1482 Bible leaf. Apocryphal Book of 2 Esdras


Koberger incunable “Biblia Latina” leaf,1482.  Decorative coloured initial added by hand


Recto:  Two columns of Latin text printed in two sizes in black in a gothic font on watermarked, laid rag paper.  Heading: Quartus liber Esdre.  One multi-coloured initial ’E’ beginning Chapter 13. 


Verso:  As Recto, text only.


Printer: Anton Koberger  (See notes)


Origin:  Nuremberg


Date:  December 31, 1482


Content:  The leaf is from the Book of 2 Esdras. Chapter 13 begins:  Et factum est post dies septem, et somniavi somnium nocte.  et ecce de mari ventus exsurgebat, ut conturbaret omnes fluctus eius. 3et vidi, et ecce convolabat ipse homo cum nubibus caeli. et ubi vultum suum convertebat ut consideraret, tremebant omnia quae sub eo videbantur.  et ubicumque exiebat vox de ore eius, ardescebant omnes qui audiebant voces eius. sicut liquescit cera quando senserit ignem.


(And it came to pass after seven days, I dreamed a dream by night:  And, lo, there arose a wind from the sea, that it moved all the waves thereof.  And I beheld, and, lo, that man waxed strong with the thousands of heaven: and when he turned his countenance to look, all the things trembled that were seen under him.  And whensoever the voice went out of his mouth, all they burned that heard his voice, like as the earth faileth when it feeleth the fire.)


Condition:  This leaf is in excellent condition, sharply printed on quality paper with a clear watermark. Original margins all round.   The coloured initial remains unfaded and apart from the expected edge browning and minor cockling,  the leaf is virtually faultless. It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 280x200 mm. Printed area : approx.  235x150mm. Please note that packing/postage will be invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $22.50. Overseas: ask for quote.


Notes:  Anton Koberger (c. 1440-1513) was a goldsmith in Nuremberg. He was the godfather of Albrecht Dürer whose family lived on the same street.  Koberger turned to printing in 1470 and soon established the largest printing house in Europe, employing over 100 workers and 24 printing presses.  His most famous publication was the Nuremberg Chronicle, a landmark of incunabula.

The Apocrypha refer to texts which are left out of officially sanctioned versions  of the Bible. The term means 'things hidden away,' which implies secret or esoteric literature, although none of these texts were ever considered secret.  

There is some confusion about the numbering of Esdras (Vulgate Ezra). The book now known as 4 Ezra is best known as chapters 3-14 of 2 Esdras, the apocryphal book which appears in an appendix to the New Testament of the Vulgate. and among the apocrypha of several subsequent European versions of the Bible.

References:  Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendricke 4250

Item No:  PSA 109

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