Nuremberg Chronicle leaf, 1493, German edition


An incunable leaf from the German edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

Recto: 59 lines of text in Bastarda Schwabacher typeface printed by letterpress on laid rag paper. Woodcuts of Rupert, Duke of Bavaria and the Council of Pisa.
See detail images below

Verso: As Recto, with woodcuts of St. Vincent of Catalonia, Baldus of Perugia, Nicholas of Florence and Emanuel Chrysoloras of Constantinople.
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Printer: Anton Koberger, Nuremberg

Date: 1493

Content: The leaf is from The Sixth Age of the Chronicle. The heading on Verso translates to The Sixth Age and Recto's heading is of the World. Leaf 236.
A translation of the beginning of Recto reads: Rupert (Ruprecht), duke of Bavaria and palsgrave of the Rhine, was elected Roman king in A.D. 1400 by the electors, to succeed Wenceslaus, king of Bohemia, who had been deposed as a worthless man; and he reigned ten years. He was crowned at Cologne by the archbishop there. He was a very Christian man, a lover of righteousness, stern in war, and a conscientious and zealous protector of the downtrodden.

Condition: This leaf is in very good condition with good margins all round and sharp impressions of the woodcuts. There is the expected edge browning and a brown spot on the woodcuts of Rupert and St. Vincent.
The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Size: Size of leaf: approx. 440x280 mm. Text area including heading: approx. 340x230 mm. Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame. Certificate of Authenticity.
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Notes Author: Hartmann Schedel (1440–1514)
Woodcut illustrators: Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff (with the assistance of their studio apprentices, including the young Albrecht Dürer)
Publisher and printer: Anton Koberger, 1493, Nuremberg
One of the most famous early illustrated books, this ambitious text chronicles the history of the world, from the Creation to 1493. It is considered to be the first book to successfully integrate illustrations and text. The contents are divided into seven ages:
First age: from creation to the Deluge
Second age: up to the birth of Abraham
Third age: up to King David
Fourth age: up to the Babylonian captivity
Fifth age: up to the birth of Jesus Christ
Sixth age: up to the present time (i.e. 1493)
Seventh age: outlook on the end of the world and the Last Judgement.
This monumental work is more than simply a fine example of the skills of early printers and illustrators, it also reflects the spirit of its time. While on the one hand it demonstrates the influence of Renaissance humanism, it also shows a society in the process of transformation from medieval to modern and from a scribal culture to a print culture. The Chronicle was originally published in Latin in 1493, and a German edition followed later that year. The Latin edition was printed using a typeface known as Antiqua Rotunda, while the German employed Bastarda Schwabacher. Scholars estimate that approximately 1400-1500 Latin copies and 700-1000 German ones were printed.

References: Goff S307, ISTC No. is00307000 Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, British Library.

Stock Number: PSE005

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