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Highlights of the 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

The 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will soon open its doors (27-29th January) and presents 72 exhibitors from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands showing rare and valuable medieval manuscripts, books, autographs, and modern prints. The fair is affiliated to ILAB, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and organised by the German association, Verband der Antiquare. The fair organisers have just released some bibliophile treasures and true highlights that will be available for sale at the fair.
Published on 23 Sept. 2018
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The 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will soon open its doors (27-29th January) and presents 72 exhibitors from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands showing rare and valuable medieval manuscripts, books, autographs, and modern prints.
The fair is affiliated to ILAB, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and organised by the German association, Verband der Antiquare.

The fair organisers have just released some bibliophile treasures and true highlights that will be available for sale at the fair.

The most expensive book at fair will be offered by Bibermühle – Heribert Tenschert: Biblia Pauperum a "Blockbook" from Southern Germany printed from Netherlandish woodblocks, c. 1464–1465.

The title “Biblia Pauperum” appears first in the colophon of an unillustrated manuscript of 1398 (Munich, Clm. 12717). It is a very misleading one, as it suggests that the book was used to teach the poor and illiterate the story of the Bible. In reality, however, it is a most complex arrangement of Biblical material which can only be understood by those already familiar with the Bible and the medieval concept of typology. At the centre of each plate is a scene from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. On either side of these are scenes from the Old Testament (mostly from the Pentateuch or the Book of Kings) with its prefiguration. Four little figures from the Old Testament (usually King David and three prophets) with prophecies and paraphrases from the Bible fill the upper and lower compartments.

What is a Blookbook?

Blockbook editions of the “Biblia Pauperum” originated in the Netherlands about 1460, possibly at Utrecht (cf. R. Koch). They were produced by cutting both image and text into a block of wood. The block was then inked, a sheet of paper laid over it, and the verso of the sheet rubbed to take the impression. The sheet, printed on one side only, was folded in half and sewn at the hinge into a binding, almost always with the blank sides pasted together. Requiring no special equipment, their printing was not dependent on a particular shop or printer; the woodblocks could easily be transported and printed anywhere. Therefore impressions from one set could be and were printed in different locations at different times. The Botfield copy of the “Biblia Pauperum” is an important witness to the printing history of blockbooks.

»Biblia Pauperum«, 1464/65. Bibermühle – Heribert Tenschert, Ramsen / CH (€ 1.850.000,-)



Coinciding with the 500 year celebration of Luther's reformation and the many events across Germany and worldwide (see link to Luther exhibitions here) the Stuttgart firm, Stuttgarter Antiquariat Kocher-Benzing, will offer a rare Luther translation from March 1518:

»EJn Sermon oder Predig von dem ablasz vnd gnade durch den wirdigen doctorem Martinum Luther Augustiner zu wittenbergk gemacht vnd geprediget«
Stuttgarter Antiquariat (€ 16.000,-)



A unique and most likely complete collection of circa 8700 theatre pamphlets of the "Königlichen Hof- und National-Theaters" between the years 1827 and 1874 will be offered by the Berlin firm Antiquariat Rainer Schlicht, owned by the Duke Maximilian of Bavaria. Included in this collection are the pamphlets of the world premiere of some of Wagners most famous works such as "Tristan und Isolde“, "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“, "Das Rheingold“ and „Die Walküre“.

»Tristan und Isolde«. Theaterzettel zur Uraufführung, München 1865 aus einer umfangreichen Sammlung. Rainer Schlicht, Berlin (€ 60.000,-)





To view all highlights of the fair, please visit the Stuttgart website or visit the fair! The Stuttgart fair is the second oldest fair in Europe and the major antiquarian book fair in Germany.

For all information, please visit the Stuttgart website.

View a full list of exhibitors here.

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