SOLD "The Poor Man's Bible". 1495 incunable leaf. Book of Exodus.

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Coloured initials added by hand.

”Six days shalt thou work, the seventh day thou shalt cease to plough and to reap”.


A scarce leaf from the second edition of the first Bible printed in octavo format by Johann Froben, founder of a great printer’s dynasty and friend of Erasmus. The size of Froben’s Bible conforms to that of many 13C portable manuscript Bibles written in Paris.  To keep the number of leaves within a single volume, Froben used an unusually small but very clear gothic font in 7-point size.  The Bible was known as the "Poor Man's Bible” because it was convenient to carry and easily affordable.

Recto:   Text in Latin printed in two columns in a gothic type on laid paper.  Red rulings.  One three-line coloured initial ‘A’ in red with marginal flourishing, added by hand after the printing.  Heading  “Exodus” marked in red.  Capital letters touched in yellow.

Verso:   As Recto with two penned coloured initials in red and blue.

Printer: Johann Froben, Basel.

Date: October 27, 1495.

Content: The text is from the Book of Exodus. The red initial “A’ begins Chapter 34:

Ac deinceps praecide ait tibi duas tabulas lapideas instar priorum et scribam super eas verba quae habuerunt tabulae quas fregisti.

(And after this he said: Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the former, and I will write upon them the words, which were in the tables, which thou brokest.)

Condition: The leaf is in fine condition, unblemished and expertly printed .

Size: Leaf: 150x105 mm.

References:  Goff B 598; Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke 4275. ISTC ib00598000.

Item No: PSA201

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