Books Were Once Super Rare, Beautiful, And Very Expensive

History

 

I found this while browsing the Morgan Library's Instagram page and was just reminded of how amazing and rare all books once were. Like seriously, look at the insane amount of detail!

Before 1440 (the invention of the printing press), and even for many years after, every single book had to all be written by hand. That includes all the drawings you see surrounding the text (which are on every page)!  

This was also before the mass production of paint so all the paint was very, very expensive. Books like these often times would also use gold paint, made from real gold. All of this put together means that books were highly prized possessions usually only in the possession of the few and powerful. 

Just a reminder to not take the wealth of information we have around us for granted :).

-Kevin Tung

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