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Nothing made more, but two much earlier works did sell for $6000 (£4140) apiece. Among the early Bibles on offer was one printed in Venice in 1483 by Franciscus Renner. An attractive and seemingly complete copy of one of several small quarto Latin Bibles printed by Renner in the 1480s, it was nicely rubricated and tightly bound in contemporary pigskin over wooden boards with metal clasps, some parts of which are now missing.

The second $6000 lot was a herbal, a 1588-91 first of the New Kreuterbuch... of Jacobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus, a physician and student of Bock and Brunfels whose monumental attempt at providing encyclopaedic coverage of all European flora became one of the most widely disseminated of the early German herbals.

Tabernaemontanus’ herbal contains over 2300 woodcuts by an unknown artist and engraver, and though they may be seen as derivative of the cuts used by his teachers, as well as those of Mattioli, Dodoens, Clusius and Lobel, they were well executed and the stock was later acquired by the printer John Norton, who used them to illustrate the first edition of Gerard’s Herbal.

This example, in which the two volumes were bound as one in contemporary calf over wooden planks, was a very thick and weighty volume indeed.

Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent
Exchange Rate: £1 = $1.45