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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Schedel’s World Chronicle in contemporary colour and boasting superlative provenance featured at Ketterer Kunst book auction

Hamburg – This is really a rarity, the “Liber chronicarum” of Hartmann Schedel, coloured by Johannes Cincinnius himself. Published in 1493, this book, that comes from the fabled library of the humanist Cincinnius, is one of the most comprehensive book projects of its time and probably the most sumptuously illustrated of all incunabula. Carrying an estimate of € 80 000, the Nuremberg Chronicle with the first authentic views of German cities – before it only fantasy vedute were to be had – is to be called at the Ketterer Kunst Rare Books auction in Hamburg on 19/20 May.

schedel.jpgJohannes Cincinnius must have really loved his copy of Schedel’s World Chronicle because he not only coloured it with the greatest of care but also embellished it with numerous marginal notes. Cross-references, additions, captions and even utterly idiosyncratic and capricious markings from his hand are scattered throughout the book. Here a great scholar was at work, no doubt about it, one who not only studied this valuable book from the first to the last page but also assimilated it and added to its overall design.

“That this particular exemplar of Schedel’s World Chronicle is now being offered at auction is an event in the history of the rare books market,” thus Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst. Johannes Cincinnius, whose real name was Kruyshaer [literally “Curly Locks”], was a librarian and archivist in the Rhenish Benedictine Abbey at Werden, to which he left a library of over 150 volumes in his will. Secularisation in the Napoleonic era scattered them and Schedel’s World Chronicle, which along with the 1513 edition of the Ptolemy “Geographia”, was the highlight of the Cincinnius library, was sold at auction in Münster in 1824. After that the World Chronicle vanished without trace until it was rediscovered in a German private library, where it had been since the early 20th century.

Pre-sale viewings have been scheduled at 1 Meßberg, Hamburg, for the following dates and times:
7-9 May from 11 am-5 pm
13-16 May from 11 am-5 pm
18 May by appointment

The auction of Rare Books – Manuscripts – Autographs – Decorative Prints is scheduled for the following dates and times, also at 1 Meßberg, Hamburg:
main auction: 19/20 May: both at 10 am
evening auction: 19 May at 6 pm