to two complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible the British Library
has a fragment of one leaf. It is not well preserved, but is important
because it can be shown to have been decorated in England, probably
In Lambeth Palace Library, the collection
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a copy of volume also decorated
in England. This shows us that at least two copies arrived in England
at a very early date: the Gutenberg Bible was undoubtedly the first
printed book to come to this country. This also shows us how the
earliest printer was already focused on the international distribution
of his production.
Decoration from the Bagford fragment. Larger image.
Shelfmark: IC.56a .Printed on vellum. Leaf
268 of vol. II ([DD]7), the end of Paul's letter to the Galatians
and the beginning of the letter to the Ephesians.
Provenance: John Bagford (1650-1716). Acquired in 1707 by Hans Sloane
(1660-1753); see Margaret Nickson, 'Bagford and Sloane', British
Library Journal, (1983), 51-55. Bequeathed to the nation 1753.
Decoration: English; see Eberhard König, 'A leaf from a Gutenberg
Bible illuminated in England', British Library Journal,