(1550 – 1632)

Gemmarum et lapidum historia. Tertia Editio longe purgatissima. Cui accedunt Ioannis de Laet, Antverpiani, De Gemmiss & Lapidibus libri II. Et Thephrasti liber De Lapidibus, Gr. & Lat. cum brevis notis.

Two parts in one volume 8° (180×112 mm). [8], 576, [24], last blank; [64], 210, [6] pp. With 2 folding tables and over 90 text woodcuts. 18th century quarter calf, gilt spine with red morocco label. Very worn, damaged at head and foot, hinges split. Somewhat foxed throughout, dampstains in places. Leyden, J. Maire, 164.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Brunet I, 1108; Roller & Goodman I, 140; Sinkankas 781; Darmstädter, Steinbücher (Philobiblon VII, 293) 266.
Third edition of one of the most important mineralogical works of the seventeenth century. Thi is a reprint of the 1636 Latin edition with the inclusion of a Latin translation of Theophrastus‘ Book on Stones by Johann de Laet (1581-1649) and his own treatise on minerals and fossils in its first edition. It is of particular interest as a manual describing minerals that is more detailed, more extensive, more critical and more systematic than many earlier works. Above all, Boodt‘s work is an early example of a treatise on mineral substances that departs from a simple alphabetical arrangement in persenting its description of stones. The work is divided into two books. Book one presents several general considerations relating to the properties of minerals. In book two, the major portion, are discussed over one hundred different mineral substances. For each kind, Boodt records the various names by which it is known, physical properties, occurances, imitations, and the means of detecting imatations, uses emphasising medical prescriptions, and approximate cost. Contained within is an early attempt at the systematic description of minerals, with divisions of large and small, common and rare, soft and hard, flammable and nonflammable, transparent and opaque. Boodt notes the crystalline forms of some minerals as triangular, quadratic and hexangular, and he provides critical references to earlier authors like Aristotle, Pliny and Parcaleus. Boodt was skeptical of the curative virtues of various gems. He suspected that it was coincindental that a specific type of gemstone was associated with a sick person who became well. Instead, he believed if stones had curative powers it was because they worked in concert with the body to affect a cure, not any supernatural property. Discussing the properties of stones, Boodt gives a long discussion of hardness. He provides the earliest system of hardness grading for the various stones, which acted as a crude index to distinguish imitation gems from genuine (cf. Curtis Schuh‘s Bibliography of Mineralogy). The text woodcuts show images of stones and fossils as well as devices for processing minerals. [369012].