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The Most Lavish

Notes on a book from our Reference Library:

Tenschert, Heribert.

Biblia Sacra. The Holy Scripture. 180 Manuscripts and Printed Editions from the 13th to the 20th Centuries.

Published by Heribert Tenschert: (Ramsen), 2004. 

The most lavish and beautiful reference book in our office is Heribert Tenschert’s catalogue 48 dedicated to Das Buch der Bücher” [THE book of books] – the bible. As recently written by Nicolas Barker in The Book Collector, There can be no doubt that the catalogues…that Heribert Tenschert has published over the last half-century, have been the grandest, in scope and physical form, produced by any bookseller in that period.”[1] This book is massive, weighing in at 7 pounds 15 ounces, measuring  350 by 250mm (13 ½ by 10 inches) and comprising 536 pages of extra-thick glossy paper. 

Many bibles are common books. As is often the case, it’s the exceptions to a rule that are the most intriguing. Tenschert’s book includes only the most fantastic and most wonderful copies of the bible. For example, the catalogue includes the first Arabic-Turkish edition of the New Testament; the personal bible of the Sun King” Louis the XIV; and a 1524 Nüremberg bible with Albrecht Dürer prints. All depicted bibles are complete, and the book presents a true bibliophile’s delight. We’ll let the illustrations speak for themselves. 

You can order this catalogue directly from Herr Tenschert’s website. We purchased our copy in Europe directly from the man himself; it added significant weight and bulk to our suitcase on way home. We invite you to visit our Mill Valley, CA office to page through our copy and ogle at the world’s most beautiful books. 


[1] The Book Collector, vol. 70, no. 4, 680.

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