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Lübeck Bible

Armorial bookplate of William MarsdenArmorial bookplate of William MarsdenWoodcut scene and initial letters with printed textWoodcut scene and initial letters with printed text ClaspsClasps from the Lübeck BiblePointerPointerThe Low German Bible featured here, printed in 1494, is known as the ‘Lübeck Bible’ and is from the library collection of William Marsden (1754-1836), whose armorial bookplate is shown here.

About 50 of the woodcuts which illustrate this Bible (mainly in the Pentateuch) are more accomplished than the others. Their designer is known as the Master of the Lübeck Bible.

The woodcuts in the Dance of Death, Lübeck, 1489, have also been attributed to him. The other woodcuts in the Lübeck Bible are considered to be the work of a lesser artist but one who was influenced by the Master.

The book is bound in a 16th century brown calf binding with blind tooled decoration on wooden boards. It retains its original clasps but the spine has been replaced.

On the title page are manuscript notes in ink written in Latin and English. A pointing hand has been drawn in ink on the second leaf recto to highlight a certain passage in the text, shown to the right here.

Under the care of King's College, London, the volume was conserved in celebration of Alumni weekend 2005 and the spine was rebacked with new leather.

The copy featured here lacks the final quire which has been replaced with manuscript copy of text in 16th century hand.

Link to King's College London catalogue record:
De Biblie mit vlitigher achtinghe. Bible Low German. Lübeck: Steffen Arndes, 19 Nov. 1494
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