Thirty-Six-Line Bamberg Bible, 1459 AD

Thirty-Six-Line Bamberg Bible, 1459 AD

299.99 399.00

Author: Unknown

Language: Latin

Date: 1459 AD

Page #:

Reproduction Dimensions: 11.75 x 8.75 in

Price: $299.99

History/Description: "The Bamberg Bible" is the second movable type printed edition of the bible. It's believed to have been printed in Bamberg, Germany, circa 1458-1460. Although no printer's name appears on the book, it is possible that Johannes Gutenberg was the printer. The Gutenberg Bible, circa 1450-1455, with 42 lines of text on each page is a little different to the Bamberg, which has 36 lines to a page. In the past, some scholars argued that the 36-line Bible was an early, and primitive version of the Gutenberg Bible. However, careful comparisons of the text have since revealed that the 36-line Bible was set from the 42-line Bible, proving the 42-line Gutenberg Bible came first. There are several pieces of evidence to suggest that the 36-line Bible was printed in Bamberg, Germany. For one, the paper used for the book is known to be from Bamberg and was not found in Mainz, where Gutenberg's press was located. Secondly, the existing originals all have customary Bamberg style bindings. Thirdly, fragments of the 36-line Bible were found in the padding of other books printed in Bamberg. And finally, almost all known copies of the book have ownership records that can be traced back to Bamberg or surrounding areas. The printer of the book is still unknown. It could have been printed by Gutenberg himself, or someone he trained, or someone who purchased equipment from him.

In the 1980's, cyclotron analysis established that the ink used in the printing of the book was similar to the ink used for the Gutenberg Bible. Gutenberg the man lost much of his equipment to his banker, Johann Fust, in a lawsuit in 1455. And so, if Gutenberg printed the 36-line Bible, he did so using D-K type, a crude and older type than was used for the 42-line Bible, possibly because he had nothing left to work with after the law suit was all said and done. A small number of copies of the Bamberg Bible have survived, only fourteen complete copies, or nearly complete, are known to exist. This small number of surviving copies suggests far fewer Bamberg Bibles were printed than the Gutenberg Bibles. A copy of the Bamberg 36-line Bible is on permanent display at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery in the British Library.

Reproduction Details: The hardcover books are made with two pieces of real wood on the inside. The leather is a 4 oz cowhide, from a small supplier in New York state. The Glue we use to attach the leather to the wood is made at our facility, and is a period correct wheat glue. Along the spine, we use a modern perfect binding, with modern glue, to make the binding last longer. Then we each signature is sewn into the book block.  We also add three layers of mull cloth to the outside of the perfect binding, drying in between each layer, a traditional way to make the binding stiff, strong, and resilient.


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