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Atlas de Historia Natural de Felipe II
(Pomar codex).

Origin: Spain, XVIth c.
Biblioteca Histórica de la Universitat de València.

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Facsimile sheet:

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Original Dating:
Date facsimile edition:

Main theme:


Ms. 9.
Facsimile. Illuminated manuscripts.
23,7 x 34,8 cm.
232+2 crd.
464+4 crd.
XVIth c.
Parchment golden engraved on wooden board.
Botanics and Zoology
Presentation dust jacket: gold engraved half leather and cloth, containing the facsimile and the commentary volume, in Spanish and English, conducted by José María López Piñero (Former Professor of History of Science at the Universitat de València, Former Head of the Instituto de Estudios Documentales e Históricos de la Ciencia de la Universitat de València, CSIC) and translated by Thomas F. Glick (University of Boston).
Pictorial manuscrip.
PRIZE AWARDED FOR THE BEST BOOK PUBLISHED IN SPAIN IN 1990. Specially made paper with the same characteristics as the original. Limited edition numbered by notary and signed by the printer-publisher.

Catalogo Atlas Historia Natural
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Atlas de historia natural de Felipe II. Pomar Codex. Estudios/Commentary.

José María LÓPEZ PIÑERO (Author)

Thomas F. GLICK (Translator)

Study sheet:

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Edition date:
Main theme:

Studies. Illuminated manuscripts.
24 x 35 cm.
Spanish and English.
Cloth golden engraved.
Botanics and Zoology.


Atlas Historiae Naturalis, or Pomar Codex, is a pictorial manuscript composed of 218 illustrations in colour painted on one-sided paper, the first 47 concerning animals and from the 4th onwards plants. Latin titles in XVI century humanistic print. Old pagination in ink, defect in the top corner: from page 16 it jumps to page 21, from 197 it goes back to 180, following to the end modern page numbering in pencil on the reverse side of the illustrations in the bottom right hand corner. Illustration 42 is damaged in the bottom left hand corner.

Binding with gilt decoration and inscriptions on the covers: "Jardín de Cámara" and "Retrato de naturaleza". Gilt edges. On the last leaf with XVII century print it reads: "El Rey nuestro Sr. Felipe II dio este libro a su medico el Dr. Honorato Pomar, valenciano, catedrático de yerbas en la Universidad de Valencia; heredole su hijo maestro Pomar y muerto él me lo vendió su madre la viuda de dicho Dr. Pomar por 50 libras, habiéndole juzgado los pintores en valor de 100 libras. H.M.D.L.V. (Our King Philip II gave this book to his doctor Dr. Honorato Pomar, Valencian, Professor of medicinal plants at the University of Valencia; his son the master Pomar inherited it and upon his death it was sold to me by his mother the widow of said Dr. Pomar for 50 pounds, the painters having estimated its value at 100 pounds. H.M.D.L.V.)". On the back cover, the following note: "Ex libris Academia Valentinae legatis ab Exmo. D. Jaunario Perellós, Marchione de Dos Aguas".

None of the illustrations are signed, but a double foliation may be demonstrated which confers on the Atlas a great historical and scientific relevance. Firstly, a large part of the illustrations show typical features of Jacobo Ligozzi from Verona, one of the most famous plant and animal artists of the XVI century. Secondly, the rest of the Atlas illustrations are drawings of American plants and animals carried out in what is considered to be the first modern scientific expedition: that sent by Philip II to research "the history of natural things in our Indies".

Directed by Francisco Hernández, this famous expedition studied Mexican nature from 1571 to 1577.

This manuscript constitutes a source of exceptional importance of Renaissance botanical and zoological iconography. Its origins have a high historical significance: it was given by Philip II to Jaime Honorato Pomar, Professor of "herbs" or medical botany of the University of Valencia, the first chair dedicated to this subject in the Kingdom of Spain and one of the earliest in Europe.

IBIC Rating:

AC History of art / art & design styles
ACN History of art & design styles: c 1400 to c 1600
ACND Renaissance art
AFC Painting & paintings
AFJ Other graphic art forms
AFT Decorative arts
GBCT Directories
HBG General & world history
HBJD European history
HBJK History of the Americas
HBLH Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
HBTP1 Historical maps & atlases
PDX History of science
PST Botany & plant sciences
PSV Zoology & animal sciences
PSVW5 Reptiles
RGR Geographical discovery & exploration
WCS Antiques & collectables: books, manuscripts, ephemera & printed matter
WTLP Expeditions

1D Europe
1DSE Spain
1DSEH Castilla y León, Autonomous Community
1DSEM Madrid, Autonomous Community
1DSET Valenciana, Autonomous Community
1K The Americas
2ADL Latin
3JB c 1500 to c 1600