Smallest booklet in the world auctioned for € 3,500


It’s impossible to do with the naked eye. You need a strong magnifying glass to decipher the tiny print of the 5 by 5 mm prayer booklet. Made in 1952 by the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, now sold for € 3,500 by Arenberg Auctions, an auction house in Brussels.

The Lord's Prayer, that's the name of the pencil-sized jewel in its tiny leather binding. It contains seven versions of the Roman Catholic prayer. The original metal letter bars went under the hammer together. They are actually bigger than the book itself.

In 1952, the German printing art museum Gutenberg in Mainz started to renovate. To finance the costs of the work, it produced a few hundred copies of The Lord's Prayer. At the end of 2021, one of these was offered for sale at Arenberg Auctions. The value was estimated at € 1,000 to € 1,500, but it eventually changed hands for almost three times as much. And if you include the costs, you even get to € 4,200. People are more likely to hope for such a collector's item, especially with ample media attention.

Arenberg Auctions specializes in rare books, manuscripts and maps.