The famous Nuremberg Chronicle, a history of the world, published the year that Columbus returned to Europe

By SCHEDEL, D. Hartman, 1493 

Liber chronicarum …

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: SCHEDEL, D. Hartman
  • Publication place: Nuremberg:
  • Publisher: Anton Koberger
  • Publication date: June 1493.
  • Physical description: First edition, imperial folio (430 x 292mm), 325 leaves (of 326, without the final blank leaf), 64 lines and headline, xylographic title page, 1809 woodcut views and illustrations (according to Sydney Cockerell’s now-traditional count) from 645 blocks by Michael Wohlgemuth and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and their workshop, all woodcuts finely coloured in full colour and occasionally liquid gold by a contemporary hand, sixteenth-century manuscript note on blank leaf 260v recording the sighting of a comet and other wonders in Piedmont 22 April 1528, gutter margin of first 3 leaves mended along with a few small holes and abrasions on title-page, a few leaves lightly browned, light dampstain in upper outer corner of a few quires, mended tears in blank leaf 261, some small repairs in the lower margin of central folds in last quire, a few other light spots and tiny mends, portions of spine carefully repaired with vellum, corners and lower edge torn, seventeenth-century blind-tooled pigskin over bevelled oak boards, decorated in a panel design, with roll-tools of clover, ropework, heads with leafy sprays, four thistle stamps at corners of central panel, stamped armorial supralibros in central panel of upper cover, stamped arabesque on lower cover, later manuscript title on spine, remains of clasps and catches, red edges.
  • Inventory reference: 1373

Notes

The famous Nuremberg Chronicle, a history of the world, published the year that Columbus returned to Europe after discovering America. The text is a year-by-year account of notable events in world history from the Creation down to the year of publication. It is a mixture of fact and fantasy, recording events like the invention of printing, but also repeating stories from Herodotus. Even the world map is decorated with strange beings from the far reaches, including a cyclops and a four-eyed man. 645 woodcuts were used to illustrate the Chronicle, but many were used more than once, so there are a total of 1,809 illustrations, making it the most extensively illustrated book of the fifteenth century. The cutters were Michael Wolgemut, his stepson, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, and their workshop. As Albrecht Dürer was the godson of Koberger and was apprenticed to Wolgemut from 1486 to 1489, it is likely that he was involved in the work. 

Provenance


Christoph Sigmund von Kirschberg, Baron of Lower Austria, his stamped supralibros on upper cover dated 1638”; J.R. Ritman, bookplate (BPH 173). 

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