Lost — Full
Buonanni, Filippo. Musaeum Kircherianum, sive,
Musaeum a P. Athanasio Kirchero in Collegio romano Societatis Jesu, iam pridem incoeptum
nuper restitutum, auctum, descriptum, & iconibus illustratum. Romae: typis Georgii Plachi, 1709.
Folio extra.  ff., 522 [i.e., 399], [1 (blank)] pp.,  ff., engr. port., 171 plates.
Click the interior images for enlargements.
Polymath extraordinaire Athanisus Kircher (1601–80) established
a highly personal museum in Rome. It ranked as an equal among such contemporaries
as the Calzolari, the Cospi, Elias Ashmole's, and the Ole Worm, all amazing
Kircher's position in the Jesuit order placed him in an excellent situation
to use the Jesuit missionaries to bring him oddities and rarities from around
the world and because he had so much from so many places, there was much to
appeal to a wide variety of scholars and visitors. Unfortunately, like the
Ashmolean his treasure house soon fell into decline and neglect.
Filippo Buonanni (1638–1725) took it on to restore the Kircherianum
and this book is a monument to that effort. It describes in words and 171
engravings what was to be found in the awesome and astounding collection.
Natural history and and antiquities are strongly represented (e.g., the final
48 plates are of shells!), but on pages 309–10 we learn of “Instrumenta
musica, et authomata diversa.”
Collectors of medical books find the section on microscopy, blood, lactation,
etc. of considerable interest, and numismatists revel in the discussions of
Kircher's coins, to mention just two other areas of coverage in this unfortunately
In truth, this book didn't quite make it to
the “FB” page
Nissen, ZBI, 2198; Cobres I, p. 106; DeBacker-Sommervogel, II,
381–382; Cicognara 3372; Honeyman Sale 550. Recent full brown
calf by Grace Bindings (signed in blind “GB” on the lower rear
turn-in) appropriately tooled in gold in the style of the era. Raised bands,
gilt center devices in spine compartments. Marbled endpapers. Ex-library (properly
deaccessioned) with all plates stamped on the verso (occasional light show
clean, handsome copy of an infinitely absorbing book.
it got itself sold otherwise, just as it was
about to be posted!
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