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1565 Folio Leaf with 2 Large Hand Colored Woodcuts - Melanthium

By Pietro Andrea Mattioli / Giorgio Liberale & W. Meyerpeck


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Herbarz: Prague, 1565.

Folio leaf with 2 large woodcuts by Giorgio Liberale (1527-c.79) & W. Meyerpeck. Issued in Pietro Andrea Mattioli's (1500-77) Herbarz printed in Prague in 1565. Mattioli's Herbarz was one of the most significant editions of Mattioli's commentary on Dioscorides (circa A.D. 40-90). It is also one of scarcest herbals, with less than a handful of copies extant in North America.

Woodcuts depict Melanthium Satiuum and Melanthium Sylvestre, new world American plants. Fine later hand color.

"Many of these woodcuts were so delicately cut, that the blocks soon became worn. The 'first impressions' of such woodcuts were undoubtedly the best" (Savage 127).

Giorgio Liberale was an Italian artist from Udine who had been working for the imperial court in Prague. In this role he produced some 600 large blocks that were used in the Prague edition of Matthioli's Herbal. The work resulted in some of the finest woodcuts of any herbal produced in any century.

Bibliographical references: Nissen, BBI 1314; Pritzel 5992; Anderson, Herbals 163.

Condition: As shown, on paper in good condition with a few age marks, minor sporting and repair to outer margins. 33.5 x 22.8 cm.
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