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BOODT, Anselmus Boëtius de.

(1550? – 1632)

(Born: Bruges, Belgium, c1550; Died: Bruges, Belgium, 21 June 1632) Belgian physician & mineralogist.

Boodt was a member of a noble Roman Catholic family, and Anselmus seemed destined for a career in the administration of his native town. However, he elected to persue a medical career and subsequently studied under Thomas Erastus [1523-1583] at Heidelberg and obtained his M.D. in Padua, Italy. He moved to Prague in 1583, where he was physician to the burgrave. While living there, he became acquainted with the Bohemian naturalist Thadeus Hayek. Through this relationship, Boodt became intensly interested in nature, and he began to draw and paint flowers, animals and minerals. He also made many mineralogical trips in Bohemia, Silesia and Germany. From 1584 until 1595, Boodt held the post of canon of St. Donat's Church in his home town, even though he continued to live in Prague. In 1604, Rudolf II took him on as his personal physician. Boodt continued in this position until the emperor's death in 1612. Boodt then returned to Bruges, spending the remainder of his life as a town councillor. He never married and his relatives received all the physical property, including a collection of minerals.

Biographical references: BAB: 81, 3-30. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: p. 347-8 [one portrait listed]. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: no. 559. DSB: 2, 292-3 [by W. Hubicki]. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 172. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: p. 47. Maselis, Marie-Christiane., The albums of Anselmus de Boodt (1550-1632). Natural history painting at the court of Rudolph II in Prague. Tielt, Belgium, Lannoo, 1999. 212 p., 100 color plates. [Reproduces the original natural history drawings done by De Boodt, together with extensive biographical notes.]. Poggendorff: 1, col. 236. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 584-5 & Suppl. 1 (1986), 1, 300. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: p. 401. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: p. 426.

Gemmarvm et Lapidvm Historia, 1609

1. Latin, 1609 [First edition].
Anselmi | Boetii De Boodt | Brvgensis Belgæ, | Rvdolphi Secvndi, | Imperatoris Romanorvm, | Personæ Medici, | Gemmarvm Et Lapivm | Historia, | Qua solum ortus, natura, vis & precium, sedetiam modus quo exiis, olea, | salia, sincturæ, essentiæ, arcana & magisteria arte chymica | consici possint, oftenditur. | Opvs Principibvs, Medicis, Chy- | micis, Physicis, ac liberalioribus ingeniis vtilissimum. | Cum variis figuris, Indiceq duplici & copioso. | [ornament] | Hanoviæ, | Typis Wechelianis apud Claudium Marnium & | heredes Ioannis Aubrii. | [rule] | M. DC. IX.

4°: †4 2†4 22 A-Z4 Aa-Mm4 Nn-Oo2 Pp4; 165l.; [1]-[9], [11], [1]-294, [16] p. Woodcut portrait, 8 tables (2 folding), woodcuts in the text, printer's woodcut device on title and at end. The folding tables, if present [see commentary], are bound in the text between pages 2/3 and 6/7. Page size: 207 x 167 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso usually blank, but sometimes a portrait of De Boodt.; 3-[9], Dedication to D. Rvdolpho II, signed "Anselmvs Boetivs | de Boodt." [see commentary].; [3 pgs], "In | Commendationem Operis | Anselmi Boetii De Boodt | Brvgensis, de Lapidibus | Preciosis."; [2 pgs], "Ad Lectorem."; [6 pgs], "Catalogvs Lapidvm Omnivm | Qvorvm Mentio In Seqventi | libro sit."; 1-294, Text.; [15 pgs], "Index Rervm Et | Verborvm Memora- | bilivm."; [1 pg], Woodcut printer's device.

Plates: In rare instances, a fine woodcut portrait of De Boodt is printed on the verso of the title page leave. The picture consists of an elaborate border with shields bearing family crests with the names printed above. This surrounds an oval frame that encloses a portrait of De Boodt's head, shoulders and chest. The wording on the frame is "Rvdolphi II. Roma. Imperatoris Medicvs Cvbicvlarivs. Anselmvs Boetivs De Boodt Brvgensis Belga I.V.L." The "n" in "Anselmvs" has been reversed. Underneath the frame is the wording, "Anagramma. ¦ Obstando sortiss casvs Delemvs acerbos. ¦ Hinc vni fidas, nam sic svmes Stabile Vno."

Very scarce. Gemmarvm et Lapidvm Historia is one of the most important mineralogical works of the seventeenth century, marking a transition over previous lapidaries. It is of particular interest as a manual describing minerals that is more detailed, more extensive, more critical and more systematic than many earlier works. It was a well known and influential book, going through several editions and frequently being cited by other authors. A new era was marked with its publication. One in which the believes of the past began to be challenged, and the researchers began to use hypothesis and experimentation to present new ideas. Above all, Boodt's work is an early example of a treatise on mineral substances that departs from a simple alphabetical arrangement in persenting its description of stones.

The work is divided into two books. Book one presents several general considerations relating to the properties of minerals. In book two, the major portion, are discussed over one hundred different mineral substances. For each kind, Boodt records the various names by which it is known, physical properties, occurances, imitations, and the means of detecting imatations, uses emphasising medical prescriptions, and approximate cost. Contained within is 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 heangular, and he provides critical references to earlier authors like Aristotle, Pliny and Parcaleus. Boodt was skeptical of the curative virtues of various gems. He suspected that it was coincindental that a specific type of gemstone was associated with a sick person who became well. Instead, he believed if stones had curative powers it was because they worked in concert with the body to affect a cure, not any supernatural property.

Discussing the properties of stones, Boodt gives a long discussion of hardness. He provides the earliest system of hardness grading for the various stones, which acted as a crude index to distinguish imatation gems from genuine. He distinguished three degrees of hardness and also included softness as a related but different property. Soft stones are considered such if fingers alone are sufficient to rub away the surface. Hard stones are called hard when they can neither be rubbed away with fingers nor cut by iron. Hard stones are classified under three categories: (1) a steel file can scratch the stone, (2) only the use of the Smyrna stone [emerald??] can cut the surface, and (3) those that can only be rubbed away with a diamond point.

Several states of the book appear to exist. In a descriptive bibliography, it is the writer's goal to provide details on the "ideal copy." That is the most complete copy that can be located. In this instance the volume described contains both the portrait and the two folding tables. This is indeed a rarity, and no single volume containing both has been found to examine. The description is a composite of two different books-one with a portrait, the other with tables. One could think that perhaps a volume with both the portait and tables does not exist; however, the German auction house of F. Zisska & R. Kistner in catalog 12/I for an auction held in October 1988 lists a De Boodt with both portrait and tables. This is undoubtedly a rare state. The more common state is where both the portrait and the tables are missing. Somewhere in between are copies with either the tables or the portrait, but not both. In addition, the publisher was apparently finding and correcting errors in the text as the volume was produced. One copy found by Herbert Obodda, has the dedication signed "Anselmvs Boetivs | de Bootd," with the "t" and "d" swapped. Perhaps other states exist.

Bibliographical references: Adams, Origin and Nature of Ore Deposits, 1934: 161-2. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 2, 717 & 729. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 66. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 67. Hiller, Johann E., "Boèce de Boodt, précurseur de la minéralogie moderne - Boetius de Boodt. A turning point in the history of mineralogy," Annales Guébhard-Séverine, 11 (1935), p. 73-81. Hiller, Johann E., "Boetius de Boodt als Vorkämpfer der neuzeitlichen Mineralogie," Fortschritte der Mineralogie, Krystallographie und Petrographie, 17, p. 418-19. Hiller, Johann E., "Boetius de Boodt als Wissenschaftler und Naturphilosoph," Archeion, 15 (1933), p. 348-368. Hiller, Johann E., "Die Mineraloge Anselmus Boetius de Boodts," Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, 8 (1942), p. 1-215. ["Boetius de Boodts Leben und Werke," p. 4-11. "Register der in de Boodts `Gemmarum et lapidum historia,' Ausgabe I und II, erwähnten Autoren," p. [204]-207.]. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: p. 27. LKG: XVI 198. NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 1539. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 140. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 1, 253. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 778 [no portrait mentioned]. Thorndike, History of Magic, 1923-58: 6, 318-24. Wallerius, Brevis Introductio, 1779: 36. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 251. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 980.

2. Latin, 1636 [2nd edition].
Gemmarvm | Et | Lapidum | Historia. | Quam | Olim edidit Anselmus Boetius de Boot | Brugensis, Rudolphi II. Impera- | toris Medicus. | Nunc vero | Recensuit, à mendis repurgavit, Commentariis, | & pluribus, melioribusque Figuris illustravit, | & multo locupletiore indice auxit, | Andrianus Toll Lugd.-Bat. M.D. | [ornament] | Lvgdvni Batavorvm, | Ex officina Joannis Maire. | cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] c xxxvi.

8°: (?)4 A-Z8 Aa-Nn8 Oo-Pp4 Qq3; 303l.; [8], 1-576, [22] p., 2 folding tables, woodcuts in text. Page size: 175 x 110 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [3 pages], Dedication, dated cI[Backwards C]I[Backwards C]c.xxxvi.; [3 pgs], "In Historiam | Gemmarum & Lapidum | Anselmi Boetii, | Editiam nova cura clarissimi doctis- | simique viri | Adriani Toll, Medicinæ Doctoris, | ..."-signed Caspar Barlæus [=poem].; 1-2, "Ad Lectorem."; 3-9, "Catalogus | Lapidum."; 10, "Catalogvs | Authorum."; 11-576, Text.; [21 pgs], "Index Rerum Et | Verborum Memora- | bilivm."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. Edited, corrected and greatly enlarged by Andrian Toll [see note below].

Andrian Toll. (Born: Leyden, Belgium, 1610; Died: 1675) Belgian physician. Professor of medicine at the University of Leyden. He succumbed to an outbreak of the plague.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 66. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 68. Hoover Collection: no. 146. LKG: XVI 198. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 140. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 1, 253. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 779. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 981. (Toll) Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 5, 696.

3. Latin, 1647 [3rd edition].
Gemmarum | Et | Lapidum | Historia. | Quam edidit Anselmus Boetius de Boot, | Brugensis, Rudolphi II. Impera- | toris Medicus. | Postea Adrianus Tollius, Lugd.-Bat., M.D., | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | Tertia Editio longe purgatissima. Cui accedunt Ioan- | nis de Laet, Antvverpiani, De Gemmis & La- | pidibus libri II. Et Theophrasti li- | ber De Lapidibus, Gr. & Lat. cum | brevibus notis. | [ornament] | Lugduni Batavorum, | Ex Officina Ioannis Maire. | cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] c xlvii.

[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. | [ornament] | Lugduni Batavorum. | Ex Officina Ioannis Maire. | Anno {\scapsrm{c}}I[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] {\scapsrm{c xlvii}}.

8°: (?)4 A-Oo8 Pp4 *5v does not connect. Page size: 176 x 100 mm.

Contents: [De Boodt's work:] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [3 pgs], Dedication, signed Ioannes Maire, August 1647.; [3 pgs], Poem, signed Caspar Barlæus.; 1-2, "Ad Lectorem."; 3-9, "Catalogvs | Lapidum Omnium, quorum mentio in sequenti | libro fit."; 10, "Catalogvs | Authorum, | Quorum opera usus est Author | in hoc Libro."; 11-576, Text.; [22 pgs], "Index Rerum Et | Verborum Memo- | rabilium."; [2 pgs], Blanks.

[De Laet's work:] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank. [5 pgs], "Index Capitum."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [46 pgs], "Theophrasti | De | Lapidibus."; 1-96, "Liber Primus | De | Gemmis Pellucidis | Et Semipellucidis."; 97-210, "Liber Secudus | De | Lapidibus."; [6 pgs], "Index | Præcipuarum Rerum Quæ In His Libris | Tractantur."

Very scarce. Reprint of the 1636 Latin edition with the inclusion of a Latin translation of Theophrastus' Book on Stones by Johann de Laet [??-??].

Jan (Johan, Joannis) de Laet. (Born: Antwerp, Belgium, 1582; Died: Antwerp, Belgium, 15 December 1649) Belgian. Laet was born into a wealthy family and he therefore received a good education including languages. He published important early descriptions of the New World, as well as Spain, Italy, and Persia. He became one of the directors of the famous Compagnie des Indes (Dutch West-Indes Company).

Bibliographical references: Brunet: 1, no. 1108. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 66. Dryander, Catalogus Banks, 1796-1800: 4, p. 6. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 69. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 140. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 781. (Laet) Aa, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1852-78. BAB: 385, 171-194. Jacobs, J.A., "Johannes de Laet en de Nieuwe Wereld," Jaarboek van het Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, 50 (1996), 108-30. Poggendorff: 1, col. 1341. WBI.

Le Parfaict Ioaillier, 1644

4. French, 1644 [French transl.].
Le Parfaict | Ioaillier, | Ov | Histoire | Des Pierreries: | Ov Sont Amplement Descrites | leur naissance, iuste prix, moyen de les cognoistre, & se garder des | contrefaites, Facultez, medecinales, & proprietez curieuses. | Composé par Anselme Boece de Boot, | Medecin de l'Empereur Rodolphe II. | Et de nouveau enrichi de belles Annotations, Indices & Figures. | Par André Toll, Doct. Med. de Leide. | [ornament] | A Lyon, | Chez Iean-Antoine Hvgvetan, Marchand Libraire, | en ruë Merciere, à l'Enseigne de la Sphere. | [rule] | M. DC. XLIV. | Avec Privilege Dv Roy.

8°: ã7 e8 A-Ccc8; 406l.; [30], 1-746, [36] p., vignette on title, 2 folding tables, text woodcuts. Title page printed in red and black.

Contents: [2 pg/=ã1rv], Title page, verso blank.; [5 pgs/=ã2r-ã4r], Dedication to Monsieur Gaspard De Moncanys [=epistre].; [5 pgs/=ã4v-ã6v], "Preface Dv | Tradvctevr." [=advertisement].; [3 pgs/=ã7r-e1r], Poem with text starting "In Historiam | Gemmarum & Lapidum | Anselmi Boetii, | ..."-signed Gaspar Barlævs.; [11 pgs/=e1v-e6v], "Catalogve | De Tovtes Les | Pierres don't est faite mention | au Liure siuvant."; [1 pg/=e7r], "Catalogve Des | Autreurs qui sonteitez en | ce Liure."; [3 pgs/=e7v-e8v], "Priuilege du Roy."; 1-746 (=A-Aaa6v), Text (Book 1, pp. 1-142, Book 2, pp. 143-746).; [34 pgs/=Aaa7r-Ccc7v], "Table | Generale Des | Matieres, ..."; [1 pg/=Ccc8r], "Erreurs sureuenuès à l'impression de ce Liure."; [1 pg/=Ccc8v], Blank.

Rare. Translation by Jean Bachou [??-??] from Gemmarvm et Lapidvm Historia (Lugduni Batavorum, 1636).

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 66. Hoover Collection: no. 147. LKG: XVI 200b. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 140. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 780.