The Garden of Health. An Account of Two Herbals. The “Gart der Gesundheit” and the “Hortus Sanitatis”
by Shaffer, Ellen.
Folio. San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1957. Folio, [viii], 41, [1, blank] pp. Quarter beige cloth, red boards, title printed in black on the backstrip. A fine copy. Limited to 300 copies printed by Lawton Kennedy in red and black, with an original illustrated leaf “Der Avibus” from the 1499 edition of Hortus Sanitatis tipped in. Numerous woodblock engravings. “It was an agreeable conceit of the fifteenth century to attribute to its books of herb and materia medica the qualities of a garden—a garden in which mankind might seek and find those remedies which would bring the priceless gift of health. Two great herbals literally bore the name of ‘the garden of health’—the Gart der Gesundheit, which first appeared in Mainz, the birthplace of printing in 1485, and the Hortus Sanitatis, which was published in the same historic city six years later. For more than half a century thereafter these two classics in the fields of botany and medicine were issued in numerous editions in many of the countries of Europe” (from the introduction). This copy contains a leaf illustrating birds. Chalmers, A Checklist of Leaf Books, 116. (Inventory #: 109876)
Books and manuscripts in all fields, especially medieval illuminated and text manuscripts; material on California, Hawaii, and Pacific voyages; illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century; children's books from 1750 to 1950; and fine press printing. William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin are special interests.
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