A book that is purportedly among the smallest in the world will be auctioned in Brussels at Arenberg Auctions at the end of the week, Belga News Agency reports.
The book in question is a minuscule edition of ‘La Divina Commedia’ (‘The Divine Comedy’) by Dante Alighieri and is around six cm tall and slightly less by width.
Made in 1952 by the Gutenberg Museum, the German Museum of Printing sold the miniature book to finance its renovation. The auction house estimates the value at between €1,000 and €1,500.
“What is unique is that this piece is being sold with the original metal letter bars, larger than the booklet itself,” said Henri Godts, an expert at Arenberg Auctions.
“The printed text is so minuscule that you cannot read it with the naked eye – you need a strong magnifying glass.”
[AUCTION] Highlights of our #DecemberAuction
Dante’s La divina commedia (Milano, G. Gnocchi; Padova,Salmin, 1878) (lot 941).
The work is said to have seriously injured the eyesight of both the compositor and the corrector
— Arenberg Auctions (@arenbergauction) November 19, 2021
Rare books for bibliophiles
Arenberg Auctions specialises in rare books, manuscripts and maps and is presenting several unique items for its last auction of the year.
Among them is the more than 500-year-old Chronicle of Nuremberg, one of the best-known and best-illustrated books from the early printing period, valued at €30,000 to €40,000.
There is also the monumental painting ‘José de Anchieta tames wild jaguars’ – a two-metre high painting by Brussels painter Antoon Sallaert (1594-1650) that depicts José de Anchieta (1534-1579), one of the most influential figures in Brazilian history. It is expected to fetch between €12,000 and €18,000.
There will be no live audience for the auction due to the current coronavirus situation; bidding will take place virtually or via telephone.