7 June 2006
STURLASON, Snorri (1178/79-1241). Heims Kringla, in Old Norse. Swedish and Latin. Edited by Johan Peringskiöld (1654-1720). Stockholm: Wankiwian, 1697[-1700].
2 volumes, 2° (311 x 197mm). Engraved title vignette, woodcut head- and tailpieces. (Lightly browned, occasional light spotting.) 18th-century sprinkled calf, gilt spines, red spine labels, sprinkled edges (lightly rubbed). Provenance: I. Mauritz Klinckowström (of Pomerania, armorial stamp on front covers) -- Uwe Wolters (Hamburg; d.2000; modern bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of "the stem and source of the legend of the Norsemen". The Heims Kringla is one of the great collections of sagas, with each of its 16 chapters devoted to a Norwegian king. Snorri's telling of the lives of Kings Olav and Tryggvasoon and St Olav "shows Snorri's magnificent terse prose at its best; it is one of the greatest of historical epics" (PMM). In addition to its obvious importance to Iceland and Norway, it also 'provided the Swedes with a legendary history of their royal ancestors' (Whaley), and it was at the behest of the Swedish king Charles XI that the work, edited by Peringskiöld and with translations into Swedish and Latin, was first published. It has continued to find relevance in all ages. William Morris, who translated it into English with Eirikr Magnusson in 1893, saw in it an ideal of the individual and a refreshing antithesis to modern life.
The present copy was previously owned by a member of the Klinckowström family. Axel Klinckowström's letters from America were instrumental in encouraging much Swedish emigration to America. The Klinckowström association with Heimskringla is appropriate as it contains eight chapters on the voyage to America by Leif Ericson. Cf. Diana Whaley, Heimskringla, an introduction, London: 1991. PMM 168; Sabin 85484. STURLASON, Snorri (2)
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In conversation with the Korean-American artist, whose recent painting The Evolution of Perception will be offered at Christie’s in Hong Kong on 25 November
As this 1,000-year-old Ru tea bowl comes to auction in Hong Kong, we look at the evolution of the grey-green ware from Yue to Yaozhou to Ru