The first edition of the Bible in Slavonic, Hedeon Balaban's copy with his contemporary note of purchase

[Ostrog Bible]. Biblia sirech knigy vetkhago i novago zaveta po iazyku [...].

Ostrog, Ivan Fedorov, 12 Aug. 1581.

First edition of the first Bible printed in Cyrillic type, a complete copy with stunning provenance.

Printed by Ivan Fedorow, "founder of book printing and book publishing in Russia and Ukraine", who left Lemberg and entered the service of the Prince of Ostrog. This landmark of Russian printing served as a model for further Russian publications of the Bible and was of enormous significance for Orthodox education.

Our copy was owned by Hedeon Balaban (1569-1607), Bishop of Lviv (Lemberg) and one of the central figures in the history of the Russian orthodox church.

According to our knowledge, this is the only complete copy to appear in trade (or at auction) during the past decades. The last copy sold ("Valuable Russian Books and Manuscripts", Christies, 30 Nov. 2006, lot 3, GBP 22,800) lacked one page, and several leaves with missing text were supplied in manuscript, as was the case with all copies we managed to trace (including several in institutional libraries).

One of the best-preserved copies in comparison with the numerous ones in institutional possession, and certainly the finest available from private hands for a very long time.