Auction 140, Lot 700

"CXXX - Constantinopolis", Schedel, Hartmann

Subject: Istanbul, Turkey

Period: 1493 (published)

Publication: Liber Chronicarum

Color: Hand Color

20.8 x 9.3 inches
52.8 x 23.6 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 is one of the earliest available views of the city, and is one of only a few two-sheet views from the Chronicle. Largely an anachronistic view, it provides an early record of several major cultural monuments, including numerous mosques and the Justinian Column. One of the interesting aspects of the view is the inclusion of several large windmills located within the impressive city walls. A large ship in the foreground represents the city's strategic location on the straits of Bosphorus. There is Latin text above and on verso (with several fine woodblock illustrations of the emperor Constantine and his descendants). Two joined sheets, as issued.


Condition: C+

Wide, original margins with several worm tracks and a 2" x 4" section along centerfold at bottom of image that have all been expertly and almost invisibly repaired with the image in facsimile.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500

Sold for: $800

Closed on 5/23/2012