A rare artifact from the first major book printed with moveable type in the West.
"[The Gutenberg Bible] has never been surpassed. Of all the arts, printing at its birth reached perfection more nearly than any other." – A. Edward Newton
Gutenberg's printing press was one of the most radical turning points in recorded history. It created a leap in communication and accessibility that transformed Europe, playing a critical role in the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and countless other movements that have shaped the modern world.
The famed beauty of the Gutenberg Bible is not exaggerated. In order to compete within the mature market of illuminated manuscripts, Gutenberg painstakingly recreated the look of the era's popular writing style and left room for hand embellishments, like the red initials here.
Only 21 complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible survive, and one hasn't been sold since 1978; for decades, single leaves have been the only obtainable version. This leaf contains Isaiah 63:1-65:22, verses on God's mercy and forgiveness.
Fine, elegant, and electric.
Read more: Printing and the Mind of Man, 1; Goff, Incunabula in American Libraries, B-526B; Ing, Johann Gutenberg and His Bible.
[Mainz]: [Johannes Gutenberg], [circa 1455]. Single folio leaf. 14.25'' x 10.5''. 42 lines of Gothic type in two columns, two red manuscript initials. Bull's head watermark in center of leaf. "Isaiah" and page number written in ink on top margin of recto. Housed in a custom clamshell box with window-framed folder. Only light soiling to lower margin: exceptionally bright and clear, with no repairs.
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