DAVID WOLLEBER (c.1555-1597), Chronik des hochloblichen Haus zu Zäringen, Stifter und Anfänger der Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau, in German with quotations in Latin, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
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DAVID WOLLEBER (c.1555-1597), Chronik des hochloblichen Haus zu Zäringen, Stifter und Anfänger der Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau, in German with quotations in Latin, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER

Details
DAVID WOLLEBER (c.1555-1597), Chronik des hochloblichen Haus zu Zäringen, Stifter und Anfänger der Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau, in German with quotations in Latin, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Freiburg im Breisgau, first half 17th century]
325 x 200mm. ii + 252 + ii leaves, excluding three tipped-in folding family trees; partial original pagination omitting some leaves but including the family trees, running from ff.14 to 115, pp.201-433, omitting numbers 426-427 and lacking pp.415-417 with family tree, and from ff.126 to 192, pp.486-618, lacking five further family trees; the modern partial foliation not followed here; about 30 lines written in brown ink in a chancery script with some headings and quotations in a humanistic script, on some pages between two verticals ruled in leadpoint, width 115mm, running headings, SIXTEEN COATS OF ARMS and 180 PORTRAIT FIGURES WITH COATS OF ARMS in full colour, one drawn and left uncoloured, most at bust-length (offsetting and smudging or darkened pigment on a few paintings, a few leaves with small tears or repairs in margins, slight wear to margins). 17th-century pigskin over pasteboard, stamped in blind (lacking two clasps, corners rubbed).

PROVENANCE:

1. David Wolleber's prefatory letter and conclusion were addressed to the Burgomaster and town of Freiburg im Breisgau, ff.2-3v, where his autograph manuscript is preserved. Access to the original would have been essential for this copy, which is on paper manufactured in Freiburg, watermarked with the Freiburg arms of an eagle's head with a pendant F, the shield surmounted with S R, akin to Briquet 2226 in use in 1600.

2. Engraved armorial bookplate inside front cover, perhaps connected with the Solfleisch family.

CONTENT:

David Wolleber, Genealogy of the House of Zähringen: Titlepage, Weilunnd der durchleuchtige[n] hoch unnd wolgebornen Grave[n] Marggrafen und Herzogen des hochloblichen Haus zue Zäringen Stifter und Anfanger der auch hochloblichen und weltberuempten Statt Fryburg im Prysgaw Auch derselbigen nach kom[m]en Graven zue Fryburg und Fürstenberg...den Herzogen zue Teeckh...mit ieren alten fürstlichen schönen Brustbildern, Klaidungen, Wappen..., f.1; Letter to the Burgomaster and town council of Freiburg im Breisgau, dated 1597, from David Wolleber, Historian, Public Notary, ff.2-3v; alphabetical index ff.4-13v; von Nutzbarkait der Historien ff.14-23v, pp.201-220; arms of the house of Zäringen f.24; Vorreede. Das abgestorben Herzogthumb Zeringen im loblichen Breysgow gelegen... ff.25-27v, pp.[223]-228; portrait and arms of Julius Echter, Bishop of Würzburg, f.28; copy of a letter dated 1591 from Bishop Julius to Davidt Wollebern Würtembergischen historico zue Schorndorff, thanking him for his book on Würzburg and Franken, f.29; the house of Zäringen in pictures and text, opening with a full-length portrait of Bertold I, founder of Freiburg in Breisgau, 1112, then tracing his ancestors from Guntram the Rich of Altenburg, fl.930, and his descendants with their consorts, all depicted with their arms, with inserted family trees between ff.41-42, 50-51 and 58-59, and with historical information on some of their territories, with their arms: Solothurn, Zurich, Freiburg im Breisgau, Breisach, Freiburg im Üchtland, Villingen and Bern, ff.30-122v, paginated pp.233-433; blank f.123; Der Ander Thaill Ordenliche und Gründliche Beschreibung Aller Hertzogens von Teeckh in Schwabe[n]...mitt deren Alten Fürstlichen Brüstbildern..., title page f.124; arms of the duchy of Teck f.125; Von Ankünft der ersten Herzogen von Teeck ff.126-128, pp.486-491; the history of the Zäringen Dukes of Teck in pictures and text from Albert I to Beatrix, daughter of Frederick IX, the last Zäringen Duke, concluding with a three-quarter length portrait of Eberhardt, the first of their Württemberg successors, ff.129-192, pp.492-618; records relating to Freiburg ff.193-200; Bertold I, founder of Freiburg and his children ff.201-207; Beschlüss, addressed by Wolleber to the Burgomaster and Council of Freiburg, dated 6 September 1597 f.208; blank ff.209-210; Histori und Legent von allerhandt vor etlich hundert Jaren geschehenen Geschichten als namlich von der Hertzoge[n] zue Zeringen Graven von Freyburg undt andern seltsamen Sachen ff.211-250v; blank ff.251-252.

This is an apparently close copy of the largely autograph manuscript by David Wolleber in the Stadtarchiv, Freiburg im Breisgau, Hs B1 Nr 11, which has lost one and a half of the nine family trees (H. Schadek and K. Schmid, Die Zähringer, Anstoss und Wirkung, 1986, no 280.3). The index, in the original and in this copy, bears out that the vagaries of the page numbering are not the result of misbinding by a later owner. It seems that Wolleber selected sections from an already paginated manuscript on the dukes of Zäringen, the founders of Freiburg, and on the dukes of Teck, of less relevance to Freiburg, and then added material more directly concerning Freiburg, which remained unpaginated. Wolleber frequently recycled his texts, since he was only paid for his work by reciprocal 'gifts' from his dedicatees, among whom were the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, Markgrave George Frederick of Brandenburg and Duke Ludwig of Württemberg. As well as addressing individual patrons, he appealed to civic pride by directing copies of his works to appropriate towns (see K. Graf, Gmünder Chroniken im 16. Jahrhundert, 1986, pp.80-86, and E. Schreiber, 'David Wolleber..', Württembergische Viertelsjahrhefte für Landesgeschichte, XX, 1911, pp.289-309).

In 1597, when he completed this history, Wolleber had been driven from Schorndorf and was living in Esslingen as an exile from Württemberg. Throughout his life, he had struggled against professional opposition and official persecution in his determination to earn a living as an historian. History was too powerful a weapon to leave in the hands of the unschooled and unlicensed and Wolleber neither attended a university nor achieved an offical position. Genealogy was allowed him as less contentious but its boundaries were difficult to define. Physically handicapped, he had trained as a writer on the fringes of the legal profession and some of his tribulations resulted from his activities that broke legal monopolies. As an historian, he has been characterised as more of an editor than a researcher but he did use some documentary sources, as well as histories and genealogies in print and manuscript, so that his writings have proved a useful resource.

Two days after Wolleber dated the conclusion of the Chronik der Zäringer, 8 September 1597, he was robbed and murdered. The presentation of the work to Freiburg must have been handled by his long-suffering widow. It would seem that the Chronicle's illumination was largely complete at Wolleber's death. In his dedicatory letter to the town council of Freiburg, Wolleber says that he has had all the portraits and coats of arms newly done and illuminated by a painter. Wolleber had already presented large single-sheet Zähringer family trees to Freiburg im Breisgau in 1593, Bern and Zürich in 1594 (although Zürich responded with a very small payment since they did not recognise the Zähringer as their founders) and Freiburg im Üchtland (see Die Zähringer, nos 280.1-2). The Freiburg im Breisgau genealogy survives in the Augustinermuseum there, Inv.260, and its half-length figures relate so closely to those in the bound chronicle that they have been attributed to the same artist, David Schmidlin. Schmidlin signed the second page of the Chronicle, illuminated with the arms of Freiburg and Austria and dated 1605, which is not repeated in this copy. Otherwise, these pictures appear to follow Schmidlin's, which were also incomplete. Schmidlin drew on earlier portraits to clothe his imaginary figures but in an erratic and unchronological way. No costume is earlier than the 15th century and much dates only from the first decades of the 16th century; some fantastic elements derive from the standard repertoire for exotic costume intended to signal bygone ages.

Like all Wolleber's works, the Chronik der Zäringer was never printed, perhaps because the necessary illustration would have been prohibitively expensive, but it did achieve some circulation in manuscript. The place of the Zähringer as ancestors of the Habsburgs may have added to its appeal. This manuscript would seem earlier than the copy formerly in the Fürstliche Fürstenbergische Hofbibliothek, Donaueschingen, 607a, dated to the second half of the 17th century, which retains all the family trees; a second copy formerly in the same collection, 607b, dating from the early 18th century, has none of the prefatory material and has lost all the trees. These manuscripts are now in the Badische Landesbibliothek, Karlsruhe, Donaueschingen Hs 607a and b (F. Heinzer in Scriptorium, 1995, pp.312-319). A complete 18th-century copy is in the Archiv Benediktinerabtei St. Paul im Lavantal, Hs 73/2, and a partial copy was made by Joseph Felizian Geissingen at the end of that century, Freiburg im Breisgau, Universitätsbibliothek, Hs 497/2+4. All these approximate to the dimensions of the original, 305 x 200mm (see Die Zähringer, p.324).

A comparison of this early and previously unknown copy with Wolleber's autograph might help to clarify the genesis of his last work and its illustration. The paintings in this copy retain all the verve and variety of the original designs, bringing the extinct houses of Zähringen and Teck vividly to life.
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