A 16th Century Wide-Margined Large Folio Greek Bible In a Lustrous Period Binding with Aristocratic Provenance


(Frankfurt: heirs of Andreas Wechel, Claude de Marne & Johann Aubry, 1597). 388 x 258 mm. (15 1/8 x 10 1/8"). 4 p.l., [1 blank leaf (attached to backing of folio ):(4)], 1098, [2] pp. Fourth Complete Greek Bible printed in Germany.

VERY STATELY 17TH CENTURY RED MOROCCO, covers with mitered gilt frame, gilt supralibros of Baderon de Maussac (Olivier 745) at center, raised bands, spine panels with gilt flower, gilt lettering, all edges gilt. Printer's Pegasus device on title and final page. Front flyleaf with ink inscription recording the purchase on 24 February 1680 at Toulouse for 24 livres. Darlow & Moule 4653; VD16 B 2578; Adams B-979. ◆Three minute dents to front board, a hint of wear to bands and corners, isolated faint foxing, blank recto of frontispiece leaf and blank verso of final leaf with faint blue shadow from endpapers, but all of these quite trivial, and otherwise A BEAUTIFUL COPY--fresh, clean, and bright internally, with very wide margins and strong impressions of the plates, and in a lustrous binding showing few signs of use.

This handsome and remarkably well-preserved tall folio Greek Bible from a distinguished German printing firm comes in a shiny armorial binding with aristocratic French provenance. Darlow & Moule assigns the editing of this issue to Franciscus Junius (François du Jon) or Friedrich Sylburg, noting that the Old Testament "is based on the Basel edition of 1545 . . . with correction from the Complutensian text, and useful notes." The New Testament follows the text of Robert Estienne's 1568-69 edition. The Wechel family had a long tradition of humanist printing, with an emphasis on Greek texts, beginning with the press of Christian Wechel (fl. 1520-54) in Paris, and continuing after his son Andreas (d. 1581) fled to Frankfurt to escape the persecution of Protestants in France. Andreas' descendants carried on the business through the first quarter of the 17th century. Olivier's "Reliures Armoriées Françaises" (1926), pl. 745, offers three possible attributions for the supralibros here, all from the Languedoc region during the first half of the 17th century: Jean de Baderson; Jacques de Baderon, seigneur de Maussac, a member of the Parlement of Toulouse; and Jacques de Baderon de Maussac, seigneur de Montagnac et de Corneillan, and commandant of the city of Collioure. The inscription on the flyleaf here, indicating that the book was purchased in Toulouse, perhaps supports the case for the member of the Parlement in that city. The 24 livres paid for our imposing volume in 1680 would have represented as much as two months' wages for a worker in the region of its purchase.

Price: $7,500.00