A German Medieval Chronicle – In a Contemporary Binding - Illustrated with 2 full-page Woodcuts

Bämler, Johann (ca. 1430-1503)

Chronik von allen Kaisern, Königen und Päpsten [=Jacob Twinger von Königshoven, Cronica, Extracts (Chap. 2 and 30]. Add: Die Reformation des Kaisers Siegmund (lvs. 79-117). Die Reformation des Kaisers Friedrich (lvs. 117-122)

Augsburg: Anton Sorg, 1480


Chancery folio: 28.5 x 21.3 cm. 166 leaves ([9], ii-clvii, [1]), with the final blank. Collation (assigned by BMC): *8, a-g10, h-o10, p8, q10. Heading of four leaves printed in red and black, with large woodcut initials, two leaves with full-page woodcuts.


An excellent copy, bound in contemporary Stuttgart blindstamped calf over wooden boards [Kyriss 21], with only minor repairs to the spine. Internally a fresh, attractive copy with a few very minor marginal blemishes, and a few marginal tears (no loss and not affecting the text.) Heading of four leaves printed in red and black, with large woodcut initials, two leaves with full-page woodcuts. The pastedown are from Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historiaby Jacobus de Voragine, Augburg: Anton Sorg, 1478. Provenance: W. H. I. (inscription on rear pastedown)

Rare. This edition is represented in North America by a single copy (Rosenwald Collection). There are3 copies of the 1476 edition in North America (Morgan, Newberry, Chapel Hill), and no copy of the 1487 third edition.

Johannes Bämler was an Augsburg scribe, rubricator, printer and bookseller, known for his illustrated books, which included the Buch von den Sieben Todsünden und den Sieben Tugenden (1474) and the Buch der Natur (1475). The two full-page woodcuts in this edition of the Chronik, depicting Emperor Sigismund and Pope John XXIII?, are different from those used in the first edition.

"Bämler is the author of a High German Kaiser- und Papstchronik (Chronicle of Emperors and Popes). First published in 1476 on his own printing press, Bämler's chronicle is a compilation of several older works, especially the anonymous Reformatio Sigismundi (Basel ca. 1439) and large parts from the second and third chapters of the chronicle of Jakob Twinger von Königshofen (1346-1420). The account arranges popes and emperors in pairs, beginning with Julius Caesar and St Peter and proceeding to the end of the 15th century with Frederick III and Sixtus IV. A larger section deals with the Council of Constance (1414-18), for which Bämler used a hitherto unknown source. The work was reprinted twice by other printers in Bämler's lifetime: Anton Sorg (Augsburg, 1480) and Johann Schönsperger (Augsburg, 1487). Bämler also printed and may have authored a second chronicle, the Ursprung und Anfang der Stadt Augsburg."(Birgit Munch, Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle)

ISTC ib00009000; HC *9793; GW 3164; BMC II, 348; BSB-Ink T-575; Schreiber 3755, ISTC ib00009000; Goff B-9