Almanach für Breslau auf das Jahr 1497.

[Speyer, Peter Drach, 1497.]


Single sheet. 20.5 x 27.5 cm, 40 lines. Large Gothic letter, double column. Typographic initials. Light age browning, tiny interlinear and marginal worming, outer edge repaired affecting a few letters, traces of glue (probably used as pastedown), edges backed. Very well-preserved copy, C16 ex-libris of Georg Adam and Ludvig Cunstler, old pencil mark to reverse.

Exceptionally well-preserved fragment comprising the upper section of a very rare, single-sheet almanac printed by Peter Drach of Speyer for the city of Breslau in 1497. This is the second impression, with minor typographic variations, of an edition printed by Drach c. 1496 (ISTC ia00520550). All four extant copies of the two impressions survive in fragmentary form, which is due to the extreme popularity and intense though short-term use of these texts. Conceived for local communities, almanacs condensed into one sheet ‘the table of the days’ of a specific year. They included the phases of the moon in relation to a given city, the liturgical calendar, and days devoted to saints. The second part of this copy contains separate sections for each month, where saint’s days are associated with specific treatments for ailments, including suitable days for ‘good baths’ or blood lettings to body parts, like feet or lungs, where they were not customarily performed. A remarkably uncommon and important ephemeral text.

Evidence of its early provenance is traceable to Lower Silesia. In 1571, this broadsheet was owned by Friar Georg Adam, priest at Lubin but originally from Głogów, two cities situated near Breslau. In 1593, it was still in Germany, according to Ludvig Cunstler’s ex-libris.

Only British Library recorded fragments (2).

GW 01524; C 2282; Einbl 320; VE15 A-441; Pr 3269; BMC III, 711; ISTC ia00520600.


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