Margarita medicin(a)e. ein meisterlichs usserlesens Biechlin der Artzeny für mancherley kranckheit vnd siechtagen der menschen. Gemacht durch Johannem Tollat von Vochenberg in der weitberümpte Universitet zu Wien bey dem aller erfarnisten man d(er) Artzeny doctor Schrick.
Strasbourg: [Matthias Hupfuff], 1508.
Quarto: 20 x 14 cm. XXXIX (recte 38),  lvs.
NINTH? EDITION (1st ed. 1497).
Printer information from Schmidt (see references.) A very good copy in modern marbled boards. Lightly soiled, a few contemporary corrections to page numbering, tiny chip to blank corner of title, occ. light marginal staining. With a woodcut title illustration (repeated on the final leaf) showing a doctor treating his bed-ridden patient.
An early and (like all early editions) very rare edition of this popular medical book describing plant-based remedies for a host of illnesses, first printed in 1497 by Albert Kunne at Memmingen under the title "Büchlin der Artzney". The book began to be printed with the title “Margarita medicinae” beginning in 1500.
As in the “Hortus sanitatis”, the chapters are arranged alphabetically based on the Latin drug names. A valuable index at the end gives one-line descriptions of the ailments treated in each chapter, keyed to the leaf number on which they are to be found, adding greatly to the book’s versatility. Written in the vernacular, Tallat’s book made specialized pharmacological knowledge available to the uneducated classes. Moreover, while many of the plants mentioned in other pharmacopoepiae were exotic and expensive, many of the plants prescribed by Tallat were more readily available and cheaper. Twenty-five of the remedies described are specifically for treating women, especially pregnant women and mothers, including treating women who must deliver a stillborn infant.
In the title of the work, the author is named as Johannes Tollat von Vochenberg. While Sudhoff failed to find any evidence of Tallat’s existence, Helmut Walther (“Johann Tallat von Vochenberg Zu seiner Biographie und seinem Arzneibuch”) has pieced together the identity of the author, who was a teacher at the Latin school of the monastery in Kempten (Allgau). But there is an additional name mentioned in the title: .. . “that most experienced man of medicine, doctor Schrich”. This is the renowned physician Michael Puff von Schrick (1400-1473), dean of the medical faculty at the University of Vienna and physician to Archduke Albrecht II. Adding Schrick's name on the title might have been an advertisement aimed at promoting the sale of the book.
Around 1463, Schrick had put together a small prescription book (‘medicamenta praescripta ad usum pauperum, ne semper ad apothecam recurrere necesse habeant’) to provide basic pharmaceutical knowledge to the lower classes. It is possible that Johann Birk, who had studied with Schrick in Vienna in 1459-68, brought this text to Kempten, prompting Tallat to produce his own book.
Internal evidence makes it clear that Tallat was familiar with some of Schrick’s work or with manuscript collections that were transmitted under his name. However, Walther has demonstrated that the main source for Tallat in writing the “Büchlin der Artzney” was the German-language “Hortus sanitatis”. Tallat draws from the “Hortus”, sometimes quoting verbatim, at other times paraphrasing, and in an interesting case of synthesis, several times credits Schrick with information that he has drawn from the “Hortus” (for these instances, see Walther, p. 287-290)
Walther, “Johann Tallat von Vochenberg Zu seiner Biographie und seinem Arzneibuch (1497)” in Sudhoffs Archiv, Vol. 54, 3 (1970), pp. 277-293. Sudhoff, “Deutsche medizinische Inkunabeln. Bibliographisch -literarische Untersuchungen.”(1908), entry 5, pp. 34-8, numbers 31-34.
VD 16, T 80; Durling 4368; Muller 62, 82; Schmidt, Matthias Hupfuff (Strassburg, 1893), 734