Dysart Memorial Collection Virtual Exhibition - Item 22
Sebastian Brant

Dysart Memorial Collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts - Item 22

Sebastian Brant, 1458-1521.  Stultifera Navis ... per Sebastianu Brant ... atque iampri dem per Iacobum Locher cognometo Philomusum: Sueuu in latinu traducta eloquiu ... 1498.  Nihil sine causa.  Io. de Olpe.

The famous fifteenth-century satire on mankind's weaknesses and follies, The Ship of Fools, composed in humorous verse by the German humanist Sebastian Brant, was first published in Basel by Johann Bergmann in 1494.  Illustrated by woodcuts, many of which authorities now believe were designed by Albrecht Dürer, it was immediately taken up by other printers and several unauthorized reprints using the original woodcuts appeared in other German cities in the same year.  In 1497 a Latin translation done by Brant's friend Jacob Locher was published by the original printer.  This copy is dated 1498.  The volume contains one hundred and seventeen woodcuts, the first in the book bearing the date 1497 as does Bergmann's device which follows the colophon.  The device shows a lion with a shield bearing six hills surmounted by a fleur-de-lis, which is surrounded by a scroll "Nihil Sine Causa," the date, and another scroll "Io. Bergman De Olpe."  There are ornamental side borders.  The binding is of wooden boards, with calf back tooled in blind.  The catch and clasp are missing.

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Dysart Memorial Collection Virtual Exhibition