Biblia Veteris Testamenti

Biblia Veteris Testamenti et Historie artificiosis picturis effigiata, Frankfurt am Main, 1551

Bible 1551 is a unique work that apart from its religious message and an ideological dimension contains unusual woodcuts, precise illustrations and an extraordinary binding.

Limited Edition:
299 copies
Avaliable: 4 copies

Biblia Veteris Testamenti, Frankfurt am Main, 1551

Woodcut on the first page
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Bible with a visible headband
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The volume is composed of four prints. Each with a separate title page, the same print date and publisher name. Titles in two languages, Latin and German.

1. Biblia Veteris Testamenti et Historie artificiosis picturis effigiata. Biblische Historien Künstlich fürgemalet.
2. Novi Testamenti Iesu Christi Historia effigiata. Una cum aliis quibusdam iconibus. Das New Testament und histori Christi fürgebildet.
3. Apocalypsis S. Joannis. Die Offenbarung S. Johannis.
4. Sanctorum et martyrum Christi Icones quaedam artificiossimae. Der heiligen und Martirer Gottes künstlich Bildtnussen.

 The Old and New Testament and the Apocalypse are composed according to the same pattern: Illustration and applicable fragment of the Holy Bible in Latin – upper part of page and in German – at the bottom. In each case the exact location of the quote is given. Names of saints and martyrs in the last part are only given in Latin. Reconstructed clasp
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All parts were published in Frankfurt am Mein in the print house of Christian Egenolff in 1551. Woodcut on page 19
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The colophon of the New Testament even gives the month of publishing – March. Egenolff Christian, a German printer, founded the first printing house in Frankfurt am Mein. Throughout 1530-1550 he published approximately 500 prints. Many of his works were adorned with woodcuts by Hans Schauffelein and Hand Beham. He specialized in printing works about nature and history. The printing house founded by him in Frankfurt, operated by his widow and heirs, survived until 1605.

The woodcuts were probably made by Hans Sebald Beham, a German painter and  printmaker, living in 1500-1550, considered by historians of art to be a member of the artistic circle created by Albrecht Durert. In 1540 he settled in Frankfurt were he established close cooperation with Egenolff. Masterly binding
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He made illustrations for the works issued by the publisher. He specialized in illustrations for the Bible, the prominent of which is the so-called Nuremberg edition of the New Testament of 1524. Although the book bears no indication as to its author, considering everything know about this artist we can assume that he created the illustrations in the book in questions. The colors were added around the time of publication or a bit later  (near the end of the first half of the 17th century). Woodcut on page 22
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The book is bound with a board dressed with goatskin hand-dyed to a brown color. A  strickle and beautiful knurl were used to decorate the binding with golden floral and figural motifs. The fronts of the covers feature gilded golden plates. Both boards are fastened with brass clasps. A date, 1552, is stamped on the front cover, it probably indicates the date the binding was made. One of the woodcuts
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Biblia Veteris Testamenti et Historie artificiosis picturis effigiata, Frankfurt nad Menem, 1551

Dimensions: 115 x 163 x 55 mm
Number of folios: 220
Paper: handmade with chain and laid lines, 120 g/cm2
Binding: boards dressed in finely-fleshed, hand-dyed, brown, blind-stamped and gold-stamped goatskin, stamps with floral and figural motifs with gilded plates on the front cover, two brass cast clasps, (binding could be different from what you see on the pictures)                                                                                          Packaging: wooden case with gilded inscription on the lid, padded with jute fabric; dimensions: 310 x 235 x 65 mm                                                                     Limited print-run: 299 copies Available: less than 5 copies

Price: 1560

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