Woodcut port. of the author on verso of title & several woodcuts in the text. Title within typographical border. 12 p.l. (last leaf a blank), 348,  pp. Small thick 8vo, cont. vellum over boards, stamped in blind on upper cover “M N H L” & “1613.” Wittenberg: W. Meisner at the expense of C. Berger, [date of Foreword “1612“].
MATENESIUS, Johann Friedrich. Critices Christianae Libri Duo de Ritu Bibendi super Sanitate, Pontificum, Caesarum, Principum, Ducum, Magnatum Amicorum, Amicarum, &c.… Woodcut printer’s vignette on title. 8 p.l., 189 pp., one blank leaf. Small 8vo (tear to first leaf of text in blank portion of gutter, lacking folding plate as is often the case). Cologne: C. Butgen, 1611.
—, De Luxu et Abusu Vestium nostri temporis, Discursus quadraginta ex Sacrarum Scripturarum, grauissimorumque Auctorum fontibus deducti. Woodcut printer’s vignette on title. 6 p.l., 120 (i.e. 121), one blank leaf. Small 8vo. Cologne: J. Crith, 1612.
VIDA, Marco Girolamo. Schachia…Ludus ingenii, virtutis et honestae voluptatis…in quibus de eius Usu, Origine, et Autore, nec non latrunculis…agitur: adeo ut omni difficultate…obscuritate & ambiguitate sublata…Opera & Studio Lucae Wielii Ligio-Silesii. Small woodcut printer’s vignette on title & one large folding sheet with two plates, one of letterpress & another of a chessboard. 39 unnumbered leaves. Small 8vo. Strasbourg: P. Ledertz, [from a chronogram on title: “1604“].
A wonderful sammelband, containing four very interesting books.
I. First edition of a rare book. WorldCat wrongly attributes this to Balthasar Menz the elder (1500-85); it was written by his son, also Balthasar (1537-1617), historian and dean of the University of Wittenberg, who specialized in writing about the Saxon nobility.
This is an account of several Saxon dukes and princes — including Albrecht III (1443-1500), Ernst (1441-86), Friedrich III the Wise (1463-1525), Heinrich IV the Pious (1473-1541), and Johann Georg I, Elector of Saxony (1585-1656) — and their tours of Palestine and Rome. Menz has provided detailed descriptions of Jerusalem and Rome, as recorded by the Saxon noblemen in their diaries.
II & III. First editions. Matenesius (d. 1621), was professor of history and Greek at the University of Cologne.
The first work is on alcohol, its uses in various religions, and therapeutic values. “A catalogue of the greatest drinkers known to the author.”–Simon, Bibliotheca Gastronomica, 1024. Like most copies, ours lacks the folding woodcut (“Catechismus M. Luther”).
The second work, which is rare, is concerned with the nature of luxury and its abuses, especially regarding the wardrobes of the wealthy and ecclesiastics.
IV. A valuable edition, edited by Lucas Wielius, of Vida’s Scacchia ludus, one of the most popular works on chess ever written. Vida (1485-1566), first published this work in 1525 and it was widely reprinted and translated for 300 years afterward. The chief historical interest of the work lies in its influence upon the names of pieces: the use of “castle” for rook still survives.
Item ID: 6429