You have 2 more free articles remaining

Printed by Peter Schoeffer of Mainz, this tall copy in contemporary blind-stamped goatskin over boards was a copy that spent its early days in a Bavarian monastic library before passing into the royal library at Munich. It later entered various distinguished private collections before ending up in the library that Countess Doheny endowed for
St Mary’s of the Barrens at Perryville, Missouri.

In December 2001, when that library was sold at Christie’s New York, it made $130,000 (£89,700); one year on it reached just $85,000 (£54,490).

The 1538 first edition of Coverdale’s Latine and Englyshe Newe Testament that made $120,000 in that 2001 Doheny sale was left unsold on this occasion, but a copy of Estienne’s Hebrew Bible of 1544-46 that sold here for $32,500 (£20,835) was the one that had sold for $55,000 (£35,255) as part of the Friedlander sale at Christie’s New York in April 2001.

This example was bound as 17 volumes in Parisian red morocco gilt, in the manner of Florimond Badier, in the mid-17th century.

One of those Noble Fragments of 1921, incorporating a single leaf from the 42-line Gutenberg Bible of c.1455, made $27,500 (£17,630). Stoutly bound in contemporary blind-stamped and rolled pigskin over wooden boards, a collection of no fewer than ten rare astronomical texts of the late 15th and early 16th century – seemingly compiled around 1515 for a Leipzig student – was sold at $47,500 (£30,440).