The Bibles were not ready for use when
they came off the press; rubrication, large capital letters, and
decoration were still to be added.
In the early stages of the printing, Gutenberg
printed the red headlines before each chapter of the Bible. This
procedure involved passing each sheet under the press twice and
it was soon abandoned, probably because it was too time-consuming.
Henceforth the rubrics were intended to be supplied by hand, by
rubricators. This task was not undertaken in Gutenberg's workshop,
for the rubication differs from one copy to the other. Gutenberg
provided assistance for the rubricators by producing four leaves
of instructions. Two copies of the instruction sheets survive, in
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and in Vienna, Österreichische
The Grenville copy does not follow the guidance sheet. Rubrics,
chapter numbers, and accent marks are supplied in red. There are
no running head-lines. Large initials are supplied in red and blue
ink with some pen work decoration. Smaller initials alternating
in red or blue ink. Small capitals are marked with red pen-strokes.
Red and blue capitals and a rubric in red. Larger image.
The style and the extent depended on how
much money the owner wanted to spend. The Grenville copy has no
decoration as such.