A German Mystery, can you help?

One of the more spectacular specimens we acquired from Wigan and Leigh College Geology Museum was this beautiful slab of Lithographic Limestone from Solnhofen, Bavaria southern Germany.The Solnhofen Limestone is famous as the beds where the first Archaeopteryx fossil (a primitive bird) was discovered  in 1860, along with a range of other spectacular fossils.

I’ve never come across something like this and assume it is a demonstration piece of the printing blocks that were made from these rocks (the limestone is also known as The Lithographic Limestone).

One of my colleagues from the museum has tried to translate the text, but it is mostly in old german making a translation difficult. Click on the images to make them bigger. If you can help, please let me know!


8 Responses

  1. Hello David
    What a mystery? You could check with Pete, as he speaks fluent German and may have some ideas. Other than that, I have a friend I will check with for you.
    Anyone have any other ideas/sources?

  2. Hello David

    a rough translation, I hope it is of any use:

    “Up next pictures and copper engravings/several belong to the seventh chapter/describing the journeys of Ulrich Schmid (=Ulrich Schmidel?) from Straubingen/several belong to the eighth (chapter) describing the journeys of the gentlemen Franciser Draken and Thomas Candisch/ knights of England.
    Now […] most delicately made and published by the heirs of Dieterich de Byseligen.
    Printed in Frankfurt/Main by Matthäum Becker.”

    • That’s fantastic! Thanks very much for your help.


      • So that’ll be Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish, both attempted to circumnavigate the globe. Ulrich Schmidel was also 16th Century, and explored S.America.

        So it looks like it’s almost advertising chapters from a history of global exploration. Published by Matthias Becker. Becker was working about the end of the 16th, early 17th Century. And I think they did publish a history of the Americas, but I could be wrong. MDC would obviously be 1600.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Devine, David Gelsthorpe. David Gelsthorpe said: New blog post: A German Mystery, can you help? http://alturl.com/rg6ia […]

  4. Thanks for everyone’s help. This is really interesting and gives a whole new dimension to this specimen

  5. Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, but the text is referred to in “A Dictionary of Books relating to America, from its Discovery to the Present Time”. You can find the reference at http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nBOX1vlXuqoC&lpg=PA54&ots=Nk3sNOSzia&dq=folgen%20nun%20die%20figure&pg=PA54#v=onepage&q=folgen&f=false

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