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1884 Italian Incunable

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"Incunables are the first printed books in western history. This one has some odd inconsistencies, but it's still worth $4,000."



  • Fact 1: An incunable, from the Latin "incunabula", for "cradle", is a printed book produced before the year 1501 -- the earliest stages in the development of printed works.
  • Fact 2: As of 2008, there are approximately 30,000 distinct editions of incunable books in existence. The Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany currently houses over 20,000 individual incunables.
  • Fact 3: The most famous incunable is the Gutenberg Bible, the first successful movable-type printed book in Europe. 48 Gutenberg Bibles are still known to exist.
  • Fact 4: There are two types of incunable: those printed using moveable type, and those printed using single-piece blocks. Some scholars argue the term only applies to the moveable-type books.
  • Fact 5: Because of the massive expense of early printing, incunables were only made in 282 cities spanning 20 modern European countries.

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