FREIDANCK (fl. first half of 13th century). Von Bescheydenheyt. Edited by Sebastian Brant (1428-51). Worms: Sebastian Wagner, 1538.
2° (282 x 194mm). Collation: s4 A-K4. 43 (of 44, without blank? ) leaves. Gothic type, double column. Title with two woodcut figures within 6-part border, two woodcut figures at end of register, 50 woodcut scenes often formed from 2 or 3 woodblocks, woodcut borders as tailpieces and sometimes flanking scenes, large historiated initial, a few cuts touched with brown colour. (Small stain at upper margin, a few tears neatly repaired, a few scribbles in crayon.) 19th-century calf, blindstamped border on sides, gilt spine, marbled endpapers, red edges.
Fourth edition. Almost nothing is known of the 13th-century Freidanck. He appears to have accompanied Emperor Friedrich II on a crusade in 1228-9, and he left behind this work of Middle High German proverbs. The sayings, often in couplets and some sharp, verging on satire, concern the world at large and the conduct of humankind. They were known to Rudolf von Ems and Hugo von Trimberg, and their popularity continued, being printed in more than five editions in the first half of the 16th century. For its first appearance in print, at Strassburg in 1508, the verses were reworked by Sebastian Brant. Many, but not all, of the woodcuts were previously used in the 1508 edition. Brunet II, 1393; VD-16, F-2545.