Melosine geschicht Mit den figuren (Von einer frowen genannt Melusina) Translated into German by Thüring von Ringoltingen, [Heidelberg: Heinrich Knoblochtzer], 1491. Tenth edition in German. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG, €180'000.

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Among the highlights is this 1491 edition of Thüring von Ringoltingen’s translation of the French story Melusina by Couldrette.

The tale is of an impoverished knight, Raymond and his fairy-bride, the title character, which originated around the year 1200. Melusine agrees to marry Raymond on the condition that he avoids her on Saturdays, and they have 10 children together. However, the tale takes a tragic turn when Raymond breaks his promise, and finds that his wife is actually half-human, half-snake.

In this volume, the 10th German edition, which has 67 woodcuts accompanying the text and is offered for €180,000, Ringoltingen opts for an emphasis on the courtly and moral aspects of the story to reach a wider audience.

The Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne’s (SLAM) Winter Rare Book Fair runs online this year until tomorrow, December 13. It features 142 exhibitors from around the world, members of either SLAM or ILAB.


Albrecht Dürer, The large Passion. Passio domini nostri Jesu. Nuremberg: [Hieronymus Hölzel for] Albrecht Dürer, 1511. First edition in book form with Latin text. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG. €250,000.

Other highlights from Jörn Günther include a first edition of Albrecht Durer’s The large Passion, which is offered for €250,000 and Fasiculus medicinae (1500), by Johannes de Ketham, a medical textbook accompanied by colourful and experimental illustrations, which is offered for €78,000.

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Johannes de Ketham, Fasciculus medicinae; incl. Petrus de Tussingano, Concilium pro peste evitanda, and other texts. Venice: Johannes et Gregorius de Gregoriis, 1500. Third Latin edition. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG, €135,000.

“This year, we are all looking for ways to reassure ourselves, to make the world seem less unpredictable than it has been over the last twelve months,” the dealership says. “The Salon d’Hiver Virtuel allows visitors to take comfort in the centuries of unchanging knowledge and artistry on display, joining over 100 exhibitors to celebrate rare books.”