Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 72: March 16th, 2017


(BIBLE.
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Lot: 64 (BIBLE. Polyglot). Psalterium, Hebreum, Grecum, Arabicum & Chaldeum, cum tribus latinis interpretationibus & glossis. Edited and with Latin commentary by Agostino Giustiniani. Text printed in eight columns across double-pages in: Hebrew, (literal) Latin translation from the Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, Greek Septuagint, Arabic, Chaldee or Aramaic Targum, literal Latin translation from the Chaldee. Title within elaborate woodcut arabesque and floral border. Title printed in red and black. Thirteen floriated initials. Printer's device "PP" on recto of final leaf.
     This copy entirely uncut and unopened. ff. 200. Some marginal dampstaining, browned in places, opening leaf and f.10 with repair to lower margin, few small wormholes on title-page. Later limp vellum, slightly shaken. Folio. Vinograd, Genoa 1; Adams B-1370; Darlow & Moule 1411; D. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy pp. 225-9.

Petrus Paulus Porrus for Nicolo Giustiniani Paulo, Genoa: 1516. Est: $12,000 - $18,000

-The First Polyglot Bible. The Second Book Printed in Arabic. The Only Book Printed at Genoa in the First Quarter of the Sixteenth Century. With an Early Reference to Christopher Columbus's Discovery of America.
     The learned Dominican Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio in Corsica, and later Professor of Hebrew at the College de France, devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages. He spared no expense in the preparation of this first polyglot edition of the Book of Psalms which was popular with churchmen of the age who sought Christological references in its lyrical, prophetic poetry. He summoned the Milanese printer Pietro Paulo Porro, a master-printer at Turin, to Genoa, to undertake the printing of this work.
     The "Scholia" commentary reveals considerable scholarship. Of particular interest are comments to Psalm 19, verse 4: "Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world." On this verse the bishop notes: "In our own times, by his wonderful daring, Christopher Columbus, the Genoese, has discovered almost another world and a new congregation of Christians. In truth, as Columbus often maintained, God chose him as the instrument for the fulfillment of this prophecy. Thus I deem it not improper here to refer to his life…" The lengthy note subsequently contains previously unpublished information on Columbus's life and second voyage. Columbus died in 1506, a mere ten years before the publication of the Psalter.
     Additional scholarly notes regarding the commentary available upon request.




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