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    A Magnificent Facsimile Edition of a Hand-Colored Nuremberg Chronicle

    Hartmann Schedel. Das Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten. [Translated from the original Latin by Georg Alt]. [Originally printed in Nuremberg: Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, December, 12, 1493; this facsimile edition: Leipzig: Edition Leipzig, 1990]. A superb, full-color facsimile of the first German edition of Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle. The images taken from the hand-colored copy in the Central Library of German Classics, Weimar. Folio. Approximately 17.25 x 12 inches. 299 leaves (including two facsimile blank leaves) and facsimile endleaves. Bound to style in modern full brown morocco, three brown gilt morocco lettering labels on spine, decorative brass cornerpieces. Minor rubbing, else fine. An absolutely magnificent facsimile of one of the most important printed books of the late fifteenth-century.

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    Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle is the most extensively illustrated book of the fifteenth century. The artists, Michael Wolgemut, the well-known teacher of Albrecht Dürer, and his stepson, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, are mentioned in the colophon. The woodcuts comprise religious subjects from the Old and New Testament, classical and medieval history, and a large series of city views (including Augsburg, Bamberg, Basel, Cologne, Nuremberg, Rome, Ulm, Vienna), as well as a double-page map of Europe and a large Ptolemaic world map. The German edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle was published five months after the Latin edition. By Sydney Cockerells's count (in Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century (Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1897), pp. 35-36), the Latin edition used 645 woodcuts of widely varying sizes and shapes, for a total of 1,809 impressions. The German edition, with thirty fewer leaves, has a slightly lower total of illustrations. The text is a year-by-year account of notable events in world history from the creation down to the year of publication, including the invention of printing at Mainz, the exploration of the Atlantic and of Africa, as well as references to the game of chess, and to medical curiosities, including what is believed to be the first depiction of Siamese twins. "The contents of each page of text are the same as those of the original Latin far as leaf CCLVIII, the cuts being the same, except for variations in the smaller ones doing duty for kings, &c. The three leaves left blank for additions in the Latin issue are omitted...The next four leaves are occupied by the description of Antichrist and the Last Judgment (five leaves in the Latin). Then follows the additional matter of the last five leaves of the Latin, omitting the sapphics on Maximilian. Last comes Aeneas Sylvius's description of Europe (leaves CCLXVII seqq. of the Latin), much cut down, the account of Italy expressly omitted so as not to weary the German reader. The map occupies the two pages preceding the colophon" (BMC).

    BMC II, pp. 437-438. Goff S-309. Hain 14510*. Harvard/Walsh 734-735. Polain 3471. Proctor 2086. Schreiber 5205. Schramm XVII, p. 9. [All referring to the actual German edition].

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
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