Eight pages of the Gutenberg Bible are to cross the block at Sotheby's New York on June 19.
Valued at $500,000-700,000 it will provide one of the top lots of a sale of fine books and manuscripts.
Johann Gutenberg was the inventor of the moveable printing press, a device that would revolutionise the flow of information during the renaissance era.
As Sotheby's explains: "Almost all subsequent printings of the Latin Bible in the fifteenth century and after descend from the Gutenberg Bible as children, grandchildren, and so forth.
"No incunable had as pervasive a textual influence as the Gutenberg Bible, and even small typographical errors in its setting sometimes persisted for generations in later editions."
The present lot comes from the first edition, printed in Germany in the 1450s, and is one of 49 surviving copies. A New York book dealer cut the book into segments and sold it off during the 1920s.
Rebecca Rego Barry comments in Fine Books Magazine: "Single leaves of the famous 42-line Bible occasionally turn up at auction - one recently sold at Swann Galleries for $55,000 - but a complete copy hasn't been seen at auction since 1978, so this sizable section is estimated to make at least $500,000 for its consignor".
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