Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Est.136 = α.U.6.7

Glockendon Hours Facsimile Edition

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Only a few illuminated manuscripts of the late Middle Ages radiate such harmony as the Glockendon Hours, written in German language and executed in 1534. The master of these wonderful miniatures is Nikolaus Glockendon, the most famous descendant of a family of artists based in Nuremberg. The work was made for Albert of Brandenburg, one of the most eminent princes of the Church during the Reformation period.

An Adventurous History

Nothing is known on the destiny of the manuscript after Albert of Brandenburg’s death. Only a few facts can be inferred from the property inscriptions in the manuscript. One of these inscriptions goes back to the 18th century, naming a count Csobor as the owner of the manuscript.

He stemmed from a highly prestigious Hungarian family. One member of the family had fought in the Thirty Years’ War, during which he must have acquired the manuscript, probably a war booty.

The last descendant of the house cared very little about his belongings and had to sell art treasures in his possession for financial reasons, among them the Glockendon Hours.

The work was then sold by a Viennese antiquary to the Marchese Tommaso Obizzi del Cataio, himself the last descendant of his dynasty. After his death, his collections, including our work, went to the Casa d’Este by way of heritage.

Nikolaus Glockendon, the Last Great Master of German Book Illumination

Nikolaus Glockendon, the most important and most talented descendant of a family of artists, was active since the middle of the 15th century in Nuremberg. He was influenced by the great German masters of this period, like Dürer, Schongauer or Cranach, an influence which is clearly felt in both duct and colours of his illustrations.

It was the great Albrecht Dürer who, at the beginning of the 16th century, had drawn Albert von Brandenburg’s attention to the young Glockendon. And also other princes were very well aware of the qualities of our master, like duke John of Saxe and duke Albert of Prussia.

Nuremberg proved an ideal spiritual background for Glockendon’s art which should bring forward the last highlight of German book illumination, as the city stood at the height of a glorious period. The splendour of the city was mainly due to its economic upswing but also to sciences and the arts, all flourishing disciplines at the beginning of modern times.

Commissioned by a Prince of the Church

At the age of 23, Albert of Brandenburg was nominated Archbishop of Magdeburg and administrator of the Archdiocese of Halberstadt. Just a few years later, he became Archbishop of Mainz and in 1518 reached the rank of a cardinal.

Even for a member of an important family, this meant a very steep career which obviously cost a lot of money. So Albert was granted the monopoly of selling indulgences in Germany by the Pope Leon X.

The consequences of this trade in indulgences are well known: they cumulated in the Nailing of the Ninetyfive Theses on the Wittenberg church door by Martin Luther.

Nevertheless: a brilliant theologist, Albert of Brandenburg was surrounded by the great German Humanists, like his friend Erasmus of Rotterdam, to mention just one celebrity.

A true lover of the arts, he decorated his residence with the most important German masters. In spite of his position after 1537/38, he belonged to those princes of the Church who tried to mediate between the parties involved in the religious quarrel with Martin Luther.

Illustrations Depicting the Life of Christ

The text is easily understandable, even for readers of today, and decorated with 42 mindfully coloured miniatures on the life of Christ as well as with the sumptuous arms of the Archbishop of Mainz.

The pictures depict scenes from the Old Testament announcing the biblical events of the New Testament in a visionary form. These biblical scenes take place in very concrete medieval surroundings. Glockendon added a copper engraving by Albrecht Dürer from the year 1523.

However, the manuscript is not only distinguished by its magnificent illustrations: another special feature are the 62 luxurious initials executed by Glockendon’s colleague, the illuminator Georg Stierlein, which fascinate by their lavish ornamentation.

We have 3 facsimiles of the manuscript "Glockendon Hours":

#1 Libro de Oración de Alberto de Brandenburgo

Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor
We are not official distributor of this publisher. We do, however, supply pre-owned, like-new copies of their publications.

  • Commentary (Spanish) by Milano, E.; Bini, D.; Ventura, L.; Malacarne, G.
  • Limited Edition: 987 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Unique and unrepeatable first edition; 256 pages, 43 full-page miniatures.

Binding

Embossed brown leather

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#2 Il Libro di Devozione di Alberto di Brandeburgo

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 1997

  • Commentary (German, Italian, Spanish) by Milano, E.; Ventura, L.; Bini, D.; Malacarne, G.
  • Limited Edition: 999
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

The Prayerbook is printed on special paper. The gold and silver of the 62 decorated initials are heat impressed with lithographic overstamping for the engraving.

This unique and world exclusive edition was realized in collaboration with Moleiro editor, Barcelona and Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne.

Binding

It reproduces the original’s one, with its cover magnificently decorated with heat impressions, gold embossing and the clasps and studs fixed to the front and the back.

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#3 Glockendon-Gebetbuch

Lucerne or Munich: Faksimile Verlag, 1998

  • Commentary (German) by Merkl, U.; Zermann, R.; Milano, E.; König, E.
  • Limited Edition: 999 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

All 256 pages (128 numbered leaves) of the manuscript, and the copper engraving by Albrecht Dürer have been reproduced in the original format of 21.5 × 16.5 cm. The various types of gold applied by Nikolaus Glockendon and Georg Stierlein are differentiated in full accordance with the original using diverse methods, partly in the craftsmanship tradition. The individual leaves with their irregular format are gilt-edged on three sides and correspond entirely to the original. The individual leaves have been further processed by hand according to traditional methods. All leaves as well as the headband are stitched by hand. The facsimile has been published in coedition in a limited edition of 999 copies worldwide. The scientific commentary provides an introduction into the secrets of the manuscript. Authors: Ulrich Merkl, Regina Zermann and Ernesto Milano, Modena. Eberhard König, Berlin, is the editor of the volume.

Binding

Faithful replica of the original. It is made of fine kidskin and decorated with replicas of the original clasps.

Used and new from

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