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Five hundred-year-old book found

A copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle published in 1493 is displayed at Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City. File photo   | Photo Credit: Brian Skoloff

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 PBS's 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, I've 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. It's considered to be one of the earliest and most lavishly illustrated books produced after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and revolutionised publishing. The book's 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. It has been printed on cotton bond paper.

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.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:21:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/Five-hundred-year-old-book-found/article14696690.ece

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