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Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages."A leaf is a single sheet bou...[more]
Vellum is a sheet of specialty prepared skin of lamb, calf, or goat kid used for binding a book or for printing and writing. Vel...[more]
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Biblicae Historiae, artificiosissimè depictæ. Biblische Historien, figürlich fürgebildet. HSB


Frankfurt: Christian Egenolph. (1537). 19th century vellum over boards, yapp fore-edges 4to. (193x140 mm.) . An early edition of this superb series of eighty woodcuts illustrating the Old Testament by the Nuremberg artist Sebald Beham (1500–1550), one of the most prolific of the artists known as the “Little Masters”, of the second generation of Northern Renaissance printmakers active in the first half of the 16th century, who were renowned for their finely rendered small-scale engravings and woodcuts. Beham's series of Bible illustrations first appeared in 1533 with German text. The present edition is one of two that appeared in 1537 to which Latin captions and been added. The 16th century saw the production of a number of small-scale woodcut Bible illustrations; Hans Holbein in Basel, Bernard Salomon and Pierre Eskrich in Lyons in the 1550s and 1560s, and by Virgil Solis and Jost Amman in Frankfurt in the 1560s and 1570s. Beham’s blocks must have been produced between 1531, when he moved to Frankfurt and began working with the printer Christian Egenolff, and 1533, when the first edition to use them appeared. They were essentially picture bibles which would appeal to children and the illiterate. Beham was a native of Nuremberg and may have trained in Dürer’s workshop, however, because his radical theological leanings, was expelled from Nuremberg by the city council. Beham spent the next few years in a somewhat itinerant fashion before settling in Frankfurt in 1531 and striking up a close association with Egenolff. He remained in Frankfurt for the remainder of his life, eventually producing some 270 etchings and engravings and over a thousand woodcuts. (For a more detailed account of his life and work, see the exhibition catalogues; Giulia Bartrum’s German Renaissance Prints 1490–1550 (British Museum, 1995) or Stephen Goddard’s The World in Miniature: Engravings by the German Little Masters 1500–1550 (University of Kansas, 1988), or the recent article by Alison Stewart, “Sebald Beham: Entrepreneur, Printmaker, Painter”, in the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, vol. 4, no. 2 (2012).) This is a particularly fine copy; the impressions are strong, crisp and fresh, and the pages are untrimmed, retaining their original deckle edges. [A more detailed description is available on request] [40] leaves. Roman, italic and black-letter types. 80 woodcut illustrations by Beham (Pauli 277–356); title within a woodcut border with scenes from Exodus, also by Beham (Pauli 271). 16th-century faded ownership inscription at top of title-apge of the Benedictine Monastery of Zwiefalten (near Reutlingen) and armorial stamp of Abbot Nikolaus Buchner of Zwiefalten (d. 1567) at the bottom of title; some very light hand soiling and a few minor smudges in blank margins; wide margined, untrimmed copy. § VD16 b 1471; Benzing Egenolff 121; Pauli p. 487; Rosenthal 24; Campbell Dodgson Early German and Flemish Woodcuts vol. i, p. 443, no. b21

Book Details

  • Biblicae Historiae, artificiosissimè depictæ. Biblische Historien, figürlich fürgebildet. HSB by BEHAM, HANS SEBALD
  • Bookseller: Jeffrey D. Mancevice, Inc. US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 10009
  • Title: Biblicae Historiae, artificiosissimè depictæ. Biblische Historien, figürlich fürgebildet. HSB
  • Book condition:
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Christian Egenolph
  • Place: Frankfurt
  • Date published: (1537)

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