First Edition of Luther’s 95 Theses and an Important Medieval Manuscript from Bruges

On the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Reiss & Sohn is offering the first book edition of the 95 Theses of Martin Luther. This work marks the starting point of the Protestant Reformation. It caused one of the greatest revolutions of Western civilization with an important impact on faith and religious life, the social and economic history, not only in Germany and Central Europe, but also in America and most parts of the entire world. As such it may be considered as one of the greatest printed documents, placed next to the works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo or Descartes, only to mention some closer contemporaries. This is possibly one of only very few available copies in private hands, and was already sold in our rooms in 1985 (Estimate price € 150,000).

A further highlight of the sale is a richly illuminated manuscript from the 15th century with medieval texts on military history and the art of war. Amongst others, it includes the “Arbre de batailles” by Honoré Bouvet, which strongly influenced Hugo Grotius, and Thomas of Woodstock’s “Order of Battle in the Court of Chivalry”. The outstanding illuminations are executed by a famous master from Bruges who flourished in the circle of the Master who illuminated manuscripts for King Edward the IV. of England.
(€ 300,000)

A milestone of medical history is offered with “De humani corporis fabrica” by Andreas Vesalius. The present second edition of this work went to the press in 1555. It comprises over 200 anatomical illustrations and makes the author the founder of modern anatomy (€ 40,000).

The entire auction offer will comprise over 3.000 lots. Catalogues will be available in print and online by mid of April. A special catalogue about the “Estate of Otto von Bismarck” is online beginning of April.

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