Oppenheim: J. Kobel, 1518 (March 24). First Edition. Folio (textblock: 310 x 210 mm; binding: 315 x 220 mm). , 74,  ff., COMPLETE. Illustrated with a fine historiated woodcut border on the title-page, and on the Dedication to the Emperor Maximilian with the armorial devices of the chief states of Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, on leaf 14 appears the fine woodcut of the Anatomical Man showing the planetary influences on the human body, 24 woodcut views of Renaissance European cities, 12 woodcuts with the occupations of the months, 12 woodcut signs of the zodiac, 63 diagrams of lunar and solar eclipses, 4 full-page figures of astronomical and horological instruments and numerous decorative woodcut initials throughout. Original beech boards rebound Eidolon House: modern spine of black calf sympathetically tooled in blind, pronounced endbands of alum-tawed leather strips, each gathering guarded and resewn, sympathetic pastedowns and endpapers. Pasted inside upper cover is an early ex-libris inscription in Latin (see below), the bookplate of O.W. Jaquish, and a 20th century bookseller's catalogue description. Paper stock generally weak, some occasionally significant staining, chipping and short tears around edges of textblock, outer margins of title-page extended, some paper repairs (old and new), final leaf backed with old paper. With faults, and priced accordingly. Item #3078
First Edition of this justly famous Renaissance book, impressive not only as an example of typography and book illustration but as an important source of astronomical and horological science. Copernicus's own copy of the book, still at Uppsala, was annotated by him and records his observations of eclipse predictions in the 1530s and 1540s. The "Calendarium" is actually two works in one, being a compendium of astronomical, cosmological, medical, and historical writings. As the title indicates, there is an exposition on reforming the Julian calendar; these are the improvements that were taken into account in the Gregorian reform. Although the present copy is quite complete, there are condition issues with the paper stock, and is priced accordingly. The book has been been masterfully rebound using the original beech boards, and retaining early provenance information dating from 1535, at which time the heirs of Johann Pachler sold the book to the Tegernsee Benedictine Monastery. Pachler (d. 1535), a vicar at Egern, was a book collector and amateur astronomer / astrologer (see below).
The illustrations include the famous woodcut of the anatomical man ("simulacrum humani corporis") which diagrams specific parts of the anatomy appertaining to astrological signs and in turn are locales for blood-letting at appropriate phases of the sun, moon and planets.
The next illustrated section in the book is the "Abacus Regionum per totom ferme European" in which the latitude and longitude of all important European and Near Eastern cities are given (beginning with England, Ireland, and Scotland). This section contains twenty-four woodcut views of Renaissance towns, including Nürnberg, Mainz, Landshut, Frankfurt, Köln, Granada, Lyon, Basel, Venice, etc. According to Redgrave, some of the woodcuts are accurate representations (Venice for example).
Then follows the beautiful "Calendarium" printed in red and black. Each month has an original circular zodiac sign cut in wood in the outer margin, and in the lower margin a fine occupational woodcuts appropriate for said month. The next eleven pages are devoted to eclipses of the sun and moon entitled "Schemata Eclypsium Luminarium." There are sixty-three arresting black and white printed woodcut diagrams of the eclipses in various stages with the predicted future date of occurrence. Several of these solar and lunar woodcuts have been handcolored with faint yellow wash.
At the end of the work there are four full-page woodcuts of horological and astronomical instruments printed on thicker paper. On one of these are attached two pieces of string to allow for the reader's own real-time measurements in the field. Stoeffler's manual on the construction and use of the astrolabe, here published for the first time, was of great significance and was reissued throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
The book is dedicated by Stoeffler to Emperor Maximilian, and contains six pages of poetic dedication and verses to Maximilian by Johannes Brassicanus, Ulrich von Hutten, Martin Frecht, Jakob Köbel, and others.
Stoeffler (1452-1531), a professor of astronomy and mathematics at Tubingen, was commissioned to revise the Calendar at the Lateran Council. He was one of the first to show that the Julian calendar could be harmonized with astronomical events.
The printer, Jakob Kobel (1460-1533) was a personal friend of Johannes Stoeffler (he was also the first printer in Oppenheim).
¶ Provenance: 1. Johann (Johannes) Pachler (see below). Sold by Pachler's heirs to:
¶ Provenance: 2. Tegernsee Benedictine Monastery, with contemporary inscription pasted inside front cover "Tegriensis monasterii sum ego p[raese]ns liber. Emptus ab heredibus Ven[er]abilis viri [et] domini D. Joannis Pachleri Vicarii in Egern. Qui anno d[omi]ni 1535. Ex hac valle lachrymarum migravit. Cuius Anima deo vivat in euum. Amen." Preserved on the front cover is the printed Tegernsee shelf-mark label (here classed as L 19.1)
Comment: other sales by Johann Pachler's heirs to Tegernsee are recorded in virtually identical inscriptions in the following books:
1. Munich BSB copy of Ratdolt's 1491 edition of Guido Bonatus "Registrum [...] tractatus astronomie" (4 Inc.c.a. 822n = BSB-Ink B-652) -- same handwriting as here (a photocopy of BSB inscription is included).
2. BL copy of Pruss's 1487 edition of Parentinis "Expositio officii Missae" (IB. 1594 = BMC I, 169)
3. Bodleian copy of the Venice (Johannes Hamman) 1492 edition of [pseudo-] Alfonso X "Tabulae astronomicae" (Auct. 7Q6.16 = Bod-Inc A-221)
4. Vienna (Schotten) copy of the Venice (Rigo di ca Zeno) 1493 edition of Petrus de Natalibus "Catalogus sanctorum" (Albert Hübl, Die Inkunabeln der Bibliothek des Stiftes Schotten in Wien, no. 384 = Goff N-6)
Pachler also owned a Sammelband containing a manuscript of a so-called "lost" work by Regiomontanus, Apian's 1533 Introductio and 1532 Horoscopium (Munich BSB Folio Math. A. 12). Another extraordinary astronomical Sammelband owned by him (likewise sold by Pachler's heirs to Tegernsee) is at Prague University Library (see Truhlar, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum latinorum, 1906, no. 2581).
Clearly we need to know more about Johann Pachler!
Cataloguer's note: In the lower blank margin of the title-page is written (in the same hand as the ex-libris): "Statuta sinodalia R[evere]ndiss[imi] in christo patris et domini Philippi episcopi Frisingensis 1509." It is unclear why a reference to the 1509 Freising synodal statutes would appear here. At this synod Phillipp, Bishop of Freising, criticized his priests for, i.a., negligantly permitting the secrets of confession to be revealed. Was this written by the Tegernsee monks, or by Pachler's heirs?
¶ Provenance 3: In the outer margins can be found (faint) impressions the blind-stamp of Robert Cholmeley's arms while at Magdalen College, Oxford, including the title-page and elsewhere. Other books with this same blind-stamp have appeared on the market, for which see (for instance) "A Bookman's Catalogue Vol. 1 A-L: The Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth-Century and Edwardian Poetry," p. 146 (a copy of the "Biographia Literaria," 1847). Cholmeley (1818-1880) obtained his BA in 1840 and MA from Magdalen in 1843 (he was elected Fellow in the same year). He spent much of his career there, serving as Dean of Arts (1846), Bursar, Proctor (1854), Vice-President (1856), and Dean of Divinity (1860). He was presented to the vicarage of Findon, Sussex in 1859 and remained there for 21 years, until his death.
¶ Provenance 4: O.W. Jaquish (d. 1931), an excellent New York book designer and graphic artist, with his bookplate. In 1921 Jaquish went abroad and spent two months on the Continent, studying the work of the world's greatest artists. It is possible that he acquired the present volume there; on the colophon (at end) Jaquish has calculated the number of years between 1518 and 1921. His penciled notes can be seen occasionally, always in reference to the book's design and woodcuts.
Literature: VD16 S-9188. Adams S-1884. Benzing, "Jakob Köbel zu Oppenheim" 58. Wellcome I, 6102. Fairfax-Murray, German 403. Rosenwald 638. Stillwell, "Awakening Interest in Science" 112. Houzeau & Lancaster 13730. Zinner 1101. Delambre, "Histoire de l'Astronomie du moyen-age," pp. 373-376. Caillet 10385. Regrave, "Some early book illustrations of the Oppenheim Press" (in: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, no. 3, 1895). Concerning Copernicus's own copy, see Pawel Czartoryski, "The Library of Copernicus", in: Science and History. Studies in Honor of Edward Rosen (Warsaw, 1978) p. 372.
To see Copernicus's annotations in his own copy of Stoeffler's Calendarium, visit Uppsala University "Nicolaus Copernicus’ books digitized" database.