Liber secretoru[m]. Alberti Magni De virtutibus herbabru[m] lapidum & animalium quorundam, Eiusdemq[ue] liber de mirabilis mundi, etiam de quibusdam effectus causatis a quibusdam animalibus &c. by Albertus Magnus, ca. 1514
ONLY KNOWN COPY OF UNRECORDED PARISIAN EDITION of this widely disseminated and extremely popular grimoire, falsely attributed to the Dominican theologian Albertus Magnus (ca. 1200-1280). The typographical mark on title was used by Jean Petit around 1510 (Renouard). The layout of each page (except title) and the types are very close to an edition attributed to Jean Marchant, dated ca. 1505/1510 (the only known copy is conserved at BSB Munich and incomplete). Is this a shared edition or one served as “exemplar” of the other? Jean Petit also printed around 1510 the “Secreta mulierum et virorum nuperrine correcta” by Albertus Magnus. Text matches This Edition in the Bibliothèque nationale de France which they date 1514. In this copy, a contemporary hand added manuscript signatures and did not realise that f. D1 was missing, copying on the verso of C8 the first word of the next page. – Ref. Renouard, Marques typographiques, 888. – GW 0065110N (Marchant ed.). – Not in BP16, Renouard, Inventaire chronologique, USTC, ISTC, GW, Adams.
8vo: 30 ff. Latin text
Condition: 16th / 17th C Vellum, flat spine (soiling, spine sl. splitting with sm. parts missing, re-cased.) D1 and last. bl. missing, min. browning and soiling, some ms. annot., sm. tears in bl. marg.) TEXT IS COMPLETE
Contents: Liber secretorum, first printed in 1493, concerns the extraordinary properties (magical, astrological, medicinal, etc.) of 16 plants, 45 minerals or gems and 18 animals (including many birds), and concerning the “wonders of the world”. The first includes means to become invisible, feel no pain, arouse love, interpret dreams and make prophesies. The second includes mental manipulation of matter, cures for diseases, destroying an enemy, magic made with fire or light, means of breaking charms, and seeing the future in dreams.
The text was later translated into French and became know as the Grand Albert or Les admirables secrets d’Albert le Grand, as it was most traditionally known. This was the earliest magic book in the Bibliothèque bleue genre and listed to be condemned and confiscated in 1702. Many rumors circulated concerning the book such as its magic making it impossible to destroy or discard.