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    Scarce Series of Fifty-Four Remarkable
    Engravings to Accompany Johannes Buno's
    1780 Mnemonic "Picture Bible"

    [Johannes Buno. Bilder-Bibel, darinn die Bu¨cher Altes und Neuen Testaments durch Alle Capitel In annemliche Bilder ku¨rtzlich gebracht, und also fu¨rgestellet sind, dass zugleich mit dem Innhalt, auch der Numerus, und das wievielste ein jeder Capitel in seiner Ordnung sey, leichtlich und mit lusten gefasset, und fest behalten werden kan...Hamburg: Gedruckt...bey Arnold Lichtenstein, 1680]. Scarce complete series of plates (comprising the plate volume) to Johannes Buno's 1680 mnemonic Bilder-Bibel, illustrating every chapter of every book of the Bible (in 1674 Buno had published his Bilder-Biebel Oder Biblisches Memorial. Über Das Neue Testament unsers Herrn Jesu Christi, illustrating the New Testament only). Folio (12.4375 x 7.375 inches; 316 x 188 mm.). Fifty-four highly detailed engravings on thirty-seven plates (two single-page, four double-page and folding, the remaining forty-eight plates double-page). All plates mounted on guards.
    Contemporary sheep. Covers tooled in blind with decorative centerpiece and cornerpieces within a blind-ruled border. Smooth spine. Small paper label at head of spine and on front cover. Binding rubbed, with some areas of surface loss; spine with several vertical splits; hinges cracked. Endpapers browned at edges from turn-ins. Plates with some browning and soiling. Occasional mostly marginal dampstaining, but heavier and into the image on a few plates ("II. Buch der Chronica," "Buch Esra," "Klingende Simbel," and "Spruche Salomonis"); small stain in the upper margin of each leaf of "Matthaeus" and "S. Marcus" plates. Several double-page plates with splits at center fold; "Das V. Buch Mose" with three-inch tear from upper edge into image; "Das Buch Jesus Sirach" with three-inch tear from lower edge into image; "I. Buch d. Maccabeer" with three-inch tear in lower blank margin of second leaf; a few additional plates with short marginal tears, or with lower edge frayed or chipped. A few plates closely cropped, just affecting image. "Epist. S. Pauli an Titum" with ink mark in upper corner of first leaf and ink scribbles on verso of second leaf; "Epist. an d. Hebrer" with ink scribbles in upper margin; "Offenbarung S. Joannis" with ink smudges in upper margin; ink markings on rear endpapers. A very good copy. From the Dudrea and Sumner Parker Collection at The Cloister, their estate near Baltimore (bookplate on front pastedown: "The Cloisters / Ex-Libris Dudrea & Sumner Parker," and embossed stamp on front free endpaper: "The Cloisters / Dudrea & Sumner Parker Collection"). Early ink signature upside down at foot of rear free endpaper: "Moses Catlyn his Book."

    More Information:

    "Johannes Buno [1617-1697], who taught in Lüneburg, devoted himself for half a century to devising textbooks that wrapped the standard narrative of ancient and medieval history in striking images and coded cues to short texts" (Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, Caratographies of Time (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), page 89).


    "In this picture Bible by Johann Buno, a Lutheran school teacher in Lüneburg, the fifty-four engravings illustrate virtually every chapter of the scriptures. Within each engraving, the individual pictorial elements represent particular chapters, while the entire image evokes a larger form that is symbolic of the biblical book as a whole. For example...the twenty-four chapters of the Gospel of Luke are represented within the shape of the evangelist's traditional symbolic attribute, the winged ox. Chapter 1 is depicted at the upper left, between the horns of the ox, with images of the temple incense of Zacharia (verses 8-11), the Archangel Gabriel's Annunciation to the Virgin Mary (verses 26-28), and the joyous leaping of the fetal St. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth (verse 44). The adjacent citation of 'Es. 40' refers to the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 40, which describes the Baptist as the voice that cries in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord" ("Welcome Additions," an exhibition at The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries highlighting fifty rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, prints, and letters that were acquired by Bridwell Library Special Collections between 2008 and 2014, at


    The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John are likewise represented by an angel, winged lion, and eagle, respectively; Philippians is represented by a heart; 1 and 2 Timothy by trees; 1 and 2 Peter by keys; 1, 2, and 3 John by eagles with one, two and three heads, respectively; and Hebrews by a boar. In the Old Testament, "Das V. Buch Mose" (Deuteronomy) is represented by the palm of a hand; 1 and 2 Kings by figures of kings; Daniel by a lion; the prophet Hosea by a pair of trousers; Joel by a serpent; Jonah by a whale; and several books (1 and 2 Samuel, the Song of Solomon, and Wisdom of Solomon) are represented by open books. Each chapter in each book is illustrated with a small picture and a short text as mnemonic devices.


    Buno published several other mnemonic works in addition to his Bilder-Bibel, including: Tabularum mnemonicarum historiam universam...(1647); Uralter Fusssteig der Fabular und Bilder-Grammatic (1650); Neues und also eingerichtetes ABC und Lesebüchlein...(1650); Neue Lateinische Grammatica in Fabeln und Bildern (Danzig: 1651); Historische Bilder, darinnen Idea Historiae Universalis...(1672); and three editions of Justinian's works, Memoriale InstitutionumJjuris (1672),  Memoriale Juris Civilis Romani...(1673), and Memoriale Codicis Justinianei...(1674).


    VD17 23:231217W. See Gerhard F. Strasser, Emblematik und Mnemonik der Frühen Neuzeit im Zusammenspiel: Johannes Buno und Johann Justus Winckelmann (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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