Histoire generale des drogues traitant des plantes, des animaux, & des mineraux; Ouvrage enrichy de plus de quatre cent figures en taille-douce tirées d'aprés nature; avec un discours qui
Farmaceutica - Farmacognosia
The work was written by a merchant of spices and medicinals and covers plants, animals and minerals. After the inevitable dedication there follows the preface in which the author indicates immediately that his knowledge of the medicinals he will deal with is practical and not theoretical. And he begins by mentioning some curious facts concerning mercury, the Sauglier pig stone, gray and yellow amber, Peruvian balsam, the snake stone, the unicorn mineral, cochineal, and so forth, all medicinals that are illustrated in a plate. The book itself is divided into books and the books into chapters. The first book deals with seeds and is divided into 30 chapters, each describing a type of seed. In each chapter there is an illustration of the plant which produces that seed. The second book (51 chapters) deals with roots (rhubarb, jalap, birthwort, turbith, costus, ginger, iris, hellebore, angelica, ginseng, masterwort, fraxinella, carline, valerian, snake root, sugar cane, etc.). The third book (16 chapters) deals with woods (camel’s thorn, sandal, nephritic wood, mastic tree, guaiacum, etc.). The fourth book addresses barks in 9 chapters (cinnamon, cassia, cinchona, etc., with an interesting set of double illustrations of the male and female mandrake). The fifth book deals with leaves in 27 chapters: tea, senna, ferns, soldanella, indigo, woad, tobacco, coral (sic!), squill, etc. The sixth deals with flowers in 12 chapters: roses, saffron and safflower, lavenders, pomegranate, rosemary, etc. The seventh and most extensive (80 chapters) is dedicated to fruits (pepper, nutmeg, coffee, cacao, vanilla, chocolate, cashews, dates, nux vomica, cherry plum, tamarind, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, lemons, oranges, cotton, olives, acorns, etc.). The eighth book deals with rubbers (manna, gamboges, gum Arabic, asafoetida, gum tragacanth, incense, copal, turpentine, etc.). The ninth book deals with juices such as scammony, opium, aloes, etc. The nine books on plants constitute the first part of the Histoire generale and are followed by a part in 54 chapters on animals (from the mummy to the unicorn, beavers, elephants, etc.) and a third part in 3 books dedicated to fossils, to minerals or precious stones and to soils. The illustrations are rendered well (there are none in the third part), and some are quite realistic such as the Ben blanc from the Farnese Gardens in Rome. The "windows" on the extraction and processing of some of the medicinals are quite original.