City Views, Germany, Italy, Schedel, Wuerzburg, Ferrara
"Herbipolis" (Wuerzburg, Germany)
Type of print: Woodcut
Color: Superb hand coloring
Author: Harmann Schedel (1440-1514)
Publikation: Nürnberg Chronische / Schedelsche Weltchronik
Printer: Anton Koberger (1440-1513)
Accompanying text in upper right corner: Latin language
Verso: View of Ferrara. Text in Latin
Edition: First edition
Date of publication: 1493
Condition: Near excellent!. Hardly any noteworthy traces of age and use
Front: Wuerzburg. Hight on left side: 31,8 cm (ca. 12.5"), on right side diminished
by text recess: 19 cm (ca. 7.5"). Across both pages: 51,5 cm (ca. 20")
Reverse side: Three vignettes on left side: Three popes: Constanti, Gregorius II. and Gregorius III. On right side: View of Ferrara: 18,7 x 22 cm (ca. 7.4 x 8.7").
Sheet size: 42,8 x 57,9 cm (ca. 16.9x 22.8")
Above the view of Ferrara the narration of the history of that city in Latin language.
The Nuremberg Chronicle, Nuremberg 1493
In May of 1493 appeared in the Latin language one of the earliest voluminous books, fully illustrated with 1809 woodcuts printed from 645 woodblocks: The Nuremberg Chronicle.
The story of this book is a story of superlatives. Hartmann Schedel, a medical doctor in Nuremberg who owned the most important private collection of books in all of Europe was the author. His library made the writing of this book possible. The writing and production of this book was teamwork. Among the more famous cooperators were Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and the painter and expert woodcutter Michael Wolgemut (1434-1519) who became the first noted book illustrator. His most famous apprentice up to 1489 was Albrecht Dürer who is supposedly contributed two woodcuts to the Chronicle. Poet Konrad Celtis contributed the German text which was published in December of the same year.
Sebald Schreyer (1446-1520), a wealthy merchant in Nuremberg, financed the enduring and long lasting preparations which went into the production of this book which is a "History of the World" from Genesis to the date of printing. The double page size woodcuts of city views are, with the exception of Lübeck, the first ever printed views. Large sized and sometimes in bold, bright hand coloring they are considered the crowns of city view collections.
Columbus had already "discovered" America when the Schedel Chronicle appeared on the book market. But no news of this stunning discovery had reached the editors in time to be included in this remarkable book, so that, alas, there is no mention of "The New World" in it. However it remains a fact that the Nuremberg Chronicle is one of the most noted and valuable incunabila.