Schott, Caspar, SJ. Physica curiosa, sive mirabilia naturae et artis libris XII comprehensa [...]. Editio altera auctior.

Nürnberg & Würzburg, Johann Jobst Hertz für Johann Andreas Endter & Wolfgang Endter der Jüngere Erben, 1667.

4to. (54), 1389, (23) pp. With separate engr. title-page, full-page engr. coat of arms on the reverse of the letterpress title (printed in red and black), and 61 engravings on 60 plates (6 folding). Contemporary full calf with giltstamped title to elaborately gilt spine. All edges sprinkled in red.


Second edition, vastly expanded from the first (published in 1662): an extensive treatise on the wonders of animal and physical nature, in which Schott relates exact scientific observations to fabulous phenomena such as demons, witches, and monsters, seeking to bring them into agreement with each other. Includes discussions of demonology, household spirits, St. Elmo's fire, comets and their portents, etc. "Tout serait à citer de cet énorme ouvrage véritable encyclopédie du merveilleux et de l'occulte" (Caillet"). Schott, from Königshofen near Würzburg , entered the Society of Jesus in 1627 and studied at Würzburg under Athanasius Kircher. He subsequently taught in Sicily for many years, but "he was anxious to satisfy a strong thirst for knowledge and to resume his connection with Kircher, whom he always revered as his master. Schott was able to satisfy his desire in 1652, when he was sent to Rome, where for three years he collaborated with Kircher on his researches. Schott decided that since Kircher did not have time to publish all that he knew and all the information communicated to him by Jesuits abroad, he himself would do it" (DSB).

Variously browned due to paper; a few tears to the final plate professionally repaired. A fine copy in its first binding with the price of acquisition ("comp. 1-12") on the flyleaf in a contemporary hand and an 18th century engraved bookplate (letter "T" with star of David, work of Carl Friedrich Holtzmann for an unidentified collector) on the pastedown.


VD 17 39:120052P. De Backer/Sommervogel VII, 909, 8. Dünnhaupt 3818, 7.2. Nissen, ZBI 3746. Ferguson II, 340. Coumont, Witchcraft S31.2 ("Numerous very curious plates"). Dorbon-Ainé 4441. Caillet 10005 ("Ouvrage fort recherché"). Cf. DSB XII, 211.