BUONANNI, Filippo. Recreatiomentis, et oculi in observatione animalium testaceorum. Rome: Ex Typographia Varesii. 1684.
4to. Contemporary vellum, lettered by hand in ink to spine; pp. [xiv] + 270 + [10, index] + , 1 illustrated frontispiece, 1 engraved title page, 1 illustrated title page to last part, 3 engraved sectional title pages, 4 plates in text, 3 engravings tipped-in to text, text diagrams, 137 plates illustrating 527 specimens, 5 anthropomorphic shell plates in style of Arcimboldo; vellum mottled and slightly lifting from front board, a little dampstaining to final few plates, a little occasional browning, round inkstamp to title page and p. 7, previous owner's signature to title page, generally very clean, very good.
First Latin edition; first published in Italian in 1681. The first monograph on shells.
Buonanni (1638-1723) was a Jesuit scholar who succeeded Kircher as the Professor of Mathematics and curator of the Roman College. Using the collection built up there by Kircher, he wrote and illustrated this founding work of conchology, coining the name Bivalvium which was later enshrined in Linnean taxonomy. A number of other Linnean names were based upon his illustrations. His work was marked by his careful description of shell morphology and his attempts to show the creatures within the shells. Due to the printing process, his illustrations are in reverse.