Showing posts with label Printing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Printing. Show all posts

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rare William Caxton Medieval Text That was Part of One of the First Books Printed in England Discovered

Thrilling Discovery – Medieval Printed Text

An exceptional specimen of medieval printed text by discoverer William Caxton that had earlier been utilised in reinforcing the spine of a book has been considered as a `thrilling’ discovery. Dating back to late 1476 or early 1477, the two pages from a priest handbook had been discovered buried in a box at the collections of Reading University by librarian Erika Delbecque while she catalogued thousands of stuffs regarding the history of printing and graphic design.

Experts had suggested that the treasure was said to be among the first book that had been printed in England by the press of Caxton and could have fetched £100,000 had it been sent to market. Ms Delbecque had mentioned that she suspected that it was `special’ as soon as she had noticed it and informed that it was unbelievably rare to find an unknown Caxton leaf and surprisingly that it had been under our noses for so long.

She further stated that this well-preserved item happens to be the only one of its kind and one of just two remaining fragments from this medieval Caxton book in existence. The leaf had earlier been pasted to another book for the improper purpose of reinforcing its spine.

Original Caxton Leaf

She added that they understand that it was rescued by a librarian at the University of Cambridge in 1820 who had no idea that it was an original Caxton leaf. It had been written in MedievalLatin featuring black letter typeface, layout and red paragraph which had marked it out as a specimen of very early western European printing. No more copies of the pages that could have been printed side of a single leaf of paper have been found to have lasted.

Andrew Hunter, early printing specialist of Blackwells Books who had done the valuation had stated that discovery of even a fragment from among the earliest printing of Caxton in England had been thrilling to bibliophiles and of immense interest to the scholars and if this had come to the market, there would have been competition for the same.

 Moreover it would be a boundless prize for private collector as well as a feather in the cap for any institution. As per the British Library, Caxton was said to be the first to print a book in English as well as the first English printer.

Sarum Ordinal/Sarum Pye

At the time of working in the Low Countries and Germany, he comprehended the marketable potential of the latest technology. In late1475 or early 1476, Caxton had put uphis very own printing press in London. The discovery is said to be from a book known as the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye that had assisted priests in prioritising religious feast days for English saints.

It had been part of a collection which had earlier belonged to late John Lewis, a typographer and his wife Griselda, a writer and book designer. The same had been bought by the university at an auction in 1997 for £70,000 with the aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund. As per the Reading University, the leaf then had laid among several thousands of other objects in the collections before it had been identified.

The only surviving fragment of the book is said to be at the British Library in London.This discovery would be on display at Merl Museum of Reading University on London road from May 9 to May 30.