Published: April 26, 2022
DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. – An important leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, printed by Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust in 1455, was one of the top lots in approximately 800 offered at Pook & Pook in its April 21-22 Americana & International Auction. The leaf originates from an incomplete Gutenberg Bible, the Mannheim copy, which had sold at Sotheby’s in 1920 to Joseph Sabin. It was subsequently acquired by New York City book dealer Gabriel Wells, who decided to split up the incomplete book into individual leaves.
Contained in the lot were parts of the Second Book of Esdras, chapters 14 and 15, with 42 lines of black ink, all hinged into a dark blue Morocco leather portfolio and slipcase. Estimated at $20/40,000, it was being offered at Pook from the estate of John Donnelly, who had acquired it at Christie’s on June 9, 1993. A private collector paid $68,200 for it.
The sale included property from several estates, including those of dealers Peter Tillou and Christopher Rebello, and the Robesonia, Penn., estate of Pete Lengel.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house; a more thorough review of the auction will appear in a future issue.
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