COLMENERO DE LEDESMA, Antonio Chocolata inda, Opusculum De qualitate & natura chocolatae.

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Traité sur le chocolat par Colmenero de Ledesma

First Latin edition of the first European work dedicated to chocolate and cocoa, preserved in its pure contemporary overlapping vellum.

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I-COLMENERO DE LEDESMA, Antonio. Chocolata inda, Opusculum De qualitate & natura chocolatae. Nuremberg, Wolfgang Ender, 1644.

[Followed by:] IIVOLCKAMER, Johann Georg. Opobalsami orientalis In Theriaces Confectionem Romae revocati examen... Nuremberg, Wolgang Ender, 1644.

[And by:] III-TENTZELIUS, Andrea. Medicina diastatica. hoc est singularis illa et admirabilis ad distans… Jehn, Johannis Birckneri, 1629.

3 texts bound in 1 volume small 12mo [120 x 67 mm] of : I/ 1 frontispiece on double-page, (10) ll., 73 pp., (7) pp.; II/ 1 frontispiece, (3) ll., 224 pp., (8); III/ 1 frontispiece, (7) ll., 188 pp. The last text is uniformly browned, some foxing, small restoration in the margin of p. 83 of the second text not touching the text. Bound in contemporary stiff overlapping vellum, flat spine. Contemporary binding.

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This treatise on chocolate, first written in Spanish by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma in 1631, was translated into Latin by Marcus Aurelius Severinus.

The present text dealing with chocolate rapidly crosses the borders as this food becomes more and more appreciated. This text will be one of the greatest texts of the century about chocolate and it will be largely distributed on the continent and translated into French in 1641, into Latin in 1644, and into Italian in 1678, but also into English in 1652.

It is followed here by extracts from two other treatises: an essay on the cocoa tree by J.-E. Nieremberg, and an article on hypochondria by P. Zacchias.

« Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma wrote his monograph in 1631, entitled ‘Curioso tratado de la naturaleza y calidad del chocolate’, a much-cited and much-translated publication. Colmenero’s text was highly circulated throughout Europe, so much so that different editions and translations of his work have been difficult to attribute to specific authors. » (L. Grivetti & H-Y. Shapiro, Chocolate: history, culture and heritage).

In the present work, Colmenero considers the medical properties of chocolate, and it is as such that it will be mentioned in many bibliographies and medical reviews of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Besides, the author presents here for the first time the recipe of a chocolate beverage made from 100 cocoa beans, dried fruits, spices but also pepper and sugar. This recipe will be used and modified by many authors during the 17th century such as: Thomas Hurtado, the author of Chocolate y tabaco, Ayuno eclesisatico y natural in 1645, Thomas Gage, the author of The English American: his travel by sea in 1648, and Henry Stubbe the author of The Indian nectar, or, a Discourse concerning Chocolata in 1662.

The present treatise is illustrated with a very beautiful frontispiece on double-page showing Neptune standing on a sea chariot, and an Indian woman offering him a chocolate box.

II/ Collection of articles and controversies, by various contemporary doctors, about an oriental balm. Krivatsy 12472; Poggendorff, II, 1228; Oberlé, n°730.

The beautiful frontispiece shows an Indian with the plant and a pharmacy jar.

An attractive copy of this fundamental treatise about chocolate, preserved in its contemporary overlapping vellum.

Provenance: ex libris Christoph. Iac. Trew. M. D.

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