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    The Rare Second Edition of the First Book in German on Witchcraft, Illustrated with Woodcuts

    Johann Geiler von Kaiserberg. Die Emeis ["The Ant-Colony"]. Strassburg: Johannes Grienninger, 1517. Second edition of this famous work on witches, with Baldung Grien's woodcuts depicting evil deeds as done by witches (on the verso of fol. xxxxi, is a famous woodcut of a werewolf attacking two people) and other subjects on religion. Two parts in one volume. Small folio. Approximately 11 x 7.5 inches. 90 fols. Lacking fols. v and vi. With twenty-two woodcuts, including one each on each title-page (all present), and with numerous woodcut initials. Bound in elegant later (eighteenth-century?) full brown calf, boards decoratively ruled and paneled in dark brown, spine decoratively stamped in gilt, two dark brown gilt morocco lettering labels, four raised bands, marbled endleaves, all edges marbled. Spine a bit sunned, some light wear to binding, boards bowed, first title-page re-mounted and reinforced at bottom margin, some neat ink markings and notations (contemporary?) throughout. Two small library bookplates on front pastedown. Still, a very good copy.

    Geiler von Kaiserberg (1445-1510) was one of the most prominent preachers and theologians of pre-reformation Germany, mainly preaching in the cathedral at Strassburg. In 1508, he preached several sermons which were transcribed and later printed in 1516 - many of which dealt with witchcraft. The first part of this work deals mainly with witchcraft; the second part concerns sins that incorporate the mouth (gluttony, lying, swearing, etc.). STC German p. 355 (the 1516 first edition). Kors and Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, pp. 236, 237.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
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