Aesop's Fables. 1569 Esopus Leben und Fabeln... und exempeln Sebastian Brant. Illustrations by Kumpt. Graff, Fryberg (Graf, Freiberg)


Wonderfully restored German Aesop's Life and Fables, 1569 Esopi Leben und Fabeln, with the works of both Heinrich Steinhowel, and Sebastian Brandt (the latter considered to be one of the best Latin translations of the 16th century, translated into German by Johann Adelphus Muling). Also includes fables attributed to Avianus, Poggio (his Dirty Speeches), among others.

This edition includes the well-respected title page illustration (based on the Ulm Aesopas title page) and many small woodcuts of Benedict Kumpt, a painter from Mulhouse in Alsace (mentioned in Basel court records from 1520-1527). On the title page, around Aesop, are scenes from his life and fables.

This copy has been lovingly restored, handsomely bound, and is now complete (rare, for this work) though with some facsimile leaves. The facsimile leaves were copied from a second 1569 copy, on laid paper, so they fill the missing spaces perfectly. You would be hard-pressed to find a nicer copy; with care this copy is ready for further centuries of exploration and use.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 18.8 x 14 x 3.5 cm. Pigskin binding (not polished, possibly reversed), blind-tooled. Boards blind-tooled with frames of ruling, a decorative roll, and corners around the frame. Spine with four raised-bands, each ruled in blind. Illustrated. Full-page title page illustration, and many small woodcuts throughout the text block.

Pages - (5 - blank), a8 (a1 title page), b4, X8, Y6 (5 - blank). 174 leaves (twenty-six in facsimile).

In this year's printing, the colophon is found at the end of the register (at the front of the book), rather than on the last leaf (as in the 1555).

Other Copies -

I can't find record of an existing 1531 copy. Three copies of the 1545 edition are recorded at OCLC (845347487, 934310835), and one in The Morgan (PML126057). Two copies of the 1555 edition are recorded in OCLC (44823222). Four copies of the 1569 edition in OCLC (1099940054, 493659847, 930659159); one of these copies is in the German library system. USTC records the 1569 edition as 653873, and claims Germany has five copies, which might be true but I've noticed that sometimes different German libraries claim the same copy; also, Russia's library (formerly the Lenin) claims one.

Condition -

See pictures. A wonderful book. Beautiful fresh binding, no wear.

Fresh endpapers, appropriate aged laid paper. All blank endpapers, and pastedown have "Grav. (ylus?)" written in pencil; I believe this is a warning that the book contains a small portion of facsimile pages.

Toning throughout the text block with some spots in paper. "Socis Jesu (ind?) Ao 1626" written at top of title page, soiling at bottom edge, Japanese tissue repair at corners. Occasional moisture mark, at edges at front, more towards rear and in text. Occasional crease mark of dog-eared page. Tissue repair at lxi, and gutter of last leaf (174).

Leaves partially repaired with facsimile joined by tissue to extant - 101, 129, 132, 143, 153.

Entire facsimile leaf, bound in, laid paper (not aged, photocopy)- 102 to 109, 111, 117 to 127, 130, 134, 135, 151, 152, 171 and 172 (twenty-seven leaves).

An absolutely stunning restoration. Ready for the next five hundred years. Complete, handsome and sturdy.

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