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Home Dispensary, Switzerland, 17th century

17th century
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About this work


'Haus-Apothec. An die hand gebende Allerley für eüsserliche und Innerliche gebrechen des leibs, dienstliche und bewärthe Artzney mittel. Aus aller hand verrümbten Autoribus, anfangs züsamen getragen Von Herren Johan Heinrich füsi gewesiten Pfarrer zu Birmenstorff Anno 1626. Hernach aber umb vil vermehret Von Rudolff Wirt, Ludimoderatore, under verwalter der Stiff. Anno 1670'.

Manual of domestic medicine compiled in 1670 by one Rudolf Wirt, a schoolmaster, based on an original recipe collection of Johann Heinrich Füsi, a priest of Birmensdorf [canton Zürich], made in 1626.

In German, with some headings and entries in Latin.

The first part of Wirt's text is conventionally arranged in anatomical chapters from head to toe, beginning with recipes for the head (ff. 4-18), then the eyes (19-23), ears (24-26), nose (27-28), teeth (29-31), mouth and neck (32-37), heart (38-40), lungs (41v.-43), liver (43v.-44), spleen (45), chest (46-48), stomach (49-52), belly (53-59), navel (59v-60), private parts (60v.-68), fingers and toes (70-73), and legs (73v.-79).

This arrangement is followed by a more heterogeneous section, in which the organisation by chapters eventually breaks down, covering such matters as bathing, wounds, wine and cookery, alchemical receipts, plasters, ointments, powders, drinks and waters (ff. 80-213).

The main hand, which may or may not be Wirt's, was also responsible for the index (ff.239-244). The main text is written in a formal, calligraphic hand that nevertheless provides personal notes (eg f. 51, recipe for a stomach medicine prepared for the compiler in 1651). There is a calligraphic title page (f. 3) and an additional title (f. 2), with architectural border in ink and grey wash. At least three other hands are evident throughout the volume, inserting additional entries, the latest of which dates one entry 1799 (f. 174v.).


17th century

Physical description

253 ff. 1 volume: 210 x 160 mm., 253 ff. (original foliation 1-47, 47-206, pagination 207-264, and unnumbered). Black leather binding, with remains of clasps.

Acquisition note

Purchased from Bernard Quaritch, 2001.

Ownership note

Ownership inscription of Beat Wirt, goldsmith, 1716, at base of title (f.3); a later ownership inscription appears to be by the same hand as the entry dated 1799 (f.1v.).

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from Richard Aspin and Christopher Hilton's typescript supplement to S.A.J Moorat's Catalogue of Western Manuscripts.


  • German
  • Latin

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