SCHEDEL, Hartmann (1440-1514). Liber chronicarum. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, 12th July 1493.
Imperial 2o (435 x 298 mm). Collation: [1-26 38; 46 5-74 8-116 122 134 14-166 172 18-196 20-254 26-296 302 316 324 33-356 362 374 38-616]. (1/1r xylographic title, 1/1v blank, 1/2r index; 4/1r Creation-Ultimate Age of the World, 54/6v blank, 55/1r Sarmation supplement, 55/5v verse on the exploits of Maximilian, 55/6 blank, 56/1r supplements to the Sixth Age and description of Europe, 61/1v map of Germany, 61/4v colophon, 61/5-6 blank). 326 leaves (of 328; without two final blanks), ff. CCLVIIII-CCLXI left blank except for printed headlines for readers' manuscript supplements. 64 lines and headline, table and parts of text double column. Gothic types: 9:165 (headings), 15:110b (text). 1809 woodcut illustrations from 645 blocks (Cockerell's count) by Michael Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and their workshop, including the young Albrecht Dürer; the illustrations include 29 double-page town views, 8 full-page cuts and double-page maps of the World [Shirley 19] and of Europe by Hieronymus Münzer after Nicolas Khrypffs. 2- and 3-line printed Lombard initials. 7- to 14-line initial spaces, large initial on 4/1r in red and blue interlock with fine penwork, red and blue and red Lombard initials some with reserved ornaments or flourishing (Leaves 1/6, 56/5 supplied from another copy, browning to some leaves, a few minor marginal repairs). 19th century brown crushed morocco gilt, by Zaehnsdorf, gilt edges (skilfully rebacked); morocco slipcase and half morocco chemise. Provenance: anonymous owner (Sothey's New York, 13 June 1991, lot 137).
FIRST EDITION, of the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th century. The publication history of the Nuremberg Chronicle is perhaps the best documented of any book printed in the 15th century, owing to the survival of the contract between Koberger and his financial partners Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, the contract between Koberger and the artists, and the manuscript exemplars of both the Latin and German editions (see A. Wilson The making of the Nuremberg Chronicle 1976). Albrecht Dürer, godson of Koberger, was apprenticed to Wolgemut from 1486-89, exactly during the period Wolgemut's shop was busy creating the woodcuts for this volume. For Cockerell's analysis of a copy owned by William Morris, and his now traditional count of the woodcuts, see Paul Needham William Morris and the art of the book (1976). HC *14508; BMC II, 437 (IC. 7451-3); CIBN S-161; Goff S-307; Schreiber 5203.