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Glagolitic script has played an important role in Slavic cultural identity since its invention by SS Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century, and is especially linked with Croatian national identity. In the 13th century the Croatian clergy were granted a papal privilege to celebrate the Roman liturgy in their vernacular language of Church Slavonic written in Glagolitic characters.

This 1493 breviary was the first production of Blaz Baromic, who established the first press in Croatia the following year. A priest and scribe, Baromic may have been sent to Venice specifically to learn the art of printing.

The type used was cut specifically for this work and shows the split-letter ligatures (elements cast as separate pieces of type) which characterise the Glagolitic types used by Baromic.

A somewhat squat little volume, just 5in (12.5cm) tall in its a contemporary, possibly Croatian, binding of blind tooled calf over wooden boards, it is, like all the other known copies, incomplete.

It lacks some 40 of the 544 leaves, but this copy, once in the Renaissance library of Hieronymus Paumgärtner of Nuremburg and later given to the Stadtblibliothek, it is a real rarity and sold at £78,000.