Click to view higher-resolution image

[Low German Bible].
Single leaf.
Cologne: [Heinrich Quentell, c. 1478].

This single hand-colored leaf survives from a lost copy of Heinrich Quentell’s first Bible in Low German (Niederdeutsch, the dialect of northwest Germany), the first Bible to be printed with an extensive series of large-scale illustrations. Most of the 113 woodcut compositions correspond closely with the illustrations in a manuscript Bible produced in Cologne c. 1460, which may in turn reflect a lost common source. Following their use in this edition, 109 of these woodblocks were acquired by Anton Koberger of Nuremberg for use in his German Bible of 1483. Although worn from constant use, several of the woodblocks continued to appear in German Bibles well into the sixteenth century.