Le Brun’s Grande Galerie de Versailles, 1752
Det komplette eksemplar af dette pragtværk om en af solkongen Louis 14.s mest storslåede kunstneriske iscenesættelser, Charles Le Bruns spejlgalleri i Versailles, er særlig interessant for både sin indbinding og sin proveniens. Bindet er et fransk pragtbind fra udgivelsesåret eller året efter, lavet af den franske hofbogbinder Antoine-Michel Padeloup d.y., og det har tilhørt én af samtidens mest magtfulde mænd i Danmark, J.H.E. Bernstorff, der efter en periode som dansk gesandt i Frankrig i 1751 tiltrådte stillingen som Frederik 5.s udenrigsminister. Bernstorff var bogsamler med sans for kvalitet, og bogen bærer hans smukke ejermærke på bindet, et såkaldt super-exlibris.
The Gudbrand Bible, 1584
The collection of Bibles in the Reference Library is large and contains, amongst other things, two of the oldest Danish folio Bibles, Christian III and Christian IV’s Bibles from 1550 and 1639 respectively. A particular rarity among the Bibles is the first complete Icelandic Bible, which the bishop of Hólar in the north of Iceland, Guðbrandur Þorláksson (Gudbrand Thorlakssøn), had translated and published by Jón Jónsson in 1584 with the support of Frederik II. The translation opens with Martin Luther’s forewords to his own Bible translation, which both Christian III’s Bible and The Gudbrand Bible are based on. The Bible is embellished with 29 woodcuts and 29 illuminated initials, and must be considered a milestone in Icelandic ecclesiastical and linguistic history. Today there are around 30 known copies of The Gudbrand Bible in the world.
The Chess Book of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1616/1617
Duke Augustus was one of the most well-read and educated European rulers of his time. The famous Bibliotheca Augusta in Wolffenbüttel is named after him. In his youth he wrote the first German language book on chess, Das Schach- oder König-Spiel. it was published under the pseudonym Gustavus Selenus, the first part of which is a rearrangement of the letters in Augustus, while the second derives from Selene = Luna and forms an allusion to Lüneburg. The book is a great rarity today, not least in the apparently complete condition in which it is found here.
The Queen’s Reference Library contains many rare and magnificent books. Even though the very impressive stock the Reference Library contained in the 18th century was in large part lost during the first fire at Christiansborg Palace in 1794, many antiquarian and bibliophile treasures have since been added, both during the reestablishment of the Reference Library at the beginning of the 19th century, and later.
Juliane Marie's Atlas
Queen Juliane Marie’s Atlas is a collection of maps and drawings bound in 37 large folio volumes. It is a parallel collection to her husband Frederik V’s Atlas, which consists of 55 volumes and which is located in The Royal Library. Juliane Marie’s Atlas consists of 2,798 sheets, of which many are hand-tinted or hand-drawn. Among the drawings are those by the first professor of architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the French architect Nicolas-Henri Jardin, of the first Christiansborg Palace’s Great Hall from 1765-66.