Catalog Archive
Auction 157, Lot 60

"Folio V [Creation]", Schedel, Hartmann

Subject: Solar System, Incunabula

Period: 1493 (published)

Publication: Nuremberg Chronicle

Color: Hand Color

8.8 x 10.8 inches
22.4 x 27.4 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.

An important leaf from the Creation of the World series. The recto features the illustration representing God's work on the sixth day. Whereas the previous engravings in this series show only God's hand in the upper corner, God is depicted in this scene creating man in his own image. Adam emerges from the soil in the Garden of Eden amongst all the animals. On the verso is the "Sanctification of the Seventh Day" that shows the Aristotelian celestial spheres, with earth at the center of thirteen symbolic circles. God sits above the firmament surrounded by the heavenly choir with four winds filling the corners of this unique illustration. The spheres surrounding earth are labeled for water, air, fire, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the ring of the Zodiac, the Coelum Christallinum or crystalline ceiling, and the Primum Mobile or prime force by which the universe is kept in motion. This is one of the most beautiful and important leaves in this great work.

References: Kanas #3.8.3; Wilson pp. 81-97.

Condition: B

There is light soiling, several tears and chips that have been professionally repaired, and a few small unrepaired holes.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $900

Closed on 5/4/2016