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Original price £950.00 - Original price £950.00
Original price
£950.00 - £950.00
Current price £950.00

Weischer, Wilbrand [Rottendorff, Bernhard]: [Greek letters] EUTHANASIA, sive considerationes triginta, quibus homo moribundus adversus mortis horrorem excitari possit animarique: opus posthumum, nunc primum ab interitu vindicatum ex musaeo Bernh. Rottendorffi. Antwerpiae [Antwerp], ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti 1666.

First edition - of which only three hundred copies were printed, on behalf of the editor, Münster physician Bernhard Rottendorff (1594-1671) - this book of considerations on death is illustrated with an intaglio frontispiece of a skeleton, after an image in the famous De humani corporis fabrica (1543), the key anatomical work by Andreas Vesalius. The copy's owner and inscriber - who may well have been gifted it - is likely to be Johann Gassel, sometime rector of Münster's house for the historic confraternity the Brethren of the Common Life. This institution was known as Fraterhaus Springborn, which would give sense to the rest of his inscription ("Ptus F: S:" = Praepositus (Rector) of Fraterhaus Springborn).  The late author (d.1655) - sometime teacher of the editor - had been rector of the same place.

This book of broad learning includes biblical and patristic, and classical and ancient scientific quotations and citations, the last including Pliny, Galen, and Aristotle. On pp. 179-182 the author discusses named women saints, while on 226-228, named virtuous women of ancient Rome. On p.171 he refers to Christian martyrs of Japan, and on p. 207, to English king Henry VIII's break with Rome. At the end of the book is a 7-page poem by the editor, on the death of the author, and a one-page epitaph for the same, which is printed in capitals.


One volume, 18.3 cms. x 10.5 cms. in binding, octavo, pp. 329 [3]. With final blank. Signed: A-V8 X6. First page an intaglio frontispiece. Woodcut 'Labore et constantia' device to title-page. Woodcut tail-pieces and initials. Roman and italic letter, printed side-notes. Light browning, slight foxing and spotting, occasional slight waterstaining, slight soiling, the odd small scorchmark. Bound in contemporary vellum over boards, fore-edge cover extensions, edges speckled blue (binding somewhat soiled, small shelving labels appear neatly removed from head and tail). Inscription to bottom margin of frontispiece: "Jo: Gassell Ptus F:S: 1666".


OCLC shows copies outside mainland Europe at Georgetown, Chicago, Toronto, Saint Bonaventure, Yale Medical School, University of Texas. JISC Library Hub adds Oxford.

Dirk Imhof, 'Aanwinsten van oude drukken voor het Museum Plantin-Moretus in 2007'. De Gulden Passer, Jahrgang 86 (2008), 195-208, see 198-199.

"Bernhard Rottendorff (1594-1671)", Leeds University Special Collections blog, 30 May 2024).

"Johann Gassel“ (GSN: 011-02223-001), in: Germania Sacra (accessed 30 May 2024).

"Wilbrand Weischer“ (GSN: 065-04567-001), in: Germania Sacra (accessed 30 May 2024).