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Google Maps 1493 A. D.: The Whole World in a Book at Ketterer Kunst sale in Hamburg
Hartmann Schedel. Liber chronicarum. Nuremberg. 1493. Estimate: € 100.000.

HAMBURG.- The first authentic views of German towns can be found here. In 1493, long before Google Maps, Hartmann Schedel created the first true-to-life illustrations of important cities such as Augsburg, Munich and Vienna in his “Liber chronicarum“. The most richly illustrated incunable of all, containing a total of 1809 opulent woodcuts from the print shop of Pleydenwurff / Wohlge-muth, in which Albrecht Dürer was an apprentice, will be sold by Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg on 27/28 May.

The magnificent rarity in a strong Koberger coloring, which will be called up in the auction of Rare Books, is the first Latin original edition. It contains, besides a double-page map of central Europe and a world map, historically relevant notes as well as important illustrations of German art, such as the famous Dance of Death woodcut. The complete and remarkably well-preserved copy of the Book of Chronicles, published in Nuremberg, will be called up with an estimate of € 100.000. In 2010 the much sought-after work – back then in first German edition – was sold by Ketterer Kunst. The unique book triggered a heavy bidding skirmish that did not stop before reaching a result of € 260.000*.

A copy of the famous Vorsterman Bible, one of the rarest Dutch bible editions of the 16th century, is also guaranteed to make for a thrilling atmosphere in the auction room. The well-preserved copy of the “Biblia neerlandica“ in an old coloring was not only popular with Catholics, but also with followers of the new teachings. The estimate is at € 25.000.

The autographed entries by Augustus II the Strong in two guest books of electoral vineyards are of no lesser importance. The documents from the heyday of the Saxonian court contain entries by the king of Saxony and Poland, who was well known to be a bon vivant, as well as entries by some of his mistresses and by renowned personalities and potentates, such as Frederick William I of Prussia and his then only 16 year old son Frederick the Great. The rich and interesting contemporary document will be called up with an estimate of € 6.000.

The monumental woodcut series ”Kaiser Maximilians I. Triumph” from 1796 will enter the race with an estimate of € 20.000. Even though the triumphal procession had never taken place and was made out of pure imagination, the splendid woodcuts are still of great cultural and art historical importance, not least for the illustration of contemporary costumes, armor, weapons and music instruments.

With a collection of 28 handmade bindings from the estate of Ignatz Wiemeler, as well as two portfolios with drafts and preliminary drawings, ornaments- and writing samples, a unique documentation of the impressive creation of one of the greatest bookbinders of his days will be called up. His unusual artistic and technical mastery shows in, among others, the designs for the famous bindings of Rilke’s and Goethe’s works. The estimate is at € 10.000.

More than twice this amount, that is € 25.000, has been tagged to Francisco de Goya’s first and complete edition of the famous and presumably last graphic series ”Los Proverbios” with 18 original aquatint etchings. After more than two decades, the collection is again offered on the German market.

A little below that mark, with an estimate of € 18.000, the small and extremely rare exhibition catalog of the second and last travelling exhibition of the artist book ”Die Brücke” will be called up. This is a copy from the edition with the two extremely rare woodcuts by Max Pechstein. Except for the copy that yielded 540000% with a result of € 27.000* at Ketterer last November, no other copy has been offered on the German auction market over the past 30 years.

The first German edition of Gerardus Mercator’s “Atlas minor“ will enter the race at € 14.000. It was published in 1609, just two years after the first Latin edition, accordingly, it is the third edition at all. The rare and complete work in a nice old coloring contains a world-map in two hemispheres (Shirley 259), maps of Europe, Asia, Africa and America, a round map of the North Pole and more than 100 partial maps, as well as a special map of paradise.

Paradisiacal – that can also be said about the marvelous Book of Roses by Pierre-Joseph Redouté made in 1824-27. It is one of the most acknowledged flower works with a great model character, displaying and describing the most important types of roses of its days. Thus it is not only a highly aesthetic work with great artistic value, additionally, it is of remarkable botanic use, as the explanatory texts describe, for instance, the roses’ origins, bloom and usage in the garden. The estimate is at € 12.000.

Next to Rare Books, Manuscripts, Autographs and Decorative Graphics, the auction offers works of Maritime and Northern German Art. While the latter section comprises, among others, works by Thomas Herbst (“Weidende Kühe“, estimate: 3.400) and Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen (“Enge Gasse in Chartres II“, estimate: € 2.500), the section of Maritime Art offers interesting works by Claus Bergen (“U53 auf hoher See“, estimate: € 6.000) and Antonio Jacobsen (“Deutsche Bark 'Arnold von Bippen' aus Wustrow“, estimate: € 5.500).

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