SCHEDEL, Hartmann. Liber Chronicarum. Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 12 July, 1493.
2°(420 x 300mm.). 322 leaves of 326 (lacking CCXCIII, CCXCIV, final blank and blank leaf CCLXI), table and parts of text in two columns, 64 lines. Woodcut title, approximately 1800 woodcut illustrations by Wohlgemuth and Playdenwurff including double-page maps of Europe and the World, table decorated with 23 ILLUMINATED INITIALS alternately pink and blue infilled with contrasting colour, with white penwork flourishing on a ground of burnished gold, folio 1 with large illuminated initial 'C' of blue with green foliage on a burnished ground, infilled red with a crown and orb, the leaf terminals curling around a gold bar-baguette in the inner margin, with FULL-PAGE ILLUMINATED BORDER of panels of red, blue or green with symmetrically placed sprays of attenuated golden acanthus and jewels, in the lower margin a roundel with the arms, per fesse gules and argent, a lion rampant with a sword or, and in the outer margin 3 imitation intaglio roundels with one profile and two three-quarter face busts (the borders of folio 1 cropped with loss, title restored at edges, some minor staining and neat restoration, wormhole affecting outer margin of 8 quires). Late 17th Century vellum, covers with central blind-stamped arabesques, spine flat in six compartments, two stained and lettered in gilt). Provenance: Jehan Pantecin? (16th Century ownership inscription on title).
FIRST EDITION of the Nuremberg Chronicle, the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th Century and a masterpiece of complex design. This copy is unusually decorated with illuminated initials and full illuminated borders on f.1; the decoration is of a Florentine style close to Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni del Fora, circa 1495. HC 14508*; BMC II, 437; Goff S-307.