BIBLE, Latin. [Basel: Johann Amerbach], 1481.
2 volumes, chancery 2o (294 x 210 mm). Collation: [vol. I] a-y10 A-D10; [vol. II] E-T10 V12; X-Y10 1-810 98; 108; 1110 12-1312 (a1 blank, a2r prologue to Genesis; E1r prologue to Proverbs; X1r prologue to Matthew, 9/8v verses giving the order of the books of the Bible (Walther Initia 7141), metrical colophon (Walther Initia 6750); 10/1r table of liturgical readings, 10/8v blank; 11/1r Interpretation of Hebrew names, 13/12 blank). 570 leaves (of 572, without the first and final blanks). 47 lines and headline, double column (three columns in index of Hebrew names). Types: 1:185G (first lines of books and headlines), 3:92aG (text), 81G (index of Hebrew names). Three- to twelve-line initial spaces, with printed guide-letters. Headlines printed on rectos only. Cross-references printed in the margins of the New Testament and Index of Lessons. Vol. I with opening initial supplied in lavender on a mavue ground modelled in white to a floral and acanthus pattern, between the columns and in upper and lower margins a border of scrolling acanthus and flowers in lavender, mauve, blue, green and yellow; vol. II with a similar border and a mauve initial on a solid blue ground; prologues and books introduced by red and blue divided Lombard initials; chapters with alternately red or blue Lombards, some with marginal flourishes; red capital strokes, paragraph signs and underlines. Contemporary paper label with manuscript correction pasted over incorrect printed headline on Q1r. (Occasional light browning or unobtrusive stains, tears to the blank margins of ca. 5 leaves, 1/10 rehinged, tiny slits to blank lower margins of last ca. 70 leaves in vol. II, a few tiny wormholes to beginning and end of each volume.)
Binding: contemporary blind-tooled South-German pigskin over wooden boards (slight wear, small repair to lower edge of vol. II, hinges cracked, a few tiny wormholes): each cover with a double or triple frame, the central panel tooled to a saltire pattern, ornamented with a number of tools, including a Maria banderole (Schwenke-Sammlung Schrift 264), a Resurrection scene (Schwenke-Sammlung Christus 27), a Lamb of God (Schwenke-Sammlung Lamm 58), two rosettes (Schwenke-Sammlung Rosette 471, 651), an oblong floral tool and a palmette, a Buxheim binding; leather index tabs (two missing, one loose); each volume with later chased silver furniture consisting of ten center- and cornerpiece bosses and two clasps, each clasp formed of two hinged parts which meet in the center of the fore-edge and are held together with a pin, each pin attached to its clasp with a thin chain; leather-backed cloth boxes.
Provenance: some contemporary marginalia, including notes in German to Genesis -- Buxheim, Carthusians: inscriptions at beginning and end of each volume, inkstamps on first page of each volume.
Amerbach's second Bible, a page for page reprint of his 1479 Bible. Johann Amerbach settled in Basel in 1477 and was active there until his death in 1513. In addition to Bibles and other religious texts, he also printed classical and humanistic works. His exemplars were sometimes manuscripts borrowed from the Basel Charterhouse, to which he gave copies of his printed editions. His correspondence is an important witness to his own learning and to the nature of the printing trade in his day.
HC 3081* (=3083); BMC III, 745 (IB. 37264); BSB-Ink. B-443; CIBN B-401; GW 4246; Pr 7560; Goff B-571. (2)