The Mainz Psalter is one of the earliest works to be produced with movable type in Europe, and is the first to experiment with multi-coloured printing.
The text comprises psalms, hymns, prayers and other material for use in church services, and is entirely in Latin. The book was produced in the German city of Mainz by Peter Schoeffer in partnership with Johann Fust, and was issued in 1457.
The coloured initials and decorative capitals were printed in the same pass through the printing press as the text in black, requiring the application of different coloured inks to the text-block. (Later printers would abandon this method as it was too complex: they printed the black, let it dry, and then printed the red or blue on top later.) The music staves and notation, however, have been added later by hand with a pen.
All surviving copies are printed on parchment.
- Full title:
- Begin. [fol. 1 recto:] Dn̄icis diebʒ post festū trinitatis Inuitatorium
- Printed book
- Peter Schoeffer (printer), Johann Fust (printer)
- Usage terms
Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.
- Held by
- British Library