Codices iconographici are "illuminated manuscripts with no or merely explanatory text". Johann Andreas Schmeller (1785-1852) defined his own subject for this in the first half of the 19th century.
Numerous codices iconographici were previously set up in the languages German, Italian, French and Latin and were resigned accordingly. It was often not possible to classify them unambiguously, but was a matter of discretion. Therefore, a good number of illuminated manuscripts are also among the Cgm (Codices germanici monacenses) and Clm (Codices latini monacenses).
The codices iconographici are predominantly representative "picture books" on the realities of the profane world. They are drawn by pen or with opaque colours, also splendidly coloured with silver and gold as show pieces. With a few exceptions, they originate from medieval maps and books of coats of arms from the 16th to the 20th century.
Important pieces from the Early Modern period are for example the Livre du toison d'or, a coat of arms book from members of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Cod.icon. 285) or the Cod.icon. 308 a coat of arms book of German houses of Augsburg's Nikolaus Bertschi's families (died 1542) together with other interesting coat of arms and family registers and genealogical tables in the collection context.
Important geographical works are the portulans (port maps), which were created for seafaring to the New World (e.g. Cod.icon. 131 and Cod.icon. 133) as well as Genoese, Portuguese and English maps and atlases. Botanical manuscripts, e.g. Cod.icon. 26, 31 or 34 are also worth mentioning.
The courtly representation includes the elegant tournament book Cod.icon 403 by Hans Burgkmair the Younger (1500-1562) from Augsburg, which illustrates the types of tournaments invented and organised by Emperor Maximilian I in water colour pen-and-ink drawing, repeating woodcut sketches by his father Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473-1531). One special gem in this fund is the so-called "Kleinodienbuch" (Book of Jewels) by the Munich painter Hans Mielich (1516-1573) from 1552-1555 (Cod.icon. 429), a picture inventory of the jewellery belonging to Duchess Anna of Bavaria (1528-1590), the wife of the founder of the Wittelsbach court library, Albrecht V. of Bavaria, which is no longer available today.
An overview of all Cod.icon. manuscripts can be found in the manuscript index (Repertorium) by J. A. Schmeller (Cbm Cat. 79) and the CodIcon online database.
>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).
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