Miscellanea Observata. Circa Res Naturales & praefertim circa Mineralia, Ignem & Montium strataSWEDENBORG, Emanuel
Lipsiae [Leipzig] n.p.. 1722.
First edition. 8vo (170 x100mm). pp. 173, , 4 folding plates of engraved illustrations. Bound in the late 18th or early 19th century by John Bohn. Full calf, elaborately decorated in gilt. Some scuffing to covers with loss of gilt especially to top right corner of upper cover. Joints and head of spine have been expertly repaired. Drab endpapers. Internally an excellent copy although with the browning to be expected from German books of this period. The title page refers only to part one (Pars Prima) as is usual although the book is in three parts. A very good copy of one of Swedenborg's less common works: Copac locates two copies in UK libraries (BL and Sheffield) and Worldcat a further two in the USA (Yale and Austin, Texas). On the verso of front free end paper is the binder's ticket of John Bohn of 31 Frith Street, Soho. Bohn was one of a number of German binders who came to England in the late 18th century attracted by the English taste for elaborately bound books. He set up his own bindery in Soho in 1795 before becoming a full time antiquarian bookseller in 1815.
Swedenborg’s Miscellanea Observata is an early scientific work which brings together ideas on natural history, geometry, mathematics and also touches on the theory (popular at the time) that “the whole of the universe can be packed into a mathematical point, at least rationally”. This complex idea is based on the belief that “nature’s principles should be the same as those of geometry, and the natural particles can ultimately be derived from mathematical points”. (David Dunér, “The Natural Philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg: A Study in the Conceptual Metaphors of the Mechanistic World-View”)