Munich, Idion Verlag, 1977-78.
2 volumes large folio [430 x 300 mm] adorned with about a hundred colored miniatures. With a commentary volume. Sumptuous bindings in blind-stamped light-brown calf over wooden boards, covers decorated with many blind-stamped patterns as well as blind-stamped fillets creating several panels, large central boss and engraved copper corner pieces, spine ribbed and decorated with the same blind-stamped patterns as on the covers, leather ties and copper clasps. Binding executed by the Austrian artist Ernst Ammering.
Dimensions of the bindings: 458 x 320 mm.
Superb reproduction of the Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever printed in Europe.
From the 955 copies of this facsimile printed, only 895 were offered for sale. And this copy is part of the luxurious deluxe issue made from a richly illuminated copy preserved at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage).
The present copy bears the number 9.
The sumptuous binding of this copy was also copied by the Austrian bookbinder Ernst Ammering from the one on the Gutenberg Bible preserved in this library.
Only some copies of this facsimile were bound this way, a great number of the 895 having been offered for sale in a simple plain calf binding or even in a half-calf over wooden boards binding.
Produced in Mainz between 1452 and 1455 under the watch of Johannes Gutenberg and his associates, Johann Fust and Pierre Schoeffer, the Gutenberg Bible is composed of two folio volumes of 324 and 319 leaves. It reproduces the text of the Vulgate, the Latin bible translated by St Jerome.
Sold on subscription, this Latin bible was bought by religious institutions when it was published, essentially monasteries. From a print of about 180 copies, 48 have been preserved until today, and loose leaves are preserved in some libraries.
This exact reproduction of the original Gutenberg Bible, superbly illuminated with 12 colors, was produced in Munich 35 years ago thanks to the process of photolithography. Printed on a very luxurious Van Gelder rag paper, the volume has been entirely decorated with real gold highlights.
The work is adorned with blue and red printed initials and headings. It is also illustrated with about a hundred illuminated initials of different colors and enhanced with gold, some of them also enclosing miniatures. Many pages present in the margins a sumptuous design of interlaced designs with animals, flowers … in gilt and various colors.
This volume, reproducing the most beautiful book ever printed, is considered as the most beautiful facsimile ever produced.
It is moreover the reproduction of the first book printed in Europe thanks to movable characters, the most important book in the history of printing.
A very beautiful copy of this reproduction of a mythical book in exceptional condition.