BIBLE, in German -- Biblia germanica, Proverbs-Maccabees, New Testament. Augsburg: Johann Schönsperger, 25 May 1487.
Chancery 2° (305 x 215mm). Collation: [51-998 10010] (Proverbs-Maccabees, New Testmament). 401 leaves (of 801, lacking quires 1-50 and blank leaf 51/1, containing Genesis-Psalms). 48 lines and headline with printed foliation, double column. Type 2:96G, 3:140G. 21 (of 109) woodcuts, woodcut Maiblumen and ornamental initials. ILLUMINATED AND COLOURED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, the initial on leaf 52/2 overpainted in red, green and blue on punched gold ground with sundot extension, leafy decoration in lower margin in gold and colours, all woodcuts and Maiblumen initials with contemporary colouring, contemporary quire markings preserved. (A few neat marginal tears, some light staining, paperflaw in one leaf, a few blank corners torn, small wormtrack in margin of first leaves just touching decoration and tiny wormholes in final few leaves.) Contemporary blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards panelled with rolls and flower tool (somewhat worn). Provenance: Weyarn, Austins Canons, monastery of St. Peter and Paul (18th-century bookplate); small eagle rubberstamp on first leaf.
Eleventh German Bible, often found without volume I (see GW). It is the first of three German Bibles printed by Schönsperger. Its success must have been considerable, since the second edition followed three years later in a smaller format. The woodcuts were newly cut for this edition and were strongly influenced by the important Cologne-Nuremberg series. One woodcut (here on leaf 100/6v) is signed with initials HB, which Nagler (Monogrammiste III, 653) identifies as Hans Bämler; it is unlikely to be the Augsburg printer of that name. A LARGE COPY WITH FINE CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLOURING. H *3139; BSB B-492; GW 4305; H. Schmid, Augsburger ... Buchillustration, 1958, pp.107-8 ('eine der seltensten'; Schreiber 3463; Stuttgart BibelSammlung E-26; Goff B-634; NOT IN THE BRITISH LIBRARY.