Pomet, Pierre. A compleat history of druggs, written in
French by Monsieur Pomet ... To which is added, what is further observable on the same subject, from
Mess. Lemery and Tournefort ... Illustrated with above four hundred copper cutts ... Done into English
from the originals. London: Pr. for R. & J. Bonwicke, and R. Wilkin; John Walthoe & Tho. Ward,,
1725. 4to (22.5 cm; 9"). xii, 419,  pp.,  ff.; 86 plts.
In his capacity as “Chief Druggist to the late French King Lewis XIV” Pomet (1658–99)
gained a highly favorable reputation for his knowledge and use of botanical and other drugs, and in
1694 he presented as much of his knowledge as he thought wise in his Histoire générale des drogues.
In 1712 the first English-language edition appeared, followed a-dozen-plus-one years later by this
second. The English editions add material from the works of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
(1656–1708) and Nicolas Lémery (1645–1715), and were translated by Joseph Browne (1673–1721),
a Lincoln College –educated physician and satirist.
Highly influential in its time, this materia medica covers botanical,
zoological, and mineral sources and is illustrated with 86 etched plates, mostly with four
specimens per plate; but there are also full-page images of a silk factory,
a fishery, and of “negro's [sic] making Roucou.” Other plates
are of unicorns, whales, rhinos, elephants.
The Americana content is noteworthy,
with discussion of cacao, chocolate, “guinea pepper,” “long
American pepper,” tobacco, and so on. Two surprising sections are devoted
to glass manufacture and achieving color in glass, and soap making.
The volume begins with a black and red title-page, is printed in roman type with some italic in double-column format, and offers its plates close to the text that refers to them.
For more 18TH-CENTURY BOOKS, click
Catalogue, IV, 412; Graesse, Trésor de Livres rares, V, 398; Alden & Landis 725/158; not in Sabin;
ESTC T111989; Pritzel 7258n; Hunersdorff
& Hasenkamp, Coffee, 1177– 1179.
Recent full calf antique-style with gilt concentric panels on covers and gilt corner devices on same;
round spine with raised bands, each accented by gilt rules. Some plates closely trimmed at
foremargin. A very pleasing copy. (21774)
more MEDICINE, click here.
a little more SCIENCE, click here.
For more PRE-1820 AMERICANA,
more ILLUSTRATED BOOKS, click here.
NATURAL HISTORY, click here.
a SOAP Manuscript, click here.
more TRANSLATIONS, click here.
here . . .
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