BRANT, Sebastian (1458-1521). Stultifera navis. Translated from German into Latin by Jacobus Locher (1471-1528) in collaboration with the author. With additions by Thomas Beccadelli. Basel: Johann Bergmann, de Olpe, 1 March 1498.
Chancery 4o (209 x 151 mm). Collation: a-s8 4 t-x4 (a1r title, a1v translator's verses to reader, translator's letter to author dated Freiburg, 1 Feb. 1497, a3v various verses by Locher and Brant to each other and to the printer, a7r translator's prologue, a8v author's prologue, b2v text, 1v additional material by Brant and Beccadelli, x4v colophon and printer's device); y4 (y1r table of contents, y4 blank). 164 leaves, foliated. 30 lines and foliation. Printed marginalia. Types: 2:220G (title and headings), 1:109R (text), 3:77R (printed side-notes). 118 large woodcut illustrations, of which 3 full-page, cut by various artists, at least 75 AFTER ALBRECHT DRER, woodcut printer's device at end, the device and full-page cut on s2v with partial woodcut borders. Title cut and the cut of the fool as book-collector colored by an early hand. (Occasional staining, small tear in title cut, small repair to i1 touching a letter, short marginal tear to q3.) Early 20th-century brown half morocco (joints and extremities rubbed).
Provenance: several contemporary marginal notes -- Wilhelm Hegers (17th-century inscription on title-page, Ex libris D. Wilhelmi Hegers ad fidei commissum Hegerianum masculinum - J? W. Liphart (tiny 19th-century stamped signature on title-page) -- Richard Bennett (bookplate) -- The Pierpont Morgan Library (Pierpont Morgan bookplate, release label, sale Christie's New York, 8 April 1981, lot 24).
Second enlarged Latin edition, with additional poems by Brant and Thomas Beccadelli. "The most important of a long line of moralizing works in which the weaknesses and vices of mankind are satirized as follies... the 'Ship of Fools' was the first original work by a German which passed into world literature" (Printing and the Mind of Man 37). Brant's Narrenschiff owed its immense popularity as much to the unforgettable and repeatedly copied illustrations of the original 15th-century editions, the majority reliably attributed to the young Drer, as to Brant's humanistic satirical verses, in Locher's and Brant's Latin translation. The woodcuts of this edition, like those of Bergmann's first enlarged edition, published exactly one year earlier, include the original cuts from the first German edition, printed by Bergmann in 1494, with about a dozen additional cuts from Bergmann's second German edition (1495), first Latin edition (1 March 1497) and first enlarged Latin edition (1 August 1497). The humanist chaplain Johann Bergmann was a wealthy man, who spent money liberally on his press during the few years of its activity. First appearing as publisher in 1493, when he financed the first German edition of the Columbus letter, Bergmann established his own press in 1494 and remained active until the first years of the 16th century, concentrating on modern humanist texts in Latin and the vernacular, including numerous editions of the works of his friend Sebastian Brant.
H 3751*; Alden and Landis 498/5; BSB-Ink. B-821; CIBN B-760; GW 5062; Harvard/Walsh 1261; Pollard Morgan 235; Pr 7778; Schreiber 3572; Goff B-1091;