Auction or Gallery status
User login

Forgot your password or username?

Shop Catalogue

Title: A single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (I King contains Numeri 18.44 until 20.22.
Published in: Mainz, probably in late 1455
Size: 15.4 x 11.2 inches.
39.0 x 28.5 cm.

Condition: Royal folio (390 x 285 mm) 2 columns, 42 lines; initial spaces. The leaf includes a Bull’s Head watermark. With rubricator’s headlines (lombard capitals in red and blue alternating), initials, and a large 2-line chapter initial L. Black morocco binding gilt-titled on upper cover (Stikeman), including A. Edward Newton’s accompanying essay, “A Noble Fragment, 1921”.
Condition Rating

The Gutenberg Bible is the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type. It is a monument that marks a turning point in the art of bookmaking and in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world. The Bible was completed in Mainz, Germany, probably in late 1455.

Production of the edition of more than 640 leaves presumably took several years and a team of workmen. The humanist Aeneas Sylvius, Latin secretary of Emperor Fredrick III, saw sample sheets of the Bible at the Imperial diet in Frankfurt am Main, in late October or early November 1454, and again at Wiener Neustatt in March 1455, from where he wrote about the amazing production to his friend Cardinal Carvajal in Rome.

The text is the Latin translation known as the Vulgate, made by Saint Jerome in the fourth century. The Bible is printed throughout in double columns, with 42 lines to a page for the most part. The capital letters and headings are ornamented by hand in color. The book contains three volumes. Most copies were printed on paper a few on vellum.

The Gutenberg-Bible must have been finished in 1454/55, according to a rubricator's note in the Mazarin copy in Paris. But there is recent evidence that printing began in 1452 and was finished in late 1453/early 1454. The Bible is printed in two volumes, 1284 pages, set in two columns of type (designed in a later Gothic textura, as traditionally used for liturgic texts), 42 lines per column, in an edition of, probably, 35 copies on vellum and 150 copies on paper. Only 31 complete copies have survived.

PROVENANCE: [From the incomplete copy of Maria Elisabeth Augusta von Sulzbach (1721-1794), wife of Karl Theodor, Electoral Prince of the Palatinate, subsequently Electoral Prince of Bavaria (1724-1799); Mannheim Court Library. After Karl Theodor’s death to Munich, Royal Library, which sold it as a duplicate in 1832. - Lateron in the possession of Robert Curzon, 14th baron Zouche (1810-1873); by descent to baroness Zouche of Haryngworth; Sotheby, 9th November 1920 (Zouche sale), n° 70; to Joseph Sabin; sold by him to Gabriel Wells, who broke up the copy, dispersing it in single leaves or larger fragments].

It is not known how many copies were printed, with the 1455 letter citing sources for both 158 and 180 copies.

According to the Gutenberg Museum, a mere 49 known copies of the Gutenberg Bible, less than half of which are complete copies, exist today. Of the 49 extant, more-or-less complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible (12 on vellum, 37 on paper), the copy from the Bavarian State Library is one of only two (along with one copy in the Austrian National Library) in which a table is found as a vestige of the production process.

The Library of Congress copy is printed entirely on vellum,and is one of only three perfect vellum copies known to exist. The others are at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library. ¤

map Thumbnail Catalogue  book Catalogue  Category: Medieval Manuscripts | Printed Leaves | Check Archive |

Click image to zoom old map image or download.
JOHANN GUTENBERG - A single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (I King contains Numeri 18.44 until 20.22.
JOHANN GUTENBERG - A single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (I King contains Numeri 18.44 until 20.22. high resolution image of old map
Click image to zoom old map image or download.

We sell since 40 years genuinely old maps, atlases, prints, posters and every item on the site is clearly dated and priced. Items are made by copper engraving, or otherwise stated.

Measurements are given in millimeters and inches, height is given first, excluding margins.
Colour is by hand. 'Original colours' means; that the item was coloured at or about the time of publication. 'Coloured' means that the map is coloured in this century or at the end of last century.
A colour code is used. help In addition we use a condition rating system help
On top we use our unique HiBCOR grading system which can help the starting collector to set his focus.

Certificate of authenticity Warranty
We warranty the authenticity of each map, print, atlas or medieval manuscript described in this catalogue. There is no time limitation to this garantuee.
- Splits, tears, discolouration and other defects are carefully noted. In addition we use a condition rating system help
 If the condition report does not show remarks about splits, tears, discolouration, etc; this means there are non to be found in the item!.
 As a general rule we try to offer maps of a high quality standard

- Any map, print, atlas or medieval manuscript differing from the catalogue description may be returned for a full refund. help
- A certificate of authenticity is provided for each acquired map, print, atlas or medieval manuscript.

- The items in the Fixed-sale catalog are immediately available and no commission is charged.
- Sales are not subject to VAT or Sales Tax. Buyers from within the State of Florida a 7% sales tax will be added to you bill.
- Shipping fee is $25 per combined shipment, including handling and insurance.

- We accept checks, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and bank transfers.

Click for more details about buying in fix sale gallery, or bidding at auction.
Many answers are likely to find in help section.

Paulus Swaen Internet Auction
is the first internet auction specializing in old maps, Medieval manuscripts and prints. It is a unique place for buying and selling antique maps, atlases, books, and medieval manuscripts.
We are in the map business for 40 years! more
Lot number: 41162

JOHANN GUTENBERG - A single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (I King contains Numeri 18.44 until 20.22.

Item is sold!
Visit the Archive to see for how much the item sold.

Ad this item to My Gallery and get a free allert when this or similar items come available.

Look for other maps of Medieval Manuscripts | Printed Leaves
who are available for sale.

H!BCoR*** help

 Add to my gallery  
Like this item?
Thinking about buying later on?
Or just create a virtual collection !
With Wishlist you can collect all
Your Favorite maps in one place
by simply pressing a button!
[ Read More ]


This item is sold.
Missed this item? Never miss another item again!
Register your free account today & receive email updates!

Look for other maps of Medieval Manuscripts | Printed Leaves
who are available for sale.

Ad this item to your WishList and get free updates when a similar item comes available.