Original leaf with woodcut illustration from the Bible in Latin (Biblia Latina) produced for Anton Koberger of Nuremberg. Printed by J. Sacon of Lyon in 1521. Reference: Darlow and Moule #6101. (330 x 245mm – 13 x 9 ½’’)
Koberger was the leading German publisher of his day - known particularly for the Nuremberg Chronicle. He was also Albrecht Dürer’s Godfather – providing Dürer with his early training!
The text for this leaf is nicely printed in gothic letter in two columns. Rubricating and underlining are executed by hand in red ink. One six-line, and six four-line and three-line woodcut initials surrounded by a floral design; one fourteen-line woodcut illustration of John the Evangelist writing The Apocalypse or Book of Revelation with his attribute, the eagle, shown supporting his writing desk.
The six-line “I” begins the entire Book of Jude: “Iudas Iesu Christi…” (Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James…).
The historiated initial begins The Apocalypse – or Revelation 1:1 – 2:6 “Apocalypsis Iesu…” (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen…I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God…And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, and alive, and was dead, and behold I am living forever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell…).
This nearly 500 year old leaf from an historic bible shows considerable evidence of devotional use. There is some staining and wear, and some edges have been strengthened with paper strips.