Strassburg: Johann Schott, 1532-1531 [vol. II second colophon: 14 February 1532]. Two volumes bound in one (the appendix added to vol.II), folio (287 x 188 mm; 11¼ x 17½ in.). Vol. I: Title within woodcut allegorical border, 4- and 5-part borders to several pages, woodcut arms of Strasbourg, ornamental and historiated initials, head- and tailpieces, 86 woodcuts of plants by Hans Weiditz; vol. II: Title within woodcut allegorical border, 4- part border on 2 pages, 49 woodcut illustrations by Weiditz, all colored in a contemporary hand. 18th-century mottled calf gilt, edges gilt. Rebacked preserving original gilt spine panels, repairs to corners, some slight drying; A4 in volume I bound after b4, lacking blanks b4 and G6 in the first volume and H4 and S6 in the second, small stain in lower margin of first title and first text leaf, some leaves lightly browned, occasional minor staining. Provenance: Johannes Beusler (early ownership inscription on title); Jean Charles Patin (inscription dated 1817 on front flyleaf noting that he is a native of Manneville and currently farming in Bézu-la-Forêt); purchased from William Schatzki, 1971. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401689
A finely colored copy. Referred to as “the first great mind in modern botany” (Hunt), Brunfels’ most revolutionary contribution was his choice of artist accurately to portray these “living portraits of plants.” The magnificent woodcuts executed by Weiditz were taken from watercolors drawn directly from nature and delineate botanical details well beyond their known function in the taxonomic literature of the time.
The first volume was reprinted to be sold with the second, and this is how many sets are constituted. The appendix at the end of the second volume contains the first published writings of both Jerome Bock and Leonhardt Fuchs (see also item 32). After Brunfels’s death, a third volume was published (1536-39) and was illustrated after different artists. Adams B-2924 and B-2925; Fairfax Murray German 462 (1530 edition); Garrison-Morton 1803; Grolier/Horblit 33a; Hunt 30 (mixed edition); Nissen BBI 257, Ib, IIa and 257, III; Norman 361; Stafleu &Cowan TL2 852 and 853; Pritzel 1283.