Fascinating blog by Rebecca Romney, rare book expert on Pawn Stars and manager at the Las Vegas Gallery of Bauman Rare Books!
In 1493, the same year that Columbus’s discovery of the New World was announced, a man named Hartmann Schedel was creating his own world. Using the latest technological advances, he put together the most magnificent book of the era: the first printed illustrated history of the world.
The project was called the Liber Chronicarum, though it is better known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, and it covers all the events of human history from the creation of the world to the future apocalypse–from a 15th-century perspective.
There are Biblical stories, emperors of Rome, popular myths, medieval wars; all have been edited together in this Renaissance tapestry of printing. More than 1800 woodcuts show us the great figures, eternal cities, and most advanced maps of the day.
Some copies of the work were colored by hand after they were printed. Today, complete hand-colored copies command prices in…
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