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Re: [PPLetterpress] "Re: The King is Dead, ..."

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  • Gerald Lange
    Amy Not at all. The Helmasperger Instrument clearly indicates that Gutenberg was involved with Fust and Schöffer in regard to B42. But the document is an
    Message 1 of 51 , Apr 1, 2006
      Amy

      Not at all. The Helmasperger Instrument clearly indicates that Gutenberg
      was involved with Fust and Schöffer in regard to B42. But the document
      is an annulment of contract and really only refers to Gutenberg's role
      in setting up the equipment. Whether or not printing with movable type
      was Gutenberg's development, he certainly must have understood it well
      enough to set up the facility.

      A while back we did a book on Gutenberg and one of printing historians
      we consulted with told us everything that we needed to know was in the
      money trail. He suggested we start with the paper. It quickly became
      clear to us that nothing as massive and unique as the ad hoc B42
      enterprise had ever been attempted before. And, Gutenberg and Fust had
      no path to follow.

      But there was a problem with B42 (production seems to have stalled) and
      that may be why Schöffer was brought on board. He is thought to have
      been Fust's adopted son, not quite Gutenberg's apprentice (though that
      is how he has been portrayed). He was a trained copyist and university
      educated. He knew book work and letterforms. My guess is that Fust had
      to produce a book that was better than the work of a scribe, or he was
      in deep financial trouble. Schöffer could solve that problem, Gutenberg
      could not. Thus it may be that once Gutenberg's mechanical expertise was
      passed on and he could offer no more, he was somewhat in the way. Plus,
      it is now known that his type (and the technique) started showing up in
      other places (Hamburg specifically) contemporaneous to B42. Possibly
      regarded as a violation of contract, or at least a thorn in the side,
      but not mentioned in the Instrument.

      This, of course, is just pieced together speculation.

      Gerald
      **

      >Hi John
      >
      >Well this I can certainly agree with.
      >
      >I have seen two B42s. One on paper, the other on parchment. As well as
      >the Mainz Psalter. Breathtaking.
      >
      >Typographically speaking, as far as I can tell, it was all Peter
      >Shoeffer's.
      >
      >Gerald
      >
      >
      >>Why do you say this? Do you think Schoeffer invented printing?
      >>
      >>Amy
      >
      >>We simply do not know what technique Gutenburg used, there are no
      >>records of that
      >>at all. There was a lot of secrecy that surrounded early printing.
      >>Would we have even known
      >>about Gutenburg, if he never had a quarrel with his associates and
      >>did not went to court ?
      >>
      >>But all the techniques needed for it, were available in some form
      >>
      >>
      >that time
      >
      >
      >>It's the combination that made it unique
      >>
      >>...............
      >>
      >>Those Gutenburg-bibles, they are at the top of typography, who of
      >>
      >>
      >you have ever
      >
      >
      >>been able to take a peek at them ? There are not so many around.
      >>
      >>Best wishes
      >>
      >>John Cornelisse
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
    • Gerald Lange
      Per I cut off the last of my post to you by mistake. I think the date of Schöffer s entry into the project is fairly accurate primarily because somewhere was
      Message 51 of 51 , Apr 1, 2006
        Per

        I cut off the last of my post to you by mistake. I think the date of
        Schöffer's entry into the project is fairly accurate primarily because
        somewhere was a reference to his being in Mainz prior to the fall of
        Constantinople (1493), which was of considerable concern to the
        European community.

        Gerald
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