"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
Theatrum Fungorum oft het tooneel der Campernoelien. Waer inne vertoont wort de gedaente, ken-teeckens, natuere, crachten, voetsel, deught ende ondeught; mitsgaders het voorsichtigh schoonmaken ende bereyden van alderhande Fungien.
An old book about mushrooms doesn’t sound particularly gripping. But hold on, the book in question is special. Published in 1675, Theatrum Fungorum by Franciscus van Sterbeeck was the first book to be dedicated entirely to fungi. Frans van Sterbeeck was a Flemish priest with a passion for botany, who lived in Antwerp in Belgium. In 1601, a now highly-collectible botany book called Rariorum Plantarum Historia addressed mushrooms along with many other plants, but van Sterbeeck made botanical history with his work.
The book was written in Dutch, rather than Latin, to be understood by the common man (such as farmers, kitchen servants and cooks), and offered valuable advice on what fungi were edible and what were poisonous. The author details 349 fungi and features copper engraved illustrations (one pictured at left, three pictured below). Theatrum Fungorum was inspired by an important manuscript on mushrooms called Code de l’Éscluse and that original document can be seen on display in Leiden University library in Holland.
Botanologia. The English Herbal: or, History of Plants
William Salmon. I.Dawks for H.Rhodes and J.Taylor, 1710.
First Edition. Additional engraved title by Michael van der Gucht after Eloas Knight, title in red and black, over 1500 woodcuts in text.
B-A Note: I thought this looked familiar. This is the second copy that I’ve seen come up at auction at Bloomsbury. This is a better image, although the previous copy didn’t have the scribbles at the top of the right page.