Schönbartbuch (titled 'Schempart Buch'), in German [Germany (Nuremberg), late 16th century]
SCHÖNBARTBUCH (TITLED ‘SCHEMPART BUCH’), IN GERMAN [NUREMBERG, LATE 16TH CENTURY]
c.315x195mm, paper, i+194 leaves, the predominant watermark close to Briquet 8246 (Magdeburg, 1598), foliated in ink to 170, lacking two leaves after f.38, the last 26 leaves left blank, the first 8 leaves numbered in the order 1, 7, 2, 4, 3, 5, 6, 8, illustrated with 82 FULL-PAGE COLOURED DRAWINGS (ff.7, 6, 8, and then all even-numbered leaves), mostly depicting single figures, pairs of figures (ff.38, 48, 82), or parade scenes (ff.10, 13, 14, 96, 118, 134, 142, 168), and a double-page (ff.17v-18r), partly with additions by a late 16th(?)-century hand (after 1596, see f.134r), some water-staining, small tears at edges, and a few leaves with repaired losses affecting text or decoration (e.g. ff.6, 16-19), CONTEMPORARY BINDING sewn on four double cords laced into beech(?) boards, the edges chamfered and with recesses for clasp fittings, with traces of a leather cover and impressions of an oval centrepiece and two rectangular panel stamps, the spine with 19th(?)-century paper label printed ‘602’
A PRESENTATION OF CHARACTERS FROM NUREMBERG'S HISTORIC CARNIVAL
(1) The Schempart, or Schönbart books were produced both in manuscript and print from the 16th to the 20th centuries and record one of the great civic festivities of Nuremberg (see S. Sumberg, The Nuremberg Schembart Carnival, 1941; H.-U. Roller, Der Nürnberger Schembartlauf. Studium zum Fest- und Maskenwesen des späten Mittelalters, 1965; S. Kinser, ‘Presentation and Representation: Carnival at Nuremberg, 1450-1550’, Representations, 13 (1986), pp. 1-41; and The World From Here, Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles, exh. cat. Los Angeles 2001-2002, pp.158-159). (2) Inscriptions dated 1616 (back pastedown and facing flyleaf). (3) Prof. Otto Hupp (1859-1949), German type designer, graphic designer, and author of books on heraldry: inscribed ‘Ex libris / O. H / 1898’ (upper pastedown); his sale by Hartung & Karl, Munich, Auktion 52, 4 November 1986, lot 21, bought by the Gallery Origrafica, Malmo, Sweden; to the present owner.
TEXT AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Brief account of the origin of the Schempart Lauf: ‘Schempart Buch Darinen Zu finden wie Anno 1350 nach Aufflauff welcher umb pfingstem von der gemein in der Statt Nürmberg geschehen und wie König Carol, nachdem er die Auffruhr gestrafft hat, die Metzger, die weil sie bey dem Alten Rath unnd der Statt so getreülich gehalten, haben die König: May, Järlich mit einem Fasnacht Spiell im Schempart Zu lauffen unnd mit einem Tanntz befreit, welcher Schempart Lauffen Hernach alle jar die geschlechter von den Metzgern erkaufft haben, unnd wie sie von Jaren zu Jarn im Schempart gelauffen, in was Farb, unnd Kleidung, unnd wie sie iren Tanntz gehalten, unnd andere Kurtzweil getrieben haben, solches alles Findestu im Schempart, Buch geschrieben unnd gemaltt.’ (f.1r); Coat of arms, Nuremberg (f.7r); Preface to the Schempartbuch, mostly rhymed (ff. 2r-5r); Portrait of 'König Carollus der vierdte. Anno 1350 das Römische Reich regiert' (f.6r); Personification of Justice (f.8r); introductory events (9r-14r); individual records of all the Schempart carnivals that took place from 1351-1439, with text mostly on one recto, giving the name of the leaders, significant events of the year or years in between carnivals, and on the following recto an illustration of the leader in full costume and identified by his coat of arms (ff.15r-170r); the remaining pages are left blank.
The Schoenberg database suggests that only two copies have ever been offered for sale publicly: one with 88 illustrations, Christie’s, 6 June 2009, lot 309, subsequently offered by Les Enluminures in 2015 ($350,000); the other with 121 illustrations, sold at Christie’s, 7 June 2006, lot 62 (£84,000). The Hartung & Karl 1986 catalogue entry mentions another copy sold by Zisska & Kistner, 26-27 Sept. 1984, no.2154.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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