12 June 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Center
Price realised USD 40,000
Estimate USD 12,000 - USD 18,000
NUREMBERG 1449-1539 -- SCHEMBART BOOK, in German, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Nuremberg, mid-16th century]
2o, 315 x 195mm (12½ x 7½ inches), 62 leaves (lacking 3 leaves), SIXTY-ONE FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS OF FULL-LENGTH MASKED AND COSTUMED FIGURES on versos facing rectos with text written in brown ink in a German cursive hand (spotting and staining, repairs at most of lower and a few outer margins, wormhole in first six leaves). Contemporary quarter blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, two fore-edge metal clasps and catches (upper joint cracked, leather darkened and scuffed, corners of board chipped, some restoration to binding and endpapers replaced). Provenance: Carl Ley, his stamp on inside of upper cover; purchased from John R. Keating 1976.
CONTENT; Rhyming record of the presentation of the book to the butchers' guild in 1575 by Frantz Cöler, city pawnbroker f.1; account of the events of 1349 ff.2; individual records for 61 of the Schembart carnivals from 1449-1539 over page-openings with illustration of the masked men and coats of arms on the verso and text on the facing recto, lacking one leaf with text for 1485 and illustration for 1488, and two further leaves with text for 1506, text and illustration for 1517 and illustration for 1508, illustrations for 1516 and 1517 transposed ff.2v-62.
THIS HANDSOMELY WRITTEN AND VIGOROUSLY ILLUSTRATED Schembart book appears from the presentation inscription to have been an unredeemed deposit with the city pawnbroker Frantz Coëler. He hoped his gift of the book would be reciprocated by payment, albeit less than he had advanced.
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Lot 311 is an illustrated manuscript on paper, not vellum.