TURNER, WILLIAM. A new Herball, wherein are conteyned the names of herbes in Greke, Latin, Englysh, Duch Frenche, and in the Potecaries and Herbaries Latin. London: Steven Mierdman (for John Gybken), 1551. [Bound with:] The second parte of Vuilliam Turners herball... Here unto is ioyned also a booke of the bath of Baeth in Englande... wyth diuerse other bathes... both in Almany and Englande. London: Arnold Birckmann, 1562 [And with:] BRUNSCHWIG, HIERONYMUS. A most excellent and perfecte homish apothecarye or homely physick booke for all the grefes and diseases of the bodye. Translated out the Almaine speche... by Jhon Hollybush. Cologne: [heirs of] Arnold Birckman, 1562.
3 vols. in one, folio, 308 x 190 mm., 17th-century mottled calf, covers tooled in blind, rebacked, contemporary fore-edge lettering, extremities worn, title-leaf and A2-3 soiled, frayed and restored at gutter margins, last 8 leaves resized and reinforced at gutters, a few other leaves frayed at edges, worming to first 75 leaves, occasional small wormholes elsewhere, 6-inch repaired tear to O2 in part 2, c3 in part 3 torn and repaired, small stains to e3 and f3 in part 3 obscuring a few letters, a few minor marginal tears, some mostly marginal soiling or staining, occasional browning.
FIRST EDITIONS (Turner), First English edition of Brunschwig, black letter, the second part with blank Ff4, the 2 errata leaves Gg1-2 and the "Errours in figures" slip tipped in to Gg2, 4 title-pages (the "Book of the...Bathes" in part 2 separately titled and paginated), first title printed within woodcut border incorporating the royal arms and with the initials E R (McKerrow & Ferguson 74), the 3 others with Birckman's woodcut device, 13-line ornate fraktur woodcut initials in part 1 only, 8-line criblé initials, woodcut initials throughout, the Turner volumes with 196 quarter-page woodcuts of plants.
FIRST EDITION of volumes 1 and 2 of Turner's Herball, without the Thirde Parte (Cologne 1568), which often accompanies them, bound with the first and only edition of Hollybush's translation of Brunschwig's Hauss Apoteck or Thesaurus pauperum (part 5 of the Grosses Destillierbuch). Known as the "Father of British botany", Turner was the first English botanist to follow in the steps of contemporary Continental botanists who pursued the work of classification and publishing initiated by Brunfels and Fuchs. His New Herball was the first scientific English botany, containing descriptions of English plants based on Turner's direct observations, noting many differences particular to British flora. The woodcuts in parts 1 and 2 are careful copies of the cuts used in M. Isingrin's octavo ediitons of Fuchs's Primi de Stirpium Historia Commentariorum (Basel 1545 and later editions). An ardent Protestant, Turner (d. 1568) was outspoken in his opposition to the consolidation of episcopal authority in the church of England, and spent several years in exile, mainly in Germany: hence his close links with foreign printers. Turner's decision to publish his work in English, for the benefit of the "surgians" and apothecaries unversed in the classical languages, limited contemporary and even later recognition of its importance in the advancement of botanical science in the sixteenth century.
Turner: Henrey, I, pp. 21-26 and III, 368; Hunt 65 (part 1); Nissen BBI 2013; NLM/Durling 4439; STC 24365-66 and 24351. Brunschwig: NLM/Durling 757; STC 13433.
Provenance: Contemporary recipe for a "Syrup for the tonge[?]" on verso of last leaf, a few early scattered early English jottings -- Unidentified consignor (sale, Christie's London, 1 April 1981, lot 118) -- Robert de Belder.