728. [Germany - Nuremberg]

SCHEDEL, Hartmann

Liber chronicarum.

Nuremberg, A. Koberger for S. Schreyer & S. Kammermeister, 12 July 1493

Complete copy of this imperial folio: [20, incl. title]-CCXCI-[6] ff., ca. 65 ll. (our copy has 21 ff. sl. shorter than the other ff., hence we suppose that our copy was completed with ff. from another one; some soiling and spotting, ink stain in lower margin of f. CXLI verso, light water stain on lower margin of f. CCLXI, some marg. tears repaired, contemp. and later ms. annotations).

17th-c. blind- and roll-stamped calf over wood, bevelled edges, spine with raised bands, metal clasps and catches, metal strips at edges and corners (spine repaired, rubbed, spine with sm. defects, leather of clasps replaced). Slipcase.

First edition of the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th c. The 2 editions (Latin and German) were planned simultaneously, each with its own specially designed, new type, and both with the same woodcuts; the Latin ed. preceded the German by about 5 months. The text is a universal history of the Christian world from the beginning of time to the early 1490s, written in Latin by the Nuremberg physician and humanist Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514), with on f. 252v the famous reference to the invention of printing in 1440 in Mainz. The Chronicle also incorporates geographical and historical information on European countries and towns. The narrative is divided into the 7 Ages of the World. The print run is estimated at 1800 copies.
Illustration: impressive xylographic title; 1809 woodcuts from 645 blocks by Michael Wohlgemuth, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and their workshop, including Albrecht Dürer. The woodcuts show religious subjects from the Old and New Testament, classical and medieval history, and 27 city views, some in double-page, incl. Augsburg, Basel, Byzantium, Cologne, Florence, Jerusalem, Nuremberg, Prague, Rome, Venice and Vienna. Included are 2 double-page maps: a world map, folio XIII based on Mela's "Cosmographia" (1482), and a map of northern and central Europe by Hieronymus Münzer (1437-1508) after Nicolas Khyrpffs. The world map is one of only three 15th-century maps showing Portuguese knowledge of the Gulf of Guinea of about 1470. The map of Europe is closely associated with a Nicolas of Cusas Eichstätt map, with which it is thought to share a common manuscript source of ca. 1439-54. It is therefore claimed to be the first modern map of this region to appear in print. Although published later than the map of Germany in the 1482 Ulm Ptolemy, it was constructed earlier. 
Decoration: later large blue floral initial with red and blue penwork extending into marginal decoration (f. I), principal initials in the table are supplied in red and blue, last five ff. with red rubrication.
Ref. ISTC is00307000. - GW M40784. - Polain 3469. - BMC II:437. - CIBN S-161. - BSB-Ink S-195. - Bod-inc S-108. - Wilson, A. - The making of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1976. - Reske, C. - Die Produktion der Schedelschen Weltchronik in Nürnberg, 2000.
Prov. "Vente R. Montgommery n° 463" (ms. annot.). - Baron Paul-Marie Cogels (1845-1912) (bookpl. engr. by E. Pellens). - [Georges Petit].

€ 30.000 / 40.000

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