Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg Facsimile Edition

Regensburg (Germany) — Around 1491

Foreseeing the future with the help of the stars: the illuminated Astrolabium planum by the Regensburg master Berthold Furtmeyr

  1. A household calendar book addressed to the interested layperson, with the help of which one should foresee future events

  2. Originating in Regensburg ca. 1491, this was presumably the commission Philip the Upright (1448–1508), Elector Palatine

  3. Berthold Furtmeyr (active in Regensburg 1470–1501) and his workshop added a gorgeous astrolabe to the illuminated codex

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (2)
Description
Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

The Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg is surely one of the most famous manuscripts in the history of illumination! Probably originating in Regensburg ca. 1491, the Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg was the commission of a wealthy patron, presumably Philip the Upright, Elector Palatine and his wife Margaret of Bavaria-Landshut. The Regensburg master Berthold Furtmeyr and his workshop made the completed the manuscript’s artistic furnishings, a gorgeous rotatable astrolabe. The various astronomical-astrological treatise, which are assembled here with high-quality illustrations allow for an inside view into this wondrous and interesting theme of the 15th century.

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

The Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg is surely one of the most famous manuscripts in the history of illumination! Probably originating in Regensburg ca. 1491, the Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg was the commission of a wealthy patron, presumably Philip the Upright, Elector Palatine and his wife Margaret of Bavaria-Landshut. The Regensburg master Berthold Furtmeyr and his workshop made the completed the manuscript’s artistic furnishings, a gorgeous rotatable astrolabe. The various astronomical-astrological treatise, which are assembled here with high-quality illustrations allow for an inside view into this wondrous and interesting theme of the 15th century.

A Coveted Collectible

The Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg is named after its current – and historic! – repository: the Universität Heidelberg’s library, the successor of the famous Biblioteca Palatina**. The unique manuscript originated in Regensburg ca. 1491, presumably at the behest of Philip the Upright, Elector Palatine and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria-Landshut, which is indicated in the book by the escutcheons of the Palatine and Bavaria. The bibliophile jewel already found itself in the possession of Pope Gregory XV (1554–1623) in the following century. From there it came to the Biblioteca Palatina in Heidelberg. Coming into papal possession in turn after 1623 – Gregory XV – the manuscript returned to its former locale in Heidelberg, the Biblioteca Palatina, in 1816.

Astrological Scholarship

Cod. Pal. Germ. 832 of the university library in Heidelberg counts among the most significant manuscripts of the 15th century. The famous Astrolabium Planum of Heidelbergcombines various astronomical-astrological texts on 542 pages, including an astrological hunting treatise, the geomancy of Johannes Hartlieb, and an astrological calendar. Additionally, it provides various calendar information for the calculation of the correct date for bloodletting or the phases of the moon, for example. Human destiny can also be calculated with the help of the constellations!

An Artistic Gem

This text on astronomy and astrology with instructions on the use of the tables and aids presented was decorated in an impressively artistic manner in the Heidelberg manuscript. The altogether 380 miniatures are a work of the Regensburg miniaturist Berthold Furtmeyr and his workshop. Originating from the master’s hand, inter alia, is an exceptional feature of the manuscript: a flat, rotatable astrolabe painted in opaque colors on a gold background for the calculation of cosmic constellations. The gorgeous miniatures, e.g. of zodiac signs, but also of complex tables and instructions, are mostly mustered against a gold background. They lend the famous Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg its unique and prominent position within the history of illumination!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Astrolabium planum in tabulis
Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch
Heidelberg's Book of Fate
Size / Format
542 pages / 36.0 × 26.0 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
Around 1491
Language
Illustrations
380 miniatures in square form for illustration of zodiac signs and other astrological themes
Content
Astrological calendar with treatments on topics of astrology and astronomy
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Pope Gregory XV (1554–1623)
Biblioteca Palatina (Heidelberg, Germany)

Available facsimile editions:
Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg – Cod. Pal. germ. 832 – Universitätsbibliothek (Heidelberg, Germany) Facsimile Edition
Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981
Limited Edition: 50 copies

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg – Cod. Pal. germ. 832 – Universitätsbibliothek (Heidelberg, Germany) Facsimile Edition
Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981
Limited Edition: 700 copies
Detail Picture

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

Gaining Wealth

Appearing under the sign of Virgo, two well-dressed merchants gesticulate toward one another as though they were negotiating. The man on the left is dressed in a green cloak with red boots and a hat while the bareheaded man on the right wearing a red-orange cloak holds a bulging bag of coins. They stand on a tiled floor before a brick wall with an embroidery hanging in front of it and the artist has created a window by applying gold leaf and then applying a diamond pattern to mimic the framework in which the glass is set.

Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch - De Luxe Edition
Single Page

Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg

Cancer

At the top of the page, the zodiac symbol Cancer appears in a blue-framed miniature with a gold background. The three images below depict (from left to right): a woman standing in front of a wall covered with a brocade blanket and holding a flower, a woman sitting at a table with a man and caressing his shoulder, and an elaborately dressed hunter armed with a spear blowing his horn as his dog bounds alongside him.

The image on the bottom-left of the page shows a man and a woman standing in front of a gold leaf background and holding hands, possibly in a garden. On the right, two women stand in an interior room while the one dressed in pink rests a hand on her pregnant belly. The dark window indicates that it is night, unlike the other images on the page that have gold leaf backgrounds.

Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch - De Luxe Edition
Facsimile Editions

#1 Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch - De Luxe Edition

Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981

Publisher: Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981
Limited Edition: 50 copies
Binding: Parchment
Commentary: 1 volume by Bernhard D. Haage
Language: German
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. 94 pages of the Astrolabium planum in tabulis ( folios 36 - 83) are reproduced. Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!

#2 Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch - Standard Edition

Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981
Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg – Cod. Pal. germ. 832 – Universitätsbibliothek (Heidelberg, Germany) Facsimile Edition
Astrolabium Planum of Heidelberg – Cod. Pal. germ. 832 – Universitätsbibliothek (Heidelberg, Germany) Facsimile Edition Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Insel Verlag – Frankfurt, 1981
Limited Edition: 700 copies
Binding: Goat skin
Commentary: 1 volume by Bernhard D. Haage
Language: German
1 volume: 94 pages of the Astrolabium planum in tabulis (folios 36 - 83) are reproduced. Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
You might also be interested in:
Aratea Facsimile Edition
Aratea
Aachen (Germany) / Metz (France) – After 825

At the behest of the emperor: the ancient text on the stars by Aratus of Soli as a Carolingian masterpiece for the son of Charlemagne

Experience More
Codex Schürstab Facsimile Edition
Codex Schürstab
Nuremberg (Germany) – Ca. 1472

The influence of the stars on the weal and woe of each individual: rules for healthy living for the layman in a Nuremberg house book

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection
Publisher