First edition. 3 vols., 12mo, pp. [xxiv], 654, [xviii]; 631, [xvii]; 582, [xviii]. Engraved titlepage, small woodcut portrait of Pliny. With ‘variae lectiones’ and indexes at end of each vol. Slight toning, occasional minor spots, titles dusty, 1: one lower outer blank corner minimally torn, 2: small loss to lower blank margin of one leaf. Full blue morocco c.1800, signed by C. Hering (binder’s ticket), blind-tooled, straight-grained calf doublures with gilt edges, raised bands, spines gilt-lettered, a.e.g. (boards and joints rubbed, free endpapers soiled). Later annotation to original rear endpaper.
The first Elzevier edition of Pliny’s ‘Natural History’, which became extremely popular with later collectors. De Laet was a Leiden historian and editor who wrote or produced a number of texts for the Elzevir press. In the dedication, to the lawyer and French royal counsellor Jerome Bignon (1589-1656), he states that he drew on the edition of Claude Saumaise.
Author [Pliny the Elder:] Plinius Secundus, Gaius: (De Laet, J., ed.:)
Publisher Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: ex officina Elzeviriana,