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Eerekroon voor Lourens Koster en alle Voorstanders der Boek-Drukkunst.

Stock Code 76442

Weduwe A. Bakker & Zoon. 1803

Original price £2,750.00 - Original price £2,750.00
Original price £2,750.00
£2,750.00 - £2,750.00
Current price £2,750.00
Beautiful, rare broadside made as a tribute to the purported inventor of the printing press, Lourens Janzoon Koster (c.1370- c.1440). Presented as a trompe-l'oeil montage of printed leaves from various travel and religious books, including the New Testament, as examples of typography through the centuries. Composed around a central six-verse paean to Koster, typeset within an oval foliate border printed in red.

Although no known published works by Koster survive, the assertion that he invented the printing press before Johannes Gutenberg gained ground in accounts written in the 16th and 17th century. Koster was already an important civic figure in Haarlem when, supposedly in 1420, he is reputed to have entertained his grandchildren by cutting letters from tree bark. Seeing the impression they left in the sand spurred him to invent a non-running ink to transfer these forms to paper, later progressing from woodcut letters to lead and tin. Koster is thought to have probably perished at some time during the plague that ravaged Haarlem in 1439 and 1440. At which point, so the legend continues, his erstwhile faithful assistant, Johann Fust, or Faust, ran off with the invention to Mainz, Gutenberg's home town, just around the time that he is known to have established his own press. The continued promotion of the claim for Koster's primacy in this field is thought to have been fuelled as much by Haarlem's need for a local hero, particularly at certain low points in its chequered history. In 1740, a medal was struck in honour of the 300th anniversary of his death, and 1823 a monument was erected to him, to mark the 400th anniversary of his invention, indignantly echoed a year later by retaliatory celebrations in Germany.

Letter-press trompe-l'oeil, printed in red and black within a green-washed border, 50 x 61 cm., unframed.


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Eerekroon voor Lourens Koster en alle Voorstanders der Boek-Drukkunst.

Shapero Rare Books

Stock code: 76442



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