A remarkable piece of medical history is currently up for auction at Christie's. The item in question is the Hortus sanitatis, a first edition printed in Mainz in 1491 by Jacob Meydenbach. This book is revered as "the most important medical woodcut book printed before 1500" and is heavily illustrated.
The Hortus sanitatis is an expanded Latin version of Peter Schoeffer's Gart der Gesundheit from 1485. It serves as an illustrated natural history encyclopedia with a strong focus on how the natural world can enhance human well-being. While it borrows woodcuts from its predecessor, this edition boasts over 1,000 images, including new designs not found in the original work.
One notable addition to the book is what is believed to be the earliest depiction of oil collection. The text describes petroleum and includes a woodcut illustrating oil pouring from a rock and being collected in a vessel.
With a bid count of zero, interested buyers have the opportunity to secure this rare piece of medical literature for themselves. As it stands, the current best bid is set at $35,000. However, prospective bidders should act quickly as the auction will come to an end on February 2, 2024.
The historical significance and unique provenance of this unrestored first edition make it a valuable acquisition for collectors and scholars alike. Its rich illustrations and detailed descriptions offer insights into medicine and natural history during the fifteenth century.
Whether one's interest lies in medicinal plants, animals, minerals, or simply delving into early medical practices and beliefs, the Hortus sanitatis provides an invaluable resource. Don't miss this chance to own a piece of medical history; place your bid at Christie's today!
Platform : Christie's
Latest Bid : $35,000
Auction End : Feb 02, 2024
Source : Christie's