1493 leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle. The Twelve Apostles and Jesus. Full-page


A delightful full-page woodcut showing Jesus and the disciples, and the symbols of the four gospel writers inhabiting the corners of the print. The symbols of the apostles dates far back, another wonderful bookish example is folio 27v of the Book of Kells. This is Leaf CI and CII from the Latin edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle, from the sixth part, which covered Jesus to the current age (1493).

While there are many Nuremberg Chronicle leaves on the market, it's difficult to find a full-page cut, especially one with such a universal Christian appeal. To be honest, I'm going to price it on the high side, and if it doesn't sell, I think I'll frame it myself and put it in the book room. The subject matter and antiquity of the leaf strike a chord, for me.

I've sold these before, and the question arises, how do you know if it's real? Well, there's a number of indications. On the text-side you can see the impression (especially at the bottom edge) of the plate, meaning it wasn't printed with a modern printer. Second, it's on thick, old laid paper with chain lines; this would be difficult to source and/or reproduce. Then there's also context, the inner margin of the book is easy to see, as is the outer fore-edge corners, reassuring us that it was once part of the larger book. And the aging of the leaf is quite as one would expect, and would be difficult to reproduce.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 41.4 x 29 cm.. Single leaf. One full-page woodcut. Laid paper. On the text-side is one three line initial.

Condition -

See pictures. Some toning to leaf, especially at edges. Light moisture mark here and there, difficult to see but present. Light crease between Judas and Mathias. Some spotting, mostly at inner margin. Woodcut side has a thumb at fore-edge and a dark mark at bottom-edge. Printed side has a ghost of a label at upper corner, partially on the "CI" numbering, bottom margin has two ink spots, several thumbs along fore-edge. Moisture line more visible on this side, intrudes at bottom and mark continues into bottom paragraph. Some soiling, especially near inner margin at bottom. Overall, a very pleasing full-page woodcut that would frame stunningly well.

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