Illustrated incunabulum, antique folio.
Extremely rare Venetian edition of the first historical chronicle, published in print, a synthesis of world history, from Genesis to the time of Charles the Bold. Rolewinck, a Carthusian monk, organized the text along a horizontal timeline and in a system of circles as if turning an ecclesiastical scroll on one side: a challenge for his early printers.
Copy with some sheets (certainly the initial one) from another edition and reassembled later.
Essling , 1907 - 1909 n. 479 - Hain , 6934 - Sander , 6529.
Dozens of woodcut illustrations of views of cities, Christs and Saints. Gothic types 10:140 (titles), 11:76 (text). Initial spaces. Chronological diagrams with woodcut rules and animated rounds on all pages. Cityscapes (Nineveh, Trier, the Temple of Jerusalem, Rome, City of Jerusalem and Cologne), Christ sovereign of the world.
ONE OF THE FIRST WOODCUT ILLUSTRATIONS OF VENICE WITH THE DOGE'S PALACE AND GONDOLAS (Venetiarum Civitas).
The numerous woodcuts depict cities and panoramas: the first plate, on the second sheet, illustrates, at the top, the seven Days in which Heaven and Earth were created, in Gothic italics, and under that a beautiful image of Christ sovereign of the world, surrounded by Angels, who rests his foot on the terrestrial Globe, flanked by Sun and Moon and still partially immersed in the Primitive Chaos.
Folio. Sheets: 64, . Pressmark: [a-h8, π7 (of π8)]. Text in Gothic font (56 G and 75 G) on 50 lines. The Index fascicle is bound at the end of the volume and the sheets π7 and π8 are swapped but present. Integrative invisible restoration on sheets π2 and h8. Copy printed on bright paper and illustrated by hundreds of woodcuts. Modern half leather binding with decorated paper panels. Renewed endpapers.
BMC V 285; Goff R 264; Sander 6527; Essling 278; IGI 8416.
Werner Rolevinck (1425-1502) was born in Laer near Horstmar. He wrote stories and biblical interpretations that are still placed in the tradition of medieval scholasticism: his main work is the Fasciculus temporum: a universal history in a synoptic form, which was enormously popular. It is estimated that - in the various subsequent reprints - it reached a total of 100,000 copies in about 50 different editions.
History begins with the creation of the world and ends in 1475, with the story of Charles of Burgundy (Charles the Bold).
C2437; BMC VIII, 265 (IB. 41729); CIBN R-181; Goff R-277; Bod-inc. R-127.
"The Fasciculus temporum ...set out to give readers an overview of world history: a readable visual presentation that they could treat as both a memory system and as the spark for meditation." (Rosenberg, Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline, 28)
In a nineteenth-century monograph, written in Sisteron, in Provence, we read: "Bibliographical note on Fasciculus Temporum by Werner Rolewinck having been part of a book of the same material engraved in relief in Aix in 1443, with the portrait and coat of arms of René d'Anjou, by a procedure completely unknown today, by Pierre de Milan, engraver of this prince".
Since then these woodcuts (and the monograph) have fallen into obscurity, and neither Schreiber, Hind, nor any other historian of woodcut seems to mention them. They emerge briefly in early 1958, when Queens bookseller Emil Offenbacher sold a copy to Cornelius Hauck for $2,500, but like other fascinating books in Hauck's collection, their location in Ohio seems to have excluded them from scholarly attention.
The precise identity of the author of the monograph is almost as mysterious as the wooden document itself, and as the discoverer of this incunabulum he is our only source. The general catalogue of the British Library lists him as Edouard de Laplane, author of ‘Essai sur l'histoire municipale de la ville de Sisteron’ (Paris 1840) and ‘Histoire de Sisteron, tirée de ses archives’ (2 vols., Digne 1843).
La Plane recounts how she saved a copy of the Rolewinck in 1825, along with an unknown number of other books (including Cicero, Quintilian, Pliny and Xenophon, printed by Johann Schoeffer, the Aldine and Giunti houses, Colines and Froben) from a library that had been destined for the rubble.
Like Grolier and other humanist collectors, he occasionally called his property "et amicorum", but La Plane speculated that Révilliasc had begun putting together his library before the end of the fifteenth century. The books are supposed to have later belonged to Pierre de Rabaudy de Castronovo and Joseph de Châteauneuf, whose family kept them from 1623 until the early eighteenth century, when they were purchased by Joseph de Sigoin, who engraved them. However, La Plane at some point confuses this origin at by causing an ancestor of Sigoin to obtain the Rolewinck directly from Révilliasc.
There are some printing proofs that could be at the origin of the woodcuts present here, attributed to the "Good King René" (René d'Anjou, 1409-80) as an amateur artist and romantic poet, he considered himself mainly a knight and "chansonnier de geste".
He rode alongside Joan of Arc at Orléans, attended the coronation of his brother-in-law Charles VII at Reims in 1429, and gave Columbus his first ship assignment. His second daughter, Marguérite, became Queen of England when she married Henry VI.
La Plane sensed the extreme prestige linked to the figure of René d'Anjou and the opportunity to link him to a first draft of these woodcuts.
Rolewinck’s illustrations conveniently depict cities and panoramas: the first plate, on the second sheet, illustrates, at the top, the seven Days in which Heaven and Earth were created, in Gothic italics, and under that a beautiful image of Christ sovereign of the world, surrounded by Angels, who rests his foot on the terrestrial Globe, flanked by Sun and Moon and still partially immersed in the Primitive Chaos.
La Plane calls these woodcuts a true embroidery on wood, which he compares to the canvas, without the use of cutting tools, simply a pen. He proposes to call the technique "xyloglyphie", an advancement over woodcut, and predictably makes great statements about the importance of the object in the history of the invention of printing, fantasising that Gutenberg would have adopted the method of King René if only he had known it!
In 1992 Schüling (Ludwig v.R. p. 62 f.) again raised the question of the woodcuts present here and, on the basis of typographical comparisons, excluded this edition of Rolevinck from the corpus of Renchen prints. He tends to attribute them to Heinrich Quentell following Scholderer (see Scholderer, 50 Essays, p. 52 th.). When the "Fasciculus" went into print, the printer obviously had to observe the censorship rights of the University of Cologne, which had been granted to him by Pope Sextus IV in 1479 (see Corsten, Studien zum Kölner Frühdruck, p. 138).
The publisher has shown considerable skill in devising a method to report contemporary events. A strip in the centre of each page is separated from the rest of the text above and below by two sets of thick lines. Within this strip are placed one or two, sometimes three, circles in which the names of the characters who have made history appear, starting with Adam. Next to each circle is a brief statement of the lifespan of each man and the number of children. Above the circles is the date, anno mundi, calculated from the creation of the world in 5199 BC; below them and printed upside down, the number of years before the birth of Christ. The upper part of the page contains excerpts from biblical history with occasional commentaries by St. Augustine and other fathers, while the lower part contains accounts of men and events in secular history. Greek myth, Homer, Roman tradition and history are freely reported.
The invention of printing and other technological achievements of antiquity are also reported here.
Fasciculus temporum omnes antiquorum cronicas complectens. Incipit foeliciter
Rolewinck Werner (1425-1502).
(COLOPHON:) [VENEZIA]: IMPRESSUSQUE IMPENSA ETARTEMIRA [!] ERHARDI RODOLT DE AUGUSTA, 1481. 12 CALENDAS JANUARIAS.
- Aantal boeken
- Geschiedenis, Incunabelen en vroege drukken
- Auteur/ Illustrator
- Werner Rolewinck
- Fasciculus temporum omnes antiquorum cronicas
- Publicatiejaar oudste item
- Geïllustreerde druk
- Oorspronkelijke taal
- [VENEZIA]: IMPRESSUSQUE IMPENSA ETARTEMIRA [!] ERHARDI RODOLT DE AUGUSTA, 1481. 12 CALENDAS JANUARI
- Ingeplakte plaatjes
- Aantal pagina‘s.
- 289×212 mm