BIBLE, Latin. [Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust, 1455].
Royal 2° (389 x 273mm). Single leaf, containing Acts of the Apostles VII:35-VIII:37. 42 lines, double column. Type: 1:140G. Rubricated in red and blue, with headlines in alternating red and blue lombard letters, chapter initial in red with numerals alternating in red and blue, red capital strokes. (Small repaired marginal hole.) Mounted in: 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 tooled in blind and gilt by Stikeman and Co. (slight wear at foot of spine, a few scuffmarks).
A single paper leaf from the first 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 (1721-94, wife of Carl Theodore, Electoral Prince of the Palatinate and subsequently Electoral Prince of Bavaria); the Hofbibliothek at Mannheim; the Royal Library at Munich (sold as a duplicate in 1832); and Robert Curzon, Baron Zouche (1810-73) and his descendants. It was sold at auction in 1920 (Sotheby's, 9 November, lot 70) to Joseph Sabin, who in turn sold it to Wells. H *3031; BMC I, 17 (IC. 55); GW 4201; Needham Census (PBSA, 79, 1985), P-18; Norman, Pictoral Census, pp.253-8; Goff B-526.