Catalog Archive

Auction 109, Lot 747

"[Dragons]", Kircher, Athanasius

Subject: Miscellany

Period: 1664 (circa)

Publication: Mundus Subterraneus

Color: Black & White

7 x 8 inches
17.8 x 20.3 cm

A fascinating leaf with two engravings depicting dragons. This is from Kircher's masterpiece, an immense and amazing work covering all aspects of anything that dwelled or occurred within the earth's interior - from dragons, to fossils, to mountain springs, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus marks the first serious effort to describe the physical makeup of the earth, proposing theories (sometimes fantastic) in the areas of physics, geography, geology, and chemistry. It was, in part, based on Kircher's observations of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1637 and the two weeks of earthquakes that shook Calabria in 1638. He suggests the existence of a vast network of underground springs and reservoirs, as well as the theory that subterranean temperatures increase directly in proportion to depth.


Condition: A

Few spots in margins and text.

Estimate: $75 - $100

Sold for: $70

Closed on 12/1/2004