PASSE, Crispijn van de

A ROYAL GARDENER’S COPY

Hortus floridus. A garden of flovvers, vvherein very liuely is contained a true and perfect discription of al the flovvers contained in these foure followinge bookes.

Utrecht, By Salomon de Roy, for Crispian de Passe, 1615.

£55,000

FIRST EDITION thus. Oblong folio. Five parts in one volume. 1) ff.  (vii) [(-)1, A-C2], forty three plates of flowers, one of garden scene and one of ‘Epigramma’. 2) ff. (ii) [D1-2], one plate of garden scene, 20 plates of flowers. 3) ff. (iii) [E1-2, F1], twenty eight plates of flowers. 4) ff. (ii) [F2, G1], twelve plates of flowers. 5) ff. (ii) (title and engraved title), sixty one plates of flowers with explanatory text on versos, ff. (i) [G2]. Book one extra illustrated with two additional plates after plate 41, “Bulbus Narcisci marini” and “Radix Cyclamini.” Book three with plate seventeen from the latin version, text on verso, bound out of order, plate 24 re-margined (book four has a fine extra plate 24), extra illustrated with plates 7 and 12 from the winter section, and plate 1 of winter section bound at end. Book four with plates out of order (with plate 1 at end of book 3), extra illustrated with plate 24 from book three, plate 7 from latin edition with text on verso (the correct version is added in book 3). Roman and Italic letter. Text to Parts I-IV in English, text to Altera Pars in Latin. Additional engraved title in Latin tipped in, dated 1614, with mythical figures to sides, portraits in roundels of Dodoens and Clusius, verso of general typographic title with ‘The Book to his Readers’ within typographical border, final leaf G2r within typographical border, Altera pars with letterpress and engraved architectural title with vases of flower to the sides and explanatory text to plates I and II on verso, large historiated, white on black and floriated woodcut initials in explanatory text in Altera pars, ink ownership inscription on plate 7 in part II, “Watts Gardener to his Majesty,” most probably Richard Watts, gardener to Prince George of Denmark at Camden House, St. James’s Palace and Windsor, c. 1700 – 1703, monogram in red crayon on title. Light age yellowing, some light soiling and creasing, small tear in lower blank margin of plate 16 in book two just entering plate, a few very short marginal nicks and chips, early ink pen trials to a couple of plates, mostly confined to margins but some into plate area, plates in parts I-II numbered in ink manuscript both in margins and within plate. A lovely copy with the plates in very fine, rich, and detailed impressions remarkably preserved in contemporary English limp vellum, contained in a modern morocco-backed box by Laurenchet, rubbed, and a bit soiled and creased.

The very rare first English edition of the wonderfully illustrated Hortus Floridus, complete with the rare addition of the Altera pars, and all the plates called for in the contents; it “was without question the most popular florilegium ever published,” An Oak Spring Flora. The first edition appeared in 1614 in Latin and proved so popular that it was almost immediately followed by French, Dutch, and English editions. The introduction is enlarged with details on how to colour the plates. One of the earliest florilegia, the Hortus Floridus contains very fine realistic and delicate prints created by Crispin van de Passe, a member of a famous family of Dutch artists.

The book is divided into four sections, each corresponding with one of the seasons and prefaced with an engraving of a model garden. Most of the flowers shown are tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and other bulb plants, the new enthusiasm of the increasingly prosperous Dutch citizenry. Van de Passe’s work both documented and stimulated the Dutch passion for bulbs, which eventually led to the ‘tulipomania’ of 1636 – 1637, when speculation in tulip bulbs led to a financial crash.

Unlike earlier botanical works in which the plants were shown by themselves, van de Passe placed his specimens in a natural environment, often accompanied by insects and animals that provide a narrative element to the images. The ground level perspective of the illustrations reflects the tradition of Dutch landscape painting, characterized by atmospheric and panoramic views of the flat Dutch landscape set against a low horizon, and dominated by a vast and expansive sky. The first four parts include 106 plates by Crispin De Passe, the flowers being classified per season rather than per species.

“The plates are landscapes in miniature, embellished with animals and insects, and with the plants shown growing from the ground with a vigorous naturalism. The emphasis of the publication is on the common garden flowers, with a preponderance of spring bulbs.” Gill Saunders.

These engravings cannot be seen as solely botanical illustrations, as they also echo the artistic grammar of contemporary Flemish and Dutch painting. The following fifth part includes 61 plates featuring 120 numbered fruit trees and medical plants. According to Franken, these last series were executed by a German engraver rather than by a member of the De Passe family. The quality of the engraving is exceptionally fine and delicate and where they are preserved in fine impressions, as here, are masterpieces of horticultural art.

“By uniting scientific illustration and the genre of the still-life in Hortus Floridus, van de Passe made available a precious repertory of floral images for artists such as van der Ast, Ambrosius Bosschaert and Roelandt Savery. Some of the plates of single flowers were copied for other botanical works.” Oak Spring Flora, 12. A wonderful copy, with the plates in very fine impression, of the exceptionally rare English edition in contemporary limp vellum.

STC 19459. ESTC S110319. Oak Spring Flora, 12 .Saunders, Picturing Plants, 36-37; Nissen BBI 1494. Hunt 199; Savage, ‘The Hortus Floridus’, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, Second Series, vol. IV, (1923) pp.181-205.

K44

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BRUNSCHWIG, Hieronymus

ALCHEMY IN THE SERVICE OF MEDICINE

Liber der arte distulandi simplicia et composita : das nüv bůch d[er] rechte[n] Kunst zů distilliere[n], ouch vo[n] Marsilio Ficino vn[nd] andere[n] hochberömpte[n] Ertzte natürliche vn[nd] gůte Kunst, zů behalte[n] den gesunden Leib vn[nd] zů vertreibe[n] die Krankheiter[n] mit Erlengeru[n]g des Lebe[n]s.

[Strassburg, Johan Grüniger, 1509].

£43,500

Folio. ff. cxxx (i.e. cxl), (lviii) in double column. A⁸, B-D⁶, DD⁶, DDD⁴, E-T⁶, V⁸, X⁴, Y-Z⁶, AA-CC⁶, DD⁴, EE-FF⁶, GG⁸. Gothic letter. First title with two large woodcuts, the other two with half page woodcuts, one double page woodcut, innumerable half page and column width woodcuts, all in fine contemporary hand colouring, capital spaces with guide letters, white on black and floriated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, slight water staining on lower blank margin of a few leaves, early restoration of three holes to lower blank margin of title, backed at foot, the odd marginal thumb mark or spot. A very good copy, with woodcuts and colouring in wonderful fresh state of preservation, crisp and clean with good margins, in excellent contemporary German calf over wooden boards, covers triple blind ruled to a panel design, middle panel filled with a fine blind scroll of hunting scene of three dear and a huntsman with spear, central panel filled with repeated blind floral scroll, semé of flowers stamped in black, “Distillirrbuch’ stamped in large black Gothic letter in upper panel of front cover, spine with three blind ruled raised bands with blind ‘crown’ fleurons above and below, lacking clasps and catches, small restoration in places, a little rubbed and scratched.

A wonderful copy of this rare and most interesting compilation, beautifully illustrated and vividly coloured in a contemporary hand, preserved in a fine contemporary binding. It is a pharmaceutical and alchemical collection first published in 1505 under the title ‘Medicinarius. Das Buch der Gesundheit’ and including books I and II of Brunschwig’s ‘Liber de arte distillandi de simplicibus,’ also called ‘Kleines Destillierbuch; Ficino’s Das Buch des Lebens,’ translated by Johannes Adelphus; and a treatise on compounds by a Strassburg master, Konrad.

Hieronymus Brunschwig (c. 1450 – c. 1512) was a German physician, surgeon, chemist, and pharmacologist whose ‘Liber de arte distillandi simplicia et composita’ (‘Little Book of Distillation’), was the first book to systematically describe essential oils, their distillation and extraction from plants, and their medicinal applications. The wonderful hand-coloured woodcuts show detailed instructions on the distillation process. The first part of the treatise describes the methods and apparati for the distillation of extracts from various plants and animals. The second part describes certain medicinal plants, and the third part contains an exhaustive list of maladies along with a corresponding list of plant distillates and extracts recommended.

“Because of their completeness Brunschwig’s compilations of the technical terms adaptable to pharmacy in the early sixteenth century and his records of his experience in the treatment of gunshot wounds and in surgery are noteworthy accomplishments. Even if they are not the first of their kind, they still represent an important link between the Middle Ages and modern times.” (DSB I, p. 547) The work is most beautifully and interestingly illustrated including vivid images of gardens and banquets. “With detailed instructions, ranging from the right times to collect herbs to the exact specifications for constructing distillation equipment, Brunschwig hoped to make medicinal alchemy accessible to ‘the common people that dwell far from medicines and physicians and for them that not be able to pay for costly medicines,’ he wrote.” Cristina Luiggi ‘Medicinal Alchemy, circa 1512.’

Marsilio Ficino (1433 – 99) was one of the leading intellectuals in Florence, a magnet for the most brilliant scholars of fifteenth-century Europe. His ‘De vita’ is a curious amalgam of philosophy, medicine, ‘natural magic’ and astrology, and is possibly the first book ever written about the health of the intellectual and its peculiar concerns. It includes astrological charts and remedies, philosophical digressions, medieval prescriptions for various ills, attempts at reconciling the Neoplatonism of Plotinus with Christian scripture, and magical remedies and talismans.

“The work that Ficino composed alongside his commentaries on Plotinus, his influential astral-medical treatise, ‘De vita libri tres,’ or ‘Three books on life,’ published in 1489 … is listed is Borel’s ‘Bibliotheca Chimica’ as another of Ficino’s alchemical works.  … One of the most revealing examples of how Ficino’s de Vita was assimilated into the alchemical tradition can be found in the translation of the first two books as ‘Das Buch des Lebens’ in 1505 by the Strasbourg physician and humanist Johannes Adelphus Muling. The German version was re-edited several times and printed together with editions of two of the most highly regarded works on distillation. One of these was Hieronymous Braunschweig’s ‘De arte distillandi’ and anyone familiar with the 1500 title page of Braunschweig’s much reprinted work will notice how it has been adopted by the publisher of the 1505 edition as an illustration for Ficino’s text.” Peter J. Forshaw. ‘Laus Platonici Philosophi: Marsilio Ficino and His Influence.’

Unfortunately, we have not been able to identify the binder from the tools, though the Einbanddatenbank has other tools with very similar hunting scrolls. Interestingly, the copy illustrated at the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek, BSB Call Nr.: Res/2 M.med. 35 has the same title blind-stamped on its binding, suggesting that this was probably the production of the same binder, or probably the publishers binding. A beautiful copy with the colouring absolutely fresh and clean.

Wellcome 1113. Not in BM STC Ger. C16th, Osler, Durling or Duveen.

K55

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HERBAL

Herbolario volgare

Venice, Giovanni Andrea Valvassori and brothers, 1534.

£27,500

8vo, 180 leaves, a6, A-X8, Y6 (Yiii and conjugate leaf misbound at the beginning after aaiii, aaii after aaiii). Roman letter; decorated initials, large vignette representing Saints Cosmas and Damian on title, woodcut of Virgin and Child on aaviv, 151 3/4-page illustrations, large printer’s device on final leaf recto; three tiny marginal wormholes to title and first two leaves, small largely interlinear worm trail to final four, clean marginal tear to Yv. A very good copy in contemporary light-brown calf, blind-tooled uncommonly silvered including title on upper cover, double-fillet, roll of fleurons, central panel with keys and crowns (heraldic symbols?) and corner and central floral Arabesque; probably by a provincial workshop of Northern Italy; all edges gauffered gilt; skilfully re-backed, upper corners chipped, three wormholes to front cover, small worm trail to rear.

Very rare complete copy of the first issue (27 July 1534) of the second Italian vernacular edition of the Latin Herbarius. Another issue appeared on 15 November of the same year. The more common first Italian translation was published as a quarto in 1522, whilst this and the subsequent Venetian editions are octavos, apparently designed to accommodate the needs of a wider and less educated readership. ‘The Herbarius … was anonymous, a compilation from medieval writers and from certain classical and Arabian authors, the latter doubtless quoted from translations… It was intended to treat of cheap and homely remedies for the use of the poor, such as could be found in the woods and meadows’ (Hunt).

Like the Herbarius, the text is here arranged alphabetically depending on plants’ names, thus the order differs slightly from that of the original Latin. This edition has a new vernacular translation, interestingly including several linguistic elements typical of Northern Italian dialects, especially those around Venice. It is also the first to be illustrated with a different series of woodcuts, based on the Hortus Sanitatis wooblocks. Chapter 89, usually tackling the Matricaria, is here devoted to honey, while a new chapter numbered 151, on wine and vinegar, has been added. Both these two variations were provided with their own special illustrations, namely honeybees and a wine cellar. The remaining 149 woodcuts all depict plants, herbs and roots, showing in two cases a simple countryside background. The charming Virgin and Child illustration is copied from the Venice 1492 Decameron.

All these popular Italian herbals are very uncommon, but this edition in its first issue stands out for its exceeding rarity. It is quite remarkable that such a popular book was bound so richly.

Only one perfect copy recorded in Italy (Salerno, private collection), possibly another defective in Oxford and in the US (Cincinnati). Not in BM STC It., Adams, Brunet, Graesse, Durling nor Wellcome. EDIT16, 76427; Hunt, 34; Klebs, 16 (no distinction between the two issues); Nissen, BBI 34.

L2000

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FUCHS, Leonhard

HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL FIRST EDITION OF GERMAN HERBAL

New Kreüterbuch.

Basel, Michael Isingrin, 1543.

£49,500

Folio, 444 leaves, +-++6, +++4, a-z6, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, AA6, BB8. Gothic letter; woodcut printer’s device on title and larger on final recto, full-page full length portrait of Fuchs on title verso, 517 botanical woodcuts (15 with old hand-colouring) by Viet Rudolph Speckle after Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, portraits of the three artists at end; historiated initials; light water stains and finger marking to some margins at beginning and end, small marginal flaw to ff. Ff4-Gg4, barely touching one illustration. A very good copy, partially hand-coloured in the printing shop, in contemporary pigskin over thick-wooden boards, blind-tooled, triple fillet; rolls of interlacing floral decorations, medallions, antiques, grape and vine leaves, central panel with flower bunches to corner and centre; original clasps; slightly rubbed, few small stains to spine and joints; on front pastedown, inscription by Joseph von Gullingstein, dated 27 April 1793, nineteenth-century label of the Bibljoteka Julinska, bookplates of the Squire Library and the Warren H. Corning Collection; on pastedown, seventeenth-century ex libris of ‘Nobilis Francisci Fidelis’, prospective graduate in medicine at Leiden University.

First German edition of the most celebrated and beautiful herbal ever published, issued only a year after the princeps. Here, many mistakes were corrected and five additional woodcuts were inserted, namely those depicting ‘Hunerbis’, ‘Spitziger Wegerich’, ‘klein Schlangen kraut’, ‘Knabenkrautweible’ and ‘Kuchens chell’. Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566) was an eminent physician and botanist of the early German Reformation. After completing his medical studies in Ingolstadt and teaching in that university, he moved to Tübingen. There, he served Duke Ulrich of Württemberg and contributed massively to the reform of the local university, which became the first German institution of its kind to adopt a humanist and Lutheran programme. A plant and the colour fuchsia are named after him.

Fuchs wrote many medical commentaries and treatises, though this herbal was by far his major achievement. As he explains in the preface of the work, he wished his own German translation to reach a broader audience than Latinate scholars and physicians, who had found in herbals a fundamental medical tool since Antiquity and the Middle Ages and hailed with enthusiasm the Latin first edition of the work. This time, Fuchs’ target was common people interested in the natural world and the popular remedies derived from them. The readers were provided with an index of illnesses treatable with herbs, so as to facilitate consultation. Fuchs’ botanical descriptions are very accurate and mark a significant advancement in medical botany in respect of earlier somewhat crude herbals.

This work dwells on over 400 German and 100 foreign plants, each with its own detailed illustration, and includes the first description of several recently-discovered American plants, such as pumpkin, chili pepper, snap bean and maize (mistakenly considered as a Turkish product). It was highly influential, with many reprints and translations into the main European vernaculars; its woodcuts were reused in all later editions, pirated several times and copied in the works of Hieronymus Bock, Rembert Dodoens, William Turner, amongst others. The drawings were made from life by Albert Meyer, largely relying on the plants carefully gathered by Fuchs in his garden in Tübingen. Heinrich Füllmaurer transferred the illustrations onto woodblocks, which were later cut by Viet Rudolph Speckle. The three artists received the then unique honour that their portraits were included in the book.

Not in Durling or Heirs of Hyppocrates. BM STC Ger., 326; Adams, F 1107; Wellcome, 2443; Nissen, 659; Pritzel 3139; Alden, 543/11; Printing and the Mind of Man, 69 (Latin edition).

K23

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DORSTEN, Theodor

BENEDETTO VARCHI’S COPY

Botanicon

Frankfurt, Christian Egenolff, 1540.

£39,500

FIRST EDITION. Folio, ff. (10), 306. Predominantly Roman letter, some Greek and little Gothic; historiated initials, illustrated throughout with more than 300 woodcuts, all charmingly coloured by contemporary hand; some foxing, age yellowing, damp stain in lower margin of *ii, ink splash to *vir and in margin of 133v, clean tear at foot of 148v, marginal worm trail to final three gatherings. A good copy in early plain vellum boards; early title on spine and number on front cover, marbled edges; upper joint cracked, little hole on spine; contemporary autographs on title of ‘Benedictj Varchij’ and ‘Lelij Bonsij’; annotation by Bonsi on 39v.

First and only edition of this beautifully illustrated herbal. One of the two printing variants, here the title has woodcut plants instead of printer’s device. All the numerous illustrations were consistently coloured, probably for the publisher. Theodor Dorsten (1492-1552) was a physician and botanist, as well as professor of medicine at the University of Marburg. In recognition of his contribution to botanic studies, Charles Plumier and Carl Linneus named Dorstenia a family of the Moraceae (mulberry or fig family). As Dorsten explains in the preface, he was commissioned by the renowned publisher of scientific books Christian Egenolff to expand and translate into Latin the Kreutterbuch von allem Erdtwaechs by Eucharius Rösslin, published in 1533. Dorsten’s herbal was expanded in its turn in 1557 by Egenolff’s son-in-law, Adam Lonicer.

The Botanicon provides a remarkable account of sixteenth-century botanic and pharmacopeial knowledge. It describes alphabetically hundreds of herbs, along with tubers, spices, fruits, nuts, a couple of mushrooms and some liquids very broadly speaking derived from plants, such as vinegar, resin, honey, but also asphalt, cheese and water. Entries comprise a detailed illustration, the different names in Greek, Latin and German, references from ancient and contemporary authorities, description of physical qualities and healing properties and often recipes for medicaments. Those who followed some of the misleading prescriptions must have suffered greatly. Bitumen is said to cure cancer when mixed with vinegar and stop women’s periods when combined with beaver’s secretion; inhaling its smoke is supposed to prevent mucus (probably), while one gets rid of tooth pain by chewing it (perhaps). Luckily, it was hard to find asphalt at the time. It was mainly collected on the shores of the Dead Sea and thus was known as bitumen Iudaicum. The various uses suggested by Dorsten for cannabis (f. 60r) are equally noteworthy and maybe more appropriate.

This copy belonged to the famous Italian humanist Benedetto Varchi (1503-1565), as indicated by his faint autograph on the title. Varchi possessed vast and multifaceted knowledge. Member of several Italian circles and in particular the Florentine Academy, he was mainly interested in philosophy and literature. Yet, he did not disregard science. Among the 85 books identified as annotated by him, there are important treatises on maths, astronomy, veterinary and human medicine (see A. Siekiera, ‘Benedetto Varchi’, in Autografi dei letterati italiani: il Cinquecento, I, Rome 2009, pp. 337-357, at pp. 343-348). This copy was later acquired by a close friend of Varchi, Lelio Bonsi (1532-post 1569). The two exchanged some sonnets and Bonsi was included among the interlocutors of Varchi’s linguistic dialogue Ercolano. A member of the Florentine Academy and of the Order of St Stephen, Bonsi was also a legatee of Varchi’s will.

BM STC Ger., 253; Adams, D 859; VD 16, D 2442; Durling, 1203; Wellcome, I, 1861; Schmid, Kräuterbücher, 100; Pritzel, 2696.

K19

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CRESCENZI, Pietro de

Le Bon Mesnager. Au present volume des prouffitz champestres et ruraulx est traicte du labour des champs, vignes, jardins, arbres de tous especes

Paris, Nicolas Cousteau for Galliot Dupré, 1533.

£12,500

FIRST EDITION thus. 4to pp. (xvi) 185 (iii). Lettre Bātard in double column. Title in red and black with grotesque calligraphic initial L, white on black woodcut crible and floriated initials, two woodcut illustrations, woodcut coat-of-arms on final leaf, repairs in blank, engraved armorial bookplate of Damaso G Arrese on pastedown shelf label above. Title fractionally dusty, far lower blank corner repaired, occasional slight browning, the odd marginal mark. A very good clean copy, in early C19th calf, by Koehler, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands with compartments gilt ruled to panel designs, edges and inner dentelles gilt, rebacked with original spine laid down a.e.g.

Exceptionally rare edition of this free French translation, the first to use this title, of the ‘Opus Ruralium Commodum’ by Pietro de’ Crescenzi, one of the most influential treatises in agronomy and agriculture. The work is illustrated with two fine woodcuts; the first represents the publisher offering his work to Francis I, signed with the Lorraine cross, a garden scene in the background with beehives, and the the second shows a husbandman sowing grain. Translated into many languages, the work was widespread in manuscript from the beginning of the 14th century and in printed editions since 1471.

The author, born in Bologna around 1233, was trained both in the Dominican schools and Bologna University, gaining extensive knowledge in logic, medicine, natural sciences and law. His career focused on this last field, and after being appointed ‘iudex’ (judge) he received assignments that took him all over Italy for more than thirty years. During his travels Crescenzi had the chance to visit a great number of rural villas and farms, developing a passion for agronomy and farming. Once retired, he dedicated himself to the project of writing an agronomical treatise in which to convey knowledge and techniques, ancient and modern, theoretical and practical; his efforts gave birth to the ‘Ruralium Commodum’. In his treatise the author often refers to classical and mediaeval authorities, such as Palladio, Varro, Albertus Magnus, Avicenna and the ‘Geoponika’, but he does not hesitate to confute their thesis, adding extensive considerations based upon the practical experience of the many farmers he had known. An interesting aspect of the essay is the public it was conceived for, the 14th century bourgeoisie, especially the class of jurists and notaries who had invested in farms and lands, and needed to obtain a good yield.

The work, divided into twelve books, provides a well-structured analysis of all the aspects of running a farm: having identified all the requirements that a good farm must satisfy to be chosen, it enumerates the different kinds of plants and how to cultivate them. The third book is devoted to fields and their produce, while the fourth, examining in depth the cultivation of vine and the practice of winemaking, constitutes an excellent source for the history of mediaeval enology. Chapters from six to nine analyse trees and fruits, herbs, woods and gardens, at chapter nine starts a dissertation upon animals, husbandry and veterinary, followed by a chapter devoted to hunting and falconry. The practical, original approach of the treatise is demonstrated by the last two chapters, which after summarising the contents, reorder them according to the monthly and seasonal farming calendar. Appended to this edition is a thirteenth book on how to plant and maintain trees by “Gorgole de Corne”. A wonderful practical treatise, beautifully printed in fine lettre Batard, of great interest for the development of agriculture, enology and farming practice.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Brunet II, 417. Schwerdt I, p. 127. Souhart 121. Petit 639. This edition not in Simon.

L1922

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HERBAL

FIRST ILLUSTRATED HERBARIUM PRINTED SOUTH OF THE ALPS

Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum.

Venice, Simon Bevilaqua, 1499.

£59,500

4to. ff. 172. A4, a-x8. including final blank. Roman letter in two sizes, 28 lines first part, 37 lines second part, title in Gothic. Large white on black floriated initial, capital spaces with guide letters, 150 numbered half-page woodcuts of plants (a few misnumbered), bookplates of Carleton P. Richmond and Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow on pastedown. Single worm hole in lower blank margin, very occasional minor marginal thumb mark. A fine copy, crisp and clean, on thick paper, with very good margins, in cream paper over boards c. 1800, orange paper labels gilt, head and tail fractionally rubbed.

A lovely copy of the second Italian edition of the Herbarius, the first illustrated herbal printed south of the Alps. Many of the woodcuts, first used in the Vicenza 1491 edition, differ substantially from those of the earlier German editions. The blocks, cut for that Vicenza edition, were imported to Venice by Simon Bevilacqua for this one. Following an error in the text, the work was wrongly attributed to Arnaldus de Villanova. The text is divided into two sections.

The first part features 150 woodcuts of plants which grew in Germany, arranged in alphabetical order with a Latin name and a description of their  properties and medical uses. Among the best known are garlic, basil, chamomile, ivy, gentian, genista, lily, lemon verbena, mallow, mint, marjoram, mandrake, oregano, leek, poppy, rose, rosemary, currant, spinach, willow, sage, violet, valerian. Among the rarest is ‘artemisia’ or mugwort, a plant used in the past to cure female illnesses and problems. A bath in the water of a decoction made essentially with mugwort and laurel’s leaves would induce abortion of a foetus and menstruation. Mugwort was also used to treat frigidity and sterility, and to keep demons away from home.

The second part, in 96 chapters, deals with the medicines and herbs available from German apothecaries and spice merchants such as laxatives; aromatics, fruits, seeds and garden plants; gums and resins; salts; minerals and stones; and animals and their products (goose-greese, cheese, honey and ivory). The purpose of the work was entirely practical. The illustrations are stylised and full of charm, and the names are printed clearly in capital letters, so that the plants could be easily identified by, and accessible to a barely literate public. A very valuable and popular pharmacopoeia which went through a number of editions, of which the Italian ones display “a different and better set of figures” (Arber p. 17).

“These drawings are more ambitious than those in the original German [editions], and, on the whole, they are more naturalistic. A delightful example, almost Japanese in style, shows an iris at the edge of a stream, from which a graceful bird is drinking. In another picture the fern called ‘capillus veneris’, which is perhaps intended for the maidenhair, is represented hanging from rocks over water” (Arber, pp.192-93). A fine, very fresh copy of this important and beautifully illustrated edition.

BMC V, 524. BSB-Ink. H-104. Early Herbals 11. Essling 1190. HC 1807*; IGI 5677; Klebs 506.11. Nissen BBI 2308. Pellechet 1315. Sander 612. Wellcome 3101. Goff H-69.

L1585

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HERBAL

A VERY GOOD CLEAN COPY OF HERBAL FROM ELIZABETHAN ERA

The greate Herball.

London, John Kynge, 1561.

£37,500

Folio, 148 unnumbered leaves. *6, A-X6, Y8, Aa6, Bb2. Double column, black letter, large woodcut on title page of woodsmen felling pollarded trees (reproduction Henrey) border of compartments of figures, faces and falconers (repeated in sections in text) white on black woodcut initials, single larger woodcut. Paper flaw on page 93 affecting two or three words, a few strictly marginal stains and repairs in final gathering. A very good, clean, large copy in modern morocco, cloth boards.

Last of the early editions of the Great Herbal, corrected with improved layout, and spelling and orthography modernized for the Elizabethan reader. Interestingly, in the 35 years since Treveris’ first edition, the Herbal has physically changed from a clearly medieval to an identifiably modern book. “The most famous of all the early printed herbals” (Rohde, 65), it is now extremely rare. It was largely based upon Le Grant Herbier (Paris: Jacques Nyverd, 1520 – Renouard III, 124); both works owe much to the Herbarius zu Teutsch (Mainz 1485).

The Grete Herball contains remedies for everything from melancholy to baldness, invoking God and the Virgin Mary alongside Diana and the Centaurs. It is profoundly utilitarian in approach, and designed to be accessible to a relatively broad public, as may be seen from its publication in English rather than Latin; accordingly copies have always suffered heavy use. The Herball “contains much that is curious, especially in relation to medical matters. Bathing was evidently regarded as a strange fad. (…) Water drinking seems to have been thought almost equally pernicious” (Arber, Herbalis, 42).

The descriptions of less common remedies, such as the lodestone, often incorporate vivid travellers’ tales. The author displays pride and integrity in his profession, warning against peddlers of harmful fake remedies. The book contains a glossary of urines and of uncommon words, and a self-consciously useful index: “Here after foloweth a Table, very necessary and profitable for them that desyre to fynde quickely a remedy agaynste all maner of diseases, and they be marked by the letters of the A.B.C. in every chapytre”. All the early editions are now rare.

STC 13179. Lowndes 1047. Ames IV 2435. Henry I 171 and 18. Arber 40-45. Rohde 65-74.

L1033

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JONSTON, John

TREATISE ON THE NATURAL WORLD, OF SCOTTISH PROVENANCE

Thaumatographia naturalis.

Amsterdam, Guilielm Blaeu, 1632.

£1,250

FIRST EDITION. 12mo., (xii) 501 (iii). Roman and Italic letter, woodcut initials and tail-pieces, title page with printer’s device of an orrery. Light age browning, otherwise a good clean copy with C17 annotations, in contemporary English calf, covers triple-ruled in blind, spine remounted, all edges red.

FIRST EDITION of Jonston’s most popular work on “admiranda” or wonders of nature organised into ten categories (heaven, earth, and topics relating to meteors, ‘fossils’ or minerals, plants, birds, quadrupeds, insects and ‘bloodless’ animals, fish, and humans). The work draws heavily from classical sources such as Aristotle, Pliny, and Seneca, but also from the more recent work of Aldrovandi, and in the section on plants includes descriptions of the flora and fauna of the New World, as well as tobacco. Each section is headed by a useful index to its contents, and the work concludes with a poem in praise of Jonston by the Bohemian poet Venceslaus Clemens.

John Jonston (1603 – 1675) emigrated from Poland to Scotland in 1622 and studied natural history at St. Andrew’s for four years. He received the degree of Doctor of Physic from both Leyden and Cambridge. Despite the compact size of Thaumaturgia, his earliest work, its wide range of material prefigures his later, large-scale works on Fish, Insects, Birds, and Trees, made possible by his extensive travel through Europe and access to its libraries, as well as first-hand observation.

Venceslaus Clemens (1589 – 1640?), Protestant and prolific Neo-Latin poet, was forced to leave his native Bohemia after the Battle of White Mountain. His Gustavis, printed the same year as the Thaumatographia, describes the anguish of exile and praises Gustavus Adolphus and the victory of the Swedish Army at the Battle of Breitenfeld, which Clemens credits as saving the Protestant cause in Europe.

Garrison-Morton 287 “A compilation of all the contemporary zoological knowledge”. Wellcome I 3477. Alden II 632/48. Not in Shaaber or Sabin.

L1373

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DODOENS, Rembert

A CELEBRATED AND INNOVATIVE HERBAL


A new herball, or historie of plants: their names, natures, operations, & vertues: and that not onely of those which are heere growing in this our countrie of England but of al others also of forraine realms commonly vsed in physicke.

London, Edm. Bollifant, 1595.

£3,950

4to. pp. (xl), 916, (xlviii). a‐b⁸, c⁴, B‐3P⁸, 3Q². Black letter, some Roman and Italic. Title within ornate typographical border, historiated and floriated woodcut initials, typographical head and tail-pieces and ornaments, occasional early marginalia. Title expertly re-margined, corners of a2 and a few small holes at gutter of the next few leaves restored, light age yellowing, a little soiling in places. A good, clean copy, in handsome modern calf antique, spine and covers ruled in blind.

Third edition (the second printed in England) of the first English version of Dodoens’ celebrated Herbal, translated from French by Henrie Lyte. The work “was a national herbarium devoted to species indigenous to the Flemish provinces. The merit of this book was that rather than proceeding by alphabetical order, as Fuchs had done, Dodoens grouped the plants according to their properties and their reciprocal affinities” (DSB). Henry Lyteʼs English translation was first published in 1578.

Dodoens (1517 – 1585) was the first Flemish botanist to enjoy world wide renown. He was a very successful doctor, physician to the Emperors Maximillian II and Rudolph II and finally Professor of Medicine at Leyden. It was his interest in the medicinal aspects of botany which induced him to write a herbal. A French translation by Charles L’Ecluse appeared very shortly after the original Dutch; Dodoens supervised its progress and took the opportunity to make additions. It forms the basis of the present edition. Lyte (1529 – 1607), after leaving Oxford, travelled extensively in Europe and built a collection of rare plants, which is mentioned by Aubrey. He never published anything original but his translation of Dodoens is of inestimable value. We know from the annotated corrections on Lyte’s working copy, now at the British Library, that he was no mechanical translator, but a painstaking and meticulous scholar who in places introduced his own references and criticisms to the text. Dodoens himself also sent him additional material for inclusion.

The work has three separate indexes: one for the classical Latin names of plants, one for English names, together with a third index “wherein is contained the Nature, Vertues and Dangers of all the Herbs, Trees and Plants, of which is spoken in this present Booke, or Herball”. This last index is essentially a subject index of what plants could do, such as ʻ‘against the bloody flixe”, or “Against Madnesse”, or “to clense and mundifie old rotten ulcers”, with page references to the different plants that would be helpful.

It is difficult to overestimate the influence of Lyte’s work. It was the standard book on herbals and their properties in the English language during the later part of the C16 and exercised considerable influence on both Gerard and Parkinson. So far as we know Lyte was never a physician; Gilman described him as ‘the first of a long line of British amateur Botanists’, but he nevertheless produced a first rate pharmacoepia which must have been invaluable in its day. There are numerous references to plants from the Americas.

STC 6986. ESTC S109768. Pritzel 2345n. Lowndes, II 656. Henrey 112. Not in Wellcome or Durling. Alden 595/21. Arents 19. Arber p. 72-‐‑4 and 106-‐‑8. Rohde p. 93.

L1631

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