[GUTENBERG, Johann, printer (d. 1468)]. – BIBLE, Latin. [Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust, 1455].
A single paper leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, the first substantial book printed with moveable type. A fine leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, being the end of Chapter 45 through the beginning of Chapter 48 of Isaiah.
Royal folio (390 x 285 mm). Single leaf (fol. 63) from vol.2, containing Isaiah 45:6-48:6. 42 lines, double column. Gothic type 1:140. 2-line Lombard initials supplied in blue and red, headlines and chapter numbers in alternating red and blue letters, capital strokes in red. Tipped-in to: A Noble Fragment: Being a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, with a bibliographical essay by A. Edward Newton. New York: Gabriel Wells, 1921. Dark blue morocco gilt, by Stikeman and Co. (some spotting and light wear); original cardboard slipcase (defective). BMC I, 17 (IC.55); BSB-Ink. B-408; Chalmers Disbound and Dispersed 18; CIBN B-361; DeRicci/Mayence 53 (=78); GW 4201; Hain *3031; Needham P18; Norman, pp.253-258; Pr 56; Goff B-526.
Provenance: Maria Elisabeth Augusta von Sulzbach (1721-1794), wife of Carl Theodore, Electoral Prince of the Palatinate, subsequently Electoral Prince of Bavaria; Mannheim, Hofbibliothek; Munich, Royal Library (their duplicate sale, 1832, sold for 350 guilders); Robert Curzon, Baron Zouche (1810-1873, and by descent until sold); Sotheby's 9 November 1920, lot 70, to Joseph Sabin; sold by him to; Gabriel Wells, who broke up the copy, dispersing it in single leaves, many of them accompanied by A. Edward Newton's essay, as here, and in larger fragments.