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Book History, Education, Learning & Printing / Greek & Non-Western Types

Aesop edited by Heinsius and illustrated by Van Sichem, in a prize-binding with the Amersfoort arms

AESOP. Fabulae ... Graecè & Latinè, nunc denuo selectae: eae item quas Avienus carmine expressit. Accedit Ranarum & murium pugna, Homero olim asscripta. Cum elegantissimis in utroque libello figuris, & utriusque interpretatione plurimis in locis emendata.
Leiden, Joannes Maire, 1632. 8vo. With 47 woodcut illustrations (5 x 6.5 cm) by Christoffel van Sichem II in the text. Contemporary vellum, each board with a panel stamp (59 x 50 mm) of the Amersfoort coat of arms. Most endpapers later. 158, [2] pp. Full description
€ 3,500
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A rare survival of a printing device: a woodblock for the cross-cultural printing
of a Hebrew publication of the Song of Solomon

[ARABIC-SCRIPT PRINTER’S WOODBLOCK]. Hand-cut woodblock bearing the text "Safr Nishd al-nishad li-Süleyman ..." (Book of the Song of songs of Solomon) in naskh Arabic script.
[Probably Ottoman provinces, mid-18th century (ca. 1750)]. A single hand-cut woodblock (17 x 9 x 2.2 cm, with protrusions to the left and right making it wider - 11 cm - near the head to accommodate the wider 2nd line) intended for use as printing block, with 6 lines of text, together with an inked impression on 18th century paper (16.5 x 10.5 cm). Full description
€ 18,000
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Abridged Tibetan Alphabetum from the Propaganda Fide

[BELIGATTI, Giovanni (Cassiono Da MACERATA)]. Alphabetum Tangutanum sive Tibetanum.
Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1773. 8vo. With a folding table, printer's device on title-page and an elaborate woodcut tailpiece after the preliminaries. Modern vellum, green title label. XVI, 138, [2] pp. Full description
€ 1,750
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The famous Arabic version of Robert Bellarmino's catechism, now with parallel Ethiopic

BELLARMINO, Roberto. Dottrina Cristiana composta dall...
Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1786. Large 4to. With 4 woodcuts on 3 plates, 1 full-page woodcut on the back of the title-page, and a few woodcut initials, factotums and decorations, as well as frames, factotums and decorations built up from arabesque and rococo typographic ornaments. Set in three columns in Ethiopic, roman and Arabic type. Contemporary vellum, gold-tooled spine title, red sprinkled edges. 97, [1] pp. Full description
€ 3,500
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Monumental and seminal critical edition of the Greek New Testament (1550) with all woodcut devices, headpieces and initials coloured, including much gold and silver and extensive additional colour decorations in a rococo style

[BIBLE - NEW TESTAMENT - GREEK]. ESTIENNE, Robert, editor. Tῆò Káéíῆò ÄéáèÞêçò ἅπáíôá [Tes Kaines Diathekes Apanta] = Novum Jesu Christi D.N. Testamentum Ex Bibliotheca Regia.
Paris, Robert Estienne, King's printer, 1550. Folio (35 x 24 cm). With a Greek and Latin title-page including Estiennes woodcut basilisk device as Kings printer (and 1 repeat), his woodcut olive tree device on the otherwise blank last page (N6v), 3 single-piece decorated architectural frames with putti, etc. (plus 3 repeats) for the tables of the Eusebian canons for the Gospels, 9 woodcut headpieces and 21 decorated woodcut initial letters (plus numerous repeats). Set almost entirely in the three sizes of Claude Garamonts famous Greek printing types, known as the Grecs du Roi, and the first use of the largest size. The present copy has been richly decorated, probably around the time it was bound, not just by colouring Estiennes woodcut devices (the basilisk in gold), decorative frames, headpieces and initials, but also by adding extensive decorations in rococo style, the whole using a large number of mostly bright colours plus gold and silver. Gold-tooled black sheepskin, the gold-tooled spine with the title, publisher and date in the 2nd and 6th of 7 compartments in roman capitals, gold-tooled board edges and turn-ins, gilt and richly gauffered edges, Dutch combed and curled endpapers. [32], “272” [= 268], 202, [2] pp. Full description
€ 95,000
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Bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet's psalmbook with his annotations

[BIBLE - PSALMBOOK]. PSALTERION. Prophetou kai Basileoos tou David [in Greek type] - Davidis Regis ac Prophetae Psalmorum Liber. Ad exemplar Complutense.
Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, 1584. 16mo (11,8 x 8 cm). With woodcut printer's device on the title-page, text is partially printed in Greek. Late seventeenth-century dark brown calf, with gold-stamped coat of arms of Pierre-Daniel Huet on both covers and gold-tooled dubbel-lined borders on covers and spine, (remnants of) red speckled edges. 267, [13] pp. Full description
€ 3,500
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First edition of the first Tibetan-English grammar, printed by Calcutta's prominent Baptist Mission Press

CSOMA DE KORÖS, Alexander (Sándor KORÖSI CSOMA). A grammar of Tibetan language in English. Prepared, under the patronage of the government and the auspices of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
Calcutta, the Baptist Mission Press, 1834. Small folio (27 x 20 cm). Printed in Tibetan and English, complete with a 40-page syllabic schema of the Tibetan language and the Tibetan alphabet in Bámyik, Bruts'ha and Lánts'ha characters. 20th-century red cloth, title in gold on spine. XII, 204, [1 blank], 40, [1 blank] pp. Full description
€ 6,500
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40 years of correspondence between two leading orientalists in Russia, often concerning Georgian matters

[AUTOGRAPHS]. DORN, Bernard. [21 autograph letters, signed, to Marie-Félicité Brosset].
Saint Petersburg, ca. 1840-1879. 8vo (letters, mostly 21 x 13.5 cm) and folio (list of publications). Letters in French with an occasional (Persian?) word in Arabic script, written in black ink on paper, some with the address on the outside and one with Dorn's (Persian?) red wax seal in Arabic script.
With: (2) [Manuscript chronological numbered list of 34 publications by Dorn, 1843-1865].
[Saint Petersburg, ca. 1865]. 20 letters [4] pp. each (some including blanks); 1 letter [1, 1 blank] pp.; list of publications [4] pp. Full description
€ 7,500
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