Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila. P. F. DAVILA.
Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila...
Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila...
Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila...
Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila...

Catalogue systématique et raisonné des Curiosités de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila...

Thirty engraved plates (many folding). xxxv, [1], 571 pp.; vi, 656 pp.; vi, 290 pp., 3 p.l., 286, [1] pp. Three vols. 8vo, cont. mottled calf (foot of spine of Vol. III with a bit of wear), triple gilt fillet round sides, spines gilt, a.e.g., red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: Briasson, 1767.

First edition, and a very handsome set, of this lavish and detailed catalogue. “In 1767 Romé was employed, on Sage’s recommendation, to draw up a catalogue of the curiosities that had been collected by Pedro Francisco Davila, who wished to sell his cabinet of natural history before returning to Peru. The work ran to three volumes, in the second of which Romé, in agreement with Linnaeus, stressed the importance of crystalline form in mineralogical description.”–D.S.B., XI, p. 520.

During Romé’s early years, he found steady employment by preparing at least fourteen other mineralogical catalogues. Davila’s enormous collection contained scientific instruments (26 items), medals, prints, sculpture, illuminated MSS., Oriental MSS., and books (402 lots) as well as natural history objects. In the Preface to Vol. I, Davila writes that he hopes to sell the collection en bloc but, if no person comes forward, the collection will be sold at auction beginning 12 November. The second part of the third volume is devoted to the classical bronzes and medals (catalogued by Abbé Grimaud) and the prints and drawings (catalogued by M. Remy).

The present set is priced throughout in a contemporary hand; it is the first time I have seen a set so annotated. The prices furnish invaluable information regarding the market of the period.

Fine set and very scarce on the market. This is a presentation copy from Davila, inscribed on the first title: “Pour Monsieur Hulin de la part de son tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur Davila.”

❧ Laissus, “Les Cabinets d’Histoire Naturelle” in Taton, ed., Enseignement et diffusion des sciences en France au dix-huitième siècle (1986), p. 668–“le cabinet compte alors parmi les plus riches de France: le catalogue de ce remarquable ensemble emplit trois gros in-8, le premier consacré aux règnes animal et végétal, le second aux minéraux et le troisième aux fossiles.” Wilson, The History of Mineral Collecting, p. 209–(erroneously calling for 7 plates only).

Price: $10,000.00

Item ID: 1145