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169 plants explained and illustrated

[Herbarius]. Herbolario volgare, nelquale se dimostra a conoscer le herbe [...].

(Venice, Francesco Bindone & Maffeo Pasini, June) 1536.

8vo. (12), CLXIX, (18) pp. With large woodcut title vignette and 169 woodcuts in the text. Later limp vellum with handwritten title to spine.

Third Italian edition of the 1484 Mainz "Herbarius", an anonymous compilation of classical, mediaeval and Arabic sources (first published in Italian in 1522 by the same printers, followed by one printed by Vassore in 1534). The herbal contains descriptions of numerous plants mostly found in Germany, focusing on their curative functions. They are organised alphabetically with each chapter dedicated to one plant and starting with a woodcut depiction of the same. The final chapter - the only one longer than a single leaf - discusses the medical benefits of wine and vinegar, containing an illustration of a wine cellar in the beginning. Since the herbal was intended as a medical reference book, it is prefixed by an alphabetical index of maladies referencing the corresponding chapters, thus enabling the reader more easily to find the required remedy. The title vignette shows the saints Cosmas and Damian, two scholars who practised medicine and suffered martyrdom under the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian.

A good, clean copy with minimal browning. Upper right-hand corners of the final two leaves torn away without loss to text. From the library of the Viennese collector Werner Habel (1939-2015) with his handwritten and stamped ownership to the flyleaf, dated 1977.


BM-STC Italian 325. Edit 16, CNCE 22580. Essling 1195. Sander 619. Pritzel 10765. Nissen (BBI) 2316. Not in Adams.