22 - 23 March 2005
KLEMM, Johann Heinrich (1819-1885). Beschreibender Catalog des Bibliographischen Museums. Dresden: H. Klemm, 1884.
8o (218 x 134 mm). Tinted lithographed frontispiece. Original inlaid wooden boards, green morocco spine, original metal clasp and catch, gilt edges (spine slightly faded). Provenance: Oscar van Hase (presentation inscription from the author, bookplate).
PRESENTATION COPY FROM KLEMM TO THE INCUNABULIST OSCAR VON HASE: ONE OF A SMALL NUMBER OF COPIES ON HAND-MADE PAPER. Of these, a few were bound in oak boards with inlays, including pieces of very dark oak taken from the excavated foundations of the ancient Roman Rhine bridge at Mainz. Klemm was a tailor, became one of the foremost German authorities on men's and women's fashions on which he wrote influential books, published by his own publishing house in Dresden. His success enabled him to follow his collecting passion. The catalogue describes fifty-one manuscripts, fourteen xylographica and 940 books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The most important among the ca. 450 incunabula was the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, which Albert Cohen had bought for 70,000 Frs. (see S. De Ricci, Mayence, p. 31, No. 25). In 1884 Klemm sold his collection for its "cost price" of 400,000 Reichsmarks to the Government of the Kingdom of Saxony which transferred it to the newly-founded "Buchgewerbemuseum" in Leipzig, of which it formed the nucleus.
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