La Bible françoiselatine, qui est toute la Saincte Escriture, contenant le Vieil & Nouueau Testament, ou Alliance

Geneva, de l’imprimerie de Iaques Bourgeois, pour Estienne Anastase 1568


Folio. ff. [vi], 394, 98, 126, [vi]. [*⁶, a-z⁶, A-Z⁶, 2a-2t⁶, 2 v⁴, 2A-2P⁶, 2Q⁸, 2A-2Y⁶.]. Roman letter in double column, some Italic. Large woodcut printer’s device on title, numerous woodcut illustrations in text, later engraved map of the Terra Sancta tipped on t-p, extra illustrated with woodcuts from an earlier French bible, woodcut initials and typographical ornaments, engraved bookplate of Maurice Burrus on fly. Light age yellowing very light minor spotting in places. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in fine contemporary possibly Swiss calf, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, alternate panels filled with fine floral and scrolled gilt rolls, outer corners with gilt block stamped strap-work corner-pieces, fleurons gilt to outer corners of both middle panels, large central block stamped strap-work arabesque, with large corner-pieces of gilt stamped pelicans, and an outer frieze of gilt hunting scenes,  with dogs and boars in a landscape, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, four fleurons with floral wreaths gilt in each compartment, all edges richly gilt and gauffered, remains of green silk ties, joints a little cracked, early restoration to head and tail, extremities a little rubbed.

A very handsome copy of this uncommon polyglot Latin and French bible, beautiful bound in a most unusual binding, incorporating a very distinctive and charming hunting scene. The bindings seems to be transitionary between mid and late C16th styles; the slightly archaic use of the block stamped corner-pieces, and central arabesque, contrasts with the fine scrollwork of the panels. The Bible is not just beautifully bound it is also extra illustrated, bound with a series of woodcuts from another bible, and again, at a later date, with the tipping in of a fine engraved map of the Holy land by Paul Godet Des Marais. The extra illustrated woodcuts have all had their binding instructions inked over but have been placed in the text where they should correctly appear. Chambers describes the Bible;”Geneva version (independent revision drawing on nearly all previous versions for the OT, N1560 for NT; eclectic choice of arguments and chapter summaries; very few marginal notes). The Latin is the Pagninus version according to LeLong. This edition was printed by Jaques Bourgeois for himself, Estienne Anastasse, and Louis Cloquemin; it was reissued, with slight Changes in 1572 by Sebastien Honorati. …The NT is the Calvin-Beza revision (first published in 1560 by Robert Estienne) which was to remain authoritative until the definitive revision of 1588.”

A most beautifully bound and intriguing polyglot Bible.

Chambers, French Bibles 15-16th, n° 395. Delaveau-Hillard, Bibles Paris, n° 592. Not in Darlowe and Moule or BM STC Fr. C16th.


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