RONPHILE [or RONPHYLE]. ~ La Chyromantie naturelle. Paris: Edme Pepingué, 1655.
Small 8vo (140 × 90 mm), pp. , 78. Title with astrological device, 6 full-page engraved illustrations of hands (one mounted, see below), woodcut ornaments. Contemporary limp vellum, title and date in early manuscript to upper cover. Slightly rubbed and soiled, endpapers a little fragile. Modern bookplate (Lucien-Graux). A very good copy.
A rare French palmistry manual. In two parts: the first (which contains the illustrations) describes the lines of the palm and fingers and the second describes their interpretation and their connection with the planets. This second part also contains a table of planetary influences on character and an interpretation of letter forms (A, C, D, E, F, G & O) which may appear among the lines of the palm
Several times reprinted in the seventeenth century (this is the second edition) the book was first published in Lyon in 1653. All the early editions are very rare. The dedication is signed by one ‘Rampalle’ who purports to be the translator, but who is perhaps the real author, with ‘Ronphile’ being a variant or pseudonym. The sixth illustration is clearly pasted to p. 13 (the others are printed direct), probably a cancellation of another illustration below.
Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science, 8, p. 464. OCLC lists very few copies of any edition, with no copies of either the 1653 or 1655 editions in North America. The National Library of Medicine, however, holds copies of both the 1653 and 1665 editions (Krivatsy 9925 & 9926).