Survivors


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Ashmolean

BB-1 Apocalypse

A cycle of pictures illustrating the Apocalypse, deriving from the tradition of the English illustrated Apocalypse manuscripts. The blockbook can be associated with a group of manuscripts known as the picture-book Apocalypses, in which the revelations granted to St John the Evangelist on Patmos are framed by scenes portraying his persecution, banishment, miracles, last mass, and death and which also contain, as an interpolation, a series of scenes from the life of Antichrist.

The state of the blocks shows that this is a relatively late impression, as they show signs of wear, with some broken borders.
Watermarks of the paper can also be dated to c. 1466.

This is one of only two copies of edition I/II to have remained uncoloured, except for some yellow for the beast, the thuribles, crowns, and angels wings on pls k1l1; the detail of the woodcut printing is much more clearly visible than in the Munich UB copy on which the facsimiles are based, or indeed than the unique Manchester JRL copy of edition I/I, which was printed from the same blocks more than a decade earlier (c. 1452).

This volume and an uncoloured copy of the editio princeps of the blockbook Biblia pauperum (edition IV), now in Washington LC, Rosenwald Collection Incun. X. B 562, were at one time bound together, along with an as yet untraced Ars moriendi, as a Sammelband. Thomas Frognall Dibdins report of 1814, based on information provided by the dealer Alexander Horn of Regensburg, who had broken the volume up and sold the three parts as separate items, records an early binding with a tooled inscription stamped, at the extremity of the binding, towards the edge of the spine: Hic Liber Relegatus fvit per Plebanum Ecclesie Anno domini 142[8]; see T. F. Dibdin, Bibliotheca Spenceriana (London, 181415), I p. iv. The Apocalypse and the Biblia pauperum are now housed in identical bindings, made for John Bellingham Inglis some time before 1826.

[Netherlands or Germany, mid-1460s, impression c.1466-70]. Chancery folio.

48 leaves.

Shelfmark: Douce 249.

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