Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1479. Folio. 468 pp. Signatures: [a¹², b-y¹ , z ; A-M¹ , N-O ; P-R¹ , S-T ; V-Z¹ ; aa¹ ; * ]. Third bible printed by Koberger, complete. Double column, 51 lines of Gothic type in Vulgate Latin, some printed marginalia, with versal letters in red & blue and decorative pen initials throughout, interior as if new, quires lettered in modern pencil. Marbled endpapers, a few contemporary annotations, first page now glued to end leaf. Brown calf with two clasps. Magnificent copy. Item #16023
Fifth printed Latin bible by Koberger, though only the fourth with the summary of the gospels by Menardus Monachus, who suggests helpful methods for studying the text. Koberger’s first bible was printed in 1475, and those with the Monachus summary commenced with the 1477 printing, with two more in 1478 before this copy was published. An ownership inscription on the incipit reveals the Bible was once held at the collegiate church of Glogau in Silesia, Poland, a town that experienced many historical upheavals including the Protestant Reformation and Nazi control during WWII.
Trained as a goldsmith, Koberger (c.1440/1445-1513) established one of the earliest and most prolific printing houses in Europe. He was responsible for publishing a significant number of the most popular texts of the day, including the Nuremberg Chronicle, the Schatzbehalter, the Golden Legend, and multiple versions of the Biblia Latina. Nuremberg became a hub of intellectual learning and book production, no doubt due in part to Koberger’s entrepreneurial successes.