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Album of the Coats of Arms of Ukraine
This collection of prints depicts the historic coats of arms and flags of Ukraine. The work is by Mykola Bytynsʹkyĭ (1893–1972), a Ukrainian painter and expert on heraldry. Bytynsʹkyĭ fought in the Ukrainian War for Independence at the end of World War I and later immigrated to Prague where he studied arts and produced several works on heraldry. After World War II, he lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany, before immigrating to Canada. The coat of arms of Ukraine, a trident on a blue shield, was officially ...
Images of the Grand Ducal Radzivill Family from the Originals in the Treasury Collection
Icones Familiae Ducalis Radivilianae ex originalibus in Ganzophylacio ordinationis desumptae (Images of the Grand Ducal Radzivill Family from the originals in the Treasury Collection) is an album containing 165 portraits of the members of the Radzivill family from the period 1346–1780. The Radzivills produced more outstanding political, church, military, and cultural figures than any other family in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the height of its power in the 15th century, the duchy ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and ...
The History of the Roman Provinces of the Near East
This Arabic manuscript is a history of the Roman provinces of the Near East, with special reference to King Herod the Great and the dynasty he founded. The manuscript lacks numerous pages at the beginning and end. The remaining portion contains the history of Roman Palestine during the first century BC until the destruction of the temple by Roman emperor Titus in 70 AD. The author, title, and date of copying are unknown. The work has been tentatively ascribed to the 17th century. The text is unadorned except for marking ...
The Book Known as “The Sulṭānī History”
Tārīkh-i Sulṭānī (The Sulṭānī history) is a historical study of the Afghan people and the rulers of Afghanistan from the beginnings of Islam to the mid-19th century. The work was published as a lithographic print in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in 1881. This copy has been rebound, with “Ṣaḥāfī Sulṭān Muḥammad, Kabul" gold-stamped on the back cover. The title page and pages 3−4 are damaged and repaired with no loss of text. The last page (page 291) has been repaired and missing text added in ink in a later hand ...
Imperial House of Romanov
This publication was produced in 1913 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It contains an introduction, a genealogical sketch on the Romanov boyars, and a short history of the Romanovs in 17 chapters. The volume also includes biographies, portraits, and photographs of the members of the dynasty. In the introduction, “Three Centuries of the House of Romanov,” Elpidifor Barsov (1836−1917) provides a brief historical overview of the context of Romanov rule. He describes first “the time of troubles” preceding the election of Mikhail Fedorovich, the first ...
Album Commemorating the Tercentenary Anniversary of the Imperial House of Romanov
This book is one of many works published in Russia in connection with the celebration, in 1913, of the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The author, Ivan Bazhenov, was a church historian, theologian, and local historian in Kostroma. In his introduction, Bazhenov states that the goal of the publication is “to give the readers an opportunity to understand and evaluate the great significance of this anniversary and at the same time to awaken their gratitude for the founder of the Romanov dynasty.” He begins by describing Russia before ...
Emblems: With Many Images from Ancient Works; by Ján Sambucus of Tyrnavia in Pannonia
Emblemata: Cvm Aliqvot Nvmmis Antiqvi Operis (Emblems: with many images from ancient works) is by the notable Slovak poet, polymath, publisher, collector, and university professor Ján Sambucus (also known as János Zsámboki, 1531−84). Born in Trnava (also referred to as Tyrnavia) in western Slovakia, Sambucus was considered to be the outstanding humanistic personality of Central Europe. He maintained contacts with many European scholars, with whom he collaborated in his publishing and collecting activities and his historical research. A substantial part of his life was spent at the imperial court ...
Chronicle of the World
Weltchronik (Chronicle of the world) is a German translation of an original Latin text attributed to Joannes de Utino (also seen as Giovanni da Udine, died 1366). This copy was produced in the second half of the 15th century and features extensive decorative colored drawings by an unknown painter. It most likely was created in Bratislava sometime after 1458, during the period of Matthias Corvinus´s accession to the Hungarian throne. It was preserved in the library of the Bratislava Capuchins. The chronicle is a didactic work that would have ...
Protocol of the Convent of Bratislava (Heraldic Codex)
Protocollum Venerabilis Conventus Posoniensis (Protocol of the convent of Bratislava) is a heraldic codex containing a list of the patrons and donors of a religious institution in Bratislava with 67 full-page painted miniatures of their respective coats of arms. The last listing was created in 1763. The armorial book was begun in 1710 in Bratislava at the request of Ľudovít Kirkay, the superior of the local Franciscan convent, who most probably was inspired by a model of the Historia Domus protocol of the Bratislava convent dated 1709. The coats of ...
Sometime around the year 1400, a prince from Sumatra named Parameswara founded a settlement at the mouth of the Melaka River on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. One of his successors embraced Islam, and Melaka soon grew to become the greatest Islamic kingdom in Southeast Asia. A center of the spice trade that was known as the “Venice of the East,” it attracted merchants from as far away as Arabia, India, China, and Japan. The wealth of Melaka proved irresistible to the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans ...
World Chronicle with the Descent of the Kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III
This manuscript, produced in London around 1500, traces the genealogy of the kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III. The manuscript was made in the manner of William Caxton (circa 1422–92), the first English printer. Written in English, on vellum, the volume still has its original brown calf binding. Illustrations are mostly large compositions in pen and ink and include images of the Last Judgment and the fall of the rebel angels, the Creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark. Also included ...
Illustrated Family Record (Fraktur) Found in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application File W3079, for Philip Frey, Pennsylvania
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed laws promising pensions or grants of government-owned land to officers and soldiers who served in the war, as well as to the survivors of those killed. This illustrated family record in the German Fraktur script, hand-colored with large birds, is a birth and baptismal document submitted as part of the application for a pension by Anna Margaretha Kolb, wife of Revolutionary War veteran Philip Frey. From Pennsylvania, Frey served between April 1776 and January 1778. He fought in the battles at Long ...
On this scroll are depicted uma-jirushi -- battle standards set up beside a military commander's horse to show his position -- of 170 soldiers. The illustrations are printed in color and also painted by hand. This scroll is important for marking the origin of multicolor woodblock printing (nishiki-e) in Japan. The sixth volume of this work, which was found only recently, is the only scroll still known to exist.
Biographical Records of the Royal Mu Family
This work is a faithful copy, by a painter of the Mu clan commissioned by Joseph Rock, to reproduce ancestral portraits that had been handed down through the ages. The body of the work records the Tusi Mu of Lijiang in Yunnan from the 1st through the 33rd generations. Rock (1884-1962) was an explorer, adventurer, and scientist who was born in Austria and later became a U.S. citizen. He spent much of his life in remote areas of western China, sponsored at different times by National Geographic, Harvard University ...
A Letter Confirming Nobility
This manuscript from Mexico City is the record of testimony offered by Sebastián Vizcaíno (1550?-1615) in 1597-1600 to prove the noble status of his wife, Magdalena Martínez Orejón, and her brother, Francisco Martínez Orejón. Vizcaíno was a prominent Mexico City merchant and an explorer of Baja California. The proofs of nobility were important to defend Vizcaíno's brother-in-law, Francisco Martínez Orejón, in a lawsuit that put him in debtor's prison. The text is written in an italic style in black ink within ruled frames, on both sides of ...
The Portraits of the Fugger Family
In 1593, members of the famous Fugger family commissioned the Augsburg engraver Dominicus Custos (circa 1550–1612) to create this ambitious collection of family portraits. Using existing portraits as his models, Custos finished a first edition of the portraits in 1593. After his death, his sons-in-law, Lukas Kilian (1579–1637) and Wolfgang Kilian (1581–1662), expanded and updated the collection, replacing the portraits of some members of the family with new engravings depicting them in older age. This new edition was published in 1618. This copy was purchased by the ...
The Secret Book of Honors of the Fugger Family
The history of the Fugger family can be seen as an unparalleled success story of the German Renaissance. Starting as weavers in the second half of the 14th century, the family quickly evolved into successful merchants, bankers, and noblemen, culminating in Jakob Fugger the Wealthy (1459–1525) and Anton Fugger (1493–1560). They are considered to have been the wealthiest persons of their time, even though the family business was almost bankrupted by its loans to the Hapsburgs in the 1560s. The Fugger dynasty still exists today as a noble ...
Conrad Grünenberg’s Armorial
Conrad Grünenberg was an important burgher and knight and a descendant of a patrician dynasty from Konstanz, located on Lake Constance in southwestern Germany. There is no evidence for the exact date of his birth or death. His name first appears when he is mentioned as a builder commissioned by the town of Konstanz in 1442. Grünenberg occupied himself with heraldry and composed an armorial that came to bear his name. Several copies later were produced from Grünenberg’s original autograph copy, one of which is this splendid manuscript from ...
English Coats of Arms
In the mid-16th century, tradesmen working for the Fugger mercantile and banking empire and commissioned by the Augsburg patrician and book lover Johann Jakob Fugger were busy acquiring new treasures, from sources near and far, for Fugger’s huge collection of books. To enlarge his collection of European dynastic history and heraldry, a special interest of Fugger’s in 1545–50, he procured this work, the latest version of the armorial of the English nobility. The collection opens with a magnificent coat of arms of King Henry VIII (reigned 1509 ...
This armorial was probably written and illuminated by different hands in Bavaria between 1466 and 1473. It contains heraldic devices of the Quaternions (Groups of Four, each representing different social groups of the Holy Roman Empire). It also illustrates the crests of (mostly) Bavarian princes, noblemen, territories, bishoprics, and prince-bishops. Despite its somewhat crude execution, it is a valuable resource for the heraldry of Southern Germany towards the end of the 15th century. By 1534 the manuscript had come into the possession of the counts of Ortenburg, near Passau; there ...
Collection on the Genealogy of Bavarian Nobility, Volume 27
Johann Franz Eckher von Kapfing (1649–1727), prince-bishop of Freising from 1696 onwards, was keenly interested in history and genealogy. Having amassed material since his youth, he enlisted his Hofkammerdirektor (director of the court chamberlain’s office), Johann Michael Wilhelm von Prey zu Strasskirchen (1690–1747), to help him with his research. Some years after the death of Eckher, a clean copy was made of all the collected material; it was then arranged and bound into more than 30 bulky volumes. The collection, never printed, is the most extensive genealogical-historical ...