Versehung von Leib, Seele, Ehre und Gut. Augsburg: Johann Schobsser, 1490.
Chancery 4o (190 x 138 mm). Collation: a-y8 (a1r xylographic title, a1v woodcut, a2r text, x6r afterword and first colophon, x6v blank, x7r contents, x8v subject index, y7v second colophon, y8 blank). 176 leaves, a2-x6 foliated 2-166. 25 lines and headline (foliation). Type: 1:109(105)G. Woodcut of man on his deathbed flanked by weeping kin while a priest places a lighted candle in his hands and an angel gathers up his soul above his head. White on black woodcut initial on a2r, printed paragraph mark. The woodcut and the initial colored by a contemporary hand. (Marginal spotting, repaired tear in a5 just touching text, marginal tear to o8 touching 3 letters, occasional small light marginal dampstains, marginal worming in last few leaves, marginal restoration to final blank leaf.)
Binding: contemporary blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, probably bound in Augsburg, sides panelled with fillets, outer frame filled with repeated impressions of a Bogenfries tool, inner frame stamped with small six-petalled flower tools, central panel with curving vine-stems forming compartments, each field with a single artichoke tool (rubbed, the tools almost indistinguishable but apparently not in Kyriss or Schwenke-Sammlung); two lettered brass fore-edge catches (lacking clasps), traces of paper label on upper cover (rebacked, restored; sewing loose in quires a and b).
Provenance: 18R(?): 18th-century shelfmark on title -- CS(?)H: modern bookplate, no. 38 added in ink -- Niels Hansen Christensen: sale, Sotheby's New York, 16 November 1976, lot 207 (to Lathrop Harper).
Second edition of a popular vernacular manual of physical and spiritual health, sometimes attributed to Heinrich von Lauffenberg. The work is a compendium which owes much to the earliest practical medical manual in German, the late 13th-century Arzneibuch of Ortolf von Baierland, surgeon of Würzburg. The text includes extensive herbal and medicinal remedies, instructions for bloodletting, the fundamentals of astrology, advice on the signs of impending death, and a guide to the spiritual preparation for death. Following three recorded fifteenth-century editions the work was reprinted at Nuremberg in 1509 and continued to appear under different guises throughout the sixteenth century; nearly a century after its first appearance in print it was published under the name of the indefatigable compiler Walter Ryff (Practicierbüchlin bewerter Leibarzteney, Frankfurt: Christian Egenolffs Erben, 1583, cf. NLM/Durling 4031).
Johann Schobsser's Augsburg press produced about 35 editions between 1483 and ca. 1500, after which he moved to Munich, possibly his native city, where he continued printing sporadically until 1530. Throughout his long career he specialized in the printing of popular vernacular texts as well as pamphlets and broadsides for the local nobility. Two of Schobsser's three types were those of his father-in-law Anton Sorg (the third was acquired from Johann Zainer). The woodblock, inspired by the final illustration of the Ars moriendi blockbook series, was also from Sorg's material: it appeared in his 1482 edition of the Büchlein von dem sterbenden Menschen (Goff M-870), and was subsequently re-used by Hans Schönsperger for his 1493 edition of the present work (Goff V-237).
HC 16020*; BMC II, 378 (IA. 6630); Klebs 1028.2; Schreiber 5424; Waller 147; Goff V-236.