Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gutenberg Bible Maximum Card

This is a Velvetone maximum card with the Gutenberg Bible stamp that was issued on September 30, 1952. This stamp commemorated the 500th anniversary of the printing of the Holy Bible by Johann Gutenberg. The Bible was the the first book to be printed from movable type. Gutenberg's movable type printing press started a revolution in printing that eventually made the printed word available to the masses.

The image on the left side of the stamp was taken from a painting by Edward Laning titled "Gutenberg showing a proof to the elector of Mainz". This painting (shown below) is one of four in a series, The Story of the Recorded Word, that were made for the New York Public Library Main Branch from 1938 to 1942 as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) Project.

The New York Public Library owns one of the forty-eight known copies of Gutenberg's Bible. Their copy is shown below.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog


  1. wow, 48 known copies. you know that more were printed. It's amazing these survived, and seemingly in good shape.
    thanks for participating!

  2. Interesting...:)
    Postmark is upside down.
    Postcard is just an enlargement of the stamp image - see my post yesterday about Les Maximaphiles Francais.
    But I appreciate for what it is, not for what it's not. :)

  3. Dorin has a very sharp eye! I would love to see that particular bible for myself :)

    Kind of off-topic here: Your post reminded me of the movie "The Book of Eli" starring Denzel Washington set in the post-apocalyptic earth. He is the carrier of the last copy of the King James Bible and is traveling from east to west to find the rightful one to have the copy of it. Of course, baddies came along his way but he in the end, he succeeded :)

    Postcards Crossing

  4. This is a very interesting stamp. Where would we be if there had been no Gutenberg?

  5. wow! That copy ob the bible must worth millions if not billions!

    My Sunday Stamp

  6. interesting post as always and nice stamp to have. it would be nice to see that bible printed by Gutenberg's someday! happy Sunday! -Postcrossing Mom

  7. Eagle-eyed Dorin, thanks for alerting us to that detail. Where would we be? Messy from the ink, having to copy, copy and...copy! Or I would be if I'd been allowed to participate in that task.
    I've always enjoyed postcards; love the postcard blogs!

  8. 500 years and counting, wonderful celebration. To see the original and wonder how many hands it had passed through to enable us to still marvel at the book.

  9. That is a wonderful card to have in your collection.


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