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Brian and Darlene Heidtke

Ship of Fools

One of the few sixteenth-century books that could claim the status of a bestseller, Sebastian Brant's Das Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools) survived through multiple editions following close on the heels of its original publication in 1494. The book's satirical take on classical authors and established scholars was targeted at the new sophisticated reading public. Among its other attributes, the work includes one of the earliest references to Columbus' voyage to the New World. The significance of Brant's text, however, has long been surpassed by the importance of its illustrations. Many of the 115 woodcuts were executed by a young Albrecht Dürer. This edition is the fourth of five, and with only three other copies known to exist, easily the rarest of the Brant editions. With this acquisition, the Library of Congress would stand as the only repository in the world to hold a complete run of this important work.







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