BIBLIA, DAS IST: DIE GANTZE HEILIGE SCHRIFFT, ALTES UND NEUES TESTAMENTS, VERTEUTSCHET DURCH D. MARTIN LUTHER. [with] DIE AUGSBURGISCHE CONFESSION.
(Luneburg: Sternischen Buchdruderen, 1750). 380 x 240 mm. (15 x 9 1/2"). 6 p.l., 266, 185, 130,  leaves.
IMPOSING 20TH CENTURY MODELLED AND INCISED CALF over bevelled wooden boards BY ERNST RÜCKERT (signed with his monogram), upper cover with floral frame surrounding a naïvely rendered scene of a hunter on horseback blowing a horn, a shield with the binder's initials in the foreground, and brass corner guards; lower cover with brass central boss and corner guards, raised bands, blind-tooled titling, two brass clasps, handmade endpapers. In a sturdy yellow drop-front archival box. With copper-engraved allegorical illustrated title page and 145 woodcuts in the text after designs by Jakob Mores. Not in Darlow & Moule. Text washed and pressed, evenly (and inoffensively) browned throughout, isolated trivial imperfections, but a clean and pleasing copy in a binding that looks brand new.
The last of six editions of the Lutheran Bible produced between 1711 and 1750 by Luneburg publisher Cornelius Johann Stern, this impressive tome features woodcuts designed for a 16th century Bible and a modern German binding with a distinctly Medieval feel. In addition to the Bible, the text here includes the Augsburg Confession, which sets out the basic doctrines of the Lutheran Church. The woodcuts were created by artist and goldsmith Jakob Mores of Hamburg (ca. 1540-1612), and were originally used in the Wolder Bible of 1596. The binding is the work of Ernst Rückert of Hanau, Hesse, Germany, of whom very little is known. The scene on our cover--depicting a man in vaguely Medieval dress on horseback, blowing a hunting horn, with fir trees in the background and a large sun emanating rays from the upper right corner--is executed by a technique that combines blind tooling or incising with the raised, modelled leather bindings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The decoration is charming, and the overall effect is of a folkloric style. We have only been able to locate one other binding by Rückert in sales records, on an incunabular edition of Rolewinck's "Fasciculus Temporum." (ST14860)