NUREMBERG CHRONICLE]. SCHEDEL, Hartmann (1440-1514).
[Augsbourg: Johann Schonsperger, 1 Fevrier 1497]. - Small folio (10 7/8 x 7 2/8 inches). Two letterpress title-pages (the first with paper laid down at an early date over lower half obscuring an early inscription), original blank leaf before the index. Folding woodcut map of northern Europe at end (cropped along the top and bottom edges), two full-page woodcuts and numerous woodcuts throughout reduced from the 1493 edition (lacking blank leaf at end, many small marginal tears, occasionally affecting the text, some early marginal repairs). 17th-century sheep, spine in six compartments with five raised bands, red morocco lettering-piece in one, the others decorated with fine gilt tools (extremities a bit scuffed). Provenance: With early inscription on the title-page and marginal annotations throughout, including some relating to pope Joan on page 91, with an expanded account of her life tipped-in before page 91; the ownership inscription of Joh. Christ. Messels. Hesel 1821at the head of the title-page; the ink library stamp of a private library dated 1851 on the title-page; the modern bookplate of George McMaster Jones on the front paste-down. First Latin edition of the so-called "Small Schedel", first published in folio in July of 1493, and an instant best-seller. The Nuremberg Chronicle is the most widely known, most lavishly illustrated and extensively documented early printed book. It is a history of the known world from the dawn of creation to the date of publication: "in this respect, the Chronicle would appear, at first glance, to follow in the tradition of a conventional structure of human history within the framework of the Bible, in analogy to the six days of creation A brief Seventh Age follows, reporting the coming of the Antichrist at the end of the world and predicting the Last Judgement. This is followed, somewhat unsystematically, by descriptions of various towns This narrative pattern conforms with that of the medieval "universal chronicles" written in Latin, as well as with vernacular chronicles. In the known Middle High German chronicles of the world, too, historical events are interwoven with digressions on the subject of natural catastrophes, wars, reports of the founding of cities, etc. Events occurring in other parts of the world are inserted parallel to the biblical stories Hartmann Schedel chose to place particular emphasis on describing the most important cities of Germany and the Western world In many cases, we find in the Chronicle the first known illustrations of the cities in question, along with the story of their foundation, the etymology of their names and a painstaking list of facts about the cultural life, economy and trades flourishing there in the period around 1490" (Stephen Fussel, "Introduction" to Taschen edition). Hain-Coppinger 14509; BMC II, 370; Proctor 1786; Schreiber 5204; Goff S 308.
[Bookseller: W. Graham Arader III gallery]