500-year-old book, a history of the world, surfaces in small town
2011 04 25
By Brian Skoloff | Newser.com / AP
Book dealer Ken Sanders has seen a lot of nothing in his decades appraising "rare" finds pulled from attics and basements, storage sheds and closets.
Sanders, who occasionally appraises items for PBSís Antiques Roadshow, often employs "the fine art of letting people down gently."
But on a recent Saturday while volunteering at a fundraiser for the small town museum in Sandy, Utah, just south of Salt Lake, Sanders got the surprise of a lifetime.
"Late in the afternoon, a man sat down and started unwrapping a book from a big plastic sack, informing me he had a really, really old book and he thought it might be worth some money," he said. "I kinda start, oh boy, Iíve heard this before."
Then he produced a tattered, partial copy of the 500-year-old Nuremberg Chronicle.
The German language edition printed by Anton Koberger and published in 1493 is a world history beginning in biblical times. Itís considered to be one of the earliest and most lavishly illustrated books produced after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and revolutionized publishing.
"I was just absolutely astounded. I was flabbergasted, particularly here in the interior West," Sanders said. "We might see a lot of rare Mormon books and other treasures, but you donít expect to see a five centuries old book, you donít expect to see one of the oldest printed books in the world pop up in Sandy, Utah."
April 23, 2011, Utah book dealer Ken Sanders looks over a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle published in 1493. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)
The bookís owner has declined to be identified, but Sanders said it was passed down to the man by his great uncle and had been just gathering dust in his attic for decades.
Because of the cotton bond paper it was printed on, not wood pulp paper like most present-day works, Sanders said the remaining pages have been well-preserved albeit literally coming apart at the seams
"Barring further calamity or disaster, it will last another 500 years," he said.
And Sanders is certain itís not a fake.
"It passes the smell test," he said. "Iím not sure thereís ever been a forger born who is ambitious enough to hand-create a five centuries old book in a manner sufficient enough to fool people."
Page depicting Constantinople with added hand-colouring. Wikipedia
But whatís it actually worth? Turns out, not much.
It is believed there are several hundred copies in circulation worldwide, making it not-so-rare of a find, and about two-thirds of its pages are missing.
Still, itís not the monetary value that excites Sanders.
"Just the opportunity to handle something from the very beginning of the printed word and the book itself, especially, ironically, in the 21st century with all this talk of the death of the book, and here we have a book thatís survived 500-plus years," he said. "Itís just exciting ... The value of an artifact like this to me is the least interesting part of it all."
Sanders is displaying the copy at his rare book shop in Salt Lake City.
San Francisco-based antiquities book dealer John Windle said if this copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle were in mint condition and fully intact, it could be worth up to a million dollars.
One in such shape sold last year at a London auction for about $850,000, Windle said, but not so much because itís such a rare find.
"The rarity of the book has almost nothing to do with its value," he said. "If youíre collecting monuments of printing history, monuments of human history, if youíre collecting achievements of the human spirit through the printed word, this is one of the foundation books ... Every book collector wants a copy of that book or at least some pages from it."
Windle noted that while its worth to collectors is priceless, it is "probably the most common book from the 15th century making its way onto the market these days."
"We have a saying in the book trade: thereís nothing as common as a rare book," he added.
Because of this bookís tattered state, Windle said itís likely worth less than $50,000.
"It basically kills the value," he said. "If it turned up in perfect condition in Salt Lake City, now that would be amazing. That would be astounding."
Luise Poulton, curator and head of rare books at the University of Utahís J. Willard Marriott Library, called it "an exciting find," but largely just because of the way it surfaced.
"Itís that classic story," said Poulton, who has several pages from another copy of a Nuremberg Chronicle on display. "You really never know whatís in your attic."
Article from: newser.com
Video from: YouTube.com
"A man walking into a Sandy, Utah museum unwraps a plastic bag, revealing an original copy of íThe Nuremberg Chronicleí, one of the worldís oldest printed books dating to 1493. Now, it is for sale, possibly worth up to $100,000. (April 25)"
Nuremberg Chronicle - Wikipedia
The Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum)
Vatican embarrassed by error-filled catechism book
The Oera Linda - Entire Book
Oera Linda Book
The Nazi Book Craze
A million library books to be sent down the mines
Banned Books Week: September 25 - October 2
"Where books are burned, in the end people will burn" - Bebelplatz Memorial, Berlin
Dept. of Defense buys 9,500 copies of book - then burns them
Number of books in house predicts childís education and career success
Latest News from our Front Page
Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet usersí computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computerís camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not Ďabsolute rightí
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ
The new head of Britainís GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies.
ďGCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,Ē Hannigan said. ďBut privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
|More News Ľ |