Gart der Gesundheit. Augsburg: Johann Schönsperger, 10 May 1496.
Chancery folio, 258 x 180mm. (10 1/16 x 7 3/16 in.), sixteenth-century blind-tooled pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, covers with panels composed of a decorative floral roll-tool and a second tool historiated with a man bearing a cross (Fides), a woman with a child (Cari) and a woman with hands clasped (Spes), brass cornerpieces (two lacking), remains of two brass and leather fore-edge clasps, later ink lettering on spine, edges stained red in the late sixteenth or seventeenth-century, about 20 blank leaves bound in at end; the binding tools possibly Haebler I, pp. 117-18, I.F.8 and I.F.10, attributed to Jacob Fritzsch der Ältere oder Jüngere, of Wittenberg; upper cover and first few leaves detaching, head and tail of spine severely wormed with loss to leather, lacking a4 (supplied in manuscript), E2 and I4 defective, small marginal patch to title-leaf, 20 leaves with tears or repairs affecting text and/or cuts (n3 with scotch tape repair), large repairs to margins of I5 obscuring a couple of letters, marginal tears or repairs to about 25 other leaves, marginal soiling to first few leaves, occasional marginal staining, a few dampstains to last three quires.
Collation: 4 a-v w-z A-D8 E6 F8 G-H6 I8. 261 leaves (of 262, lacking a4), with signatures. Contents: 1r: title, v blank, 2r- 3v: alphabetical table of German plant names, a1 blank, a2r-a3r: Preface, a3v: full-page woodcut of learned men with attendants in a pharmacy, a4r-E6v: Text, F1r-F2r: first index, F2v-F3r: chapter on uroscopy, F3r-I7v: colophon, I8 blank. Types: 4:150 (title and headings); 6:105 (text). Double column. 39 lines. Full-page woodcut on a3v, woodcut9 on F2v of woman and physician with urine flask, and 393 (of 394) woodcuts mostly of plants, woodcut capital V, ca. 37 x 37mm., (BMC 1c), ALL THE WOODCUTS WITH CONTEMPORARY COLORING.
The sixth of seven fifteenth-century editions from Schönsperger's press, all but the first illustrated with the same woodcuts (see lot --). VERY RARE.
H 8956; Klebs 507.12; Klebs Gart 14; Early Herbals 31; Schreiber 4344; Nissen BBI 2274; Ahumada 13; Goff G-106 (two copies).
Provenance: Scattered early marginalia; ownership inscription on lower pastedown, "Anno 1604 den 21 Augusti kauft ich Johannes Knab dieses Buch zu Olmutz...", followed by notes on occult philosophy in the same German cursive hand, with passages in cipher, the two manuscript leaves supplying text of missing leaf a4 in the same hand; Juan Carlos Ahumada, bookplate and ink stamp on front pastedown; the present owner.