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2018-01-27 17:26:15
PRAETORIUS, Johann.
Philologemata abstrusa de pollice: in quibus singularia animadversa vom Diebes-Daüme, et manu: item de patibulo, virgula Mercuriali, alruna, esu casei magico &c. Gerrae profanorum refutatae, cum revelata origine vera et admiranda superstitionum; et virga critica castigata habentur aliquot loca ambigua primaria celeberrimorum grammaticorum.Leipzig, Elias Fiebig; printed in Zagan (now in Poland) by Johann Ockel, 1677. Small 4to (19.5 x 16 cm). With a woodcut illustration on title-page showing a hand with turned up thumb, and one woodcut in text (p. 195) showing a hand divided into alphabetical compartments. 18th-century vellum.
ADB XXVI, pp. 520-529, no. 33; Caillet 8951; Faber du Faur 764; VD17 23:741244G. First and only edition of a curious collection of material on the history of superstition by the prolific and versatile, but later unjustly overlooked author, Johann Praetorius, the partly Latinized name of Hans Schultze (1630-1680). "Praetorius had an open eye and a sharp ear for all wonder stories, witch tales, and accounts of ghosts and sorcery current among the people. He indefatigably collected all information on remarkable subjects and happenings, and was fond of popular gossip, even of the uncouth type . [The Philologemata] deals with the superstitious belief that a finger [thumb] cut off from the hand of a hanged thief serves as a good luck charm, and with vagabonds, diving rods, etc." (Faber du Faur). The thumbs-up woodcut on the title-page therefore has a more sinister meaning than one might first think.Title-page with subtly restored fore-edge margin, some usual minor browning and pages 6-7 printed unsharp, otherwise in very good condition.
Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books [t Goy Houten, Netherlands]
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