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Ashmolean

BB-2 Apocalypse

This item represents the second group in the sequence of blockbook Apocalypse editions. It contains a cycle of 92 pictures on 48 leaves. The blocks were recut in a distinctive German style. The Bodleian copy contains a contemporary handwritten German translation interleaved with the printed plates of the blockbook.

[Germany, c.1465, impression c.1470]. Chancery folio.
Interleaved German translation, handwritten.

48 leaves, c.285 x c.210 mm (woodcut on fol. A1: 255 x c.187 mm).

Printed in grey-black ink on one side of the paper by rubbing. Coloured in green, yellow, dull orange, red, purple, pale brown, and black. Thick strokes of black are used to mark outlines, as in many other copies of this edition.

The binding is a seventeenth-century gold-tooled armorial-centrepiece inboard binding for William Laud, probably executed by the London printer Richard Badger before 1639. Each board is framed with a blind double fillet and has the larger of Lauds two armorial centrepieces (103 x 79 mm), displaying his personal arms on the right and those of the archiepiscopal See of Canterbury on the left, tooled in gold.

Provenance: Dieter von Handschuhsheim, probably to be identified as Dieter V von Handschuhsheim (1432-1487), who was a leading official in the service of the electors palatine at the Heidelberg court and in 1470 founded a convent of Augustinian nuns in Handschuhsheim, near Heidelberg, rather than his son, Dieter VI (1482-1521); An inscription in a late fifteenth-century hand on fol. 5r Bittend got fr den armen snder geber diess bchss uwer brder diether von Hentschssheym, most likely records the gift of this book to a religious institution by Dieter V von Handschuhsheim (1432-1487), who was a leading official in the service of the electors palatine at the Heidelberg court and in 1470 founded a convent of Augustinian nuns in Handschuhsheim, near Heidelberg. Received by Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645) in 1638, the year in which the main body of manuscripts from the Cistercian abbey of Eberbach in the Rheingau and from the Mainz Charterhouse (along with manuscripts from some other German sources) came into his possession, and passed on to the Bodleian in 1639 as part of Lauds third donation.

Shelfmark: Auct. M 3.15.

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