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    Sale 2170

    Important Botanical Books

    24 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 105

    [HERBAL]. Hortus Sanitatis. Venice: Bernardino Benalio and Giovanni de Tridino alias Tacuino, 11 August, 1511.

    Price Realised  


    [HERBAL]. Hortus Sanitatis. Venice: Bernardino Benalio and Giovanni de Tridino alias Tacuino, 11 August, 1511.

    2o (295 x 204 mm). Gothic type, double column, title within Tacuino's floriated title-border with dolphins, verso of title with a full-page woodcut of a group of physicians, 1062 column-width text woodcuts, of which 528 of plants, the remainder of animals and genre scenes, full-page skeleton cut on verso of "Tractatus de Animalibus" divisional title (A1v), full-page cut of doctors consulting with a child and pair of attendants presenting them with specimens on verso of "De Urinis" divisional title, the physician woodcuts each within a different white-on-black woodcut border, spaces for initials with guide letters. (q5 with short tear, some occasional light browning and minor marginal dampstaining, lacks final blank.) 17th-century Italian vellum over pasteboards. Provenance: Petri Pauli Camblasii (early signature on title).

    Fifth edition of the Latin text, FIRST EDITION PRINTED IN ITALY, and the first to include the pseudo-Galenic tract De facile acquisibilibus. Hortus sanitatis is an extensively illustrated encyclopedic survey of the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and their medical applications. The woodcuts include plants, animals, birds, fishes, stones, and many genre scenes which depict the mining or hunting and uses of the natural elements discussed. It is a greatly expanded and much altered Latin version of the Gart der Gesundheit. Tacuino's woodcut title-border, which incorporates dolphins' heads in the floral design, was used in several works from that press and became "one of the most influential pieces of ornamentation of the sixteenth-century" (Mortimer). (Also see Christie's sale New York, 3 December 2007 lots 345 and 350 for a slight variant of the border on 1511 and 1524 editions of Vitruvius, De architectura.) The small plant woodcuts are reverse copies of the cuts from Prüss's editions; the skeleton was also copied from these Strassburg editions. Both of the full-page physican woodcuts were previously used in earlier Venetian medical books: the first was cut for the 1504 edition of Guglielmo Saliceto's Cirurgia, while the second copies, with some differences, an illustration in Ketham's Fasciculo de medicina, 1493. Adams H-1016; Essling 1723; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 238; Hunt 12; Nissen BBI 2368; NLM/Durling 2468.

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