Original Woodblocks - W.Mayerpeck, G. Liberale

Publication: P.A.Mattioli, Commentarii in sex libros Pedaci Dioscoridis, Venetiis, Ex Officina Valgrisiana, 1565

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Stacks Image 4208
Stacks Image 10770
Mattioli, Pietro Andrea

[Three Original Woodblocks from the Large Edition of COMMENTARII IN SEX LIBROS PEDACII DIOSCORIDIS. Prague, BEFORE 1562, or Venice, BEFORE 1565.]

Approximately 218 x 150 mm.
The blocks are cut from the plank of pear wood and two have labels in Duhamel de Monceau's hand attached to their backs.

In the eighteenth century the blocks were bought by the French botanist, Henri Louis Duhamel de Monceau (1700-1782). He used 154 of them to illustrate his two volume Traité des Arbres el Arbustes in 1755. A number, possibly as many as seven hundred, of the woodblocks were discovered in Duhamel de Monceau's chateau in 1956 and began to be dispersed. One hundred ten of the Mattioli woodblocks came on the market in Europe in the 1990's. The blocks are cut from the plank of pear wood and many have labels in Duhamel's hand attached to their backs. 

The large Mattioli woodblocks were designed by Georgio Liberale, an Italian artist from Udine who had been working for the imperial court in Prague, and a German named Wolfgang Meyerpeck. Their work resulted in some of the finest woodcuts of any herbal produced in any century. The blocks were first used in a Czech edition printed in Prague in 1562 by George Melantrichus. They were then used again in a 1563 German translation again printed in Prague this time by Georg Handsch.

These three woodblocks have been used for the 1565 edition :

1. Centaurium magnum. Woodcut in Book II, chapter VI (p. 653). On the verso, engraved in the woodblock in XVIe century capital letters, the name of the plant :
Centaurium maius.

2. Millefolium minus. Woodcut in Book IV, chapter 98 (p. 1142). On the verso, XVIII century manuscript label with the name of the plant: Millefolium vulgare [...] majus CBP 140, by Duhamel du Monceau.

3. Stellaria. Woodcut in Book IV, chapter 115 (p. 1177). On the verso, XVIII century manuscript label with the name of the plant: Alchymilla vulgaris C.B.P. by Duhamel by Monceau.
Price on Request.