905. [World - Cosmography]
Folio: -346-, -487- pp. + 7 tables (incl. 4 double-page; sm. wormtrack in blank inner margin of 1st ff., volvelles of pp. 154 & 156 loose; 2 portraits missing).
Contemp. sheep, richly gilt spine with 6 raised bands and morocco label (rubbed, front joint split).
First edition of the most curious and lavishly illustrated work of the German Jesuit scholar A. Kircher (1602-1680). The work is based on Kircher’s visit to Sicily in 1637-1638 in 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. frontispieces and 80 engr. or woodcut ill. (12 double-page, 8 full-page, 60 smaller text ill., incl. volvelles); 3 additional sm. ill. bound with.
Ref. Ferguson I:467. - DBS IV:1060:21. - STCN.
Prov. Contemp. ownership entry on front flyleaf.
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