Hortus Sanitatis. [Strassburg: Johann Prüss, c. 1499].
Median folio, 311 x 215mm. (12 1/4 x 8 3/8in.), contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, remains of two brass fore-edge clasps, later ink-lettering on upper cover, eighteenth-century paper lettering-piece on spine, edges plain, printed binder's waste visible under front pastedown; bound by the Benedictines of Wiblingen (Kyriss shop 36); covers rubbed and slightly wormed, minor leather loss at corners, upper joint splitting at top; title-leaf torn at gutter and with remains of old tape repair, last leaf (Ll6) with six-inch tear repaired with scotch tape and small hole affecting one letter, corners of last few leaves torn away, a few other marginal tears or paper flaws, one to two wormholes from quire Gg to the end, N2 and N7 stained, severe dampstaining to about six quires, marginal dampstaining elsewhere, occasional minor discoloration.
Collation as in Fairfax Murray 194. 360 leaves with signatures. Types: 4:300 (title), 15:210 (title); 13:146 (headlines); 84 (text, resembles the face of 8:80). Double column. 55 lines, headlines, and marginal letters keyed to indices. Large woodcut of apothecary and physician on verso of title (repeated on Gg1v), title to second part (K1r) with four small cuts from the text, full-page cut of skeleton with letterpress anatomical captions on K1v, full-page cut of a patient in bed attended by three physicians on Gg1r, over 1000 smaller text cuts, some repeated (cut on d5r, column 2, printed upside down). Numerous seven- and eight-line woodcut white-on-black and outline initials, smaller two- and three-line Lombard initials.
Fourth edition, third Prüss edition. Most of the woodcuts of plants in these Prüss editions were previously used in Johann Grüninger's edition of the Gart der Gesundheit (1485/86; and cf. lot 32). The majority of the other text woodcuts are either direct or reverse copies of those of Meydenbach's first edition of the Hortus Sanitatis, some slightly reduced or with added background or different costumes for the human figures, and with additional single-line borders to the cuts in the second part. A few new woodcuts were used in this edition to replace worn out blocks; some of the older cuts show signs of wear. The three large woodcuts were first used in Grüninger's edition of Brunschwig's Chirurgia, published on 4 July 1497, and were borrowed by Prüss for his first edition of the Hortus, printed during the next few months. The aopthecary block was cut down slightly for this edition.
HC 8943; Klebs 509.4; Klebs Hortus 4; Early Herbals 48; Schreiber 4250; Fairfax Murray German 194; Proctor 1448; Ahumada 16; Goff H-489.
Provenance: Benedictines of Wiblingen, binding; inscriptions on title-leaf: "Liber Georgii Iserini physici", "Lucas Hailus(?) modo fure me tenet(?)", Sum Vincentii Flurlii(?)...in Gunzburg", and an erased inscription; occasional contemporary marginalia in Latin and German with references to dates from 1512 to 1518 and names including Johannes Metzler, Huldrich Freyher, and Christophorus Ronold; eighteenth-century note on lower pastedown; two identical monogrammed ink stamps on title, partially erased; Juan Carlos Ahumada, bookplate and ink stamps on title and verso of last leaf; the present owner.