FLUDD, Robert (1547-1637). Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atque technica historia. – Tractatus secundus de naturae simia seu technica macrocosmi historia. Oppenheim: Hieronymus Gallerus for Johann Theodorus de Bry, 1617-1618.
First edition of Fludd’s mystic masterpiece, richly illustrated with designs attributed to de Bry, Merian and Fludd. The Cosmi maioris is ‘an encyclopedia of all things regarded from an occult Rosicrucian point of view. The first part presents an illustrated history of creation, from the void (represented by an engraving from an entirely blackened plate) through the process of distillation by which Fludd believes the world to have been created. The second tractate takes up, in turn, occult mathematics, occult harmonics and music theory, occult theories of vision and optics, and even, at great length and with numerous plates, the occult theory of fortification and military strategy’ (Alchemy: A Comprehensive Bibliography of The Manly P. Hall Collection, p. 80). Wellcome I, 2324.
2 parts in one volume, folio (300 x 185mm). Part 1: engraved title, double-page engraved folding illustration, 2 full-page engraved folding illustrations, 9pp. of index at end; part 2: engraved title, 11 fly-titles with engraved or xylographic vignettes, large folding engraved plate, 6 full-page folding illustrations, 4 double-page engraved illustrations; numerous engraved and woodcut illustrations in the text (first 3 leaves of part 1 with faint staining and associated nicks at fore-edge, small marginal chip to one full-page illustration in part 1, short tear without loss to large folding engraved illustration and one double-page illustration in part 2, 2 leaves just cropped into text or image, 8pp. heavily browned, lacking final blank). 18th-century speckled calf, spine gilt (joints splitting, extremities rubbed). Provenance: stamp erased on verso of engraved title in part 1 – shelfmark on front pastedown.