With a reference to the invention of printing (in 1454) on the verso of Folio 64.


359J  Werner Rolewinck    1425-1502

Fasciculus temporu[m] omnes antiquo[rum] chronicas strictim complectens felici numine incipit. Prologus.

Venice : Erhard Ratdolt, 8 Sept. 1485              $16,000

DSCN0204Folio (275 x 195 mm).  [A]8 [a-g]8 [h]10   75 leaves  without signatures or page numbers (9 leaves, 1-66 foliated ), 3 columns in table, 59 lines and foliation, gothic letter, 2 large ornamental initials, 59 woodcuts, one full-page, woodcut diagrams. This  copy is nicely bound in modern quarter vellum.

As the fifth and last Venetian edition, and fourth Ratdolt edition it is the most complete edition of Rolewinck’s chronological history of the world. The chronology follows a double time-line, measuring time from both the Creation and the birth of Christ to the death of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror in the year 1481, demanding a remarkably complex DSCN0197typographical layout. The Fasciculus Temporum (Little bundles of time) was the first book printed on history of the world, it is also one of the earliest and greatest of illustrated incunabula.DSCN0193

The illustrations show Noah s Ark, the tower of Babel and contain several town views including Jerusalem, Syracuse, Rome and the Doge s Palace in Venice. Rolewinck (1425-1502) was a Carthusian monk and prolific author. This book was both the most popular DSCN0198of his numerous writings and the most popular concise world chronicle of its time, being printed 32 times in the 15th century, including translations into French, German and Dutch . Rolewinck’s Fasciculus Temporum was an enormously popular world chronicle, appearing in over 30 incunabular editions in Latin, German, French, and Dutch. A very handsome and typographically-sophisticated volume, with varying columns, circular devices with inset type, and woodcuts throughout. This work aspires to trace the history of the world from the beginning of time until the year of pulication. The thirty-three woodcuts are crisp and rather charming, and, like those in many fifteenth- and sixteenth-century chronicles, are occasionally reused to illustrate different events and locations. The work is fascinating for the comprehensiveness of its content as well as the beauty of its execution.



Of particular interest is a reference to the invention of printing (in 1454) on the verso of Folio 64.



Goff R271; H 6935*; Redgr 52; Essling 280; Sander 6530; Schr 5116C; Pell Ms 10192 (9969); CIBN R-177; Arnoult 1276; Neveu 528; Nice 269; Torchet 821; Polain(B) 4691; IDL 3943; IBE 4955; IGI 8420; CCIR R-40; Kotvan 1024; Sajó-Soltész 2972; Gspan-Badalić 590; IBPort 1576; Mendes 1124, 1125, 1126; Madsen 3526; Martín Abad R-48; Voull(B) 3801; Hubay(Augsburg) 1811; Hubay(Eichstätt) 898; Walsh 1830; Rhodes(Oxford Colleges) 1525; Bod-inc R-121; Sheppard 3688; Pr 4404; BMC V 290; BSB-Ink R-247; GW M38738