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Mainz Bible – 1661/1662 – Illustrated


Catholic Bible of Mainz


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SKU: RB1661MAINZ Category:


1661/1662 Mainz Bible (German). First Edition. COMPLETE in every respect. Popularly called “The Catholic Bible of Mainz.” Lavishly illustrated with copper plate engravings, as well as many picture-woodcuts throughout. Printed at Frankfort and Mainz, dated 1661, 1662. Illustrated with 20 full-page and 2 double-page engravings, by Cornelis Visscher (1629-1658) and Joachim von Sandrart (1606-1688), with 160-plus picture woodcuts 3.5″ x 2.5″ throughout the Bible, particularly in the Pentateuch and Book of Revelation. Reference: D&M 4200. Dimensions: 11.2″ x 9.0″ x 5.25″. Covered boards in original vellum/parchment, embellished and embossed with symbols for Christ and Mary; tight binding; pages edged in red, though a bit faded; one working clasp. In rare EXCELLENT+ condition, with minor foxing and ageing here and there; no significant tears; no loss of text; two thumb-nail sized clips to margins; see pics. Engravings are quite excellent and detailed, especially the Four Evangelists. Woodcuts are nicely detailed with mostly sharp impressions. Weighs 10 lbs., 2oz.

This 1661/1662 Bible, known as the popular Mainz Bible, is a sumptuous reprint of Dietenberger’s famous German Bible of 1534, revised by Jesuit theological scholars at Mainz and edited by C. Ulenberg, published in Cologne, 1630, the so-called “Cologne Bible.” Dietenberger’s 1534 Bible, according to Darlow & Moule: “In the N.T. he followed [J.] Emser almost entirely, and copied the Apocrypha from Leo Juda. For the remainder he [Dietenberger] made use of [Martin] Luther’s version, though in certain parts he conformed it to the Vulgate.” This 1661/1662 edition was printed in Mainz, a famous center of publishing since Gutenberg. It is dedicated to Johannes Philipp, archbishop of Mainz, and for decades was the “go-to” version for Roman Catholics in Germany. Surprisingly, the Old Testament is largely a translation by Martin Luther!

Additional information

Bible / Date

Mainz / 1661




11.2" x 9.0" x 5.25"