Askha[m], Anthony. A litle Herball of the properties of Herbes. newly amended & corrected, wyth certayn Additions at the end of the boke, declaring what Herbes hath influence of certain Sterres and constellations, wherby maye be chosen the best and most lucky tymes and dayes of their ministracion, according to the Moone beyng in the signes of heaue[n] the which is daily appointed in the Almanacke. London: Ihon Kynge, 12 February 1550 (M. D. L. the.xii.daye of February) [i.e., 1561?].
Octavo (5 5/16” x 3 7/16”, 136mm x 87mm): 2 (modern) binder’s blanks, A-K8, 2 (modern) binder’s blanks [$5; –A.i., B.ii., K.iiii.; E.iii. mis-signed “E.iiii.”]. 80 leaves, pp.  title, blank, , blank, 2 blanks.
Bound in crushed brown morocco by Zaehnsdorf (gilt-stamped to lower edge of front turn-down). With gilt fillet along edges of boards. Seven gilt strokes to head- and tail-piece. Double gilt fillet on turn-downs. On the spine, two raised bands, author, title and printer gilt (ASKHAM’S HERBALL – KYNGE).
In an early hand (the same as the marginalia?) the antepenultimate and penultimate blank pages are covered with manuscript pen-exercises, and the ultimate blank is covered with manuscript herbal remedies and (nonsense?) sentences. The penultimate blank page bears the names of George House (most frequently), Thomen House and John Bacheler. On the antepenultimate blank page the price paid for the book is 0—14—0. The text is black-letter throughout, and there are a few wood-cut initials and a wood-cut tail-piece at the end. The margins of the current item are superior to the University of Wisconsin copy (on EEBO, = STC 857). All copies other than ours of which we know are lacking the final blank (K8). K5r-K7r comprise an index, which is of limited use as the book is unpaginated. No copies of the book are recorded at auction, and there are fewer than 10 copies in institutional libraries.
Askham (sometimes Ascham) was the younger brother of Roger Askham, the foremost hellenist of XVIc England. Eventually prominent as an astrologer, he published this herbal first; the given date is 1550, but the STC disbelieves it and suggests 1561 on the evidence of the Stationers’ Register, which was only kept from 1554. It is far from clear that a date of 1550 for the present item is out of the question. There are various spellings of the title (lytel, little), and the work was also published by Wyllyam Powell in 1550 (though there is no reason to believe Powell’s date more than Kynge’s, except that Kynge did not have a license to print until 1557). Askham’s involvement is with the almanac, which was perhaps printed in 1550. The herbal itself is an adaptation of Richard Banckes’s herbal of 1525, the first English herbal.
John Bacheler could be one of many members of the Ba(t)chel(d)er family of Surrey active in the late XVIth century. House was a common enough surname in the period.
Intriguingly, the text contains... no astrological material whatsoever! Still, a Zaehnsdorf binding is a lovely way to die.