Culpeper, Nicholas and Ebenezer Sibly
Culpeper's English Physician; and Complete Herbal. To which Are Now First Added Upwards of One Hundred additional Herbs, with a Display of Their Medicinal and Occult Properties.
Seller ID: 753
London: E. Sibly, c.1794. Two volumes in one (xvi, 398 pp.; 256 pp., index); frontis (Culpeper) and 29 b&w botanical plates (misnumbered but in correct order); two b&w plates ('celestial influxes'), eleven b&w plates of physiology, etc. (nos. 30- 40). Dating this edition partly based on date of dedication to Thomas Dunckerly, Provincial Grand Master of Free Masons, i.e., Year of Masonry 5798 (or 1794). Sibly's editions of Culpeper's herbal sought to retain the connection between medicine and the occult which traditional herbal remedies, based as they were on apparent and imagined properties of plants, seemed to provide. Quarto in contemporary leather and marbled paper covered boards (worn), gilt lettering and decoration to spine; expertly repaired spine, replaced endpapers; frontis margin chipped at top corner, mild damp stain to margins. The account of the properties of coffee (Culpeper's dating from the mid-seventeenth century) suggests Sibly did not up-date the text of the herbal: 'This is reported to be the berries of certain shrubs or bushes grown in Arabia.... It is said of itself to be insipid, having neither scent nor taste; but being pounded and baked, as they do prepare it to make the coffee-liquor with, it then stinks most loathsomely, which is an argument for some Saturnine quality in it: the propugners for this filthy drink affirm that it causes watchfulness...they also say it makes them sober when they are drunk....' But, then, perhaps Sibly didn't like coffee. A pleasing copy with a bright text on blue-tinted paper and largely clear plates (small hole in corner of plt. 2).
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