Budapest woodcut, 1493. Nuremberg Chronicle


An incunable leaf from the German edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle

 with a large woodcut of Budapest


Verso:  11 lines of text in Bastarda Schwabacher typeface printed by letterpress on laid, watermarked rag paper.  Above the text is a very large (235x225 mm.) woodcut of Budapest.


Recto: 41 lines of text.


Printer:  Anton Koberger, Nuremberg


Date:  1493


Content:  The leaf is from The Addenda section of the Chronicle.   The text on Recto is continued on Verso below the Budapest woodcut and reads:  We begin our history with Hungary which adjoins and lies to the east of Austria, the fatherland of Emperor Frederick. Some call this country Pannonia. But Hungary does not reach the regions of Pannonia; nor was it as extensive as in our time. Hungary was limited to the Danube and the river Inn, and by the mountains toward Italy, and bordered on the Adriatic Sea. Pannonia was bounded on the west by Noricum and the Inn; on the east by the Moesians and the Triballi, and by the river Save (or Sau). Within this region is comprehended a large part of Austria, whlch is inhabited by Germans. Within this area Styria (once called Valeria) is also included. And although Hungary embraces lower Pannonia, from the river Leitha as far as the Save, yet it extended over the Danube and reached into Poland, and into the territory which the Gepidae once possessed, and which is now occupied by the Dacians. The power and dominion of the Hungarians is more extensive than Hungary itself, for under their rule are the Dalmatians, or Wends, the Bosnians, the Triballi, or Moesians, or Rascians, and the Getae, who in part are called Wallachians, Transylvanians and Siebenburghers; although, in our own time, some of these have been driven out by the Turks. The Romans under Emperor Octavian conquered these provinces as far as the Danube. and fought Bachonus, the Pannonian king, and the Armantiners between the Save and the Drave. But Trajan, the emperor, subjugated Dacia on the farther side of the Danube, which is a part of Hungary, and made a province of this barbarian territory.



Condition:   This leaf is in very good antiquarian condition with sharp impressions of the text and woodcut. There is the expected edge browning, surface dirt from use and a couple of light spots.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  of leaf approx. 435x330 mm. Text & woodcut area: approx. 295x225 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 068

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