Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old German Bible Illustrated Book Has Remained a Mystery for 20 Years 1854-1922

HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT!
I just posted this in "I Antique Online". I thought I'd post it here, too.

STORY:
My grandfather was a builder in the local Baltimore area. Back in the 1950's and 1960's he bought up a lot of property, and built homes. The exception, of an old dilapidated farmhouse belonging to two German sisters. He formed a bond with them and agreed to let their farm stay in the midst of commercial and residential buildings.

Soon it was this old Italian builder and the German sisters became the best of friends and shared many a dinner. Apparently they left Germany in the 30's, two young girls escaping and leaving the rest of the family behind. My grandfather passed in 1976, and the eldest sister Gretchen soon thereafter.

Miss Julie, the youngest sister died she was in her 90's, (that was back in the 1990's). She left me this Old German Bible which was scattered admist a bag of her baby photos. It was in her basement and is a huge old book. I am hoping an old book collector or someone that reads German can help me figure this mystery out.
 

It is 12" x 9.5" and 2" thick. It's cover you can tell was once painted gold (gilted?) and the photographs are chromolitho color plates are just dynamic. They are lined with gold around them, and in the drawing themselves. I am quite sure it is the old gold leafing or "real gold" in the ink that they used to use that you see on old books. 

 

Sadly it was sitting in the basement and is quite musty and cover somewhat ruined. There are a few pages inside which have been water damaged, but most is in good condition. 

Many things she had in the same old trunk were photographs from 1900's and I can't read a thing about it as it's written in German. Here is a picture of Pope Benedict XV, so I assume this Bible dates from 1854-1922 when he was "reigning".
 
I can read a bit of this title page indicates mostly in German, but It looks like
Dr. Joseph Franz von Ullioli ???,
James T. Wood, D.D.
The photo on the lower right showing an open book says below:
"CATHOLIC ART AND PUBLICATION OFFICE PHILADELPHIA AND CHICAGO" which may indicate this book was published in the USA!!!
 
Here is some "forward" I suppose with more dates...the small text gives dates, which last says 1837 but that would not correspond to the Pope's picture. There is a gorgeous chromolitho book plate in the front, which is not filled out.
 
I am so in love with this book. It is gorgeously illustrated. Even the black and white pages have drawings, which look like a master artist drew them.
 
The pages are super thin almost feel shiny. I have been looking for information on this for a long time, searching Ebay for years and found nothing. Perhaps a dealer in antiquarian books, religious icons, or German history may know more about this. Thanks for helping me solve this mystery. It is worth more to me personally than the value of the book, because it's a symbol of friendship between my grandfather and Miss Julie. A friendship that lasted for decades.

I would sure like to know more about it. You can contact me direct via my email or via my etsy shop. Thanks for helping me solve this mystery!
Cindy
Exciting news, I'm working on a new site called Design-Swag. Check it out! http://Design-Swag.com
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