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 family in Germany. Around 1545 Johann Jakob Fugger (1516–75) commissioned this manuscript detailing the genealogy of his family up to his time. Genealogical research and text compilation was conducted by the apparitor, archivist, and entrepreneur Clemens Jäger (circa 1500–60). The illumination of the manuscript, including lavish portraits of family members, heraldic devices, and playfully detailed border motifs, was executed in the leading Augsburg workshop of Jörg Breu the Younger (circa 1510–47) and finished around 1548. Unlike the rest of Johann Jakob Fugger’s library, which was sold to Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria in 1571, the manuscript was kept in the family for centuries and was even updated during the 18th century. Only in 2009 did the Fugger family sell it to the Bavarian State Library. The acquisition was made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Ernst-von-Siemens Kunststiftung.

Publication Information

Augsburg, Germany


Title in Original Language

Das Geheime Ehrenbuch der Fugger

Type of Item

Physical Description

262 sheets paper : 49.5 x 35 centimeters


  • BSB shelfmark: Cgm 9460

Last updated: August 28, 2015