Lot 2
  • 2

Lubieniecki, Stanisław

18,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • [Theatri Cometici pars posterior] Historia Cometarum, a Diluvio usque ad præsentem annum vulgaris Epochae à Christo nato 1665. Decurrentem, Unà cum Indiculo lætorum & tristium eventuum, Cometarum apparitionem secutorum, In qua simul Synopsis quædam Universalis Historiæ proponitur. Amsterdam: Daniele Baccamude, 1666. [bound with]: Theatri cometici Exitus De significatione Cometarum... Amsterdam: Daniele Baccamude, 1668
  • ink, paper, gold
Parts II-III only (of III). Folio (383 x 223 mm). Half-title and 2 letterpress titles. With 2 elaborately engraved allegorical titles by Sebastien Stopendaal after M. Scheits, both richly hand-colored and heightened in gold, and 24 hand-colored engraved plates (20 full page, 2 double page, and 1 portrait of Joannes Ernestus de Rautenstein). Contemporary calf, covers with rules and wreath devices in gilt; all edges gilt and gauffered. Rebacked with remains of original white-washed spine laid down, red cloth repairs to hinges. Open tear with loss of text to lower corner of A4; small closed tear to pl 60, lengthy closed tear to pl 72, small closed tear to H3; approx. 5 1/2 in. tear along gutter of plate 72. Other scattered small closed tears not affecting text or plates. Some light finger-soiling and foxing, but mainly a pleasant copy. 


Brunet III, 1194; Graesse IV, p 270: Honeyman 2052; Knijff & Jan Visser, Bibligraphia Sociana 2067; Poggendorff I, 1508; Thorndike History of Magic and Experimental Science VIII, 336; Warner 164l; Not in Houzeau and Lancaster.

Catalogue Note

FIRST EDITION, FINISHED IN RICH HANDCOLOR — ONE OF A FEW KNOWN HAND-COLORED COPIES. "CET OUVRAGE EST SI RARE, QUE BENTKOWSKI ... QUI N'A VU QUE LA 1RE PARTIE, DOUTE SI LA CONTINUATION AIT PARU'" (Graesse). Lubieniecki's encyclopedic treatise gathered together the observations of dozens of his contemporaries including Bayer and Hevelius, covering all known comets up to the year 1665. The fine engravings consist of celestial maps showing the paths of comets and the figures of the constellations traversed. "Since each map represents the observations of a different astronomer, taken together they illustrate the variety of cartographic traditions popular during the seventeenth century." (Warner, The Sky Explored, p. 164). Halley's Comet, for example, is shown during its 1607 apparition (facing p. 406). The second part (offered here) provides a chronology of 415 comet sightings from the flood (the first report is dated to 2312 BC) to 1665, with commentaries, drawn from a range of historical sources. Rarely encountered in anything near a complete state, even when found in all three parts. Only two complete copies of the first edition are recorded at auction since 1975 by ABPC: the Honeyman and Dunham copies. A third copy, with 3 additional titles and 81 plates, but lacking one of the 2 portraits, was sold in 1989. Of the three copies held by the British Library, two are substantially defective.