Kreutterbuch von allen Erdgewächs.
Kreutterbuch von allen Erdgewächs.
Kreutterbuch von allen Erdgewächs.
Kreutterbuch von allen Erdgewächs.

Kreutterbuch von allen Erdgewächs. Frankfurt: Christoph Egenolff, 26 March 1533.

[Bound with:] BRUNFELS, Otto (1488-1534). Contrafayt Kreüterbüch nach rechter vollkommener art. Strassburg: Johann Scott, 1532. [Bound with:] [IBN BUTLAN (d. ca. 1068), et al.] Schachtafelen der Gesuntheyt. Strassburg: Johann Schott, 1533. 3 volumes in one, folio (294 x 194 mm.) 1) Rösslin: [16], 212, [8] pp. Double column, gothic types. Title framed by 9 small woodcuts of plants with distillery scene at foot, 238 small text woodcuts mostly of plants, printed from 198 blocks, all neatly colored by a contemporary hand. 2) Brunfels: Part 1 only: [32], “332” (i.e., 334), [14] pp., [1 blank leaf]. Full-page woodcut arms of Strassburg and 173 woodcuts of plants repeated to 181 illustrations, of which 93 full-page, by Hans Weiditz. Hhistoriated initials. The space for the woodcut on Cc1r (p. 301) left blank as usual. Following fol. H4 is an additional inserted correction leaf; its recto is blank and the verso has a corrected impression of p. 92, showing the Stabiosz plant (the original state printed on H4v erroneously repeats the woodcut of the plant shown on p. 90 (Teuffels Abbissz). 3) Schachtafeln: [4], 81, [4], 82-252, [7] pp. 3 parts, part 1 illustrated with 40 woodcut borders each depicting 7 foods, plants, animals, objects, human figures, etc., by Hans Weiditz, one full-page allegorical Dance of Death woodcut (fol. y1v) attributed to Hans Wächtlin; parts 2 and 3 with heraldic and ornamental woodcuts, a variety of hatched head- or tail-piece strips and historiated initials. Bound together in 18th-century calf over wooden boards, spine gold-tooled with later calf gilt lettering-piece, edges red-sprinkled (later endleaves). Occasional slight marginal soiling, short repaired tear to f. O3 in first work, a few small stains in last work, a couple of woodcut tailpieces shaved, one or two small marginal wormholes, overall fine. Provenance: early manuscript concordance of page numbers between the first two works, occasional early marginal notes. The three works, published within a year of each other, were no doubt bound together soon after publication, which would account for the absence of the second part of Brunfels’ herbal, not published until 1537. The present binding appears to have been applied over the original wooden boards. ***

An exceptional Sammelband containing two herbals and the first German edition of the great medieval Arab medical treatise, the Tacuinum sanitatis, all three works illustrated by or after Hans Weiditz and printed in 1532 and 1533, the first with contemporary hand-coloring.

1) Rösslin: First Edition. Although attributed to the Frankfurt physician and medical writer Eucharius Rösslin (d. 1526) and his predecessor Johann Wonnecke von Kaub, Christian Egenolff’s 1533 Kreutterbuch is a compilation of previous herbals, primarily the Gart der Gesundheit and Hieronymus Brunschwig’s Kleines Distillierbuch. Of the 198 woodblocks 132 depict plants; the remainder show small animals, materials for distillation, fruits, foods and astrological symbols. Most of the cuts are reduced copies of Weiditz’s cuts for Brunfels’ herbal (cf. the second work in the volume), along with a few cuts copied from Brunschwig, and from the Tacuinum sanitatis (the third work in this volume).

This was the first of a series of vernacular herbals and manuals of household pharmacopoeia that Egenolff “borrowed” from various sources. Egenolff was above all a businessman. To capitalize on the successful and important herbals of his Strassburg rivals (Johann Grüninger and Johann Schott), he had his engravers copy the best botanical woodcuts yet produced: the Brunfels/Weiditz cuts. Schott, who did not take this plagiarism lightly, successfully sued Egenolff for confiscation of the blocks, which he subsequently used for his own small-format editions of Brunfels. Nonetheless, the same cuts reappear in several later editions of Egenolff and his heirs. no copies of this edition are located by oclc, which lists only the microfilm. Nissen 1667; VD 16 W4363 = B8724.

2) Brunfels: First Edition in German of this pathbreaking herbal, containing the same woodcuts as the first Latin edition, issued by the same printer in 1530-1536. Brunfels’ herbal, here translated by Michael Herr, was the first work to contain lifelike and accurate illustrations of plants. Weiditz’s woodcuts were made from watercolors drawn directly from nature (77 of which are preserved in the Platter Herbarium in Bern). "Linnaeus found these illustrations acceptable enough to constitute part of the historical basis for certain species described in his great Species Plantarum of 1753" (Printmaking in the Service of Botany, no. 3). This is the first part only; the second part was published in German five years later. This edition contains for the first time a substantial introduction by the author and a register of illnesses and their herbal remedies. A number of the woodcuts are new. Nissen 258; Ritter 289; VD 16 B8503 (both parts); Cleveland Collections 43.

3) Ibn Butlan: First Edition in German, also translated by Michael Herr, of three important Arabic medical treatises, first published by Schott two years earlier in Latin with the same woodcuts. The first work, the Schachtafelen or “Chess tables” (so named after the chessboard-like appearance of the tables in some early manuscripts) is a translation of the Tacuinum sanitatis, the Latinized name of Taqwim al-sihha (various translated as "Synoptic Tables of Medicine" or "maintenance," or "system" of health). Attributed to Ibn Butlan, an 11th-century Christian physician of Baghdad who traveled widely and wrote on many aspects of science, it circulated widely in manuscript in the late Middle Ages. The German translation by the physician and writer Michael Herr (d. 1550), a friend of Brunfels who later worked on the second part of the Contrafayt Kreüterbuch after Brunfels’ death, was presumably made from the Latin translation of Faraj ben Salim, or Ferrarius, a 13th-century Sicilian Jewish physician whose translations of several important Arabic medical treatises were essential contributions to Western medical and pharmaceutical science. The work is unique in its content and organization: forty-one Canones or rules on hygiene, diet and exercise are presented in synoptic tables, a format adopted from astronomical literature. The six parts treat in turn air (relating to the heart), the right use of food and drink, movement and rest, how to avoid insomnia, the balance of the humors, and regulation of the emotions. Discussed are the useful and harmful effects of various plants, foods, animals, winds, waters and seasons, and the benefits of air, sleep, exercise, and so on. 280 different substances and environmental factors are described and illustrated. Among the copious descriptions of foods, reference is made to numerous Arabic and North African foodstuffs and dishes, including pomegranate, mulberry, dates, camel, and meats cooked in sour milk.

Following the Schachtafelen are two shorter treatises on similar topics. The first is a treatise on the properties of medicines and drinks, by Albengefit or Ibn Wafid, an 11th/12th-century native of Toledo. Synthesizing Dioscorides and Galen, the work is noted for its rational approach and emphasis on simple botanical remedies and dietary treatment of illnesses. With it is De gradibus, the most well-known scientific treatise by the 9th-century Muslim polymath Alkindus (Al-Kindi), dealing with the preparation and posology of medicaments. Herr's German translation was made from Gerard da Sabbioneta's 12th-century Latin versions of both texts (often attributed to Gerard of Cremona).

Weiditz’s woodcuts, which directly illustrate the text, present a tableau de moeurs of 16th-century life. Displayed in continuous friezes in the lower borders of each recto, each frieze containing seven objects or scenes with individual letterpress captions, the cuts portray countless common foods and utensils as well as cartoon-like scenes from everyday life, some quite graphic, including people engaging in all the bodily functions as well as many common social activities (drunkenness and its causes and effects figure in both categories), and vignettes of weather, times of day, and the seasons. Parts II and III are illustrated with similar friezes containing coats of arms and purely decorative figures. Both the rare Latin edition and this still rarer German edition are sought after by collectors of gastronomic literature. NLM/Durling 2522; VD 16 M 6776; Vicaire 325; Wellcome I:1998; Waller 2739; Schmidt, Schott 127; cf. Oberlé, Fastes de Bacchus et de Comus 48 (Latin edition). Item #3112

Price: $35,000.00