesuit scholar A. Kircher (1602-1680), covering many branches of science, incl. physics, geography, chemistry and biology. The work is based on Kircher’s visit to Sicily in 1637-1638 during which he witnessed the eruptions of Etna and Stromboli. His observations of these volcanoes led him to conclude that the centre of the earth is a massive internal fire for which the volcanoes are mere safety valves. The work is not only geological and Kircher continues with fantastic speculations about the interior of the earth, its hidden lakes, rivers of fire and strange inhabitants. It includes discussions about the moon, the sun, eclipses, ocean currents, meteorology, hydraulics, minerals and fossils, poisons, metallurgy and mining, alchemy, herbs, astrological medicine, distillation and fireworks. Engr. ill.: front., sm. pl. on title, large coat of arms of the dedicatee Thomas Ernsthuys, director general of the Dutch West India Company, 12 double-page or folding plates showing i.a. the moon, the sun, hydrographical maps of South-East Asia, South Africa, the Nile, America, the Mediterranean Sea, 2 spectacular images of earth's internal fire heating earth's waterways and causing volcanic eruptions, the Etna and the Vesuvius erupting (missing world map with oceanic currents), 8 full-page plates showing i.a. a hydrographic map of South America, the poles, lakes, distillation apparel, "Fornax Spagyrica" and "Typus sympathicus microcosmi cum megacosmo" and 2 volvelles (at pp. 185 & 187, the moving parts still uncut and bound after p. 266) for the tides of the moon and of the ocean, and more than 300 sm. engr. or woodcut ill. in-text showing mathematical and physical diagrams, dragons, fossils, all kinds of animals, transmutations of metals, etc. 4 printed tables (3 double-page, 1 folding).
Ref. Sinkankas I:3422. - DBS IV:1061:21. - Nissen (ZBI) 2197. - Sabin 37968. - STCN. - Cp. Dorbon 2387 (1665 Latin ed.), Ferguson I:467 (id.), Caillet 5783 (id.), Duveen (1678 Latin ed.).
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