Reformation der Stadt Nürnberg. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 5 June 1484.
Chancery 2o (303 x 214 mm). Collation: [1-28 310; 4-58 66 7-238 246] blank, woodcut, 1/2r table of contents; blank, printer's introduction with colophon, 4/2r text, 24/6 blank). 214 leaves. 34 lines. Types: 11:162G (headings), 10:120G (text). One 9-line and numerous 3-line initial spaces. Full-page woodcut of the arms of the city of Nuremberg surmounted by the imperial arms and flanked by saints Sebald and Lawrence, by MICHAEL WOLGEMUT, the woodcut FINELY COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, in blue, red, green, ochre, orange, and mauve. Large illuminated initial on 4/2r by a contemporary Nuremberg artist, the initial in blue with white floral tracery on a burnished gold ground with incised flowers and punch-dotting within a red and green frame; smaller initials alternately red and blue, paragraph marks and capital strokes in red. Numerous impressions of bearer type ("m"). Traces of contemporary manuscript foliation in lower outer corners of rectos. (First leaf repaired at gutter, slightly creased and frayed and with a few tiny closed tears due to acidic coloring, a few small wormholes in first and last few quires, two affecting the woodcut and one the text at front, minor marginal dampstaining at beginning and end, a very few faint dampstains elsewhere.)
Binding: contemporary Nuremberg binding of blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, bound in one of the binderies closely associated with Anton Koberger, probably Kyriss shop 112=Schwenke-Sammlung Schedel-Meister, but with an admixture of tools apparently from Kyriss shop 113: central panel of upper cover filled with Kopfstempel and Rautengerank tools (Kyriss 113:3, 5 and 8?) forming a diaper pattern of scrolling vines, the compartments stamped with a repeated artichoke tool (possibly Kyriss 113:10), central panel of lower cover divided into four triangular compartments by intersecting fillets, the fields stamped with a repeated dragon tool (Kyriss 112:2), borders of both covers with large rosettes (Schwenke-Sammlung 220=Kyriss 112:1) and Laubstab tools (Schwenke-Sammlung 53= Kyriss 112:7), title Reformation stamped at top of upper cover beneath a Bogenfries, spine stamped with the rosette; 9 (of 10) chased brass center- and cornerpieces with bosses; pair of chased brass fore-edge catchplates; single parchment index tab (lacking clasps, rebacked preserving remains of original spine); folding cloth case.
Provenance: long contemporary reader's note on blank recto of first leaf ; manuscript chapter numbers and pointing fingers in table -- Henning von Bülow Goldenbow von Rodenwalde: bookplate dated 1916 -- Clifford Rattey (1886-1970): bookplate and pencilled notes on front pastedown; collection dispersed by Maggs Bros -- [Frankfurter Bücherstube 1977]
FIRST EDITION of the laws and statutes of the city of Nuremberg, THE FIRST PRINTED CITY STATUTES. A fragment, consisting of the table of contents only, survives from an apparently unfinished edition printed by Konrad Fyner at Esslingen, dated ca. 1479 (CIBN R-28), the year of the promulgation of this Neue Reformation of Nuremberg city laws. The fine woodcut, here handsomely colored, is the earliest known woodcut by the Nuremberg artist Michael Wolgemut (1434-1519), and "the first truly great woodcut from Nuremberg" (Franz J. Stadler, Michael Wolgemut und der Nürnberger Holzschnitt im letzten Drittel des XV. Jahrhunderts, Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, Heft 161, p. 67). The final chapter transcribes in its entirety the form of Jewish oath used in the medieval Nuremberg court.
A LARGE, FRESH COPY. HC 13716*; BMC II, 426 (IB.7315-16); BSB-Ink. R-23; CIBN R-27; Harvard/Walsh 699-700; Schäfer/von Arnim 254; Schreiber 5051; Goff R-37.