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Michael Rupertus Besler
BESLER, Michael Rupertus.

BESLER, Michael Rupertus.
(1607 - 1661)

(Born: Nuremberg, Germany, 1607; Died: Nuremberg, Germany, 1661) German physician & apothecary.

The nephew of Basil Besler, Michael had a medical practice and apothecary shop in Nürnberg. He was a scholar and collector, who assembled important collections of art, antiques and natural history.

Biographical references: ADB: 2, 555. DBA: I 94, 184-187. DBE: 1, 491. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51: 1, col. 1048. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 36. WBI. Will, Nürnbergisches Gelehrten-Lexicon, 1755-1808.

Gazophylacium, 1642

1. Latin, 1642 [First edition].
[Engraved title within a curious engraved design:] Gazophylacium Rerum Naturalium | E Regno Vegetabili, Animali Et Minerali | Depromptarum, Nunquam Hactenus In Lucem | Editarum, Fidelis Cum Figuris Aeneis Ad Vivum | Incisis Repraesentatio | Operâ | Michaelis Ruperti Besleri | Medici Et Reipublicae Norib. | Physici Ordinarii Et Offi- | cinarum Pharmaceuti- | carum p.t. Visitatoris | Senioris. | Anno | MDCXLII.

2°: Engraved title page and 34 unnumbered engraved plates of plants, animals and minerals with names and brief descriptions in Latin. The curious design of the title page is a border arrangement of animals and symbols. Page size: 430 x 320 mm.

Contents: Engraved title page, verso blank.; 34 plates.

Very rare. Basil Besler's [1561-1629; see entry above] Wunderkammer was inherited by his nephew Michael Rupert Besler, who added to the cabinet. The work published here catalogs his additions. It is a treasury of natural objects from the realms of the vegetable, animal and mineral. It contains standard items including a unicorn horn, a beak of a hornbill, a bird of paradise, a carved nautilus shell, an `Arcimboldo' grotesques of shells, pyritzed ammonites, asbestos, `ruin' marble, engraved gems and antique coins. Rare plants and birds are illustrated along with ethnological items such as a Brazilian Indian girdle made from nuts of the Brazilian tree Cerbera ahovai. The image of this plate was used for the border of Valentini's Museum Museroum (Frankfurt, 1714). The very attractive engraved title shows emblematic medallions, with a rhinoceros, a unicorn, an ostrich, an elephant, a cornucopia and flowers with in a walled garden, and an alchemical symbol. These plates were reissued in 1716 and again in 1733, with added letterpress title in red and black and in German and Latin, and a short descriptive text in Latin and German. The first two issues were without text.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 156. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, ??, no. 101 ["Diese Auflage is selten."]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 257. Hunt Botanical Catalog: no. 238. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 98-9. NUC: 51, 95 [NB 0388211]. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturæ Botanicæ, 1871-3: no. 747. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 3 (17??), 20.

2. Latin, 1716 [2nd edition].
[In black:] Gazophylacium | Rerum | [in red:] Naturalium | [in black:] é | [in red:] Rregno Vegetabili, Animali & Mine- | [in black:] rali depromptarum, nunquam hactenus | in Lucem editarum, | Cum Figuris Æneis Ad Vivum Incisis, | Opera | [in red:] Michaelis Ruperti Besleri. | [in black, vignette] | [ornate rule] | Lipsiæ & Francofurti, | [in red:] Apud Joh. Herebordum Klosium, Bibliopol. | [in black:] Anno M. DCC. XVI.

2°: [4], 35 (i.e., 34) plates. The curious design of the title page is a border arrangement of animals and symbols. Page size: 386 x 264 mm.

Contents: Comprising title page in red and black with engraved vignette, letterpress index leaf, and 34 engraved plates numbered (2-36, the title counting as plate one according to the index).

Rare. In this edition, the engraved title page of 1642 has been placed with one in black and red letterpress with an engraved vignette. Apart from the index leaf there was no further text, and the plates were printed from the original copper plates.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 156. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 102, n10. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 257. Nissen (ZBI): 346. NUC: 51, 95 [NB 0388213].

3. Latin, 1733 [3rd edition].
[Engraved title within a curious engraved design:] Gazophylacium Rerum Naturalium | E Regno Vegetabili, Animali Et Minerali | Depromptarum, Nunquam Hactenus In Lucem Editarum, Fidelis Cum Figuris Aeneis Ad Vivum | Incisis Repraesentatio | Operâ | Michaelis Ruperti Besleri | Medici Et Reipublicae Norib. | Physici Ordinarii Et Offi- | cinarum Pharmaceuti- | carum p.t. Visitatoris | Senioris. | Anno | MDCCXXXIII.

[Printed title page:]

[In black:] Gazophylacium | Rerum | [in red:] Naturalium | [in black:] E | Regno Vegetabili, Animali & Minerali de- | promatrum, | Cum figuris æneis ad vivum incisis. | Oder Merckwürdige | [in red:] Naturalien=Kammer, | [in black:] Welche | Besondere Stücke, sowohl aus dem Gewächs= als | Their= und Mineralien=Reiche, unter schönen lebhafften | Kupffer=Stichen, vor Augen legt, | Mit Lateinischer und Teutscher Erklärung und Register | versehen. | [rule] | Leipzig; | [in red:] In der Zedlerischen Buchhandlung | [in black:] 1733.

2°: π1 B1 C2; 4l.; [8] p. Engraved title page, printed title page in red and black and 34 unnumbered engraved plates of plants, animals and minerals with names and brief descriptions in Latin. The curious design of the title page is a border arrangement of animals and symbols. Page size: 430 x 320 mm.

Contents: [Engraved title page].; [2 pgs], Printed title page, verso blank.; [3 pgs], "Ordo Tabularum." [=description of plates in Latin followed by the same in German].; [2 pgs], "Index Alphabeticus." [=Index to depiction in Latin followed by German].; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 34 plates.

Rare. The same plates together with added letterpress title in red and black and in German and Latin, and a short descriptive text in Latin and German.

Bibliographical references: Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 102. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 260. Hoover Collection: no. 124. Nissen (ZBI): no. 347. NUC: 51, 95 [NB 0388214].

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