For every noble family, the library was of great importance, representing both the family's intellect and wealth. In the early centuries of book printing, a library was a considerable cost to create, but it proved to be valuable and, in time, a profitable investment. For many, what makes these books special is their history, their age, the coats of arms and the inscriptions they contain, while others seek out one of the few remaining copies from the finest period of book printing for their elegance.
Western book printing began in 1450, but books had been produced before that. These are called codexes, written by hand for many years. Therefore, the value of such a codex was worth the equivalent of an entire village.
Gutenberg printed the first book in 1450, and the fifty years that followed are a series of incunabulum. Most of the surviving copies of these unique rarities are treasured in public libraries, while few survive in private collections. The pages were printed by machine, but some of the initials were still hand-drawn (rubricated). The pride of our collection are the three incunabulum we hold, from 1476, 1478 and 1489.
In the 16th century, interest in books grew and the technique was simplified. Craftsmanship was mainly only needed for binding. Until the beginning of the 18th century, books were bound in embossed vellum, a simpler but in some respects more attractive and extremely durable binding method, mainly in German areas. The pages of the book were bound between two wooden boards and the pages were held together with clips.
In the 18th century, parchment almost disappeared and was replaced by gilt leather binding, which conquered the world with the spread of the Baroque. Gilding was done by hand, as was the painting of the page edges. These books were mainly produced in smaller sizes, while folio (35-40cm high books) were less common. These are justly called the most beautiful bindings, made mainly in France.
By the 19th century, the printing of books had been further simplified. Hand-stitching and decorating the binding disappeared, and mass production began. This trend continued into the 20th century, while in today's digital world, e-books are now the dominant form.
We are the only company in Europe to be able to acquire books of the same beauty and value as the old noble libraries. We deal exclusively with the first 350 years of book printing, covering the period 1450-1799. Thanks to our extensive network of contacts, we seek to obtain books from this period from all over the world and to pass them on to our collectors.
As the availability of books is very limited, we only book purchase requests for larger quantities, which we can meet with a certain commitment period. Depending on individual orders, this commitment period can range from a few weeks to several years.
We can also undertake the creation of specialised library collections (e.g. exclusively legal books from the 16th century) with an extended delivery time. Our clients include private collectors, politicians, public figures and businessmen. You can contact us at: email@example.com Szilárd F. Kökényessy