Luca Giamberti wrote Letter L-325 to Leeuwenhoek about a gift book from Magliabechi

July 19, 1697

This letter is known only by reference in a later letter by Leeuwenhoek. It also refers to a lost letter by Leeuwenhoek to Giamberti.

Luca Giamberti was a member of the entourage of Gian Castone De' Medici (1671-1737). During his stay abroad (Düsseldorf and Reichstadt) he corresponded with Magliabechi, inter alia about the lost book for Leeuwenhoek.

The two letters in July 1697 between Giamberti and Leeuwenhoek are the only known exchange of letters between them. After receiving a letter from Antonio Magliabechi about entrusting a book as a gift for Leeuwenhoek to Giamberti, Leeuwenhoek wrote to Giamberti in Dusseldorf, Letter L-324 of June or July 1697, that Giamberti should send the book via a freighter to Dordrecht. The present letter is Giamberti’s reply. The discussion about the book then shifted to an exchange of letters between Leeuwenhoek and Johan Arnoldi.

The book is Lorenzo Magalotti’s Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Academia del Cimento (Essays on natural experiments done at the Academia del Cimento). For an overview, see Letter L-333 of 15 January 1698 from Arnoldi to Leeuwenhoek.

According to Leeuwenhoek’s Letter 189 L-330 of 2 November 1697 to Antonio Magliabechi, Collected Letters, p. 201, n. 3, “Luca Giamberti was gentleman-in-waiting to Gian Castone De’ Medici (1671-1737). During his stay abroad (Düsseldorf and Reichstadt) he corresponded with Magliabechi, inter alia, about the lost book for L.”

The Florentine physician Lotty is not identified.


On 2 November 1697, Leeuwenhoek wrote to Antonio Magliabechi about a book that Magliabechi had sent but that had not arrived.

I inform you, Illustrious Sir, that I have duly received your two letters addressed to me and that I learned from one of them that you hahave been pleased to make me happy (quite underservedly) with a book of such importance that scarcely 25 such books are found in the world, and moreover very handsomely bound; and that you entrusted that book to the Very Noble Mr. Luca Giambertius, who, as you thought, had already reached Düsseldorf at that time.

Having been informed of these facts, I wrote to Düsseldorf to this Very Noble Gentleman, requesting him to send the book with which you presented me by a freighter which used to sail from Cologne via Düsseldorf to Dordrecht, a town in Holland, because in that way the Book would no doubt reach me. Hereupon, in a letter of 19 July 1697, the Very Noble and Very Learned Gentleman replied that Mr Lotty, a Physician inbook and the person who was to deliver it; but in vain, for up to the present I have not been granted the least sign of him, which was a great disappointment to me.