Ma'aseh Toviyah/ Masa Thobia
Lvov [Lviv]: A.N. Suess (A. N. Süss)/ Jacob Ahrenfries, . [Fourth edition]. Hardcover. Large octavo. Unpaginated. 120 double-sided leaves. Period textured 3/4 black leather over marbled paper boards. Rubbed gilt ruling and lettering on the spine. Contains two title pages, one for the first part of the work and one for the second and third parts. Although not stated, this is believed to be the forth edition of the work, coming eight years after the previous edition (Lvov/Stettin, 1867). An extremely rare edition.
This historically important work is a treatise and reference work on the natural sciences, which is famous for its numerous woodcut illustrations and figures. It was the first Hebrew book of its kind to be published. It's author was the early Enlightenment Polish-Jewish physician Tobias Cohen (aka Toviyyah ben Moshe ha-Kohen, or Toviyah Kats, 1652-1729). The work was first published in Venice in 1707 and is divided into three parts covering covers numerous topics including medicine, physiology, anatomy, hygiene, botany, Zoology, cosmology and astronomy. Includes at total of 21 black woodblock illustrated figures and diagrams throughout, outlining creation, depicting the geocentric and heliocentric models of the solar system, the four elements, plants, insects, physical phenomena, and ships sailing on the the spherical globe of the world, among others. It lacks a few of the images found in earlier editions of the work. The third part is the most notable for its famous illustrated figure known as "The House of the Body", which shows the detailed interior anatomy of the human body and a multi-story house, side by side, relating and comparing the organs of the body to the divisions of the house. The work is also includes theology and cosmology from a Jewish context, and discusses Sabbatianism.
Text in Hebrew, including some text in Rashi script.
Binding with rubbing to extremities, and some scratches to the covers. Starting and some damp staining to interior covers. Pencil notes in English on the front free endpaper. Age toning and some light sporadic stains to pages throughout, a number of pages throughout are torn resulting in some loss of text, some of which has been repaired. A consecutive group of pages has been lightly trimmed along the bottom margin, and another group of pages have chipping to the bottom, in both cases no loss of text resulting. Book block fairly tight. Binding in good, interior in fair to good- condition overall. Extremely scarce. Binding protected in modern mylar. fair to good-. Item #50886
Hebrew title: מעשה טוביה
Author: טוביה קץ/ טוביה כהן/ טוביה הכהן/ טוביה הרופא
Publication: לבוב, א.נ. סוס/ יעקב עהרענפרייז, תרל״ה
Alternate transliterations: Masa Thobia (title page), Ma'aseh Tobiyah, Ma'aseh Tuvyah, Ma'aseh Toviyyah, Ma'aseh Tovia.