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Nuremberg Chronicle copy found in Utah
Tue, 26 Apr 2011 09:01:57 GMT
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A copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle published in 1493 is displayed at Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City.

American book dealer Ken Sanders has stumbled upon a partial copy of the 500-year-old Nuremberg Chronicle while volunteering at a fundraising event in Utah.

"I was just absolutely astounded. I was flabbergasted, particularly here in the interior West," AP quoted Sanders as saying.

"We might see a lot of rare Mormon books and other treasures, but you don't expect to see a five centuries old book, you don't expect to see one of the oldest printed books in the world pop up in Sandy, Utah."

The Nuremberg Chronicle is an illustrated world history that follows the story of human history as related in the Bible.

Written in Latin by Hartmann Schedel, with a version in German translation by Georg Alt, it first appeared in 1493 as one of the best-documented early printed books, and one of the first to successfully integrate illustrations and text.

Sanders, who occasionally appraises items for PBS's Antiques Roadshow, said the book's owner did not want to be identified, but said that the book was passed down to him by his great uncle.

The German edition was printed by Anton Koberger and published in 1493 as one of the earliest and most lavishly illustrated books produced after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.

The cotton bond paper has preserved the remaining pages and “it will last another 500 years” if well protected, said Sanders adding that the book was definitely not fake.

"It passes the smell test," he said. "I'm not sure there's ever been a forger born who is ambitious enough to hand-create a five centuries old book in a manner sufficient enough to fool people."

Experts say the book does not worth a lot because there are several hundred copies of the book worldwide and about two-thirds of its pages are missing.

Sanders, however, is still excited with his discovery.

"Just the opportunity to handle something from the very beginning of the printed word and the book itself, especially, ironically, in the 21st century with all this talk of the death of the book, and here we have a book that's survived 500-plus years," he said. "It's just exciting ... The value of an artifact like this to me is the least interesting part of it all."

Sanders is displaying the copy at his rare book shop in Salt Lake City.

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