Item 36 is a manuscript of 261 leaves of medical, astronomical, and botanical treatises. It was compiled by Henricus Spijker of Nijmegen, in the lower Rhine region of the Netherlands, in the late 15th century. Spijker was a physician, teacher, and church leader, obviously well respected in the ancient city where he lived. We know he received his medical training in Italy during the first half of the 15th century. Beyond this, we do not know much about him, other than this book reaffirms he was a highly educated man. It was compiled between 1475 and 1493, the year he died. Spijnker has accumulated information from numerous medical texts. Discussed are diseases of the eyes, ears, nose, face, head, skin, leprosy, small-pocks, ulcers, throat, lungs, urine, genitals, nerves, venom, hemorrhoids, worms, phlebotomy, and the dreaded "passions of women." There is a section on astrology, in a different hand, including signs of the planets and zodiac. There is even a volvelle astrolabe for matching up the best times for recovery with the positions of the planets. An alphabetical listing names medicinal plants and herbs, mostly in Latin, some in Dutch. However, what is most notable about this manuscript are the many color illustrations of botanical specimens. Ranging from 4 to 8 to a page, there are around 300 of these drawings, all in the same hand. This is certainly an example of a serious text that is also a work of art.
This is an exceptional catalogue, as large a collection of medieval illustrated manuscripts as we imagine you will find being offered anywhere. All items are described and illustrated in detail, 364 pages dedicated to the 60 items. They are deserving of the effort.