Probably the first edition of a peculiar parodic sermon by the entirely fictitious Father John of Schauenberg, in which he likens people, professions, and social classes to birds: The King of Poland, for his aggression, is an eagle; clerics are waddling geese; students, for their capricious inattention, are goldfinches; mercenaries are griffins; sinners, are, paradoxically, swallows, a species that traditionally symbolized loyalty to family and friends. Virgins are sparrows, the death-omen bird. The unknown author of our satirical New Years' sermon finds great wit in his own writing, and winks at the reader with variable allusions to birds in German history, literature, and folklore. Our pamphlet is illustrated with an arresting line-engraved frontis of Father John in a pulpit gesturing heavenward to perched and airborne birds, bats, and griffins, while a congregation of people stands below in penitential uncertainty. Hayn and Gotendorf, in their Bibliotheca Germanorum Erotica & Curiosa find the sermon a simple litany of "crude satyrs", though it does not seem as gross and bawdy as they have adjudged it. The dating and printing history of the satire is unclear, though the text appeared in 1735 in an unillustrated edition of eight pages (VD18 12498122); we postulate our edition is earlier, partly because the printer reduces fount sizes for the second gathering, the kind of planning error that more reasonably attends first editions. But we note additionally that VD18 assigns a date 0f 1745 to our book. A most compelling social satire, likely published between the end of the seventeenth century and 1735.
Germany: ? 1700-1735.
Quarto, 202 x 168 x 1 mm. π1, A3, B4; , 14 pp. A4 evidently cancelled, with text continuous. A4 may in fact be π1; the unidentified watermark moieties seem to match. Unbound, spine lined with a strip of marbled paper. Interior: clean.
Deaccessioned from ULB Sachsen-Anhalt, with circular ink stamps on blank recto of frontis and blank verso of title; evidently sold at Zisska-Schauer, lot 652, 2 May 2018; acquired by us from Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, September 2020.
Hayn & Gotendorf, (Vol. III., p. 454, dating the book to the end of the seventeenth century, and in Vol. V., p. 370, to c1700), VD18 10774904 (this specific copy).