(Johann Gutenberg: Mainz), (1455). Item #99-5938
One sheet of watermarked paper, 15.5 x 11", with two columns of 42 lines each, printed in black Gothic letter, in black with red and blue, one brown spot (about 1" in diameter) over one column (front and back), some worming in one margin, old glue marks in other margin else a nice, bright leaf hinges into the leather-bound book, A NOBLE FRAGMENT: Being a Leaf of The Gutenberg Bible 1450-1455, With a Bibliographical Essay by A. Edward Newton", published by Gabriel Wells: NY 1921, in a slipcase. The leaf is from Chapters 11 (verses 15-54) and 12 (verses 1-23) of the Gospel of St. Luke in which Jesus speaks about Beelzebub and evil spirits, the lamp under a bushel basket, etc. (The previous leaf would have been Jesus teaching the Apostles how to pray the "Our Father"). The Gutenberg Bible, of course, was the first book ever to be printed using moveable type, an invention that revolutionized society by placing literature into the hands (ultimately) of the common man. There are only 22 known complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, and the price of one. Gabriel Wells was one of two 20th Century U.S. Publishers to take apart a Gutenberg Bible to sell individual leafs (the other being Charles Scribner's Sons), and the leafs are now SCARCE and valuable. Even the 1961 facsimile edition goes for thousands of dollars! Here's your chance to own a piece of history, a leaf from the oldest printed book ever!