Anton Koberger

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Woodcut from Koberger's Bible, 1483

Anton Koberger[1] (c. 1440/1445 – 3 October 1513) was the German goldsmith, printer and publisher who printed and published the Nuremberg Chronicle, a landmark of incunabula, and was a successful bookseller of works from other printers. He established in 1470 the first printing house in Nuremberg.

Anton Koberger was born to an established Nuremberg family of bakers, and makes his first appearance in 1464 in the Nuremberg list of citizens. In 1470 he married Ursula Ingram and after her death he remarried another member of the Nuremberg patriciate, Margarete Holzschuher, in 1491. In all he fathered twenty-five children, of whom thirteen survived to adulthood.

Koberger was the godfather of Albrecht Dürer, whose family lived on the same street. In the year before Dürer's birth in 1471 he ceased goldsmithing to become a printer and publisher. He quickly became the most successful publisher in Germany,[2] absorbing his rivals over the years to become a large capitalist enterprise, with twenty-four presses in operation, printing numerous works simultaneously and employing at its height 100 workers:[3] printers, typesetters, typefounders, illuminators, and the like. Constantly improving his business prospects, he sent out traveling agents and established links with booksellers all over Western Europe, including Venice, Europe's other great centre of printing, Milan, Paris, Lyon, Vienna and Budapest. At the supply end, he obtained two papermills.

His printing house survived his death only until 1526, and the family continued as goldsmiths and jewellers. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Contemporary documents also spell his name Koburger, Coberger, Coburger.
  2. ^ Giulia Bartrum, Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy, British Museum Press, 2002, pp 94-96, ISBN 0-7141-2633-0
  3. ^ Walter Gebhardt, "Nürnberg macht Druck! Von der Medienhochburg zum Printzentrum." in Marion Voigt (ed): Lust auf Bücher. Nürnberg für Leser. Nürnberg. (2005) pp 11-43.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Anthony Koberger". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 

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