Herbarium Apulei. [Rome:] Johannes Philippus de Lignamine, [c.1481-82]. Chancery 4° (200 x 138mm). Collation: [16 2-138 146] (1/1-6 dedication and table, 2/1r text, 14/5v register, 14/6 blank). 84 leaves (of 108, lacking quire 1, 2/1, 3/2.7, 12/8, and final two quires). 25-27 lines. Type: 2:114R. Initial spaces opening dedication and text. Woodcut wreath on 2/1 (here lacking) and 105 (of 131, including repeats) woodcuts of plants coloured by a contemporary hand in shades of orange, green and red, each ruled in orange. (Neatly repaired tears into text without loss in 7 leaves, tiny slits in 5 leaves, occasional light dampstaining or small stain, small section of blank margin renewed in two leaves.) Modern vellum, red morocco-backed solander box. Provenance: chapters numbered in a contemporary hand -- Kenneth K. Mckenzie (1934 bequest to:) -- Horticultural Society of New York (bookplate, blindstamp).
A COLOURED COPY OF THE FIRST PRINTED HERBAL, ILLUSTRATED WITH THE EARLIEST SERIES OF BOTANICAL WOODCUTS. The Herbarium Apulei was one of the most popular practical remedybooks of the middle ages. It gives the medicinal properties and uses of 131 plants and prescriptions for treating up to 24 maladies per plant. Each is illustrated by a woodcut which, with the exception of two plant woodcuts used in the Buch der Natur (eds. 1475, 1478, 1481), are the earliest printed botanical illustrations. The woodcuts are highly stylised in keeping with the medieval tradition of botanical illustration, yet many are recognisable. Such stylisation is particularly understandable, since the source for Lignamine's edition was a 9th-century manuscript which survives today, as it did in Lignamine's time, at Monte Cassino.
H *1322; BMC IV, 131 (IA. 19267-8); BSB-Ink H-97; GW 3200; Klebs 505.1-3; Nissen 2298, Stillwell, Awakening, 401; Goff H-58.