viaLibri Requires Cookies CLICK HERE TO HIDE THIS NOTICE

Recently found by viaLibri....

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, 1455. Edition limited to 600 copies, designed by Bruce Rogers and printed by William Edwin Rudge. Newton's text in two columns, [6] pp. of text, with title-page and one initial letter printed in red. Leaf from the Gutenberg Bible tipped in, Folio 218 (Luke 1:12 - 2:9), with large red initial "F" on verso at beginning of second chapter, manuscript chapter numeral "II" in alternating red and blue, text capitals rubricated throughout, manuscript headline in red and blue, some mostly marginal spotting, old dampstain at extreme upper margin, but fine. Folio. Leaf: (390 x 283 mm). Original full black blindstamped morocco by Stikeman & Co., front cover lettered in gilt. Some rubbing at joints, touch of fading to boards. In original slipcase. Edition limited to 600 copies, designed by Bruce Rogers and printed by William Edwin Rudge. Newton's text in two columns, [6] pp. of text, with title-page and one initial letter printed in red. Leaf from the Gutenberg Bible tipped in, Folio 218 (Luke 1:12 - 2:9), with large red initial "F" on verso at beginning of second chapter, manuscript chapter numeral "II" in alternating red and blue, text capitals rubricated throughout, manuscript headline in red and blue, some mostly marginal spotting, old dampstain at extreme upper margin, but fine. Folio. Leaf: (390 x 283 mm). The Birth of Christ: A Leaf From the Gutenberg Bible. UNQUESTIONABLY ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SINGLE LEAVES OF THE GUTENBERG BIBLE, BEING LUKE'S ACCOUNT OF THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO AND INCLUDING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. Among the four evangelists only Luke and Matthew provide a narrative account of Christ's nativity, with Luke's being by far the more in-depth, providing most of the details that have come to be associated with the birth of Jesus. Our leaf includes the announcement by the angel Gabriel of the coming of John the Baptist to Zachariah, the husband of Elizabeth; Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she is to give birth to the Son of God (the Annunciation); the visit of Mary to Elizabeth (the Visitation); Mary's song of praise; the journey of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem in accordance with the census; the birth of John the Baptist; the birth of Jesus in a manger--there being no room at the inn--and his being wrapped in swaddling clothes; and the appearance of an angel to a group of shepherds in a nearby field. None of these events is duplicated in Matthew's account- though an angel does appear to announce the coming of Jesus, it appears to Joseph, not Mary, and is not identified as Gabriel; and while Bethlehem is named as the birthplace of Jesus, Matthew makes no mention of either the manger or the shepherds. The centrality of this narrative to Christianity and hence its importance to world civilization hardly needs emphasizing. The recounting of the narrative in this leaf from the first printed book--the appearance of which likewise marks the birth of a new era of human culture--makes for an exceptional literary and cultural artifact. It is not likely that another example of this leaf will appear on the market again. This "greatest of all printed books" (PMM), the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed from movable type in the Western hemisphere. Only forty-eight copies of it are known, most of which are incomplete. This leaf was removed from the imperfect Mannheim Court Library-Munich Royal Library-Robert Curzon (Lord Zouche)-Sabin copy after it was acquired by the New York bookseller Gabriel Wells at Sotheby's, 9 November, 1920. Wells broke up the copy in 1921 and offered the leaves separately, bound along with A. Edward Newton's eloquent essay. Every copy, leaf, or fragment of this Bible represents a rare tangible piece of cultural history, and an immense achievement in the art and craft of printing. "Its printers were competing in the market hitherto supplied by the producers of high-class manuscripts. The design of the book and the layout of the book were therefore based on the book-hand and manuscript design of the day, and a very high standard of press-work was required, and obtained, to enable the new mechanical product to compete successfully with its hand-produced rivals. Standards were set in quality of paper and blackness of ink, in design and professional skill, which the printers of later generations have found difficult to maintain" -Printing and the Mind of Man. The present leaf opens with the final word of Luke 1:11 ("incensi") and into verse 12, which describes the reaction of Zachariah to the appearance of the angel Gabriel: "et Zaccharias turbatus est videns et timor inruit super eum" ("And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him"). The leaf ends with another angelic visit, this time to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, Luke chapter 2, the first part of verse 9 (with the remainder of the verse in brackets): "et ecce angelus Domini stetit iuxta illos et claritas Dei circumfulsit" [illos et timuerunt timore magno] ("And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round" [about them: and they were sore afraid]). 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. Provenance: Nelson Doubleday (bookplate)
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2017-03-03           Check availability:      Biblio    

LINK TO THIS PAGE: www.vialibri.net/years/items/1361991/1455-gutenberg-bible-newton-a-edward-a-noble-fragment-being-a-leaf

Browse more rare books from the year 1455


      Home     Wants Manager     Library Search     561 Years   Links     Contact      Search Help      Terms of Service     


Copyright © 2017 viaLibri™ Limited. All rights reserved.