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les Enluminures

Eygentlicher Bericht vom Ursprung der Strittigkeiten in Religionssachen zwischen den evangelischen Kirchen; RATRAMNUS OF CORBIE, De corpore et sanguine Domini (in German translation); CHRISTOPH REICHELDT, Calendarium biblicum perpetuum; et alia

In German, manuscript on parchment
Stockholm, Sweden, dated 1636-37

TM 514
  • 16 000 €
  • £14,300
  • $18,000

178 leaves (collation: i3 [2+1 after fol. II] + ii-iii2 + iv-xi4 + xii3 [wants 1 after fol. 36] + xiii-xlvi4); modern foliation in pencil, top, outer corner, recto, I-V + 1-173; contemporary pagination in black ink, top, outer corner, recto and verso, 1-128 [ff. 3r-65v] + 3-62 [ff. 67r-62v] + 3-104 [ff. 99r-149v] + 2-47 [ff. 150v-173]; written in one hand, in black ink, in a German fractura on up to 39 lines; unruled, with written space equipped with a frame consisting in two lines, in black ink, 95 x 52 mm. (ff. 1-149) and 98 x 58 mm. (ff. 150-173), black penwork in foliate designs used for full title-pages (ff. 1r, 66r, 98r, and 150r), a Greek cross (f. 64v), a triangular design (f. 96v), and horizontal border sections (ff. 3r, 9v, 19r, 24r, 30v, 38r, 40v, 44r, 51r, 54v, 58r, 61v, 77r, 79v, 82r, 89r, 93r, 99r, 113v, 114r, and 116r); calendrical roundels, similarly in black penwork, ff. 169 and 170v, and a compass for describing wind direction f. 172r; two-, three-, and four-line black penwork initials at the start of new texts and new sections throughout. Gold-tooled 17th-century binding of black cordovan leather over wooden boards, with the remnant of a form of ribbon tie on the back cover, sewn on three cords with blue and yellow silk endbands (the Swedish colors), gilt edges, contemporary marbled paper pastedowns, using blue and red inks, on the inside front and inside rear covers, the binding using a gold-tooled leaf spiral and flower filigree design with central and corner panels in a double frame common on mid-17th c. Swedish bindings, of which this is an early example (see Rudbeck, Svenska bokband, part 1, p. xxv and plates 37-39 and 43), very possibly the work of the binder Georg Hornbein (fl. 1624-49), a German who had emigrated to Sweden in 1617 and ran the largest bookbindery in Stockholm (see Hedberg, Stockholms bokbindare, vol. 1, pp. 100-07, especially figs. 183-92, p. 102, and 227-31, p. 106). ff. Ir-Vv, 36v-37v, 97r-v, 98v, and 173v are blank, except for the ruled frames, and illegible pencil scrawl in a 19th- or early 20th-century German hand on f. 173v. Dimensions (binding) 115 x 80 mm.; (book block) 108 x 70 mm.

This manuscript unites four copies of printed, though rare, Protestant texts: a devotional work on the Eucharist with a Prayerbook, a historical work on the origins of the confessional conflict accompanied by Martin Luther’s sermon for Good Friday 1522, a German translation of a Eucharistic treatise by the Carolingian theologian Ratramnus of Corbie, and a guide to reading the Bible during the calendar year. The scribe, Andre Wecheln, was a German in Swedish royal service during the Thirty Years’s War and the first Postmaster-General of Sweden.


1.The scribe of this manuscript names himself on four occasions as Andre Wecheln, writing in Stockholm in 1636-37 (f. 1r, Zu Ewiger Gedächtnuß / von der Handt / vff Pergament geschriben worden : DURCH / Andre Wecheln / In Stockholm / im Jahre / M. DC. XXXVI.; f. 66r, Jetzt aber zu Gedächtnus vff Pergament geschriben worden durch / Andreen Wechlen / in Stockholm. M. DC. XXXVI.; f. 98r, Vff Pergament geschriben / Durch Andreen Wecheln. M. DC. XXXVII.; f. 150r, Frommen vnd Gottseligen Liebhaberen der H. Bibel / zum besten mit sonderlichem fleiß / in diesem Format zur Gedächtnus geschrieben worden DURCH / Andre Wecheln / in Stockholm. ANNO M. DC. XXXVII.). Wecheln – known in some Swedish scholarship as Anders Wechel – was a native German from Hamburg; he had entered Swedish royal service as military postmaster in Leipzig by April 1632, following the victory of King Gustavus Adolphus over the German imperial forces at Breitenfeld on 7 September 1631. In the following years he established a postal system which handled not only military correspondence, but also general letter traffic; published a newspaper (of which two issues from 1632 survive); and engaged in a regular correspondence as an informant on German political and military affairs with Axel Oxenstierna, the Lord High Chancellor of the Swedish Empire. After the peace of Prague (30 May 1635), when Saxony joined the imperial alliance, Wecheln lost his post. At Oxenstierna’s recommendation he was called by the Swedish parliament in October 1635 to establish a postal system in Sweden. He is regarded as the founder of the modern Swedish postal service, and was the first Postmaster-General in Sweden, but died after only two years in Stockholm in 1637. It is in this final period of his life that he copied this manuscript. On Wechel, see Heurgren, Svensk militärpost, pp. 26-43, and Linnarsson, Postgång, pp. 76-92.

The manuscript suggests contacts between Wecheln and prominent members of the German emigré community in Stockholm. The binding, definitely contemporary Swedish work, is very possibly by Georg Hornbein (see above). The textual history of item IV below may suggest contact between Wecheln and the author and translator Petrus Pachius, and potentially the printer Henrik Keyser as well. Wechel was survived by his (German) wife Gese (d. 1645), who succeeded him as Postmistress-General in the years 1637-42. We may presume that the manuscript passed into her possession on her husband’s death.

2. European Continental Collection.


ff. 1r-65v, Treatise on the Eucharist and Prayerbook, title, Communion: vnd Gebettbúchlin Darinn Allerhand Christliche vnd Andächtige Gebett vff alle Tage in der Wochen Morgens vnd Abends zue Betten / gefunden werden: Allen Christgläubigen / sehr nutzlich zu gebrauchen;

i. [ff. 1v, 2r-v] (1v) Mt 6, 33-34, in the translation of Martin Luther, incipit, “Trachtet am Ersten nach dem Reich Gottes / vnd nach seiner Gerechtigkeit...,” followed (2r-v) by register of contents for parts ii-iii;

ii. [ff. 3r-36r] title, Gottselige Betrachtung / wie ein Christ das Heilige Abendmahl seeliglich gebrauchen solle. Das I. Capittel., incipit, “OB wol kein lebendiger Mensch würdig ist / von sich selbsten / zue diesem heiligen Mahl zue kommen: so hat jedoch Gott der Allmächtige auß gnaden sich erkläret / denjenigen für würdig zu halten / welcher sich befleisset...”;

iii. [ff. 38r-65v] title, Auffmunterung seiner selbsten zue hertzlichen Gebett., incipit, “ACh / meine Seele / sey bereit allezeit mit deinem GOTT / alß deinem lieben Vater vnd Vertrawtesten Freunde zue reden. Sihe / wie lieblich vnd Holdselig gibt Er dir die Freyheit / vnd spricht: Ruffe mich an...”;

The first part of this work is a treatise on the Eucharist in five chapters, dealing in turn with the worthy reception of the sacrament, its seven fruits and benefits to mankind, preparation for reception (with a lengthy confessional formula structured around the Decalogue), devotion during the Mass, and thanksgiving subsequent to reception, the latter two with sequences of prayers. The second part is a Prayerbook, with morning and evening prayers for the seven days of the week, and a concluding prayer for the traveler. The work is preceded by Mt 6, 33-34 in the translation of Martin Luther and a short register to the contents. It is almost certainly a copy of a printed book, as yet unidentified, or possibly no longer extant, as are all the subsequent works contained in this manuscript.

ff. 66r-92v, Treatise on the Confessional Conflict between the Protestant Churches, title, Eigentlicher Bericht / vom / Ursprunge der Strittigkeiten in Religions-sachen zwischen den Evangelischen Kirchen / vnd worauff disselbige noch beruhen. Allen friedfertigen Evangelischen Christen zur grúndlichen Nachricht Gestellet / Durch einen Evangelischen Theologum vnd Diener GOTTES. [...] Vor dießem zue Franckfurt am Meyn gedruckt / bey Johan Weiß.

i. [f. 66v] 1 Cor 11, 16, in the translation of Martin Luther, “Ist jemand vnter euch / der Lust zu zancken hat / der wisse / daß wir solche Weise nicht haben / die Gemeine GOTTES / auch nicht”;

ii. [ff. 67r-92v] title, Eigentlicher Bericht Vom Ursprung der Strittigkeiten in Religions-Sachen / zwischen den Evangelischen Kirchen / vnd worauff dieselbige noch beruhen. Das walt GOTT / Amen., incipit, “NAch dem die Päpstische Finsternúß etlich hundert Jahr lang die gantze Welt vberschattet / vnd geaffet hatte: Sind durch Gottes Geist zween dapffere hochgelehrte Männer / vmb das Jahr Christi / 1517. Einer zu Wittenberg D. MARTIN LUTHER...”;

A treatise on the history of the conflicts between the Protestant confessions from their origins at the start of the Reformation through to works published in 1620 by Matthias Hoë von Hoënegg (d. 1645) and by Zachäus Faber the Elder in Hohenleina (d. 1628), followed by treatments of the four central issues of controversy: the nature of Christ, the function of baptism, the Eucharistic transformation, and predestination. This is a copy of the first edition of the (anonymous) Eygentlicher Bericht vom Ursprung der Strittigkeiten in Religionssachen zwischen den evangelischen Kirchen / durch einen Evang. Theologum u. Diener Gottes, printed by Johann Friedrich Weiß (active 1618-58) in Frankfurt in 1633, not in VD17, and extant in just two copies (Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, Prakt. Theol. 793-b/2, and Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, D 389); a third copy (Berlin, SBB-PK, Dk 10910) was destroyed in the war. It was variously reprinted, first in 1636 by Georg Decker in Basel [VD17 12:108552U], and with explicit reference to the 1633 Frankfurt edition in 1647 by Heinrich Wolphardt in Wesel [VD17 12:108467H], through at least to 1716. It is preceded, as the first text in this manuscript, by an apposite scriptural quotation in the translation of Martin Luther.

ff. 93r-96v, Martin Luther, sermon for Good Friday (17 April) 1522, title, Das Hauptstucke des Ewigen vnd neuwen Testaments / von dem hochwürdigen Sacrament beeder Gestalt / Fleisch vnd Blut Christi / zeichen vnd zusag / die Er vns in denselben gethan hat. zu Wittenberg / Durch D. Martinum Luther., incipit, “JESVS: Nement hyn vnd essent. Das ist mein leib / der für euch gegeben wirdt. Nement hin vnd trinckent allesampt darauß: Das ist der kelch des Newen Testamentes [...]. In diesen Worten werden vns jetz in einer Summa zwey ding fürgehalten vnd geben / alß zusag vnd zeichen...”;

Martin Luther’s sermon on the Eucharist preached on Good Friday (17 April) 1522, proceeding from the scriptural lemma Lc 22, 19-20, edited as “Das Hauptstück des ewigen und neuen Testaments geprediget am Gründonnerstag 1522” (Weimarer Ausgabe, vol. 10/iii, pp. 67-71). It is printed as an appendix in the early editions of the Eygentlicher Bericht (IIa above).

ff. 98r-149v, Ratramnus of Corbie, “De corpore et sanguine Domini,” in German translation, title, BERTRAMI. Des Priesters Buch. Von dem Leib vnd Blutt des Herren / Ahn / Kayser Carl den Grossen / Auß einem alten Lateinischen Exemplar / im Jahr .1532. durch Johan Proclen zu Cöln gedrucket / dem Gemeinen Manne zu guttem / von Newem in vnser Teutsche sprache / getrewes Fleisses vbersetzet. Sampt einer Vorrede an alle Liebhabere der Warheitt.

i. [ff. 99r-113v] title, Vorrede an alle Liebhaber der Warheit., incipit, “DIß Búchlein Bertrami deß Priesters / von dem Leibe vnd Blut des HERREN auß sonderbarem Geheiß vnd befehl an Kayser Carolen den Grossen / (woferne im Titul nicht verstossen) von Achthundert Jahren vngefehr geschrieben / ist zue vnsern zeiten nicht allein dem Gemeinen Mann / sondern...”;

ii. [ff. 113v-114r] title, BERTRAMI PRESBYTERI Leben / Durch Johannem Trithemium Abten zu Spanheimb kúrtzlich beschriben., incipit, “BErtram / ein Priester vnd seines Ordens ein Münche; Ist in der H. Schrifft wol erfaren / vnd in andern freyen weltlichen Künsten sehr geschickt / eines subtilen verstandes / wolberedt...”;

iiia. [ff. 114r-115v] title, Vorrede / BERTRAMI PRÆSBYTERI, Von dem Leibe vnd Blutte deß HERREN / An Kayser Carolen den Grossen., incipit, “LObwürdigster Fürst: Euwere Großmachtigkeit gebieten vnd befehlen mier / deroselben meine meinung von dem Geheimnüß deß Leibes vnd Bluts Christi zu eröffnen...”;

iiib. [ff. 116r-149v] title, BERTAMI (sic), Des Priesters Buch / Von dem Leib vnd Blut des Herren / An Kayser Caroln den Grossen geschrieben / etc., incipit, “EWer fürtreffliche Hochheit fragen: Ob der Leib vnd daz Blut des Herren Christi / in der Christlichen Versamblung / von dem Glaubigen in geheimnuß: oder aber mit dem Munde deß Leibes wesendlich empfangen vnd genohmen werde...”;

The treatise De corpore et sanguine Domini (“On the Body and Blood of the Lord”) was written by Ratramnus, abbot of Corbie (d. after 868), at the behest of Charles the Bald (r. 843-877 as King of the Western Franks, and 875-877 as Holy Roman Emperor). Ratramnus expressed in this work an understanding of the Eucharistic transformation as a spiritual, rather than a physical process, without in any way rejecting the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated host. The treatise, which did not arouse controversy in its time, was condemned at the Synod of Vercelli in 1051 (erroneously thought to be a work of John Scotus Eriugena). Printed in 1531 by Johannes Prael in Cologne [VD 16 R 351], and again in the following year [VD 16 R 352], it gained some currency in Protestant circles as a work with patristic authority opposed to the doctrine of transubstantiation. This is a copy of a German translation, equipped with a polemic preface, entitled Bertrami Deß Priesters Buch. Von dem Leibe und Blut deß Herrn: Ahn Kayser Carlen den Grossen; Auß einem alten Lateinischen Exemplar / Im Jahr 1532. durch Johann Proelen zu Cöln gedrucket / dem gemeinen Mann zu guttem / von Newen in unser Teutschen Spraache / getrewes fleisses ubersetzet; Sambt einer Vorrede an alle Liebhaber der Wahrheit, printed by Johann Friedrich Weiß (see IIa above) in Frankfurt in 1634 [VD 17 39:145372W].

ff. 150r-173r, Christoph Reicheldt, “Calendarium biblicum perpetuum,” title, CALENDARIUM BIBLICUM PERPETUUM Das ist / Ein Immerwehrender Biblischer Calender / Darinnen zue sehen / nicht allein wie man täglich in der H. Bibel gewisse Capitel lesen / daß man dieselbe innerhalb Jahres frist absolviren vnd hinauß bringen / sondern auch / wie man ihme die Concordantias der Historien des Alten vnd Newen Testamentes / bekannt vnd geläufftig machen könne /

i. [ff. 150v-171v] Calendrical tables dividing the Bible through the year, accompanied by poems on the months (ff. 150v-168r), followed by notes on the divisions of the year and the calculation of Easter (ff. 168v-171v);

ii. [ff. 172r-173r] title, Von den Winden., incipit, “DER Erste Windt heist Ostwindt der kompt von der Sonnen Auffgang / der ist heiß vnd trucken / vnd ist auch gern schön / er hat zu jeder setten einen andern Windt / der zu der rechten heist / Ostsüd / vnd ist ser truckner Natur...”;

The Calendarium biblicum perpetuum, principally a guide to enable the systematic reading of the whole Bible in the space of one year, was first published in 1620 by Johann Glück in Leipzig, in commission for the author Christoph Reicheldt, a Leipzig citizen [VD17 23:280492H], and again in 1624 by Johann Meuschken in Altenburg for the Leipzig bookdealer Kaspar Klosemann the Elder [VD17 23:622306X]. Certain details indicate that this manuscript is a copy of the 1624 edition, although the calendrical roundels have been updated to commence in 1637, the year in which it was copied. Unlike texts II and III above, which were copied in 1636 and 1637 from relatively new books printed in 1633 and 1634, the book from which this text was copied was over a decade older at the point of copying; although the work was reprinted in 1660 by Jeremias Mamphras in Stettin [VD17 23:280375N], there is no evidence of intermediate editions in German. A Swedish translation, produced (perhaps using the same exemplar from which this manuscript was copied) by Petrus Pachius (d. 1641/42), a German schoolmaster and author from Colberg resident since 1629 in Stockholm, was published in 1637 in an edition of one single copy, printed on yellow silk by Henrik Keyser, a German printer in Stockholm, and presented as a New Year’s gift to the eleven-year-old Queen Christina of Sweden (Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket, MfCollijn R. 196); see Lindberg, Swedish Books 1280-1967, no. 23, p. 20.


Hedberg, Arvid. Stockholms bokbindare 1460-1880, vol. 1, Tiden från 1460 till omkring 1700, Nordiska Museets Handlingar 36, Stockholm, 1949.

Heurgren, Paul Gerhard. Svensk militärpost i krig och frid från 1600-talet fram till andra världskriget, Stockholm, 1961.

Lindberg, Sten G. Swedish Books 1280-1967. Illuminated Manuscripts, Illustrated Printed Books & Fine Book Bindings & A Select Guide to Reference Literature on Sweden, Stockholm, 1968.

Linnarsson, Magnus. Postgång på växlande villkor. Det svenska postväsendets organisation under stormaktstiden, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations 49, Lund, 2010.

Pietsch, Paul, ed. D. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, vol. 10/iii, Predigten 1522, Weimar, 1905.

Rudbeck, Johannes. Svenska bokband under nyare tiden. Bidrag till Svensk bokbinderihistoria, part 1, 1521-1718, Stockholm, 1912.

Online resources

Martin Luther, sermon for Good Friday (17 April) 1522

Ratramnus of Corbie, De corpore et sanguine Domini (Cologne: Johannes Prael, 1531)

Ratramnus of Corbie, entry in the Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon

Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts (VD16)

Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts (VD17)