Auction 98, Lot 477

"IIII [Creation]", Schedel, Hartmann

Subject: Incunabula

Period: 1493 (published)

Publication: Nuremberg Chronicle

Color: Black & White

Size:
10.7 x 16.6 inches
27.2 x 42.2 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 the God's work at the end of the fourth day. God's hand is shown in the upper left with the thirteen symbolic rings of the firmament interspersed with stars, the sun and moon. These surround a small landscape (drawn upside down) signifying the earth in rotation. The verso continues with the creation of the birds and fishes on the fifth day. This is one of the most beautiful wood block illustrations in this great work.

References:

Condition: B

Light scattered spotting with a printer's crease and a couple of tiny holes

Estimate: $650 - $750

Sold for: $475

Closed on 3/6/2002

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