First dated edition, with ca. 800 hand-coloured woodcuts

[Lonicer, Adam (attrib.)]. Herbarum, arborum, fruticum, frumentorum ac leguminum, animalium praeterea terrestrium, volatiliu[m] & aquatilium [...] imagines [...] depictae [...]. Kreutter, Bäume, Gesteude, unnd Frücht, deßgleichen Gethier, zam unnd wild, im Lufft, Wasser und Erdtrich lebende [...].

Frankfurt/Main, Christian Egenolph, (1546).

4to. (16), 265, (1) pp. With a large woodcut on the title-page showing a gardener at work with his tools, and about 800 woodcut illustrations in the text. About 700 show trees, fruit, edible and medicinal plants, while the rest show insects, a tick, coral, shells, various sea and land animals and a view of a pond with plants and birds. It includes a two-headed snake, dragon, griffin, and a few other mythical creatures. With all woodcuts coloured by a contemporary hand. Contemporary pigskin over wooden boards, richly blind-tooled in a panel design with two rolls (one alternating heads and coats of arms, the other with standing figures), a large acorn and other stamps; brass clasps and catch-plates with engraved decoration.


Rare first dated edition of an extensively illustrated early herbal in contemporary hand-colour, with the title and most of the plant and animal names in Latin and German. The title-page is followed by a 13-page index of the Latin and German names. About 200 of the woodcuts are about half-page, while the last six pages show 16 small animal woodcuts per page. The Folger Library notes that F. W. E. Roth attributes this herbal to Adam Lonicer (1528-86) of Marburg and Frankfurt, who married Egenolph's daughter and became a partner in the firm after Egenolph died in 1555. The firm published herbals and related works under his name beginning in 1551. Egenolph published all three editions of the present herbal. VD 16 lists the undated one as ca. 1545 (citing only the Wellcome Library copy), which would make the present 1546 edition the second. Another appeared in 1552. Egenolph's successors were to become famous not only as printers but also as one of the largest and most important early typefoundries. The present book uses Roman and Italic for the Latin, but Fraktur and Schwabacher for the German, giving a good overview of the firm's stock of type at this early date.

This copy has early owner's inscriptions by the Nuremberg pharmacist Georg Volland (d. 1631) in Latin at the foot of the title-page and in Greek on the facing endleaf.

Binding worn; some browning and stains to interior, especially to the first and last leaves.

VD 16, H 2193 (4 copies). Adams H 294 (1 copy). Nissen, BBI 2345. Cf. Klebs, Early Herbals 71 (undated Egenolph ed.). Wellcome I, 1983 (same undated Egenolph ed.). Not in Stiftung Botanik.

Stock Code: BN#27991 Tags: , ,