MINIATURE EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Testamenti Novi editio vulgata.

Lyon, Apud héritiers Sébastien Gryphe, 1564.

£2,250

16mo. pp. 496, 343 (xvii). a-z8, A-H8, aa-xx8, yy4, zz8 (gatherings x and y transposed). Roman and Italic letter. Gryphius’ griffin device on title page, 96 metal-cuts, some repeated, historiated woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, early autograph, illegible at foot of title page, C20th armorial bookplate on pastedown, C18th library stamps on verso of title page. Light age yellowing, title page fractionally dusty, the marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in contemporary vellum over thin boards, yapp edges remains of pigskin ties, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine blind ruled in compartments.

A very good copy of this charming, finely illustrated and well printed, near miniature New Testament, with 96 cuts by Jacob Faber or Jacques Lefévre, the last in a series printed by Sebastien Gryphius since 1542. “This is the second of two New Testament sets based on the woodcuts owned by Francois Gryphius at Paris, both sets attributed to Jacques le Févre. Three of these subjects – Matthew, Luke, and James – are signed “IF”, James probably by identification with Le Févres own forename. The series was cut for Sébastien Gryphius, brother of Francois, and is recorded by Baudrier (vol. 8 p. 171-172, 4 cuts reproduced) from 1542. This set is farther from the Paris originals in both style and composition than the first “IF’ series. The background scenes which are such a distinctive feature of the earlier blocks have generally been removed and enlarged into new subjects in the regular sequence. This Lyons set is of importance chiefly because of its influence on Bernard Salomon’s New Testament cuts. From 1542 until his death and in 1556, Sébastian Gryphius continually reprinted and reissued 16mo editions of the Old Testament in five parts, providing as companion volumes both this New Testament and editions of the Erasmus version of the New Testament” Mortimer French I 90 on the edition of 1560.

On Sebastian Gryphius’ death he left the entirety of his business to his wife Francoise Miraillet but installed his son Antoine (who was the result of an adulterous relationship between Sebastian Gryphius and his wife’s sister Marion Miraillet) as head of the atelier, and he eventually, in 1561, took over the running of the business himself until Francoise’ death in 1565 when the whole business was taken over by Antoine and liquidated. This is thus one of the last works printed by the internationally celebrated atelier of Sebastian Gryphius’ at Lyon.

A very good copy in a good contemporary binding.

USTC 153605. Gultlingen V 1479. Baudrier VIII p. 309. Brunet V 745. Brun  p. 270 , 1542 edn. Mortimer Fr. I, 90 on the edition of 1560. Not in Darlow and Moule.

L2109

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