BRUNSCHWIG, HIERONYMUS; MARSILIO FICINO. [Kleines Destillierbuch, German]. Das distilierbuoch. Das Buoch der rechten kunst zu distilieren und die wasser zu brennen angezögt mit figuren... Erstmals von meister Jeronimo Brunschweick zusamen coligiert, und von Marsilio Ficino... Strassburg: Johann Grüninger, 1521.
Folio, 290 x 198 mm., contemporary half pigskin over slightly bevelled oak boards, the leather untooled, the upper board with stamped and formerly painted(?) armorial(?) cartouche, two original worked metal catches and leather and metal clasp (one lacking), lower inner hinge broken, pastedowns from a fifteenth-century manuscript on vellum, title and A2 soiled and stained, a few ink doodles on title, minor worming to first few leaves, small internal tear to G1, some marginal dampstaining, occasional spotting or browning.
2 parts in one. Double column, spaces for initials with guide letters. General title printed in red and black with woodcut of a women and men preparing plants for distillation in a garden setting, double-page woodcut on B4v-B5r of a tray bearing a scroll with verses, approximately 240 woodcuts in the text, the majority of plants, but including 4 large and numerous small cuts of stills, furnaces and other distilling apparatus, part 3 separately titled ("Das buoch des lebens Marsilius ficinus..."), title woodcut of 3 men, 5 large cuts of apothecaries, patients in bed, students with teachers, etc., several smaller woodcuts of genre scenes in text. Ink stencils of plants in margins of 3 pages.
Fifth edition of parts 1 and 2 of Brunschwig's "Kleines Destillierbuch", third edition to contain (as part 3) Johannes Adelphus's translation of Ficino's De triplici vita, with a treatise on compounds by a Strassburg master, Konrad. The collection was first published in 1505 under the title Medicinarius, Das Buch der Gesundheit. The numerous editions of Brunschwig's practical text on household pharmacopaeia attest to its great popularity in Germany throughout the sixteenth century. The first part of the work contains an exposition of the methods and apparatus for distillation of plant and animal products, mainly by steam, based on Brunschwig's own experiments and observations; the second part is a compendium of the traditional herbal texts, with the addition of instructions for the distillation of each plant. The woodcuts of plants (by now quite worn) are from Prüss's Hortus sanitatis editions, as is the cut of the apothecary's shop, originally derived from Grüninger's 1497 edition of Brunschwig's Chirurgia. The woodcuts in part 3 (some composed of two or more blocks assembled in a somewhat arbitrary fashion) first appeared in Grüninger's editions of Terence (1496) and Virgil (1502). This edition is RARE.
Hunt 20 (lacking Ficino section); Nissen 267; NLM/Durling 761; Pritzel 1293.
Provenance: Reissenberg, 18th-century signature on title -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate.