Close BB-2 Apocalypse

[Edition IV state E]. Incipit: ‘Conu(er)si ab ydolis p(er) predicacione(m) b(ea)ti ioha(n)nis drusiana et ceteri: . . .’ Edition IV represents the second group in the sequence of blockbook Apocalypse editions. It contains a cycle of 92 pictures on 48 leaves, wanting the two extra plates added in state II of edition I/II. The blocks were recut in a distinctive ‘German’ style on the basis of a copy of edition I/II. Bing, whose hypotheses are developed by Purpus, argues that a number of iconographical details in edition IV result from the consultation of a picture-book Apocalypse manuscript close to Wellcome MS. 49 as a secondary source; cf. the important counterarguments by Donati, ‘L’Apocalissi’, arguing that Wellcome MS. 49 was derived directly from blockbook edition IV. The New York manuscript, executed by the same artist but unknown to Bing and Donati, also corresponds very closely to the blockbook (Hamburger). Notwithstanding these difficulties, there remain a number of distinctive iconographical details which can only be explained by consultation of a picture-book manuscript; cf. the examples discussed by Donati in his review of Samek Ludovici, 99–109 with figs 1–9. The order of the plates is corrected in this edition to make it correspond more closely to the biblical text; concordance in Schreiber, Manuel, IV 167. For facsimiles of edition IV, see: Apocalisse xilografica estense. Analisi di S. Samek Ludovici. Testo latino nella edizione oxoniense di J. Wordsworth e H. White. Traduzione e note di Cesare Angelini (Parma, 1969) (Modena copy); French trans. by J.-B. Bossuet and introduction by Y. Hersant (Parma, 1969; Milan and Paris, 1983); German trans. (Parma and Geneva, 1974); Purpus, Farbmikrofiche-Edition (Mainz copy); Blockbücher des Mittelalters, 63–74 (black-and-white reproduction of the Mainz copy). A transcription of the text is contained in the edition by Samek Ludovici 143–70; German edition, 94–188.

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

 48 leaves, all with woodcuts and xylographic text printed on one side of the paper, signatures A–T, ……[V strike], V, X–Z, Ʒ. Collation: [1–316]. This edition exists in five different states, distinguished on the basis of a series of deliberate interventions (Purpus’s states A, B, C, D, and E) and the presence or absence of an interleaved manuscript translation. The Bodleian variant is made up in quires of 16 printed leaves with an interleaved translation, so that in its original state it had the collation: [1–324], where leaves 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, and 23 of each quire are handwritten insertions and the printed pages (beginning on fol. [1v] = A1) are alternately versos and rectos in the first half of the quire and rectos and versos in the second half. One of 14 complete copies of this edition, the others in Cambridge, Mass. HarvCL (IVE), Cologne UStB (IVE), Darmstadt LHSB (IVE), Haarlem SB (IVE), Heidelberg UB (IVE, with interleaved German translation), Mainz GutenbergM (IVE), Manchester JRL (IVD, dated binding 1467), Modena Est (IVB), New York PML (IVE), Paris BnF (IVE), Schweinfurt Otto-SchäferB (IVE), Washington LC (IVE), and Williamstown ChL (IVE); 10 imperfect copies in Berlin KunstB (IVA, 45 leaves), Berlin SB (IVE, 38 leaves), The Hague RL (IVE, 46 leaves), Göttingen UB (IVE, 43 leaves), London BL (IVE, 47 leaves, with interleaved German translation), New York NYPL (IVE, 46 leaves), Paris BnF (IVC, 39 leaves), Paris Musée Dutuit (IVE, 47 leaves), Stuttgart LB (IVE, 46 leaves), Wolfenbüttel HAB (IVE, 40 leaves, with interleaved German translation); 8 fragments (mostly from the dismembered Blum copy) in Boston PubL (2 leaves), New York PML (12 leaves), Oberlin ObCL (1 leaf), Rotterdam Mus. Boymans (3 leaves), San Marino HEHL (combined with leaves from edition V to make a complete copy), Toledo TolMAL (1 leaf), and fragments offered for sale by Christie’s in London (sale 24 Nov. 1993, lot 57: 1 leaf) and August Laube in Zurich (cat. 27, 27 Sept. 2001: 2 leaves). See the list of copies in Purpus, Farbmikrofiche-Edition, 24–5. State E of edition IV, as defined by Purpus and represented by the Bodleian copy, shows loss of the upper contours of the hillside and of three stars under the inscription ‘terremotus’ on D2 (b) (states B–E, Purpus, ‘Blockbücher der Apokalypse’, ills VII.7–9), radically pruned trees on Z1 (b) (states C–E), two, rather than three mitred figures behind the king on I1 (a) and the loss of the third soldier on plate I1 (b) (states D–E), as well as the empty banderole to the right of the horse on D1 (a) which in earlier states reads ‘Equus ypocrisis est’ (only state E). The German interleaving has the incipit: ‘HIe hebet sich an das Buch der heymlichen offenbarunge sant Johanns czu Tutschem Als das in diesem buch zu latin mit den figuren hernach geschriben folget Züm ersten wiset dys buch uß / wie santus Johannes ein frawen genant drusiana . . . DArnach . So taüffte sant johanns die frawen drusianam . mit vil mee folcks / Vnd lerte sie den cristen glaüben’. The language is Southern Rhenish Franconian, suggestive of a Heidelberg provenance (long monophthongs preserved, ‘au’ for ou, lengthening of short vowels in open syllables as in ‘diesem’, shifted p in ‘pferd’, ‘harpffen’, ‘pfiffen’, ‘scharff’, frequent unshifted d in forms such as ‘det’ and ‘dot’, frequent Central German forms such as ‘vor-’, ‘sonn’, and ‘konig’). For the different versions of the German interleaving of edition IV, see Palmer, ‘Latein und Deutsch’, 319–21. Watermark evidence, for which see below, and inscriptions in the Mainz (referring to the year 1463) and Manchester (dated binding from 1467) copies allow an approximate date for this edition in the mid-1460s, before 1467; see Stevenson 243–4 (c.1465); Stevenson, in Briquet (repr. 1968) I 95 (c.1463); Purpus, ‘Blockbücher der Apokalypse’, 96 (before 1467); Purpus, Farbmikrofiche-Edition, 22–4; U. Baurmeister, in CIBN I p. iv (c.1462–3). Whereas Schreiber localizes this edition on stylistic grounds to Franconia (Manuel, IV 161), the evidence of paper stocks and the provenance of surviving copies points more to western Germany.

ills. Heinecken, Idée, pl. 10; Strutt, Biographical Dictionary, II pl. VI (Bodleian copy); Katalog der Freiherrlich von Lipperheide’schen Kostümbibliothek (Berlin, 1896–1901), I 173–5 (Berlin KunstB copy); Schreiber, Manuel, VII pl. LII (Berlin KunstB copy); Kristeller, Apokalypse, pls LI–LII; N. F. Palmer, ‘Zum Nebeneinander von Volkssprache und Latein in spätmittelalterlichen Texten’, in Literatur und Laienbildung im Spätmittelalter und in der Reformationszeit. Symposion Wolfenbüttel 1981, ed. L. Grenzmann and K. Stackmann, Germanistische Symposien: Berichtsbände, 3 (Stuttgart, 1984), 579–600, ill. at 595 (Bodleian copy); Blockbücher des Mittelalters, colour pls 9–11 (Mainz copy); Kostbare Handschriften und Drucke, Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz: Ausstellungskataloge, 9 (Wiesbaden, 1978), 30 no. 10 (Berlin SB copy); Halbey, ‘Mainzer Blockbuch-Ausgabe’, 79–80 (Modena copy); Purpus, ‘Blockbücher der Apokalypse’, 88–9 ills VII.7–9 (Berlin KunstB, Modena and Manchester copies).

refs. Heinecken, Idée, 349–58 (‘edition 2’); Sotheby I 21–3 (‘edition 4’); Firmin Didot 46 (‘edition D’); Dutuit I 131–9; Schreiber, Manuel, IV 164–5, 168–216; BMC I 3; Hind I 222; Bing, ‘Apocalypse’, 146–8; L. Donati, review of the facsimile by Samek Ludovici, Bibliofilia, 72/3 (1970/1), 97–111; CIBN I pp. iv–v (AA-2); Palmer, ‘Latein und Deutsch’, 319–21; H. A. Halbey, ‘Die Mainzer Blockbuch-Ausgabe “Apokalypse”……’, in Blockbücher des Mittelalters, 75–80.

copy c.285 × c.210 mm (woodcut on fol. A1: 255 × c.187 mm). Watermarks: The first quire has twin unicorns with trifurcated tails (Sotheby III pl. B; Briquet 10001 (Arlon 1463, Luxemburg? 1467, Verdun? 1472, Cologne 1472); Stevenson 243 (Arlon 1463); A. Stevenson, in Briquet I *27, with a reference to this mark in unspecified Cologne quarto incunable editions; not listed in the printed edition of Piccard), combined with a single example of a distinctive letter P with straight crossbar positioned over the stem (Sotheby III pl. B, from this copy; PiccP type X 253–62 (Rhineland 1468–72), closest to X 262 (Siegen 1472); Stevenson 243 (Arlon 1465)). The second and third quires have the same letter P combined with a second variety with a rounded crossbar positioned over the stem (Sotheby III pl. B, from this copy; PiccP type X 268–76 (Rhineland 1468–71), very close to X 270 (Siegen 1470)). Both the London BL copy and that in Paris Musée Dutuit (formerly Johnson copy) appear to contain the same combination of unicorn and letter P watermarks, and are thus likely to have been printed in the same workshop at the same time; cf. Sotheby III pl. C (‘Johnson copy’). In addition, the fragment offered for sale by August Laube, Zurich, in 2001 may belong to the same group. Stevenson 249 refers to the same letter P watermark in the Brussels copy of Biblia pauperum edition I. The evidence of these copies, taken together with the frequent occurrence of variants of unicorn with trifurcated tail (Briquet 10001) in Cologne incunabula from the presses of Ulrich Zel and Arnold ther Hoernen in the later 1460s and early 1470s (e.g. A-559, B-608, G-113, G-133, J-124(1), N-085), provides an important pointer to the place of printing and date for the group of copies associated with that at the Bodleian, which is to be placed somewhere in western Germany with access to paper stocks from the Vosges, possibly in the region of Cologne, shortly before or even after 1470. Printed in grey-black ink on one side of the paper by rubbing. The state of the blocks is very closely comparable to the Mainz copy; one or two additional fractures (e.g. B2 (a), F1 (b), F2 (a)) could indicate that the Bodleian impression is the later of the two. 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 (cf. Blockbücher des Mittelalters, colour pls 9–11). The choice and disposition of colours is so close to the Mainz copy as to suggest the use of a common model. Traces of paste or glue on the versos indicate that all blank pages were at one time pasted together. They have now been separated, except for S2/T1 and T2/V1, which have suffered deliberate mutilation. These are now pasted together over a late nineteenth-century wove repair paper to hold the shredded strips in place. Humfrey Wanley, who mentions this item in a letter of 21 Sept. 1697 to John Bagford, notes that it had ‘2 leaves pasted together’ (Letters of Humfrey Wanley, 76), from which it may be assumed that at this time only S2/T1 and T2/V1 were pasted. Francis Douce (†1834), in his notes on Bodleian blockbooks (kept with BB-1), writes, ‘A few of the leaves are single and others remain pasted together as they were originally.’ The interleaved translation was copied on 24 single leaves, pasted to guards of rather heavy medieval paper of similar, if not identical, character to that used for the printed leaves, and inserted into the printed quires. The paper of the interleaving has three watermarks: Letter P with quatrefoil, similar to PiccP IX 1543 (Speyer, Strasbourg 1471); Letter P with quatrefoil, very close to PiccP IX 1587 (Bensberg/Cologne 1472); Letter P with quatrefoil, not attested by Briquet or in the printed edition of Piccard. The early date of the paper stocks lends support to the hypothesis that the manuscript translation was added at a very early date. The guard on which the first leaf with the translation for A1/2 is mounted preserves traces of the pen flourishing of three red initials, corresponding in position to the three initials on the added leaf with the translation. There are similar remnants of text extending into what was once the inner margin on the guards facing B2, G1, and T1, suggesting that the set of 24 single leaves with the German translation is a replacement for an original set of 12 interleaved bifolia inscribed with a text that was subsequently deemed unsatisfactory for some reason and cut out, leaving stubs that were then used as guards to which the replacement leaves could be pasted. The handwritten leaves have alphabetical signatures in the upper right-hand corner of each recto (and for b–e in the lower right-hand corner of the verso as well), which served as assembly marks to indicate the pair of printed leaves to which each manuscript leaf belonged. Signatures are missing for a, f, and t (hidden by a repair). The manuscript insertions for L1/2 and R1/2 have been pasted in back to front, probably already in the fifteenth century. The printed leaves were trimmed after they were pasted together, but before the handwritten interleaving was replaced. The book contains a very small number of minor handwritten additions. A handwritten note, in an early sixteenth-century hand, has been added in the lower margin of O1: ‘zu gott ste alle myn hoffung’; on Ʒ2: ‘1529’, ‘vf d 129’. The condition of the volume is fair, with the exception of the mutilated leaves and a number of minor tears. Some early repairs make use of a white handmade laid paper, possibly from the time of Laud’s rebinding. Later repairs make use of a buff machine-made wove paper, a transparent paper, and a machine-made laid paper dating from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The order of leaves is original, except that the bifolium with plates M2 and N1 has been removed from the middle of the second quire and placed as an eccentric insertion in the first quire, between A1 and the corresponding page of interleaving. The printed leaves are numbered 1–48 in reddish-brown ink, in the same hand that numbered the support leaves (dating from c.1790) of the Bodleian Canticum canticorum blockbook (BB-7), correctly marking the displaced leaves M2 and N1 as 24 and 25. A sheet of drawings (140 × 218 mm) showing standing figures and an architectural design executed in black and white on grey hand-tinted paper and dated on the recto ‘1496’ and ‘1495’ (on verso ‘b2’), attributable to Mair von Landshut, has been mounted on a modern support leaf and inserted into the book after B1; see Hind, ‘An Undescribed Sheet of Drawings’; for the artist, see C. Talbot, in The Dictionary of Art, ed. J. Turner, vol. 20 (London and New York, 1996), 130. This leaf was present when Francis Douce (†1834) inspected the book; cf. his handwritten notes on the Bodleian blockbooks inserted in BB-1.

refs. CMA 62 no. 988; [Wanley], ‘Observations’, 1509–10; Meerman I 234 and 236; Heinecken, Nachrichten, II 186–7; Heinecken, Idée, 373; Strutt, Biographical Dictionary, II 17; Sotheby I 23; Dutuit I 138; Pr 41; SC 988; Schreiber, Manuel, IV 165 (with incorrect shelfmark ‘Auct. M. III 14’); A. M. Hind, ‘An Undescribed Sheet of Drawings by Nicolaus Alexander Mair of Landshut with some Notes on the Master’s Engravings’, in Festschrift für Max J. Friedländer (Leipzig, 1927), 30–3; [L. W. Hanson], ‘Some Observations Concerning the Invention and Progress of Printing, to the Year 1465’, BLR 6/6 (1961), 634–5; R. W. Hunt, in H. O. Coxe, Laudian Manuscripts, Bodleian Library Quarto Catalogues, 2, repr. from the edn. of 1858–1885, with corrections and additions, and an historical introduction by R. W. Hunt (Oxford, 1973), pp. xxiv, xxxviii, 536; The Letters of Humfrey Wanley, Palaeographer, Anglo-Saxonist, Librarian, 1672–1726, ed. P. L. Heyworth (Oxford, 1989); Palmer, ‘Zum Nebeneinander’, 595–6; Blockbücher des Mittelalters, 383, 398; Palmer, ‘Latein und Deutsch’, 321 no. 11; Sheppard no. 2.

Binding: Seventeenth-century gold-tooled armorial-centrepiece inboard binding for William Laud, probably executed by the London printer Richard Badger before 1639. 305 × 221 × 28 mm. Brown tanned calf, with a grey surface stain, over laminated pulpboard. The upper and lower flyleaves of an earlier, probably early sixteenth-century binding have been retained, tipped to the first and last printed leaves; the watermark of these leaves is a bull’s head with eyes and nostrils and an unidentified motif on a single-contoured staff, similar but certainly not identical to Briquet 15182 (Nuremberg 1522). For Laud’s binding new single-bifolium endleaves of plain paper with an outside hooked guard of English printed waste were added. The textblock was resewn all-along on four single tawed supports to make five quires in all (including the two endleaf quires). The displaced bifolium M2/N1 was at this time sewn in place, in the first quire, after the first printed leaf. The edges of the textblock have not been trimmed, and the outer leaves of the added endleaf quires have not been pasted down as board sheets. Each board is framed with a blind double fillet and has the larger of Laud’s two armorial centrepieces (103 × 79 mm), displaying his personal arms on the right and those of the archiepiscopal See of Canterbury on the left, tooled in gold. For the larger centrepiece, used here, see the reproduction in Davenport 265; for the smaller centrepiece (63 × 49 mm), see Rogers, Treasures, 88 and fig. 74. Each board originally had two textile ties, their ends pasted down and covered with plain-paper patches on the inner face of the boards, now cut flush. The headcap of the binding was repaired with tanned leather, probably in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.

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); inscription in a late fifteenth-century hand on fol. 5r ‘Bittend got für den armen sünder geber diess büchss uwer brüder diether von Hentschüssheym’, most likely recording the gift of the book to a religious instutution where the donor held confraternity. Archbishop William Laud (1573–1645); his arms on the upper board and inscription on fol. 1r ‘Liber Guilelmi Laud Archiepiscopi Cantuarensis et Cancellarii uniuersitatis Oxoniensis 1638.’ Received by Laud 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 Laud’s third donation. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: Laud E. 65 (spine and inside upper board; cf. the handlist of Laud manuscripts, datable 1683/7, in Library Records e. 340, fol. 111r); Arch. B. 86 (Library Records e. 340, fol. 159r). Meerman I 234 note (bb), on the basis of his correspondence with the Oxford biblical scholar Benjamin Kennicott (1718–1783), records the shelfmark as ‘Archiv. B. 86’. Cf. SC I 41 no. 988.

shelfmark: Auct. M 3.15.