(1638 – 1725)
Buonanni entered the Jesuits in 1654 and became a pupil of Athanasius Kircher at the Collegio Romano. After completing his education, Buonanni taught first in the Jesuit college in Orvieta and then in the one in Ancona. He was called back to Rome in 1676 to be the Archivist of the Casa Professa, Il Gesua. He was appointed Rector of the College of the Maronites in Rome, 1695-1725. In 1698, he also accepted an appointment as the curator of the Kircherian Museum at the Collegio Romano. Buonanni collected shells of sea life, which he classified and interpreted within an Aristotelian framework. He believed in their spontaneous generation. Some of his observations employed a microscope, which he had built himself.
Biographical references: ABI: I 175, 144-160; II S 12, 51-54. Biographie Universelle. Dizionario Biografico Italiani: 15, 142-4 [by P. Omodeo; other refs.]. DSB: 2, 591-2 [by P. Franceschini]. Eitner, Quellenlexikon, 1959. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Mazzuchelli, Gli Scrittori d'Italia, 1753-63. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Neviani, A., "Un episodio della lotta fra spontaneisti ed ovulisti. Il Padre Filippo Buonanni e l'Abate Anton Felice Marsili", Rivista di storia delle scienze mediche e naturali, 26, (1935), 211-32. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 341-2. WBI.
1. Latin, 1709 [First edition].
Musæum | Kircherianum | Sive | Musæum A P. Athanasio | Kirchero | In Collegio Romano Societatis Jesu | Jam Pridem Incœptum | Nuper restitutum, auctum, descriptum, | & Iconibus illustratum | Excellentissimo Domino | Francisco Mariæ | Ruspolo | Antiquæ Urbis Agyllinæ Principi | Oblatum | A P. Philippo Bonanni | Societatis Jesu. | [Printer's device] | Romæ, MDCC IX. | Typis Georgii Plachi Cælaturam Profitentis, & Characterum | Fusoriam propè S. Marcum. | [ornate rule] | Svperiorvm Permissv.
2°: *6 A-G4 H2 I-N4 O6 P-T4 V6 X-Z4 Aa4 Bb-Cc6 Dd-Gg4 Hh6 Ii-Zz4 2Aa6 2Bb4; 203l.; , 1-39, 61-79, 84-115, 128-146, 161-183, 198-224, 225-247, 264-283, 302-312, 316-319, 322-361, 392-411, 412-522,  p., frontispiece (portrait of Ruspolo), 172 plates (part folding). The erratic collation/pagination of this volume results from the plates being included as numbered leaves between various groups of text pages. Page size: 361 x 238 mm.
Plates: Frontispiece portrait of Ruspolo engraved by Arnold van Westerhout after Antonio David.
Rare. First detailed and illustrated catalog of the famous Museum Kircherianum of the Jesuit Collegio Romano after its rebirth in the early 18th century. Giorgio de Sepi had previously published a glimpse of the Museum at its height in 1678. Kircher had originally built the collection on a collection previously assembled by Alfonso Donnino [ -1651], and utilized the network of Jesuit missionaries to provide new specimens of natural and ethnographic wonders from all the lands of the world. Kircher also had a passion for Egyptian antiquities including two authentic mummies, a collection of exotic shoes, and the first cuneiform tablet recorded in Europe. However, after Kircher's death in 1680 the collection languished for years before Buonanni was appointed curator.
Buonanni resurrected the collection and revitalized its importance by moving it to a new building and again adding extensively to its contents. Here he provides a detailed account of the objects and the genesis of the museum. As a conchologist himself, he devotes a large part of the text and 48 plates to illustrating 412 specimens of shells. There is also a section devoted to microscopes and microscopic views. Buonanni's catalog gives a good idea of the museum contents contained at the time. It is a magnificent production and makes it clear why scientific visitors continued to visit the Museum Kircherianum. The plates comprise figures of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, fossils, shells, animals, plants, waterworks, etc. Also illustrated is a Magic Latern, the invention of which is attributed to Kircher.
Bibliographical references: Bedini, S.A., "Cidtadels of learning. The Museo Kircheriano and other seventeenth century Italian science collections" (pp. 249-67), in: Casciato, M., M.G. Ianniello, and M. Vitale, M., eds., Enciclopedismo in Roma Barocca. Athanasius Kircher e il Museo del Collegio Romano tra Wunderkammer e museo scientifico. Venezia, Marsiolio Editori, 1986. -376 p., illus., biblio. BL [459.c.7.]. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 106. LKG: XVII 16. Nissen (ZBI): no. 2198. NUC: 502, 627 [NR 0401923]. Pietro & Bonelli, Biblioteca Mediceo-Lorenese, 1970: no. 636 [detailed collation].
2. Latin, 1773-82 [2nd edition].
[In red:] Rervm Natvralivm | [in black:] Historia | Nempe | [in red:] Qvadrvpedvm Insectorvm Piscivm Variorvmqve Marinorvm | Corporvm Fossilivm Plantarvm Exoticarvm | [in black:] Ac Praesertim | [in red:] Testaceorvm | [in black:] Exsistentivm | [in red:] In Mvseo Kircheraino | [in black:] Edita Iam | [in red:] A. P. Philippo Bonannio | [in black:] Nvnc Vero Nova Methodo Distribvta Notis Illvstrata | In Tavlis Reformata Novisqve Observationibvs Locvpletata | [in red:] A Iohanne Antonio Battarra Ariminensi | [in black:] Philosophiae Professore | [in red:] Pars Prima. | [Vingette, showing two people examining specimens] | [in red:] Romae MDCCLXXIII. | [in black:] In Typographio Zempelliano | Aere Venantii Monaldini Bibliopolae. | [ornate rule] | [in red:] Praesidvm Facvltate.
[In red:] Rervm Natvralivm | ... | [in red:] Pars Secvnda. | ... | [in red:] MDCCLXXXII. | ...
2 vols. [Vol 1: 1773] 2°: π2 b2 c4 d8 e4 A-Z4 Aa-Hh4 Ii6; 150l.; [I]-XL, 1-259,  p., frontispiece, 51 plates (numbered Tab. I-XLVII, Tab I App-IV App). [Vol 2: 1782] 2°: π4 b-c4 d2 A-Z4 Aa-Vv4 Xx2; 188l.; [I]-XXVII, , 1-347,  p., 55 plates (numbered Tab I-VII, Tab I-XLVIII). Page size: 420 x 270 mm.
Contents: [Vol 1] [I-II], Half title page, "Rervm Natvralivm | Historia," verso blank.; [III-IV], Title page (vingette signed "Antonio Nessi invento, Francesco Nesi incise"), verso blank.; [Frontispiece].; [V]-X, Dedication to Archduke Petro Leopoldo.; XI-XXVIII, "Ioh. Antonii Battarrae | Praefatio."; XXIX, "Adprobationes."; [XXX], "Imprimatur, | ..."; XXXI-XXXIV, "Ratio Et Partitio Operis."; XXXV-XXXVI, "Johannis Ant. Battarrae | Commentatiolum De Vita Et Scriptis | Athanasii Kircherii." [with a catalog of Kircher's writings at the end].; XXXVII-XXXVIII, "Ejusdem | Commentariolum De Vita Et Scriptis | Philippi Bonannii [!]."; XXXIX-XL, Table of contents, volume 1.; 1-228, Text.; , "Appendix."; , Blank.; 231-232, "Epistola | V.C. Iohannis Mariae E Turre | Regis Utrius Que Siciliae Et Neapolis Mvsei Farnesiani Praefecti &c. &c. | Ad Iohannem Antonium Battarram" [dated 12 December 1767].; 233-244, "Epistola | Ioh. Antonium Battarrae | Ariminensis | Ad Ioh. Christoph. Admadvtivm | Lingvae Graecae Professorem | In Archigymnasio Romae Sapientiae."; 245-253, "V.C. Hyacinthi Volii Bononiensis | Medicinae Professoris | De Quadam Gypsi Specie | Dissertatio | ..."; 254-258, "Index | Rerum Notabilum."; 259, "Index Alter | ..."; [=list of where plates are described in the text].; [1 pg], "Errata Corrigenda."
[Vol 2] Pp. [I-II], Half title page, "Rervm Natvralivm | Historia," verso blank.; [III-IV], Title page (vingette signed "Antonio Nessi invento, Francesco Nesi incise"), verso blank.; V, Engraved dedication leave to Ferdinando (AzU copy signed in manuscript, "Jos. Antonius Monaldinus | Bibliopola Romanus").; [VI], Blank.; VII-XVIII, "In Mvsei Kircheriani | Testacea | A Ioh. Antonio Battarra | Phil. Prof. Illvstrata. | Praefatio."; XIX-XXII, "Venantii Monaldinii | In Appendicem | Musei Kirkeriani | Praefatio."; XXIII, "Adprobatio."; XXIV, "Imprimatur, | ..."; XXV-XXVII, Table of contents.; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-120, Text [description of shells].; , "Appendix."; , Blank.; 123-209, "Paschalis Amatii | Sabinanensis | De Restitutione Purpurarum | Liber."; 210-211, "Index Capitum."; 212, "Additamentum."; 213-217, "Iani Planei | Ariminensis | De Mola Pisce | Ad Iosephum Montium | Bononiensem."; 218-221, "Iani Planci | Ariminensis | De Mola Pisce | Epistola Altera | Ad Iosephum Montium | Bononiensem."; [Other essays appear on pages:] 222-225, 226-230, 231-234, 235-236 & 237-242.; [Plates: Tabs I-IV, showing sea creatures and birds].; 243-245, "Iohannes A Battarra | Tritonio Suo."; 246-282, "Catalogus | Omnium Animalium Testaceorum | ..."; 283, "Lectori Benevolo."; , Blank.; 285-287, Text of Lectori.; 288, "Auctor Ad Lectorem | Ostracoptam."; 289-314, "Fabii Columanae | Lynceí | De Purpura, Aliisque Testaceis | Rarioribus."; [Plates Tab. I-VI, Tab. Unica, showing shells and sharks teeth].; 315-323, "Fabii Columnae | Lyncei | De Glossopetris | Dissertatio."; 324-342, "Ad Clarissimos Socios | Georgicos Treienses | Rerum Naturalivm Montis Marii | Descriptio | ..."; 343-346, "Index."; 347, Errata.; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 48 plates, numbered Tab. I-XLVIII, showing mostly shells and bivalves.
Plates: The plates are unsigned, and in the AzU copy they are, perhaps uniquely, all hand-colored. [Vol 1] I-II, Children. III-VI, Animals. VII-XII, Reptiles, snakes, lizards, spiders and bugs. XIII, Bird beaks. XIV-XVIII, Insects and dragon flies. XIX-XXII, Feathers, spikes and stingers. XXIII-XXVI, Flies. XXVII, Plants (?). XXVIII, Insects. XXIX-XXXI, Plants. XXXII-XXIV, Microscopic views (?). XXXV-XXXVI, Stones and fossils. XXXVII-XL, Fish and sea creatures. XLI-XLIV, Sponges and corals. XLV-XLVI, Seeds and pods. XLVII, Bird heads and nests. Tab I App.-Tab IV App., Apparatus.
[Vol 2] I-XLVIII, Shells and bivalves.
Very scarce. Revised and edited by Giuseppe-Antonio Battarra [see note below]. Kircher, the great German Jesuit scholar, had formed during his life a magnificent collection of antiquities and natural history specimens. When he died in 1680, the collection was bequeathed to the Collegio Romano. Although Buonanni published a one volume account of the collection in 1709, this much enlarged work is the definitive edition. The volumes cover mainly zoology, paleontology, and conchology, and are superbly illustrated. It is one of the most important accounts of a seventeenth century scientific cabinet.
Volume 1 divides the text into classes of (1) quadrapeds, (2) reptiles and insects, (3) fossils, minerals and stones, (4) fish and sea creatures, and (5) apparatus. Pages 94-152 describe the mineralogical specimens, including gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, tin, mercury, antimony, magnets, marcasite, salt, sulfur, amber, dendrites, fossils, the Philosopher's stone, etc. Some of these are illustrated on plates XXXV-XXXVI. Volume 2 deals almost exclusively with shell and bivalve descriptions.
Giuseppe-Antonio Battarra. (Born: Coriano, Italy, 1714; Died: Rimini, Italy, 1789) Italian cleric & botanist. Born to a lower class, Battarra entered the seminary of Rimini in 1738 to improve his prospects. After instruction from Giovanni Bianchi, in 1741 he was called to teach philosophy at Savignano. In 1748, he was transferred to Rimini, where he remained.
Bibliographical references: BL [505.i.18.]. LKG: XVII 16. NUC: 84, 393-6 [NB 0957353]. (Battarra) ABI: I 121, 209-210. • Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 158 [1 portrait listed]. • Dizionario Biografico Italiani. • Mazzuchelli, Gli Scrittori d'Italia, 1753-63. • Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). • WBI..