SCHEDEL, Hartmann (1440-1514). Liber Chronicarum, in German: Das Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten mit figuren und pildnussen. Translated from Latin by Georg Alt (c.1450-1510). Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 23 December 1493.
Imperial 2° (476 x 320mm). Collation: [110; 26 3-54 6-96 102 114 12-146 152 16-176 18-234 24-276 282 296 304 31-336 342 354 36-506 51-524 53-566 572] (1/1r title, verso blank, 1/2r table, 2/1r text, 56/6 blank, 57/1v-2r map of Europe, 57/2v colophon). 297 leaves (of 298, without blank 56/6). 59-64 lines and headline, table and parts of the text in two columns. Types: 24:111G (text), 9:165G (headlines). Calligraphic woodcut title, c. 1809 woodcut illustrations from 645 (Sidney Cockerells count for the Latin edition) by Michael Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and their workshop, including the young Albrecht Dürer, FULLY COLOURED BY A CONTEMPORARY NUREMBERG HAND. 9-line initial opening text in blue with white modeling on a punched gold ground within fictive frame, 3- to 6-line initials in red or blue, red paragraph marks and capital strokes. With three full-page illuminated armorials on the pastedowns and verso of the title-page. (Title bound in reverse, somewhat soiled and with painted armorial mounted on verso, scattered spotting, staining and browning, repaired neat marginal tears in about 20 leaves, neat tear into text/woodcut in 5 leaves, marginal section replaced in 33/4, small marginal worming in a few leaves, just touching map at end.) Contemporary Nuremberg binding from the Schedel Master shop (Kyriss 112 tools 1, 3 7; cf. Schunke, Schwenke-Sammlung, vol. 10) of blindstamped calf over unbevelled wooden boards, upper cover titled DEUTSCHE CRONIKEN MIT FIGUREN in gilt (gilt worn), two fore-edge clasps renewed (worn, boards cracked, some sections of leather replaced); modern burgundy morocco-backed folding box. Provenance: Wilhelm Wilbrecht, 1508 (painted armorial on title verso, surrounded by arms of Wilbrecht, Kattener, Kisinger, Gewerlich, Rechlinger, Fögellin, Rechlinger, Die Remen, Langemandl, Rebhiener, and Frickinger families) -- Dilherr and another coat-of-arms, 16th-century painted armorial on pastedowns, and filling armorial shields on 2/1v (not in Zimmermann, Augsburger Zeichen und Wappen, 1970) -- P. Goldschmitt, 1852 (pencil ascription) -- Graf Axel von Kalckreuth (bookplate; Bibliothek des Grafen Axel von Kalckreuth, 1918, p. 12; A. Schmidt, "Die Bibliothek des Grafen Axel von Kalckreuth", ZBF, N.F., 1918/19, pp.257-67; sold en bloc to:) -- [K.W. Hiersemann, Leipzig, bookseller] -- Albert W. Blum (stamp, Lugt 79b; sale Sotheby's New York, 17 June 1992, lot 322).
FIRST GERMAN EDITION OF THE NUREMBERG CHRONICLE, A DELUXE COPY, WITH CONTEMPORARY ILLUMINATION AND RICH COLOURING, AND IN A CONTEMPORARY NUREMBERG BINDING ASSOCIATED WITH THE AUTHOR. The German edition is rarer than the Latin; rarer still are copies with contemporary colouring, binding, and provenance.
Planned simultaneously with the Latin edition (see previous lot), the German edition was completed about 5 months later. It was printed in about half as many copies as the Latin (which had wider currency through Europe), and that ratio is reflected in survival rates of the two editions. A 1509 final settlement of accounts shows that the editions were distributed via agents as far afield as London, Paris, Buda, Prague, Milan and Florence and as close to home as Augsburg. A trial sheet discovered in the late 1990s showed that Koberger had first contemplated printing the German edition with his ninth German Bible type (cf. C. Reske, "Eine neue Entdeckung zur Druckgeschichte der Schedelschen Weltchronik", Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 1997, pp. 95-106.
A FRESH COPY, preserving the near-full sheet size, retaining numerous deckle edges, and significantly taller than most others recorded in the market over the past two decades. H *14510; BMC II, 437 (IC. 7458); CIBN S-163; BSB-Ink. S-197; Bod-Inc. S-110; Schreiber 5205; Klebs 890.1; Goff S-309.