Description

    [The Nuremberg Chronicle]. Hartmann Schedel. Liber cronicarum cum figuris et ymaginibus. [Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1493]. First Latin edition. Folio. Approximately 17.25 x 11.75 inches. [xx], I-CCLXXXXIX, [6] leaves. Profusely illustrated with over 1,800 woodcuts (many are repeats, as issued), including both double-page maps (one of Europe, the other a World map). Rubricated throughout. One large (fourteen-line) floral initial in red and brown. Beautifully bound in eighteenth-century full brown calf, boards elaborately paneled in gilt with gilt central ornaments. Rebacked to style in full brown calf, spine elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, eight raised bands. All edges gilt and beautifully gauffered. Minor wear to boards. This copy lacks the final blank and leaf CCLVIIII (printed with headline, but otherwise blank). Present are the two other blanks (XXLX and CCLXI) and five unnumbered leaves of "De Sarmacia Regione." The portrait of Pope Joan (on verso of CLXIX) is undamaged (often missing from this title). Repaired tear to title-page near bottom (not affecting text), nearly fifty leaves with mainly minor marginal repairs (many with marginal reinforcement). Some thumbsoiling, rubbing to text. A beautiful and generally clean copy of this magnificent book. The J. Hamilton Leigh and Jacobus Cowan de Rosshall copy with their bookplates.

    Hartmann Schedel compiled this elaborate history of the world from ""the first day of creation"" to his own time in an effort to correct what he felt was a slight to German history by other chroniclers. He divided his work into the usual six ages of the history of mankind, adding a seventh in which he foretold the coming of the Antichrist, the destruction of the world, and judgment day. There is mention made of the invention of printing and on the verso of folio CCLXXXV is a passage relating to the ""Portuguese voyage of discovery along the coast of Africa in 1483 [1484], under the direction of Diego Cam and Martin Behaim of Nuremberg, which has been used as a basis for the unwarranted theory that the expedition reached America"" (Sabin 77523 and 77525 note). (Church 7). "There are [over 1800] woodcuts printed from 645 different blocks. They picture the major events of the Old and New Testaments, episodes in the lives of many saints, portraits of prophets, kings, popes, heroes, and great men of all centuries, freaks of nature, and panoramic views of cities. An economic use of the blocks resulted in certain curious anomalies: Nebuchadnezzar appeared later as several German emperors, and the town of Mainz does service also for Naples. Nuremberg artists Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff were responsible for the production of the book...The wood blocks were designed by the two masters and their assistants, including the young Albrecht Durer, who was apprenticed to Wolgemut at the time. The printing was carried out under the supervision of the great scholar-printer Anton Koberger, whose illustrated books were famous throughout Europe" (Legacies of Genius 5). BMC II, p. 437. Fairfax Murray, German, 394. Goff S-307. Hain 14508*. Harrisse 13. Polain 3469. Proctor 2084*. Sabin 77523. Schreiber 5203. Updike, Printing Types, I, p. 65. See Wilson, The Making of the Nuremberg Chronicle (1976)




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