PFINTZING, Melchior (1481-1535). Die geuerlicheiten und einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen und hochberumbton helds und Ritters herz Tewrdannckhs. Nuremberg: Hans Schönsperger the Elder, [1517].
PFINTZING, Melchior (1481-1535). Die geuerlicheiten und einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen und hochberumbton helds und Ritters herz Tewrdannckhs. Nuremberg: Hans Schönsperger the Elder, [1517].
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PFINTZING, Melchior (1481-1535). Die geuerlicheiten und einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen und hochberumbton helds und Ritters herz Tewrdannckhs. Nuremberg: Hans Schönsperger the Elder, [1517].

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PFINTZING, Melchior (1481-1535). Die geuerlicheiten und einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen und hochberumbton helds und Ritters herz Tewrdannckhs. Nuremberg: Hans Schönsperger the Elder, [1517].

A splendid, very tall copy of the first edition of this privately-printed chivalric poem celebrating the heroic deeds of Emperor Maximilian, one of the finest illustrated books of the German Renaissance. Theuerdanck was conceived as a deluxe production and Maximilian himself was closely involved in all aspects of its creation, from its composition to its distribution after printing. Maximilian had composed first drafts in 1505-1508, portraying himself as Theuerdanck, overcoming the difficulties of his journey to win his bride, Mary of Burgundy (Kunigin Ernreich in the poem). He turned over the completion and general editing of the work to Melchior Pfintzing, his private secretary. Maximilian called Schönsperger from Augsburg to the imperial city of Nuremberg to print the work (the only work Schönsperger printed there); at least part of its paper stock was made specifically for the edition and bears a watermark of the double eagle with arms of Austria and Burgundy; a remarkable series of woodcut illustrations — among the finest of the German Renaissance — were cut, commissioned from some of the greatest woodcut artists of the day, Schäufelein, Beck and Burgkmair; and a calligraphic type was specially cast to print it. The design of the type is traditionally attributed to Vinzenz Rockner, Maximilan's court secretary. No copies of the first edition were available for sale. 'The whole stock of copies lay in six chests at Augsburg until March 1526, when the Archduke Ferdinand decided to distribute, through Max Treitzsauerwein, the contents of five of the chests to different German subjects as memorials of the late Emperor. The other chestful the archduke kept for himself' (Davies, Fairfax Murray, German). Theuerdanck forms part of a trilogy, along with Weisskunig and Freydal, but was the only one of the three to be published during Maximilian's lifetime. Adams P-962; Brunet V, 787; Davies, Fairfax Murray, German 329.

Folio (354 x 235mm). With blank P5. Xylographic title, calligraphic type attributed to the design of Vinzenz Rockner, court secretary at the court of Maximilian, elaborate flourishes, all flourishes untrimmed. 118 large woodcuts by Hans Leonhard Schäufelein, Leonhard Beck, Hans Burgkmair and possibly 3 others. Without the correction slips sometimes pasted on A6v, 5th line from the bottom, and A8r, line 13 (very occasional small stain, narrow stain in x1, tiny marginal wormhole in first quire.) Contemporary Erfurt blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards bound by the ‘Dicker Hund’ workshop active c. 1490-1520 [Kyriss 93], 5 bosses on each side, metal corner strips, clasps fastening at middle of front cover (one boss missing, later endpapers, clasp leather possibly renewed). Provenance: Albert Blum (1882-1952; small monogram stamps).
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