Nurmberge (Nuremberg): J. Weissenburger, . Octavo (159 × 123 mm). Modern green morocco, spine lettered in gilt, boards single ruled in blind, edges green. Housed in a custom-made green slipcase. 14 woodcuts (the first repeated). Engraved bookplate of Catherine Macdonald to the front pastedown. Minor toning, cut close at foot with loss of portions of the decorative borders, a very good copy.
First of three Latin editions printed by Weissenburger. The book derives from the Tractatus (or Speculum) artis bene moriendi, composed in 1415 by an anonymous Dominican friar, probably at the request of the Council of Constance. The Ars Moriendi is taken from the second chapter of that work, and deals with the five temptations that beset a dying man (lack of faith, despair, impatience, spiritual pride, and avarice), and how to avoid them. It was first published as a block book around 1450 in the Netherlands, and it was among the first books printed with movable type. It continued to be popular into the 16th century. (Item #1111)