This large format woodcut, printed on twenty-one sheets and when assembled (as here) measuring over four metres high, is a family tree of the Wittelsbach dynasty over 1000 years, beginning with the Merovingian King Clovis I (466-511), and culminating with the Elector Palatine Friedrich II (1482-1556) and his wife Dorothea of Denmark. Also shown are the Bavarian and Palatine branches of the house (from Charlemagne to Charles V) and the Electors of the Rhineland Palatinate. Altogether, 934 half-length portraits and coats of arms are depicted. The wood blocks are signed by six draughtsmen or cutters: Jacob Clauser, David Kandel, Zacharias Specklin, Ieremias Wyssenbach, and two unidentified artists, one signing with the monogram HS with a pen or brush, the other with the monogram C with a cross and pen or brush.
A spectacularly well-preserved monumental multi-block woodcut, printed on twenty-two large sheets, which when properly assembled as seven tiers of three sheets each, with three emblematical woodcuts joined to make the top border, form a picture surface of roughly 5.42 m2 (height × width: 420.5 × 129 cm, 165 × 51 in). Since their publication in 1556 the sheets have been contained in albums and have not suffered from damage caused by rolling or wall-mounting like other known impressions. The print is a family tree of the Wittelsbach dynasty over 1000 years, beginning with the Merovingian King Clovis I (466-511), and culminating with the Elector Palatine Friedrich II (1482-1556), and features 934 half-length portraits and coats of arms. On three sides is an integral border of arabesque ornament with 82 bust-length medallion portraits of Roman and Byzantine emperors and Sultan Suleiman the Great, each cut on a black ground. The wood blocks are signed by six draughtsmen or cutters: Jacob Clauser, David Kandel, Zacharias Specklin, Ieremias Wyssenbach, and two unidentified artists, one signing with the monogram HS with a pen or brush, the other with the monogram C with a cross and pen or brush. The project was begun at the command of Pfalzgraf Friedrich II (died 1556) but only completed at the urgent command of his successor Ottheinrich. Johannes Herold, who was entrusted with the task, published a small explanatory booklet, of which a copy has been bound in.
This monumental woodcut printed by forty-two blocks on nineteen assembled sheets (dimensions overall 236 × 91 cm) is a pictorial genealogy of some thirty generations of the Braunschweig-Lüneburg dynasty, displayed in the form of a tree with half-figure portraits of family members hanging like fruit on its branches. At the top is an imposing headpiece of an Emperor flanked by God the Father and His Son, certifying the authority and divine grace conferred upon the family. The print is dedicated to the “newest growth” on the tree, Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel (1564-1613), the nineteen or twenty year-old son of the reigning duke. Work on the print commenced in 1582, when Herzog Julius summoned the blockcutter Georg Scharffenberg to Wolfenbüttel, and appointed him “Formschneider” at his court. Besides the impression here described, four other complete and three incomplete or fragmentary impressions can be located.
Eight volumes bound as five (22.5 cm or 29 cm), I (Armorial général, A-K): xlii, 1149 (1) pp. and 4 leaves of plates (pls.I-VII). II (Armorial général, L-Z): vi, 1316 (2) pp. III-IV (Illustrations, A-F): (6) pp. and pls. a-g, i-ccclxvi; (2) pp. and pls.i-ccclxxvi. V-VI (Illustrations, G-O): (2) pp. and pls.i-ccclxii; (2) pp. and pls.i-cccxxxi. VII-VIII (Illustrations, P-Z): (2) pp. and pls.i-ccclxxvii; (2) pp. and pls.i-ccxvii, (3) pp. Uniform publisher’s blue cloth (no dust jackets issued). - These indispensable publications provide approximately 120,000 blasons and 112,600 coats of arms (on 2029 plates, printed both recto and verso). The Armorial général is a facsimile reprint of the second edition (Gouda: G.B. van Goor, 1884-1887; “First published 1965 in this form… second impression 1972”). The Illustrations is a reprint of the Rollands’ Armoiries des familles contenues dans l’Armorial général de J. B. Rietstap (originally published Paris: Institut Héraldique Universel, 1903-1926; reprinted Lyon: Sauvegarde Historique, 1953-1954), with a new preface by Rosemary Pinches (dated April 1967). ¶ As new.
(28.5 cm), xv, 135 (1) pp., with 206 black & white illustrations, 8 colour plates. Publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket. - Previous edition published as A treatise on ecclesiastical heraldry (Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1930). ¶ Excellent, unmarked copy.
(24 cm), x, 355 pp., XXXVIII plates (including colour frontispiece). Publisher’s cloth, dust jacket. - “The latest revision of a standard textbook first published in 1950; well-illustrated, covers all the basic ground, and includes a selective bibliography” (David Pearson, Provenance research in book history: a handbook, London 1994, p.285). ¶ Fine, unmarked copy.
(30 cm), 308 pp., illustrations. Publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket. - An immensely useful work presenting the heraldic shields as well as the genealogy of all the royal families of Europe, from the eleventh century to the present. Detailed family trees, country by country. Revised edition of a work first published in 1981. ¶ Fine copy.
(24.5 cm), (8) 599 (1),  leaves of plates (pls.1-144), 44 pp. (key to plates). Publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket. - Facsimile reprint (two volumes in one) of an unspecified edition (original edition 1859; fourth edition, London 1905). The first volume lists family names with crests and mottos; the second illustrates all the crests. ¶ As new.