LONITZER, ADAM. Naturalis Historiae opus novum. [Bound with:] Naturalis Historia tomus II. Frankfurt: Christopher Egenolff, 1551; .[Bound with:] VALERIUS CORDUS. Annotationes in Pedacii Dioscorides anazarbi de medica materia eiusdem Historiae stirpium lib. IV posthumi. Strassburg: J. Rihelius, 1561.
3 works in one volume, folio, 303 x 198mm, 17th-century vellum blindstamped with central arabesque medallion panel on both covers, title lettered on spine, 2 brass fore-edge clasps, vellum splitting at spine and pulling away from edges of front cover, browned, small stains, Cordus lacks a-b4 and Zz4 (blank?).
FIRST EDITIONS. Printer's devices on both titles of Lonitzer, 749 woodcuts, woodcut historiated initials, 275 woodcuts in Cordus.
While remaining in the medieval tradition of herbals, Lonitzer's Naturalis historiae, in both Latin and German editions, proved immensely popular and remarkably long-lived, being published regularly for the following 250 years. In addition to giving plant-names in several languages and describing local flora, the compilation also includes fantanstic stories and medicinal remedies of plants, animals and metals. It is largely an updating of earlier herbals, such as Rösslin's Kreuterbuch, itself a reworking of earlier herbals. The many woodcuts represent Egenolff's huge stock of botanical cuts, and include copies pirated from Fuchs's Historia stirpium and Brunfels's Herbarum, as well as those used to print editions of Rösslin and Dorsten. NLM/Durling 2848; Nissen BBI 1229.
The 1561 edition of Cordus's commentary on Dioscorides, containing the first appearance of his Historia stirpium, is one of the most important botanical books of the sixteenth century (see lot --). It was edited by Conrad Gesner, who included two of his own works, the second being the first scientifi description of the tulip. Adams C-2627; Nissen BBI 405; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1231.
Provenance: contemporary marginal annotations (occasionally trimmed) -- Aegidius Gallius, 16th-century inscription -- 16-17th century ownership inscriptions on front flyleaf -- Kenneth K. Mackenzie; Horticultural Society of New York, bookplate and blindstamp -- Robert de Belder.