Nuremberg: Friedrich Peypus for Johann Koberger, 13 December 1521. 8vo (140 x 90 mm). Printed in red and black, gothic types, each page within narrow woodcut borders (scrolling foliage, classical columns, etc.), title-page with large woodcut of the Virgin and Child enthroned; Calendar, Saints Days, Lunar and Solar phases, and other prefatory matter, woodcut capitals, 86 half-page woodcut illustrations by Hans Springinklee, Erhard Schön and others, Z4r with colophon and Peypus's woodcut device. Contemporary blind-panelled sheep, covers with small floral centerpiece, spine in four compartments. Joints worn; title-page a bit soiled, colophon reinforced along gutter margin and a few pale ink stains. Provenance: early owner’s signature cropped on upper margin title-page. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401670
The “Little Garden of the Soul" was a popular prayerbook in Germany in the early years of the sixteenth century, with the first known edition printed at Strasbourg by Wilhelm Schaffener of Rappeltsweiler, dated 13 March 1498. Numerous editions appeared between 1498 and 1539, in both Latin (as here) and German, most containing some of the same beautifully designed woodcuts by Hans Springinklee and Erhard Schön, and printed variously at Lyons and Nuremberg (by Stuechs or Peypus) for either A. Koberger or J. Koberger.
“The ‘Hortulus’ bears a general resemblance to the Horæ and Primers which were then the form of prayer book most familiar in France and England. As in these latter, the Little Office of our Lady always occupies the place of honour, but the ‘Hortulus’ contains a greater variety of popular prayers, many of them recommended by curious and probably spurious Indulgences. The name ‘Hortulus Animæ’ was derived not from the æsthetic but from the utilitarian aspects of a garden, as is shown by the three Latin distichs prefixed to most copies of the work” (Catholic Encyclopedia). Fairfax Murray German 209 (1516 edn.). Not in Adams or BM/STC German.