Boodt, Anselmus Boetieks de; Gemmarum Et Lapidum Historia. Quam edidit Anselmus Boetius de Boot, Brugensis, Rudolphi II. Imperatoris Medicus. Postea Adrianus Tollius, Lugd. Bat., M.D., Tertia Editio longe purgatissima. Cui accedunt Ioannis de Laet, Antvverpiani, De Gemmis & Lapidibus libri II. Et Theophrasti liber De Lapidibus, Gr. & Lat. cum brevibus notis. Lugduni Batavorum, Ex Officina Ioannis Maire. (cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] c xlvii), 1647. [Title page to De Laet's work reads:] Ioannis de Laet Antvverpiani De Gemmis Et Lapidibus Libri Duo. Quibus præmittitur Theophrasti Liber de Lapidibus Græce & Latine Cum Brevibus Annotationibus. Lugduni Batavorum. Ex Officina Ioannis Maire. Anno….1647. Octavo, pp. 6, 576, 22 index, 1, 2 folded engraved tables, text woodcuts. 2nd title, 12, errata, 46, 210, 6 index, 2, text woodcuts.
The work is complete and in a contemporary vellum over boards, with no titles. The binding is tight and clean with minor scuffing to covers, two small wear areas on spine nicely restored. The text, plates and figures are very clean with a small light stain to lower outer margin of 12 pages in first work. In very good condition.
This is the very scarce reprint of the 1636 Latin edition of Boodt’s work with the inclusion of a Latin translation of Theophrastus' Book on Stones by Johann de Laet.
Boodt (1550-1632) was a Belgian physician and mineralogist.As a mineralogist he made several trips to Bohemia, Selasia and Germany collecting and studying minerals. His work Gemmarvm et Lapidvm Historia was first publish in 1609 and is considered to be one of the most important mineralogical works of the seventeenth century. As a manual it describes minerals in more detail, and is more extensive, more critical and more systematic than most earlier works. Thus the work went through several editions and was was cited by numerous authors. Boodt challenged many of the past ideas, and thus researchers began to use hypothesis and experimentation to present new ideas.
Boodt divides his work into two parts. In part one he presents several general considerations relating to the properties of minerals. Part two is the largest portion. Here he discusses over one hundred different mineral substances. For each kind, Boodt records the various names by which it is known, physical properties, occurences, imitations, and the means of detecting imitations. He discusses medical uses and medical prescriptions, and approximate cost. He provides 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, He provides critical references to earlier authors like Aristotle, Pliny and Parcaleus. In his discussion of the properties of stones, Boodt goes into details on 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. He distinguished three degrees of hardness and also included softness as a related but different property.
The second work in this volume is Johan de Laet’s Latin translation of Theophrastus' Book on Stones.