Manuscript on paper in German entitled on upper cover “Artzney Buech vor Krancke Pferdt.”

99 leaves, including a few blanks, with pagination up to “224“ (therefore lacking some leaves; see below), [11] further leaves in a somewhat later hand. Folio (338 x 221 mm.), modern boards with a portion with title of the orig. cover pasted-on. [Germany, probably the Allgäu region in southwestern Bavaria, ca. 1770-1800, with additions up to c. 1850].

An extensive fragment of a collection of equine remedies apparently used by several generations of blacksmiths or veterinary surgeons named Müller or Miller. A number of features point to the manuscript having originated in the Allgäu region in southwestern Bavaria.

Ailments treated include “pain of the body,” colic, jaundice, “palpitation of the heart,” excessive appetite, “the horse constantly eating but steadily decreasing,” and “the horse being ill but with no indication of what exactly is troubling it.” The original core of the manuscript comprises about 75 pages written in a tidy German cursive script in dark brown ink, with additions added apparently by the same hand a little later in somewhat lighter ink. The manuscript is interspersed with numerous further additions, dated between 1773 and 1799, signed in several places by one Johannes Miller, who here and there (for instance, on page 197) describes himself as a blacksmith.

Oftentimes, a recipe’s source is given at the end of the text or in the ample margins; for instance “the learned Ruini in his Anatomy” (Carlo Ruini’s Anatomia del Cavallo of 1598) is a favorite. Also, we find one Georg or Johann Georg Bolzmacher, a blacksmith specializing in iron skillets, who spent “fifteen years in the war” and “had learnt his trade in France, where he had cured hundreds.” Other authors include a Swiss named Abraham Otto, “in his booklet” (page 15), and Bernhard Naumann in his “Leipzig Horse Doctor” of 1780 (page 183). There are various references to blacksmiths or veterinary surgeons named Miller or Müller. A marginal note on page 66, for instance, says “In Michael Miller’s book there is the following…” Another note, on page 216, mentions “a secret given by Michael Miller,” and on page 222 a recipe is “approved by Johannes and Matthias Müller.”

Some remarks on the origin of certain cures point to Bavaria’s southwestern Allgäu region as the home of our manuscript. On page 53, for instance, Michael Miller is described as “a smith in Hindelang,” while a marginal note on page 130 mentions a “blacksmith at the court in Kempten.” A “tried and trusted cure for the warm gout in horses” was given, according to a marginal note on page 221, “by Johannes Dietman(n), horsesmith in the service of the electoral court at Kempten,” and one Johannes Rapp was “surgeon at Hindelang” (page 223).

Further evidence of an Allgäu provenance is provided by some of the addenda on the eleven unnumbered leaves at the end of the manuscript. The first entry, “to combat a cattle plague that was rampant in 1800,” is signed by parson Ignatz Betz in Warmisried, which is south of Mindelheim in the Lower Allgäu district. Furthermore, there are several transcriptions of articles in the Augsburger Postzeitung, a local periodical, including a recipe for curing foot and mouth disease, anonymously published on 5 August 1800 — here attributed to “Veterinary surgeon Müller.” The manuscript ends with numerous transcriptions from various veterinary periodicals and monographs.

Regarding the collation: the original pagination ends on page 224. On one leaf, it jumps from recto 89 to verso 100; on another, from recto 54 to verso 56. In other places, a number of leaves obviously went missing before the modern binding was supplied. The pages with paginations still extant are: 5-8, 11-22, 25-32, 35-54, 56-89, 100-138, 141-154, 156-211, and 214-224, followed by eleven leaves neither paginated nor foliated.

In fine condition.

Price: $2,750.00

Item ID: 6713