27 - 28 June 2006
MAXIMILIAN I (1459-1519) -- TREITZSAURWEIN, Marx (d.1527). Der weiss Kunig: Eine Erzehlung von den Thaten Kaiser Maximilian des Ersten. Vienna: Joseph Kurzböck, 1775.
2o (370 x 245 mm). 237 woodcuts, irregularly numbered, most after Burgkmaier, Schäufelein and Beck. (Light browning to some plates.) Contemporary calf, spine decorated and lettered in silver, uncut (hinges cracked). Provenance: purchased from Emil Offenbacher, n.d.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of the most extensive of the Emperor's unfinished works, an autobiographical romance supplementary to Theuerdank (lot 230). The woodcuts were completed by the year 1514 and shortly thereafter Emperor Maximilian ordered his secretary, Marx Treitzsaurwein to write the text. In the ensuing centuries, the woodcuts were lost and the Manuscript of the text remained in obscurity despite several attempts to edit it, notably by Richard Strein Freiherr zu Schwarzenau and Georg Christoph von Schallenberg. It was not until the rediscovery of the woodcuts that a complete publication was possible about 260 years after the completion of the manuscript.
The Emperor and his advisers prescribed the content of the illustrations, and various artists worked on the sketches which were then drawn on the block in almost equal proportion by Burgkmaier and Beck. The blocks, of which 223 are still preserved in Vienna, were cut by the group of wood-engravers working at Augsburg under Jost de Negker. No edition appeared in Maximilian's lifetime, and his grandson Ferdinand's wish to issue the work was frustrated by the death of Treitzsaurwein in 1527. Brunet V:933; Dodgson II, p. 90/55-101 & p. 125/7; Fairfax Murray II:416; Graesse VII: 192; Burgkmaier 431-551; Muther 854.
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