City of Troy & its Kings, Nuremberg Chronicle leaf, 1493

$300.00

 An incunable leaf from the German edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle

 with woodcuts of the (imagined) City of Troy and its Kings.

 

Recto: 30 lines of text in Bastarda Schwabacher typeface printed by letterpress on laid rag paper.  Woodcuts of the founder of Troy (Troys), Anchises and Laomedon (a King of Troy).  Below the text is a full width (200x225 mm.) woodcut of the city of Troy, Turkey.  Ancient Troy is said to have had nine cities built each on the ruins of the predecessor, from the Stone Age to Roman.  Its history is told in Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" and Virgil's "Aeneid".

 

Verso:  65 lines of text in two columns.

 

Printer:  Anton Koberger, Nuremberg

 

Date:  1493

 

Content: The leaf is from The Third Age of the Chronicle.  The heading on Verso translates to The Third Age and Recto's heading is of the World. Leaf 36.  Beneath the three woodcuts of the kings, the main body of the text reads:  Troy (Troa) is a region in Asia Minor in which lay the city of Ilion (Ilium). Yet at times Troy was considered the name of the city. According to Homer, Troy was the most celebrated city among all cities under the sun and the heavenly stars. But now great Troy (which was the capital of almost all of Asia) is extinguished, so that hardly a trace of it is to be seen. For now (as Ovid and Virgil write) fields and farms have taken its place, the city having been burned and destroyed. And so end all mortal things.

 

 

Condition:   This leaf is in good antiquarian condition with full margins all round and sharp impressions of the woodcuts. There is the expected edge browning, surface dirt from use and a few light stains. 

The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

 

Size:  of leaf approx. 475x330 mm. Text & woodcut area including heading: approx. 390x230 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $27.50.  Overseas: ask for quote.

 

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 and 700-1000 German copies were printed. 

 

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

 

Item No. PSE 066


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