CRESCENTIIS, PETRUS DE. Opus ruralium commodorum. Strassburg: Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (Georg Husner), 9 March, 1486.
Chancery folio, 278 x 196 mm., later blind-stamped pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, sides panelled with decorative roll-tools, oval central stamp of the Society of Jesus on upper cover and of the virgin and child on lower cover, original metal clasps and catches, edges stained blue, two small repairs to lower cover, wormed, some worming to text, mostly at front, occasional dampstaining to upper margins, mostly at end, minor discoloration to bifolia d2.5, k2.5 and z1.8, showthrough from a few initials.
Collation: 6 a8 b-y6 z8 (1 title, 2r prefatory letter from the author to Aimericius de Placentia, dedication to Carolus II of Anjou, chapter headings, a1r text, z7v colophon, z8 blank). 148 leaves, the last blank. 46 lines and headline, double column. Type 1:160G, 2:99G, 3:91G. 3- to 6-line initial spaces with guide letters. Rubricated in part, flourished Lombard initials supplied through quire k (except the opening initial), and to a few leaves elsewhere, a few initials lightly sketched out in crayon, capital strokes and underlining of chapter headings and some incipits.
Fourth edition of the first printed book on agriculture. Written in the 13th century and first printed in 1471, the frequently reprinted text "relates to the multitudinous problems of husbandry and agriculture incident to the management of a great estate, based upon various traditional works on husbandry but written critically, from experience gained on Crescenzi's country place, the Villa d'Olmo, near Bologna. [It] includes sections on hunting and fishing, the making of wine, and the diseases of animals, as well as on the cultivation of cereals, trees and plants"(Stillwell Science, IV, 615). Books 5 and 6 are devoted to arboriculture and horticulture, and include discussions of the medicinal uses of plants; approximately 185 plants are described.
HC *5831; GW 7824; BMC I, 134; Klebs 310.5; IGI 3264; Goff C-968.
Provenance: a few early German marginalia or corrections -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate.