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Nuremberg Chronicle, 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."
(excerpt source: compare Prices)