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A Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible

A Noble Fragment. Being a Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, 1450-1455. With a Bibliographical Essay by A. Edward Newton. New York: Gabriel Wells, 1921.

[Mainz: Johann Gutenberg, Johann Fust, and Peter Schoeffer, c.1455].

Price: $125,000.00


About the item

Edition limited to 600 copies, designed by Bruce Rogers and printed by William Edwin Rudge. Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, Paralipomenon II, 2 Chronicles 13:18 through 16:10, printed in double columns in 42 lines, with manuscript running head, three initial capitals, and verse numbers in red and blue, rubricated throughout. Newton's text in two columns, [6] pp. of text, with title-page and one initial letter printed in red. 1 vols. Folio. A Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible. Original full black blindstamped morocco by Stikeman & Co., upper cover lettered in gilt. Spine ends rubbed with small losses, very good plus. Leaf fine. Goff B-526B; GKW 4201; Hain 3031; not in Norman Census; PMM 1; Pellechet 2265; Oates 14; Proctor 56; BMC I 17; De Ricci, p. 34; Silver Disbound and Dispersed 7 (Chalmers checklist 18); Needham P18.

Item #368136

“Fecit autem Asa quod bonum et placitum erat in conspectu Dei sui, et subvertit altaria peregrini cultus, et excelsa. Et confregit statuas, lucosque succidit: et præcepit Judæ ut quæreret Dominum Deum patrum suorum, et faceret legem, et universa mandata: et abstulit de cunctis urbibus Juda aras et fana, et regnavit in pace”
“And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God: | For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: | And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.” (14:2-5)

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, the “greatest of all printed books” (PMM) and the first book printed from movable type in the Western hemisphere. New York bookseller Gabriel Wells acquired an imperfect copy in 1920 and the following year offered the leaves separately, presented with A. Edward Newton's eloquent essay. A beautiful specimen of printing from Gutenberg’s landmark achievement.