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AUCOURT e PADILHA, Pedro Norberto de

Raridades da Natureza, e da Arte, Divididas pelos quatro Elementos.


Lisbon, Francisco Luiz Ameno, 1759.


Small 4to.  (16) ff., 504 pp.  Vignette of D. José I on  f. (2) recto, vignettes on pp. 169 & 504.  Contemporary calf (corners bumped, rebacked, original label preserved).   Small Hebrew inscription on title p., new endpapers, some ink markings & slight discolouration, piece lacking from lower margins of pp. 61/62 & 73/74 due to paper faults.

The book appeals to a love of the sensational and curiosities;  the author writes about monsters and natural phenomena, he refers to Father Bartholomeu Lourenço de Gusmão’s attempt to become airborne, to other early aeronautical endeavours, and to electrical experiments carried out by Abbé Nollet.   He complains in the preface of the cultural damage inflicted by the great earthquake of 1755 that partially ruined Lisbon.   It had destroyed many of the important fonts of learning, including libraries, and had impoverished him.   Aucourt de Padilha was a nobleman of the Portuguese Royal Household, and great-grandson of a courtier of Louis XIV of France.  Innocêncio VI, 436 "livro de muita curiosidade e recreação."  Avila Perez 361 "Estimada e muito apreciada.  Rara."  Not in Azevedo Samodães or Palha.  



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