Chancery folio (285 x 195mm.), 192 leaves (of 194, without initial two blank leaves), 35 lines, Gothic letter, 2- to 10-line woodcut initials, 12 full-page woodcut illustrations coloured in an early hand, text on [a]5r printed in red, contemporary half blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, two clasps and catches, blue edges, binding carefully restored at edges
HC 4043; BMC ii 336; BSB-Ink K-46; Klebs 300.3; Goff C844. ISTC records only ten copies, of which two are incomplete.
Conrad von Megenberg (1309-1374), who studied in Paris and Vienna and became a canon of Regensburg cathedral, wrote this vernacular encyclopedic treatise in 1349-1351 based on a text attributed to Thomas of Cantimpré, De rerum natura. It is generally considered to be the first work of natural history in German. It contains chapters on zoology, botany, herbs, anatomy, metals, precious stones and astronomy, including a description of a comet seen by Conrad in Paris in 1337.
This is Bämler's third edition of this text, first printed by him in 1475, which was the first printed book to contain botanical and zoological illustrations.
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