Treasures in the Royal Library

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Biblia, Det er den gantske Hellige Scrifft, udsæt paa Danske (That is the entire Holy Scripture, in Danish). Copenhagen: Ludowich Dietz 1550.
LN 15 2º

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Front cover with the coat
of arms of Vincents Lerche
Title page with woodcut
designed by Erhard Altdorfer
Fol. B3r: Genesis, Abraham and Isaac

After the Protestant Reformation in Denmark in 1536, governmental efforts were made to have the Bible translated into Danish. The result was the so-called Christian III’s Bible, published in 1550, the first complete Bible in Danish. The number of copies – 3,000 – was unusually large, as the King had ordered that a copy should be found in every church in Denmark and Norway. The translation was based on Luther’s German Bible (see an example of it here), and it was checked with scrutiny by a commission appointed by King Christian III ((b. 1503) 1534-1559). When the entire work was finished in 1548 the German printer Ludwig Dietz was summoned to be in charge of the printing. The Bible has numerous woodcut illustrations, previously used in an edition of Luther’s German Bible from 1534 and designed by the German artist Erhard Altdorfer.
This copy has been in the possession of Privy Councillor and Chief Master of Ceremonies Vincents Lerche (1666-1742), the coat of arms of whom is seen on the front cover. The binding is made of brown leather decorated with blind tooled frames and margins.

37 x 25.5 cm.

Reference (in Danish): Ingrid Ilsøe, “De tre danske foliobiblers historie, træsnit og stik”, Peter E. Raes (ed.): På sporet af gamle bibler, Akademisk Forlag, 1995, pp. 19-34 (with a short English and German summary pp. 190-201).

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© Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2003