Cocliti's Ein Kurtzer Bericht der Gantzen Phisionomey und Ciromancy

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Bartholomeo Cocliti

Printed 1524, this is an exceedingly rare edition of the classic treatise on medicine, physiognomy, and chiromancy (palm reading). It has not appeared in the American Auction Records for over 40 years. 

This original book is filled with woodcuts of faces and their characteristics, as well as clearly marked palms with instructions for reading. There are approximately 80 full-page woodcuts of Palms alone.

Thorndike, in his classic "History of Experimental Magic" (page 64) states that the first Italian edition was printed in 1525 and a German edition at Strassburg in 1530. The book here is not recorded by him and predates that German edition by six years.

The Book: Cocliti, B. Ein kurtzer bericht der gantzen Phiionomey und Ciromancy. Strassburg, 1524. small 8vo, mottled boards, internally very clean copy, handsome woodcuts throughout and fine dark impression, last leaf in facsimile. An extremely rare, well illustrated and important edition. The last earliest copy in the ABPC auction records is the 1534 edition in a very worn state. The 1536 edition realized last $747.00 at Sotheby's October 21, 1980 lot 448.

Physiognomy is the interpretation of outward appearance, especially the features of the face, to discover a person's predominant temper and character. Physiognomy has also been used as a kind of divination and is often associated with astrology. o Coclès, like others before and after him, tried to create a science out of something each of us does from time to time: judge a person by his or her facial characteristics. Physiognomists like Coclès are wont to say things such as "people with snub noses are vain, untruthful, unstable, unfaithful and seducers." Coclès extended the pseudo-scientific analysis to palm reading, writing one of the most enduring and influential texts on Chiromancy.

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