SCHEDEL, Hartmann (1440-1514). Liber chronicarum. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, 12 July 1493.
Imperial 2o (459 x 310 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-Last Age of the World, 54/6v blank, 55/1r Sarmatian supplement, 55/5v verse on the exploits of Maximilian, 55/6 blank, 56/1r supplements to the Sixth Age and description of Europe, 61/3v-4r map of Germany, 61/4v colophon, 61/5-6 blank). 324 leaves (of 328, lacking 1/1 title, f. 54/2 and blanks 61/5-6), ff. CCLVIIII-CCLXI left blank except for printed headlines, intended for readers' manuscript additions. 64 lines and headline, table and parts of text double column. Types: 9:165G (headings), 15:110bG (text). 1808 (of 1809) woodcut illustrations from 645 blocks (Sydney Cockerell's count, in Some German woodcuts of the fifteenth century, 1897, pp. 35-36), by Michael Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and their workshop, including the young Albrecht Dürer; the illustrations including 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, THE WOODCUTS FULLY COLORED, some of the color early, most apparently added later. 2- and 3-line printed Lombard initials. 7- to 14-line initial spaces. First text page (4/1r) with large illuminated initial in blue with white tracery and lighter blue modelling on a burnished gold ground within square red, green and yellow frame, the ground with incised floral tracery, two-sided border of flowering vine stem with gold bezants. Rubrication: divided initial opening index in red and blue with maroon penwork infill and flourishes, remaining initials of index in red; paragraph marks and capital strokes in red. Text and woodcut of Pope Joan (CLXVIIv) censured. (Lacking title-leaf, supplied in manuscript facsimile, and f. CCLXII containing the woodcut of the Antichrist, 1/6 with frayed margins reinforced, marginal tears or repairs to a dozen leaves, tear in CLXXXIII just entering woodcut, last 3 leaves remargined, slightly affecting border of Europe map, small loss to same map in lower gutter, occasional marginal dampstaining.) Modern blind-tooled morocco over wooden boards, two brass fore-edge clasps; morocco-backed folding cloth case.
Provenance: Cambron, northern France, Cistercians (1699 purchase inscription of Abbot François Libert below full-page God the Father cut [f. Iv]: hic liber emptus est a R. adm. Domino D. Francisco Libert Abbate Camberonensi Anno 1699, the abbot's arms drawn in ink within the blank shields of the woodcut and the motto "In cruce libertas" on the banner).
FIRST EDITION of the Nuremberg Chronicle, the most extensively illustrated book of the fifteenth century. Its publishing history is perhaps the most thoroughly documented of any incunable edition, owing to the survival of the contracts between Koberger and his financial partners and team of artists, and of the manuscript exemplars of both the Latin and German editions, all preserved in the Nuremberg Statdbibliothek. HC 14508*; BMC II, 437 (IC. 7451-3); CIBN S-161; Schreiber 5203; Alden & Landis 493/21; Goff S-307.