- Museum number
- Object: Im iar da man zalt tausent fünff hundert und zwolfften ist geborn ain solichs kind [...] un sein nam ist Elßgred (In the year 1512 such a child was born ... and her name is Elsgred)
Broadside on the conjoined twins of Ertingen; with two woodcut illustrations printed on recto and verso of a sheet hinged to the centre of the broadside and showing the twins in frontal view and seen from behind; and letterpress text in two columns (58 lines each). ([Augsburg]: 1512)
- Production date
Height: 114 millimetres (Woodcut borderlines c.)
Height: 277 millimetres
Width: 150 millimetres
Width: 87 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Entry from G. Bartrum, 'Dürer and his Legacy', exh. cat., BM, London 2002, no.124:
'The leaf hinged to the centre of the broadside has a woodcut on either side, showing a front and back view of the twins. There are two columns of verse, each in fifty-eight lines, and the title makes it clear that these are the same twins, born in Ertingen on 20 July, 1512, that Dürer has commemorated in his drawing in the Ashmolean, cat.no 123. Dürer does not mention, however, the abbreviated name conflating Elizabeth and Margaret given here to the twins 'Elszgred'.
Representations of human and animal deformities were not uncommon in the period immediately prior to the onset of the Reformation, and interest in them had always been superstitiously linked with a divine warning about the coming of Antichrist. They were not always necessarily based on fact. A further conjoined birth in 1512 was recorded of twin girls in the Swabian town of Essingen, and another of 1517 describes conjoined twins of Landshut who only lived for half an hour. A particularly famous pair of twin girls, who were born joined at the forehead near Worms in 1495, was illustrated in a broadside by Sebastian Brant, as well as appearing on the title-page of a polemical leaflet against astrology written by Thomas Murner, and in the chronicle of the world (Weltchronik der Cosmographey) by Sebastian Münster (see E. Holländer, Wunder, Wundergeburt und Wundergestalt: in Einblattdrucken des fünfzehnten bis achtzehnten Jahrhunderts, Stuttgart, 1921, pp 71ff).'
See Klaus Walter Littger in 'Gutemnberg Jahrbuch', 2003 pp.74-85, on this and other broadsides of Siamese twins.
Ref: Weller Suppl. i 78
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number