Less than 1500 copies of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) were printed in Latin in July, 1493 with roughly 400 believed to have survived the subsequent 500 years.
Bonhams describes the Nuremberg Chronicle (so described because it was published in Nuremberg) as the "most lavishly illustrated printed book of the 15th century," which is undoubtedly true. For starters, the Gutenberg Bible wasn't printed until 1455 and at the dawn of printing, illustration was rare.
It’s easy to become blasé in the ubiquitous, 24-7 avalanche of information in which we live our lives – the challenge now is about filtering, organizing and synthesizing information into a useful and relevant form. Think back though to an earlier time when the very first books became available to the public, when the treasure trove of knowledge in our pocket that we take for granted simply did not exist. A book coming up for auction, the Liber Chronicarum (1493), was one of the very first history books available, one of the first printed illustrated books available and its scope is remarkable given it was produced 500 years ago.
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