ÖNB-Exemplar des Mainzer Psalters (1457) ebenfalls Teil des kulturellen Welterbes

Ebenfalls in das Memory of the World-Register der UNESCO eingetragen wurde das ÖNB-Exemplar (ÖNB Ink 4.B.1) – eines von zehn weltweit! – des Mainzer Psalters (Mainz: Johann Fust und Peter Schöffer, 14 August 1457), eines der herausragenden frühen Druckzeugnisse.

Psalterium : Mit Ordinarium officii, Cantica, Tedeum, Symbolum Athanasianum, Allerheiligenlitanei, Collectae und Orationes. Im Anhang Totenoffizium und Hymnar
[Mainz] : Johann Fust und Peter Schöffer
14. Aug. 1457
175 Bl. 20 Z. [a–k10 l8 m6 no10 p9 q11 r10 s11] : Notendruck, Rotdruck, Initialen in Farbdruck

Aus dem Summary der ÖNB:

On 14 August 1457, Peter Schöffer and his partner in business, Johann Fust, completed an edition of the psalms in their printing workshop in Mainz. With regard to its impact on the development of book printing, the Mainz Psalter comes a close second to the Gutenberg Bible: it is the earliest document of a printed text featuring multicoloured printed decoration, and the first example of a book produced entirely by means of mechanical methods.

It was also the first time that a printed volume carried a colophon containing the work’s title, printer, and date of publication. Moreover, in the present case, it is explicitly mentioned in the colophon that the entire book was produced with the aid of printing methods, including the decoration, which was no longer added by book illuminators. Thus a complex problem with regard to the efficient production of books had been solved: for his printed edition of the Bible, Gutenberg had abandoned initial trials with red print and provided for gaps in the text, such as for headlines and initials, to be later filled by hand. In terms of both aesthetics and technology, the Mainz Psalter, being the oldest book that was printed throughout, represents the perfect prototype with regard to the further development of multicolour printing.

Only ten examples of the Mainz Psalter have survived worldwide in two variants, all of which are printed on vellum. The copy owned by the Austrian National Library is the only complete example of the larger edition (175 sheets), and it is also the only one in which the colophon contains the combined coat of arms of the Fust and Schöffer Press that was subsequently used in many of the workshop’s printed products.

As to both its concept and making, the present Psalter edition, printed in Mainz in 1475, was of eminent importance for the evolution of modern Occidental history in terms of culture, media, and technology at the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era.  Among the material vestiges of this process – the surviving copies of the edition in question – the Vienna example ideally lends itself to research. Once preserved at the Habsburgs’ Innsbruck court library as a collectible for bibliophiles, it has never been used in liturgy and has thus been preserved in its entirety and in rarely good condition.


Siehe auch:

Foto: ÖNB (auf ÖNB-Website gibt es noch keine Pressemeldung dazu)

Nachtrag: Mittlerweile gibt es auch eine Pressemeldung der ÖNB: http://www.onb.ac.at/services/presse_19225.htm (siehe dazu: http://www.univie.ac.at/voeb/blog/?p=14257)

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