Three Extra-Illustrated Oversize Volumes with More than 275 Engravings, Printed on Super-Royal Paper To Produce the Best Impressions


(The Hague: Pieter de Hondt, 1728-29). 470 x 330 mm. (18 1/2 x 13"). Three volumes. First Edition with these Illustrations, this copy PRINTED ON SUPER-ROYAL PAPER.

Contemporary blind-stamped vellum, covers with multiple plain rule borders, central arabesque, raised bands, spines inked with neat calligraphic titles. WITH 276 VERY FINE ENGRAVED PLATES, comprising TWO FRONTISPIECES, THE 212 PLATES CALLED FOR (29 double-page, 183 full-page) by Gerard Hoet (119), Houbraken (27), and Bernard Picart (64), engraved on copper by Duflos, Thomassin, Gouwen, Folkema, and others; and EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 62 DOUBLE-PAGE COPPERPLATE ENGRAVINGS by Johannes Luyken from "Icones Biblicae Veteris Et N. Testamenti." Ebert 20371; Cohen-de Ricci 940-41; Brunet V, 150. Perhaps half a dozen plates with faint marginal dampstains, intermittent minor foxing and browning to text, other trivial imperfections, but A FINE COPY--especially clean and fresh, and with rich impressions of the plates on thick paper.

The beautiful illustrations in this imposing Bible are printed on "super-royal" paper which, in Cohen-de Ricci's opinion, showed off the engravings to best advantage. The splendid--one might even say divine--engravings for this book were created between 1705 and 1720 for publisher and bookseller Pieter de Hondt (1696-1764) by Dutch master Gerard Hoet (1648-1733), by Hoet's pupil Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780), and by Bernard Picart (1673-1733), described by John Harthan in "The History of the Illustrated Book" as "a man of vast industry, training many engravers and illustrating books of all kinds." Engraved captions in English, German, Latin, French, Dutch, and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) identify the scenes, which feature many of the best-known stories from the Bible. The engravings were sold as individual prints until 1728, when De Hondt collected them all for use in this Bible and in a French edition of Saurin's "Discourses." Brunet says that both this work and the Saurin were printed on four different kinds of paper, "ordinary or median paper" (sold for 80-100 francs), "royal paper" (120-150 francs), "super-royal" (150-200), and "imperial paper" (200-250), and agrees with Cohen-de Ricci that the super-royal paper produced the best impressions of the plates. Our Bible is blessed with an additional 62 engravings of biblical scenes by Johannes [Jan] Luyken (1649-1712). Son of Amsterdam engraver Kaspar Luyken, he is best known for the 104 plates of religious persecutions in "The Martyr's Mirror." His Bible illustrations were issued ca. 1700; the impressions here were likely done for the 1729 printing of "Icones Biblicae" by Covens & Mortier, one of the most important Amsterdam publishing firms--especially for cartography--in the first half of the 18th century.

Price: $15,000.00