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Printed in Mainz by Jacob Meydenbach, it contains seven full-page and over a thousand column-width woodcuts and has been described as the natural history counterpart of the Nuremburg Chronicle. Handsomely rubricated and bound in 17th century German half blind-rolled pigskin, it was sold for $220,000 (£151,725) at the Freilich sale which took place at Sotheby’s New York on January 10 and 11.

Also sold at the Freilich sale for $50,000 (£34,480) was the Atlas minéralogique de la France..., a rare collection of the earliest state of the maps produced by Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and Jean Étienne Guettard for the first geological atlas. One of only three recorded complete copies – the other two are now held by institutions in Paris and Philadelphia – it was acquired by Freilich at one of the Haskell F. Norman sales in 1998, at $28,000.