At first glance one notices the unusual oblong-shaped book at 9” x 7” x 3” in a deep brown leather binding.
Peeking inside, there are pages and pages of botanical woodcuts – more than 1,020 – each with at least two woodcuts per leaf. For our purposes, a woodcut is an illustration engraved into a block of wood.
What is this copiously-illustrated work?
Eicones plantarum seu stirpium, arborum nempe, fructicum, herbarum, fructuum, lignorum, radicum, omnis generis : tam inquilinorum, quàm exoticorum : quæ partim Germania sponte producit, partim ab exteris regionibus allata in Germania plantantur : in gratiam medicinæ reiâque herbariæ studiosorum, in tres partes digestæ : adiecto indice gemino locupletissimo [Francofurti ad Moenum: Nicolao Bassaeo, 1590], by Iacobus Theodorus (1522 or 1525 – 1590).
Or, using an abridged, summarized, and modernized translated title, “Pictures of plants, trees, herbs, fruits, and roots that are native to Germany and foreign countries, which are used for medicinal purposes, for apothecary students, and divided into three parts with the addition of a double index”.