[Basel: Lienhart Ysenhut, circa 1490]. 4to (210 x 155 mm). 29 of 30 leaves (lacks first blank or title, see note above). 32 lines. Gothic types. 2 full-page woodcuts and 51 woodcuts in text (each circa 75-62 mm). Rubricated in red. Blue morocco gilt. Lower blank margin of a2 and d6 replaced. Provenance: Fritz Kreisler (his sale Sotheby's Parke Bernet, 27 January 1927, lot 141); purchased from Maggs Bros., 1966. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401683
EXTREMELY RARE EDITION CONTAINING A REMARKABLE SERIES OF WOODCUTS. The third edition of this curious text in Latin and German, which compares the relative improbabilities of mythical events and natural phenomena with that of the Immaculate Conception, illustrated with a striking series of early Basel woodcuts. The half dozen known productions from this rare Basel press are all illustrated and Ysenhut may have been a wood-engraver as much as a printer. The two full-page cuts of the Virgin were copied from the first Strasbourg edition of a decade earlier (Armin 132). According to Fairfax Murray the first leaf of this book was blank when first issued, and it was only after some copies were distributed that it was thought necessary to add a title-page (supplied in facsimile here and bound at end). VERY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only the Morris-Brunschwig copy has sold in the last 35 years: Christie's London, 27 November 1991, lot 37. BMC III, 780; BSB-Ink. F-253; Fairfax-Murray German 360; Goff R-153; GW 10275; Schreiber 4047. Fact and Fantasy 5.