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New Vollkommen Distillierbüch wolgegründter künstlicher Distillation, sampt Underweisung und Bericht, künstlich Abzuziehen oder Separieren, die fürnembste distillierte Wasser, …
BRUNSCHWIG, Hieronymus. Frankfurt am Main, heirs of Christian Egenolff, 1597.

Folio. 17th-century vellum. With title-page in red and black, woodcut publisher’s device above colophon at end, well over 300 woodcuts in the text, fraktur type, and 10 woodcut decorated fraktur initial letters. [6], 217 [= 216] ll.

Rare 16th-century edition of Brunschwig’s classic account of distillation, which in fact ranges quite broadly over botany and pharmacy and is very extensively illustrated. About three-fourths of the woodcuts provide botanical illustrations, while most of the rest show distilling equipment. It remained the authoritative manual for distillation through most of the sixteenth century.

Hieronymus Brunschwig (c. 1450-c. 1512), a Strasbourg surgeon, studied the earlier medical writers critically, making good use of his own experience. While his works on surgery made valuable contributions, the present work was his most original and important. It first appeared in 1500 under the title Liber de Arte Distillandi de Simplicibus, and was quickly translated into many languages. This version became known as the Kleines Distillierbüch, while the 1512 Liber de Arte Distillandi de Compositis became known as the Gross Distillierbüch. Johan Grüninger at Strasbourg published the first and many later editions. In 1545, Christian Egenolff published a new edition at Frankfurt, the Gross Distillierbüch, and his heirs published the present edition, edited by the distinguished Strasbourg physician Walther Hermann Ryff (d. 1548).

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