(Mainz: Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, 1462). 402 x 300 mm. (15 7/8 x 11 3/4"). Double column, 48 lines in gothic type.
Attractively matted. Rubrics in red, headlines lettered in red and blue, recto with an 11-line initial "I" in blue, with red penwork embellishments extending halfway down the column and up into the head margin, verso WITH A SEVEN-LINE PUZZLE INITIAL IN RED AND BLUE, with floral penwork filling on a delicately hatched ground, and marginal embellishments in brown ink. Goff B-529; BMC I, 22; ISTC ib00529000. Recto with a couple minor smudges to head margin, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE LEAF, fresh, clean, and bright with ample margins.
This beautiful leaf comes from the magnificent fourth printed Bible, significant as the first Bible to include the date and names of its printers. This edition was only preceded by the 42-line Gutenberg Bible, the 36-line Pfister Bible, and the 49-line Mentelin Bible. Peter Schoeffer (ca. 1425 - ca. 1502) was both Gutenberg's chief assistant and later the son-in-law of Johann Fust (ca. 1400-66), who had lent Gutenberg money and then had taken over his workshop when the debt could not be paid. Fust and Schoeffer went into business together, and, after his partner died, Schoeffer continued to print into the 16th century. Our leaf is especially desirable for its beautiful condition and attractive penwork initials--the latter feature being a very fortunate find. When early printing expert Eberhard Koenig used a fragmentary copy of the 1462 Bible to assemble a leaf book, apparently 15 of the leaves at his disposal had decorative initials, and these embellished leaves then presumably became the 15 "special copies" of that leaf book. It is possible that our leaf has strayed from the leaf book, but at least as likely, it was never actually part of the Koenig production. (ST16379-215)
Add to Cart Price: $6,500.00
PJP Catalog: 78.058