DIOSCORIDES, PEDACIUS. De medicinali materia libri sex. Ioanne Ruellio ... interprete... Additis etiam Annotationibus...Per Gualtherum Riuium... accesserunt priori editioni Valerii Cordii... Annotationes... Euricii Cordii..de Herbis & Simplicibus Medicinae...Herbarum Nomenclaturae...Conrado Gesnero. Frankfurt: Christian Egenolph: 1549.
Folio, 302 x 194 mm., eighteenth-century French speckled calf, gilt spine, edges stained red, joints cracked, scattered marginal dampstains, a few tiny wormholes to the first 5 and last 15 leaves, a few small marginal tears, occasional rust-holes.
FIRST EDITION WITH THE IMPORTANT COMMENTARY OF VALERIUS CORDUS, third illustrated edition, Jean de la Ruelle's translation, edited by Walter Ryff, with the nomenclature of Conrad Gesner. Woodcut printer's device on titlepage and last page, 786 woodcuts in the text, THE WOODCUTS ATTRACTIVELY COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, eight-line and smaller woodcut capitals, some historiated.
The importance of this second edition lies in its inclusion of the first printing of Cordus's commentary, posthumously edited by Gesner from Cordus's lecture notes for a few lectures that he gave while studying at Wittenberg University. During these lectures he departed from tradition by relying almost exclusively on his own empirical observations, showing himself to be an "observant and critical natural scientist" (DSB). This was a foretaste of the completed version of the Annotationes, published by Gesner in 1561, and including his Historiae stirpium, one of the most important botanical works of the century (see lot 29). This second Egenolff edition contains 191 more woodcuts than the 1543 edition. Most of the smaller text woodcuts are Egenolff's pirated copies of the Weiditz woodcuts; the larger cuts were copied from Fuchs and other sources.
Adams D664; Arber, pp.75-76; Nissen 496; NLM/Durling 1152.
Provenance: Inkstamp on title with initials E.L.D. and motto "Vita solatium semper, E.L.D," within a crest -- Arpad Plesch, bookplate (sale, Sotheby's London, 17 June 1975, lot 209) -- Robert de Belder.