THE KOBERGERS OF NUREMBERG.
ANTHONI KOBERGER (the elder), who for a number of years held the position of the leading publisher of his time, came of an old Nuremberg family. One of his ancestors had been a burgomaster of Nuremberg as far back as 1349, and took an active part at that time in a successful effort to overthrow the rule of the nobles over the city, and, during the two centuries following, the Kobergers continued to be leading citizens.
Anthoni was born about 1440, or ten years before the completion of Gutenberg's printing-press. He was probably brought up as a jeweller, an occupation in which in the later years of his life he was again interested, but in 1472, he devoted himself to the new art of printing, and in 1473 he issued the first volume, bearing a date, which is certainly identified as his. The work chosen was one of the great books of the world's literature, Boethii Liber de Consolatione Philosophiæ cum Commentario Thomæ de Aquino, a dignified and judicious selection with which to initiate the publishing undertakings of the Kobergers, and one which was fairly representative of the general character of their subsequent issues.
Albert Dürer, whose original trade was that of a goldsmith, had served as godfather for Anthoni Koberger, and Anthoni's eldest son was apprenticed to Dürer. There