[GUTENBERG, Johann, printer.] -- BIBLE, Latin. [Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Fust, 1455].
Royal 2o (388 x 287 mm). Single leaf from the Old Testament, containing the book of Ezra III fol. 242. Type: 1:140G. Headlines and chapter numbers in alternating red and blue letters, capital strokes in red. Watermark: grape cluster on this half of sheet. 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. (spine chipped at ends); slipcase.
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; Joseph McAleenan (9-line gift inscription in in on fly-leaf, dated 8 July 1925 to; Patrick Cardinal Hayes; Francis Cardinal Spellman; Manhattan College (sale, Christie's New York, 1 June 1991, lot 31).
A SINGLE PAPER LEAF FROM THE GUTENBERG BIBLE, THE FIRST SUBSTANTIAL BOOK PRINTED WITH MOVEABLE TYPE. The "Noble Fragment" belongs to an imperfect copy of the Gutenberg Bible, which was divided by Gabriel Wells, a New York book dealer, and dispersed as single leaves or larger fragments, the individual leaves mostly accompanied by Newton's bibliographical essay, as here. The copy had previously formed part of the collection of Maria von Sulzbach. 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; Goff B-526.