MELLEMA, Edouard Leon.


MELLEMA, Edouard Leon. Den Schat der Duytscher Tale met de verklaringe in Fransois.

Rotterdam, J. Van Waesberghe, 1618


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to in 8s. 316 unnumbered ll. Roman letter, with Italic, double column. Woodcut architectural t-p with allegorical scenes, decorated initials and ornaments. Outer edge of t-p and first leaf a little frayed, light age yellowing, one marginal paper flaw. A very good copy in contemporary vellum, yapp edges, edges speckled red, lower vellum cover removed (edges of paper board worn), a bit dusty, scattered ink splashes, faded early ms. ‘A Dictionarie’ to upper cover, C18 bibliographical ms. notes to pastedown, ffep and verso of blank facing t-p, ms. ‘Joseph Price 16 May 1800’ to t-p verso.

A very good copy of the scarce first edition in Dutch of this popular Dutch-French dictionary. It was edited by the Frisian Edouard Leon Mellema (c.1552-22), schoolmaster in Haarlem and author of ‘Arithmetica’ (1586). This edition (with Dutch being here interchangeable with Flemish) is in fact a posthumous reissue, with Dutch t-p and preliminaries, of the first 1587 French edition printed by Jan van Waesberghe’s father in Antwerp as ‘Dictionnaire ou Promptuaire Flamand-Français’. The French-Flemish (or French-Dutch) volumes were published separately. The work comprises French translations spanning basic adjectives, verbs and pronouns, and phrases, Netherlandish and French place names, kinds of oxen, measurements, and thousands of words useful for everyday life. ‘His dictionary became a reference work and went through 11 editions in the C17. […] here, the word “woordn-boec” [dictionary] appeared in a dictionary for the first time’ (Sterkenburg, 38). It provided the basis of Hexham’s Dutch-English dictionary of 1648.

No copies recorded in the US.Lindemann, Französischen Wörterbücher bis 1600, p.689. Not in Pettegree & Walsby, Netherlandish Books or Graesse. P.G. van Sterkenburg, Van woordenlijst tot woordenboek (Leiden, 1984).
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