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Smallest edition of the Sixtine Latin vulgate bible, printed by the Plantin-Moretus office in Antwerp, beautifully bound for the Bishop of Evreux ca. 1700 in 9 gold-tooled morocco volumes

Biblia Sacra vulgatae editionis Sixti Quinti Pont. Max. jussu recognita atque edita.
Including: Novum Jesu Christi Testamentum, vulgatae editiones, Sixti V. Pont, Max jussu recognitum atque edititum.
Antwerp, "Officina Plantiniana" [= Balthasar I Moretus, grandson of Christoffel Plantin], 1629. 7 volumes bound as 9 (Old Testament I-VII & New Testament I-II). 24mo in 8s (11.5 x 7 cm). With a richly engraved general title-page, 6 volume title-pages (each with the same Plantin-Moretus woodcut compasses device), a smaller woodcut compasses device plus 3 (of 4) repeats (2 appear on the back of the colophon; each of the others on an otherwise blank leaf), woodcut tailpieces, woodcut decorated initials. Set in roman and italic types. The present copy with 3 extra letterpress divisional title-pages, perhaps specially printed for this copy when it was bound. Uniform gold-tooled goatskin morocco (ca. 1700), sewn on 4 supports, richly gold-tooled spines, gold-tooled turn-ins and board edges. Seven volumes with the ca. 1711 engraved armorial bookplate of Jean Le Normand (1662-1733), Bishop of Evreau, and probably bound for him (his bookplate probably removed from volumes II and III as bound). 574; [2], 575-729, [2], [5 blank]; “637” [= 635], [1], [1 blank], [4 blank] (in place of [1], [3 blank]); 192; 479, [1 blank]; 861, [2], [1 blank]; 128, [186], [6 blank]; 336, [2], 337-758, [2], [8 blank] pp.
€ 9,500
A small Latin Vulgate bible printed by the Plantin-Moretus office in Antwerp, the smallest-format edition of the Sixtine-Clementine authorized Catholic text. The first volume of the Old Testament has only the engraved general title-page, while each of the remaining Old Textament volumes as printed has a separate volume title-page naming the books it covers (including the volume with the apocrypha, miscellaneos texts and the indexes. After the general title-page follow a preface to the reader, the decree of the Council of Trent, "Paulus Papa V. Ad futuram rei memoriam" (Pope Paul V died in 1621) and a privilege, dated Brussels, 1611. The Old Testament also has prefaces to the books. The New Testament has no preliminaries except its title-page. In 1546 the Council of Trent ordered a revision of the Vulgate Latin Bible to establish an authorized Catholic text. Pope Sixtus V ordered the preparation of the new edition, printed by the Vatican Press and published in 1590.
The book has been variously described as 12mo, 16mo and 24mo, but it is in fact a 24mo in 8s. The three divisional titles possibly printed specially for this copy have vertical chainlines and may be in 18mo format. The binding stamps are finely cut and skilfully applied, especially the curls on the spine, so it is likely to have been executed by one of the great French binders of ca. 1700.
With an owner's inscription on a free endleaf in volume IV as bound ("ce livre apartient a monseigneur L[']Evesque D[']Evreux"), presumably Jean Le Normand (1662-1733), Bishop of Evreux from 1711 to his death, whose bookplate appears in 7 of the 9 volumes: the handwriting is old-fashioned for 1711, so the book could have come to Le Normand from an earlier Bishop of Evreux, but perhaps he simply wrote in an old-fashioned style.
The pagination of volume ii accidentally omits numbers 577-578 but no leaf is missing there. Very slightly browned, with an occasional minor spot and with the library stamps on the letterpress title-pages abraded, but still generally in very good condition. With small cracks in the hinges of 4 volumes, minor wear on the board edges and corners, and volume III as bound (vol. ii as printed) darkened, but the binding is also otherwise in very good condition, with the tooling clear and sharp. A lovely little Catholic bible beautifully bound ca. 1700 in French gold-tooled red morocco, an unusually small format for a Catholic bible. Darlow & Moule 6211 (New Testament only); STCV 6650952; USTC 1003882; not in www.bibliasacra.nl.
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