The First Austin Pick, 2004

Hola, blogosphere! So I was vaguely cleaning up in the shop office / studio this past weekend when I found my first two garage sale picks in Austin. They were purchased soon after I graduated from college and moved to Austin in 2004. I was broke as a joke and remember having to use a check at the time for the $40 purchase. And what was important enough to warrant me spending $40 of ramen noodle money at a garage sale, you ask? Why two 15th century illuminated manuscripts, silly! I have a history degree, there was no way these were NOT going to be mine. We’ll start with the least impressive one first.

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This is a page taken out of an illuminated bible, likely late 15th century based on the style and my research. I unfortunately don’t know the printer but he was likely German. This manuscript and the next one were purchased in Germany in the 1960s according to the prior owner. I bought this one with the intent to frame the two illuminated pieces with the accompanying text. Please note the BITE MARKS in the margin. This fell off my bookcase and I found my kitten, Mojo, eating the damn thing! He survived 😐

Here’s the second one, and it’s special!

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This second manuscript is a page out of a bible printed by German printer Anton Koberger in 1483. Koberger had the first printing press in Nuremberg and was master artist Albrecht Durer’s godfather. This page features a hand colored woodblock print on one side. These woodblocks retail for about $600-$1000 at auction. Also purchased to frame, it has sat on a shelf for nearly a decade. Oddly enough, despite these awesome finds I wouldn’t go garage sale-ing in Austin for at least a few years after buying these.

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