Catalogue 32
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With 150 Woodcuts

Anonymous. Herbolario Volgare, nel qual e le virtu de le herbe, & molti altri simplici sec dechiarano, con alcune belle aggionte novamente de latino in volgare tradutto. Venice, Giovanni Andrea Vavassore, 1534.

8vo., (180) ff. Bound (somewhat tightly) in modern vellum, covers gilt-ruled, spine gilt with morocco title pieces. Some early, possibly contemporary marginalia shaved or cropped at time of re-binding. Minor tear in blank edge of title, just touching woodcut border; some minor soiling, but otherwise a fresh copy with dark strikes of the woodcuts.


Rare, second Italian-language edition (first 1522) of the Herbarius latinus, an important document for the dissemination of botanical/medical knowledge in popular culture, particularly for the adoption of this originally German-printed Latin work for readers in the Veneto. According to Hunt, the woodcut on the title showing Saints Cosmos and Damian appears for the first time.

According to Anderson, "the Herbarius sold as well in Italy, if not better. There its second section may have contributed to its success, for it was concerned with the materials of medicine that were commonly available in the shops of apothecaries and spice merchants. Through the use of the Herbarius the average man could easily find what drugs to use and purchase them in most towns. The second section has 96 chapters, though many of them are very brief. They deal with the following: laxatives; aromatics; fruits, seeds, and plants of garden and orchard; gums and resins; salts; minerals and stones; and a variety of animals and their products, such as goose-grease, cheese, honey, and ivory." - An Illustrated History of the Herbals, pp. 86-7.

The Herbarius latinus appeared originally in Germany in 1484 with many succeeding editions in Latin. According to Nissen, the first Italian edition appeared in 1522 (BBI 2315) and the second in 1534. All early Italian editions are rare.

* Hunt 34; Mortimer I.228 (1520 Latin).

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