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Ashmolean

BB-3 Apocalypse

[Edition V]. Incipit: Conu(er)si ab ydolis p(er) predicacione(m) b(ea)ti ioha(n)nis drusiana et ceteri.

Edition V, which is the first edition of the third group of Apocalypse blockbooks, contains a cycle of 92 pictures on 48 leaves. It is a free reworking of edition IV state B from a German workshop, preserving the wording of the text exactly (Purpus, Blockbcher der Apokalypse, 91-3).

As with edition IV, it has been argued that for edition V too the woodcutters had access, as a secondary source, to a picture-book Apocalypse manuscript close to Wellcome MS. 49. Edition V contains a small number of unexplained iconographical details, most notably the representation of St John holding up the eucharist on plate [zz]2 (b), which it shares with manuscripts in the Wellcome and New York Public Library, and not found in edition IV and the rest of the blockbook and manuscript tradition.

In its present state this copy consists of 48 separate leaves, closely trimmed, especially at the left- and right-hand edges. Each leaf is now tipped to the recto of a support leaf of a mid-nineteenth-century album and protected by a lightweight interleaving paper. However the distribution of the watermarks in the paper shows that the book originally consisted of four quires of twelve leaves.

[Germany, c.1468/70, impression c.1472]. Chancery folio.
48 leaves, 263 x 199 mm (woodcut on A1: 252 x 195 mm).

Shelfmark: Auct. M 3.14.

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