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ORTUS SANITATIS
[Hortus sanitatis. 1517]
Ortus sanitatis. De herbis et plantis. De animalibus et reptilibus. De auibus et volatilibus. De piscibus et natatilibus. De lapidibus et in terre venis nascentibus. De vrinis et earum speciebus. Tabula medicinalis cum directorio generali per omnes tractatus.
Strasbourg [Reinhard Beck], Anno. M.D.XVII. [1517].
[708] p. : wdcut illus. ; 27.9 cm. (2º)

Anonymous. Place of printing and printer from NLM 16th cent. Blackletter, printed in double columns, 57 lines to the full column. The editio princeps of the Latin Hortus was published in Mainz, 1491, and reprinted with additions by Johann Prüss in Strasburg, 1496; there was also a Venice edition in 1511. The 1517 edition is an almost unaltered reprint of the earlier Prüss editions by Beck, who inherited the printing house. The title-page is printed in red and black within a broad woodcut border with putti and monkeys climbing a grape arbour with blank shield below, variously attributed to Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Wechtlin or Urs Graf. Most of the woodcuts are copied from the first edition (and those from the German herbal of 1485, see below) with the addition of a few new illustrations. The 'Tractatus de animalibus' (beginning on leaf K1) is preceded by an unsigned divisional title-leaf reading 'Sequuntur alii tractatus Primus de animalibus Secundus de auibus Tertius de piscibus Quartus de lapidibus' with four woodcuts, bearing on the verso a full-page woodcut of a human skeleton. The running-title on leaf P4 reads 'De Herbis' instead of 'De Animalibus'. A compilation of material from various sources done by or for Jacob Meydenbach of Mainz, publisher of the first edition. As such, it was first printed in 1491 in Mainz and is the last major medical work to cover medicines from the Old World only. While the content of the herbal (with texts derived from Dioscorides) was partly based on Der Gart der Gesundheit (also known as the Herbarius zu Teutsch) sometimes attributed to Johann von Cube, and originally printed by Peter Schoeffer at Mainz in 1485, the 'Ortus sanitatis' is substantively a much larger and independent work. It was later translated from the original Latin into French, German, and Dutch, and from Dutch into English in 1527. It was last published in its entirety in 1552 but the herbal was superseded by such as that of William Turner (1551) and the botanical classification introduced by Gaspard Bauhin (1560--1624). Botanical illustration also improved through the influence of Hans van Weiditz (fl. ca.1516--1536), who illustrated Herbarum vivae eicones by Otto Brunfels (1488--1534) in 1530. The treatise on 'Urines' (beginning at leaf 2G) has been attributed to Bartolomeo Montagnana and Zacharias de Feltro. See E. Shaffer The garden of health: an account of two herbals, the Gart der Gesundheit and the Hortus sanitatis, Book Club of California, 1957. NLM 16th cent. 2468; Proctor 10310; Pritzel (2nd ed.) 10819; Adams H1019.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting all after leaf 2K (i.e. the final seven leaves of the 'Tabula') and with leaf 2K1 misbound after 2I5. The title-page has been repaired and mounted, with a bookseller's printed catalogue entry for an unspecified edition of 'Hortus Sanitatis' attached to the head of the leaf, giving the price as '4l 4s'. Former library shelf-mark inscribed in pencil on verso of front free-endpaper x.4. Some captions in English supplied in an eighteenth-century hand; extensive pencil markings in the 'Tractatus urinis'. ALs attached to front free-endpaper reading This curious early printed book respectfully / submitted to the inspection of Sir John Soane / by His much obliged humble Servant / Thos. Faulkner / Paradise Row / July 10/[18]34. / Price £4/=. Faulkner was an author of topographical works, bookseller and stationer with a shop near the Chelsea Hospital. Soane retained his residence at Chelsea until the end of his life.

Binding C19th red straight-grained morocco, triple blind-tooled borders within thin-thick-thin gilt-ruled borders, blind-tooled and gilt roll-tooled spine direct-lettered in gilt, gilt edges.

Reference Number 3995


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