An Antiques Roadshow expert was left astonished by a set of prints dating back over 550 years, which might be ‘the oldest printed thing we’ll ever see’.
Books and manuscripts expert Matthew Haley was presented with a set of sheets of script from near the dawn of the printing press on the BBC show’s visit to Glasgow.
Host Fiona Bruce explained that rare, early books are ‘an exciting find’, especially those from the pioneers of printing who brought the Bible to the masses in western Europe in the 1400s.
‘It really is special,’ Mr Haley said, aced with pages from such books, ‘talk about old prints – these are pretty much the oldest printed thing that we’ll ever see on the Antiques Roadshow.’
The visitor who brought the leaves to Pollok Park explained that his wife bought him them as a ‘special treat’ after his interest in printing and typefaces began as a member of the print industry.
An Antiques Roadshow expert was left astonished by a set of prints dating back over 550 years, which might be ‘the oldest printed thing we’ll ever see’
The collection of manuscripts dated back to the 1470s, with one being printed by the person who first printed in England
The visitor who brought the papers to Pollok Park in Glasgow explained that his wife bought him them as a ‘special treat’
Top of the bill among the collection was a sheet printed by William Caxton, the first person to print in England, in 1482.
That one sheet alone was estimated at £600 to £1,000 by Mr Haley.
Even older still, were manuscripts from Germany and Italy going back as far as 1470 – 552 years ago – including from Peter Schoeffer, Johannes Gutenberg’s ‘apprentice’.
Explaining the significance of that name, the expert said: ‘Guttenberg printing the Guttenberg Bible in 1455. That was an absolutely seminal change in basically the history of the human race.
‘Without printing, we wouldn’t have had the Reformation. It’s like the explosion that happened when the internet came onto the scene. This was happening in the 1450s, 1460s and 1470s.
‘For somebody interested in books like me this is absolute gold dust, it’s really phenomenal.’
The most striking sheet on display boasted a colourful picture, with the pair explaining that the colour must gave been added afterwards as printing had not evolved far enough to produce such an image at that time.
Wrapping up, Mr Haley estimated that the collection was could fetch a hefty £5,000 to £10,000, to which the owner joked: ‘Don’t tell the wife.’
Mr Haley estimated that the ‘special’ collection could fetch £5,000 to £10,000, to which the owner joked: ‘Don’t tell the wife’