500-year-old book, a history of the world, surfaces in small town
2011-04-25 0:00

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)"

Related Articles
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

The Pilgrims Were Definitely Not Like Modern-Day Refugees
2015-11-27 20:01
This upcoming Thanksgiving Day is sure to offer you and your family plenty of opportunities to argue over whether America should be welcoming Syrian refugees. If you have any liberal relatives or friends coming over for your Thursday feast, they‚Äôre going to relish the chance to tell everyone that the Pilgrims were refugees too ‚ÄĒ and hope that statement decimates all ...
ISIS to France: "We will be coming. Victory has been promised to us by Allah"
2015-11-26 3:33
Homegrown French ISIS fighters have issued a chilling threat of new attacks on France just 24 hours after the terrorist group used movie footage of the Eiffel Tower's collapse in another video.  A balaclava-clad militant is seen warning 'we will be coming, we will come to crush your country' in footage posted on Twitter earlier today. It is unclear where the film ...
ISIS teenage 'poster girl' Samra Kesinovic 'beaten to death' as she tried to flee the group
2015-11-26 1:07
She appeared in social media images for the group carrying a Kalashnikov and surrounded by armed men A teenage girl who ran away from her Vienna home to join Isis in Syria has reportedly been beaten to death by the group after trying to escape. Samra Kesinovic, 17, travelled to Syria last year with her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15. The two became a ...
The Right Stuff's flagship podcast "The Daily Shoah" has been censored by Soundcloud
2015-11-25 22:56
Editor's note: The PC corporate moral police strike again. Just as Radio 3Fourteen & Red Ice Radio were censored from iTunes, The Daily Shoah was pulled from Soundcloud today. As per usual, there is a double standard, they allow any kind of anti-White material: No counter culture humor making fun of the genocidal mainstream garbage is allowed! ... From: therightstuff.biz Soundcloud took it upon ...
Merkel Welcomes A Million More: Vows To Stand By Refugee Policy Despite Security Fears
2015-11-25 21:05
Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris. Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up ...
More News »