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First Illustrated Medical Publication

“Ketham’s” Fasciculus medicinae

as at once

“ One of the Finest Italian Woodcut Books ”

(Ketham, Johannes de [that is Johannes Kirchheimer, actually Johannes Kellner from Kirchheim unter Teck, there c. 1420 – Buda 1468/70]). Fasciculus medicinae. Venice, Gregorius and Johannes de Gregoriis, Oct. 15, 1495. Sm. fol. 40 n. pag. ll. 2 cols. 53 lines. Gothic characters. With numerous, also several large, initials and

10 full-page woodcuts .

FACSIMILE EDITION. (Stuttgart,) Edition Medicina Rara, c. early/mid-1970s. Sm. fol. (13 × 9 in [33 × 23 cm]). Black orig. leather with 5 decorative raised bands, gilt title on spine and rich ornamental blind tooling on both boards in light brown marbled orig. board slipcase lined with brown velour. – Supposedly without the accompanying booklet, considered by present detailed description. Otherwise as good as new.

(Hain-Cop. 9775; Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica et Medica, 573.2; BMC V, 347; Eßling 587; Haller, Bibliotheca Anatomica, I, 152; Polain 2411; Proctor 4550; Sander II, 3745; Stillwell K 12.)

ADB XV [1882], 669; NDB XI [1977], 474. – According to Keil, see below: I. Schwarz, Johannes Kirchheimer, Ein ärztl. Charakterbild aus dem ma. Wien, 1923; Sudhoff, Johannes Kirchheimer, in: Vf.-Lex. d. MA II; Ch. Ferckel, Zur Gynäkol. u. Generationslehre im Fasciculus medicinae d. Johannes de Ketham, in: Sudhoff’s Archive 6, 1913.

No. CXXIV/300 copies of the de-luxe edition in leather numbered in Roman by hand (total edition 2800 copies, the 2500 ordinary copies of which in h. leather numbered Arabic). – From the splendid copy of the collection Otto Schäfer, Schweinfurt,

rubricated in red throughout , also with marginal annotations in red

and also illuminated initial letters, the Fasciculus is a

“ ‘Bundle’ of six independent and quite different mediaeval medical treatises which existed only in two manuscripts … The German physician routinely associated with the Fasciculus was neither the author nor even the original compiler but merely an owner of one of the manuscripts. The topics of the treatises cover a wide spectrum of mediaeval European medical knowledge and technique, including urology, astrology, anaemia, wound treatment, plague, anatomical dissection and gynaecology.

The book is remarkable as the first printed illustrated medical work ;

notable illustrations include :

a urine chart, a diagram of the veins for phlebotomy, a pregnant woman, Wound Man, Disease Man and Zodiac Man …

The ten handsome full-page woodcut illustrations influenced artists for some time – even as late as 1751 when the last ( The Sitting of the Anatomical Faculty ) of William Hogarth’s Four Stages of Cruelty seems to borrow from the dissection scene ”

(Wikipedia with recourse to L. Choulant, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration. Trans. and annotated by Mortimer Frank, NY 1962, pp. 115-119).

The set is headed , however , by two cuts initiating the theme generally, the clearness and expressiveness of which is of downright ravishing beauty. The former shows in the upper third the portrait of one PETRVS DE MONTAGNANA (small town in the province of Padua within the region Venetia) reading and writing at the same time, with crown glass windows indicating his scholar’s den on the left and Caius Plinius’ De Naturali on the right. A designation like Petrus de Montagnana in his Pulpit, so Busch-Reisinger Museum for their sheet G5121.1 (“Anonymous [Venice] 1499, c. 1500”, thus supposedly from one of the two Gregoriis editions of 1500, Klebs 573.3 f.) cannot be deduced from this. More to the point then that Petrus de Montagnana in the Lecture Chair at Padua (The Granger Collection, NY as attribution to Gentile Bellini [1429 Venice 1507], image no. 0079529 from the Venetian “Ketham” edition of 1522).

He then might be that “grammarian and bibliophile” deceased there 1478, of whom in the Bodleian Library there is an Augustinus, De civitate Dei (Venice, Joh. and Wend. von Spyer, 1470, fol. [ISTC ia01233000; Bod-inc A-520 / Bodleian Library: Broxb. 18.10] as present by Montagnana of 1478 to the Augustinian Friars there, which, however, lacks the technical and ultimately also chronological reference. Also Jöcher’s (III [1751], 620 with Gg. Matth. König’s Bibliotheca Vetus & Nova of 1678 as source) Petrus Montagnana as living in the 15th century, who “had created a work in which he

reveals the innermost of man by paintings and pictures quite clearly ”

could prove as erroneous as in the absence of an author in the imprint the dominance of the name in the opening woodcut was read quite consequently as that of the writer. Conceivable finally that confounding the woodcutter had in mind the physician Bartholomew II de Montagnana – Jöcher I, 825 f. – likewise lecturing in Padua, whose writings in the last quarter of the century were published in Padua first and in Venice in the 1490s. Apart from that the special literature may already have answered this question and is the origin of the Fasciculus moreover dated back to the late 14th century, see below. And by literature it goes invariably by the name of pseudo-Ketham.

“ Kellner (Ketham/Kircham) enrolled 1437 as Johannes Celearii de Kirchen in the Vienna register, acquired the licentiate of the faculty of artists and in 1444 underwent the medical baccalaureate exam. 1447 he reported for the medical licentiate exam, received the approbation, and 1448 almost failed to acquire the medical doctoral degree. Making his mark by anatomical lectures and demonstrations, he was elected dean of the faculty in 1450, 1454 and 1461 even though he (magister Johannes Kircham) temporarily left Vienna (1451-54) and could meet his lecturing and official obligations only to a limited extent due to him being embroiled in the confrontations between the city of Vienna, emperor Frederick III, and archduke Albrecht VI. He concluded his restless life at Buda.

Under Kellner’s name (Johann de Ketham [!], Alemannus) a medical vade mecum was published in Venice in 1491, which unites therapeutic, diagnostic, and iatromathematical sections of partly vernacular origin. The effect of this ‘Fasciculus medicinae’ was substantial: it was reprinted frequently, translated and revised, and

has held up as table work related to practice far into modern times .

However, Kellner is eligible neither as compiler, let alone as author; at the most he has recommended and used resp. the ‘Fasciculus’, which was compiled in the late 14th century ” (Gundolf Keil).

Presented here then in noble edition as bridging the gap of six centuries ,

in its fine typography , its entire design reminding of its “famous Venetian printers”, the brothers Gregoriis.

“ (N)ow on their own , mostly active together though , 1480-1505 (they) published numerous printed works , including many classics , law books , and medical works . Some of their products … belong to the finest books of their time .

The ‘Fasciculus medicinae’ from 1491 (first edition)

is one of the finest Italian woodcut books ”

(Karl Schottenloher in Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des Gesamten Buchwesens, II [1936], 16 f.).

Offer no. 29,011 | EUR 230. (c. US$ 278.) + shipping