Only Juan de Burgos edition, and second (of three) incunabular Spanish editions of the collection of variable medical texts known as the Fasciculus medicinae ("little bundle of medicine"), traditionally attributed to Johannes de Ketham. Karl Sudhoff postulated in the 1920s that Ketham was in fact Hans von Kircheim of Swabia, but there is little evidence today to support this assertion. Ketham in fact authored none of the treatises, and indeed is innocent of even compiling them; his name came to be associated with the collection by virtue of his ownership of an early manuscript copy, and in particular his use the Fasciculus medicinae as a teaching aid for his students around 1460-65. The epitome of texts has a manuscript tradition dating to 1400, though only two or three MSS survive today. The editio princeps of the Fasciculus medicinae, published in Italy in 1491, contained texts on urinoscopy, phlebotomy, judicial medicine, women's health, and trauma medicine, and is considered the first substantively illustrated printed medical text. By the time of the appearance of Juan de Burgos's Spanish edition, the Fasciculus medicinae had evolved, with the addition of new texts and including changes in the character and nature of the illustrations. The eight woodcuts1 in our book are mostly based on those illustrating the Hurus edition [Zaragoza: 15 August, 1494], though newly cut for Juan de Burgos's edition. We find, on verso of title, a full-page woodcut of the diagnostic "Urine Wheel;" to a2r a half-page cut of two physicians in dialogue over urine in a glass; to b3v a full-page cut of Homo Sigorum ("Zodiac Man"); to b6 a folding woodcut anatomical illustration of a pregnant woman; to d2 a folding woodcut of the so-called "Wound Man"; to e2v a full-page woodcut of "Disease Man;" to f1v a small cut of a martyred Saint Sebastian introducing a tract on plague; and to k1v a quarter-page cut within a four-part decorative border of a couple in their marriage bed witnessing a visitation from an angel. This final cut introduces the ninth and last text, a treatise on sexuality and procreation.
Our copy is imperfect, wanting four text leaves; five other leaves are damaged with loss, including title and the two folding leaves; margins of numerous leaves mended, and the four wanting leaves replaced in photofacsimile. Spanish incunabula are very often found in a woeful state, and copies in any condition are uncommon on the market; illustrated vernacular Spanish medical texts especially so. No copies of any incunable Spanish edition of the Fasciculus medicinae has appeared at auction in recent memory. The present edition is known in seven institutional copies, most defective. Of the fourteen total copies of the three known incunabular Spanish editions, there are only three complete exemplars—Juan de Burgos editions at Pamplona, the Hispanic Society Library, and Huntington.
1In the text there are also smaller woodcuts of zodiacal symbols, urine glasses, and numerous decorative and historiated initials.
Burgos: Juan de Burgos, 1495.
Folio, 312 x 220 x 21 mm (text block). a8, b9, c6, d7, e-g8, h6, i-k4. LXVIII ff. IMPERFECT: Wanting four leaves: d3-6 (ff XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, and XXIX). 64 of 68 ff. Modern binding of dark brown blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards in Spanish style, brass clasps renewed, gatherings resewn and new endbands sewn in place. Interior: Numerous leaves mended at margins with somewhat inappropriate and ill-matching paper stock; title mended at margins, affecting a few words of text verso (text renewed in manuscript); fore-edges of leaves of first half of text block mended with same paper stock; the two folding plates (b3 and d2) each defective, wanting the top halves (both restored in facsimile); tail margin of f. b1 abraded (not near text); b8 torn at fore-margin, affecting several words of text r and v (mended, wanting text renewed in manuscript); about 20% of f4 torn away at tail fore-corner, affecting text r and v (mended, wanting text renewed in manuscript); staining and soiling passim. In spite of defects, the work retains generous margins and a marked punch to the type, and a proliferation of later manuscript marginalia in two different hands is preserved.
Numerous compelling later manuscript custodial remarks (late-16th and early-17th century) to title page, mostly illegible, excepting the signatures of J[ua]n de PoVaz Sonzes de Sousa and Pedro Desou[i]sa.
GW M14195; ISTC ik00018000; Goff K18; Copinger 2301; Klebs 575.2; Haebler 246 (with an incorrect collation and leaf count); Kurz 221; Pellechet 4585; CIBN K-8; Polain (B) 1402; IBE 3410.