Catalog Archive
Auction 115, Lot 656

"CCLVII [Constantinople]", Schedel, Hartmann

Subject: Turkey, Istanbul, Incunabula

Period: 1493 (published)

Publication: Liber Chronicarum

Color: Hand Color

12 x 16 inches
30.5 x 40.6 cm

Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum) was published in two editions, Latin and German, both in 1493, appearing in print just before Christopher Columbus' discoveries completely re-shaped the European view of the World. This splendid work presented the history of the world in a pictorial encyclopedia with approximately 285 pages of text and 1,800 woodcut illustrations. Among these illustrations are views of towns and cities throughout Europe and the Near East. The majority of these views are entirely imaginary. In fact, 49 of the views are actually printed from the same group of 14 woodblocks. There are also 30 double-page views of cities with more realistic images. In addition to the topographical images, there are an enormous number of other subjects, including diagrams of the Creation, comets, family trees, portraits & biblical scenes. The text was compiled and edited by Hartmann Schedel, printed by Anton Koberger, with illustrations designed by Michael Wohlgemuth and Willem Pleydenwurff, who cut the woodblocks, probably with the assistance of their apprentice, Albrecht Durer.

This large view represents a fire at Constantinople and shows the famous mosque, Aya Sophia. Originally a Christian church during the Roman Empire, the church was burned in 404 and rebuilt by Theodosius II in 415, only to be again destroyed by fire in 532. Below it is a small landscape view. The verso has an illustration of heretics being burned and a portrait of the famously corrupt Borgia Pope, Alexander VI. Illustrations on recto are colored, those on the verso uncolored. Latin text.


Condition: A+

Very fine later color.

Estimate: $550 - $650

Sold for: $850

Closed on 6/21/2006