Jacques Gaffarel

 

Curiositez inovyes, hoc est: Curiositates inauditae de figuris persarum talismannicis, horoscopo patriarcharum et characteribus coelestibus Jacobi Gaffarelli, latine cum notis quibusdam ac figuris editae, opera m. Gregorii Michaelis, praepositi regii flensburgensis

 

Hamburgi  apud Gothofredum Schultzen, prostant & Amsterodami : apud Janssonio Waesbergios

 

1678

 

 

 

A rare esoteric book written by Jacques Gaffarel, "Curiositez inovyes, hoc est: Curiositates inauditae de figuris persarum talismannicis, horoscopo patriarcharum et characteribus coelestibus Jacobi Gaffarelli, latine cum notis quibusdam ac figuris editae, opera m. Gregorii Michaelis, praepositi regii flensburgensis ", printed in 1678 in Hamburg by Gothofredum Schultzen and Amsterdam by Janssonio Waesbergios.

Jacques Gaffarel (Latin: Jacobus Gaffarellus) (1601–1681) was a French scholar and astrologer. He followed the family tradition of studying medicine, and then became a priest, but mainly developed his interests in the fields of natural history and Oriental occultism, gaining fluency in the Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic languages.

His most famous work is Curiositez inouyes sur la sculpture talismanique des Persans, horoscope des Patriarches et lecture des estoiles ("Unheard-of Curiosities concerning Talismanical Sculpture of the Persians, the horoscope of the Patriarchs, and the reading of the Stars), which was published in French in 1629 (and translated into English in 1650, by Edmund Chilmead). Jewish astrology developed independently from the mythology and star-gazing of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Gaffarel included in his work two large folding plates of "the Celestial Constellations expressed by Hebrew characters", and asserted that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet could be interpreted from the constellations and that the heavens could be read as if a book.The book enjoyed phenomenal success. René Descartes read this work with interest and the French physician and mathematician Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) defended it. Unheard-of Curiosities was one of 1,500 books in the Library of Sir Thomas Browne and one of the varied sources of his encyclopaedia entitled Pseudodoxia Epidemica. Browne alludes to Gaffarel's astrology in The Garden of Cyrus thus: Could we satisfy our selves in the position of the lights above, or discover the wisdom of that order so invariably maintained in the fixed stars of heaven......we might abate.....the strange Cryptography of Gaffarell in his Starrie Booke of Heaven.
Gaffarel contributed to the debate between Marin Mersenne and Robert Fludd. On the other hand, the Sorbonne rejected Gaffarel's work and ridiculed him; however, he gained the protection of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu, who made him his librarian and sent him off first to Italy, then to Greece and Asia to retrieve rare books (reportedly including manuscripts by Pico della Mirandola (Wikipedia )

Old library stamp on the title page, one page with dampstain which causes some loss. Browning due to the paper used, light foxing, two plates with defects, but a good copy of a rare esoteric book (see the many photos). 

Illustrated with an etched frontispiece and 12 fascinating plates.

Original full vellum binding.

Pages: 53 leaves + 290 pages  + 2,  498 pages + 2 leaves. In this copy the index is bound all in the beginning and could be missing some pages but I'm not sure. 

Size: 17 cm x 10 cm;  6.50 in. x 4.00 in.

NOTE: This book will be shipped worldwide directly from Europe for a flat rate of $25

                                                                                  

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