Biblia Latina; Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer Bible

Biblia Latina; Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer Bible

Collection ID

INC.000140.1-.2

Type

Incunable

Date

1462

Geography

Mainz, (Germany)

Language

Latin

Medium

Printed on vellum

Dimensions

17.4 × 12.6 × 4.7 in. (43.8 × 31.5 × 11.7 cm) [Vol. 1]; 17.4 × 12.6 × 4.7 in. (44.3 × 31.7 × 12.5 cm) [Vol. 2]

Exhibit Location

On view in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words


Johann Fust was the financier of Gutenberg’s famous Bible printed around 1455. After Fust sued Gutenberg in 1455 for the return of his money and won, however, the court ordered Gutenberg’s printing equipment and many of his completed Bibles to be turned over to Fust. Fust then partnered with Peter Schöffer, Gutenberg’s apprentice, to create their own printing operation. One of the Bibles the new firm produced was this two-volume edition in 1462. It is printed with 48 lines per page, in contrast to the Gutenberg Bibles, which printed 36 or 42 lines per page. This edition is a beautifully illuminated, iconic early printed Bible. It retains its original leather binding, complete with a metal boss and chain. It is also the first complete Bible to include a printer’s mark—here, two inscribed shields hanging from a branch.

Printed in 1462 by Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer, Mainz, Germany. Acquired by Otto Vollbehr (1869–1946);[1] Acquired by the 1940s by John T. Vance (1884–1943), law librarian at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC;[2] Purchased at auction, likely in 1992, by Heritage Book Shop, West Hollywood, CA;[3] Privately purchased in the 1990s by Stuart Rose Collection, Dayton, Ohio; Privately purchased by 2010 by L. Weinstein Consultants, Wailea, Hawaii;[4] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2012 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Book plate inside the front cover indicates that it was part of the Vollbehr collection. [2] See Christie’s provenance information from the 1992 auction (see the next note): “Otto Vollbehr, with bookplate—John T. Vance, former law librarian in the Library of Congress, preserved 1931–1990 in wrappings lettered Property of John T. Vance.” This book was not included in Vollbehr’s 1930 sale of his collection to the Library of Congress. [3] This appears to be: Sotheby’s New York, 17 December 1992, lot 3. Confirmed with Library of Congress cataloguer (via emails and photographs in August 2019) that this was the copy he catalogued for sale in this lot. [4] Per June 5, 2018, email from Louis Weinstein at Heritage to MOTB: “The book came from the Stuart Rose collection who purchased it from Heritage in the early 90’s. Heritage records were donated to UCLA in 2007 when we closed the shop. I retired 7 years ago and have no clear recollection where it was purchased.”

Select References:

Eric Marshall White, Editio princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2017).

description

Johann Fust was the financier of Gutenberg’s famous Bible printed around 1455. After Fust sued Gutenberg in 1455 for the return of his money and won, however, the court ordered Gutenberg’s printing equipment and many of his completed Bibles to be turned over to Fust. Fust then partnered with Peter Schöffer, Gutenberg’s apprentice, to create their own printing operation. One of the Bibles the new firm produced was this two-volume edition in 1462. It is printed with 48 lines per page, in contrast to the Gutenberg Bibles, which printed 36 or 42 lines per page. This edition is a beautifully illuminated, iconic early printed Bible. It retains its original leather binding, complete with a metal boss and chain. It is also the first complete Bible to include a printer’s mark—here, two inscribed shields hanging from a branch.


provenance

Printed in 1462 by Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer, Mainz, Germany. Acquired by Otto Vollbehr (1869–1946);[1] Acquired by the 1940s by John T. Vance (1884–1943), law librarian at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC;[2] Purchased at auction, likely in 1992, by Heritage Book Shop, West Hollywood, CA;[3] Privately purchased in the 1990s by Stuart Rose Collection, Dayton, Ohio; Privately purchased by 2010 by L. Weinstein Consultants, Wailea, Hawaii;[4] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2012 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Book plate inside the front cover indicates that it was part of the Vollbehr collection. [2] See Christie’s provenance information from the 1992 auction (see the next note): “Otto Vollbehr, with bookplate—John T. Vance, former law librarian in the Library of Congress, preserved 1931–1990 in wrappings lettered Property of John T. Vance.” This book was not included in Vollbehr’s 1930 sale of his collection to the Library of Congress. [3] This appears to be: Sotheby’s New York, 17 December 1992, lot 3. Confirmed with Library of Congress cataloguer (via emails and photographs in August 2019) that this was the copy he catalogued for sale in this lot. [4] Per June 5, 2018, email from Louis Weinstein at Heritage to MOTB: “The book came from the Stuart Rose collection who purchased it from Heritage in the early 90’s. Heritage records were donated to UCLA in 2007 when we closed the shop. I retired 7 years ago and have no clear recollection where it was purchased.”

Select References:

Eric Marshall White, Editio princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2017).


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