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(1637 – 1680)

(Born: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12 November 1637; Died: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17 February 1680) Dutch physician.

Swammerdam was born the son of Jan Jacobszoon [1606-1678], a prosperous apothecary and collector of natural history specimens. His family intended him for a career in the church, but in 1661 he decided instead to study medicine at Leyden. Subsequently, he studied also at Saumur in France, returned to Leyden, graduating with an M.D. in 1667. Swammerdam was among the earliest doctors to utilize a microscope in his researches of anatomy. He is recognized as one of the greatest anatomists of the 17th century.

Biographical references: Aa, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1852-78. BAB: 656, 400-429. DSB: 13, ??. Engel, H., "Records on Jan Swammerdam in the Amsterdam archives", Centaurus, 1, (1950), 143-55. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. The letters of Jan Swammerdam to Melchisedec Thévenot, with English translation and a biographical sketch. Amsterdam, Swets & Zeitlinger, 1975. 8°: x, 100 p., [6] leaves of plates. Nature: 165 (1950), ??. Pöhlmann, O., Jan Swammerdam: Naturforscher und Arzt. Biographischer Roman. Zurich & Leipzig, Orell Füssli, 1941. 226 p., illus. [Fictionalized biogaphy]. Ruestow, Microscopes in the Dutch Republic, 1996. Schierbeek, A., Jan Swammerdam (12 Februari 1637-17 Februari 1680) zijn leven en zijn werken. Met een hoofdstuk. De genealogie van Swammerdam en verdere archivalia door H. Engel. Lochem, Uitgeversmaatschappij "De Tijdstroom," [1946]. 280 p., illus., port., facsims., genealogical table. [Published as: Nederlandsche monographleen. 6]. Swammerdam, J., Ontmoeting met Jan Swammerdam, ingeleid en samengesteld door G.A. Lindeboom. Kampen, J.H. Kok, 1980. 120 p. WBI. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: 634.

Catalogus Musei Instructissimi, 1679

1. Latin & Dutch, 1679 [Sale catalog].
Catalogus | Musei Instructissimi, | Exhibens copiosam suppellectilem variarum rerum | exoticarum, tam naturalium, quam arte factarum, | quas | indesesso labore & sumtu minime vulgari | Quinquaginta annorum spatio collegit | Johannes Jacobus Swammerdammius | Pharmacop. dum viveret vigilantissimus. | [rule] | Catalogus | Van een seer wel gestoffeerde | Konstkamer, | Inhoudende een grote mensche van allerhande uyt= | heemsche sa natuirlijche als konstelijck untgewroch= | te dingen/ met onvermoeden arbeit/ ende | meer als gemeene onkosten | In vijstigh Jaeren tijdts | Vergaedert deur | Johan Jacobsz. Swammerdam, | In sijn leben Apotheker. | M DC LXXIX | Door d'Erfgenamen.

8°: A-I8; 72l.; [1]-143, [1] p. Page size: 162 x 102 mm.

Contents: [1], Title page.; [2], "Ad Lectorem. | ... | Tot Den Leser."; 3-143, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very rare. At the insistence of his father, Swammerdam cataloged the family collections, which was published anonymously after the patriarch's death. It was subsequently used by the heirs to sell off the collection piecemeal. The text is printed in a double-column format with the Dutch in the left column and the Latin on the right. The cabinet contained objects from all departments of nature and art, including fossils, minerals, crystallized specimens, preserved vegetables, corals, birds, crabs, echinoderms, insects, fishes, mammals, serpents, shells, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, other art objects, coins, medals and armor. Specimens of mineralogical interest are listed in the first section (pp. 3-12).

Bibliographical references: Balsiger, Kunst und Wunderkammern, 1970: 463. BL [1044.a.34.(1.)]. Engel, Dutch Zoological Cabinets, 1986: 267-9. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 275. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 111 & 3, 202. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 225.