JOSHUA-CHRONICLES). Sacrorum Bibliorum. Printed on Vellum

AUCTION 7 | Tuesday, June 22nd, 1999 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 325
(BIBLE, Polyglot.

JOSHUA-CHRONICLES). Sacrorum Bibliorum. Printed on Vellum

Vol. II (bound in two parts). Half-title and engraved-title pp.720 (i.e.743), (1), 213, (3). 19th-century d English dark blue crushed morocco by Hering, spines in seven compartments lettered in gilt, gilt inner dentelles, vellum doublures, extremeties rubbed. a.e.g. Lg. folio Darlow & Moule 1422; Adams B-970; C. Sorgeloos, Labore et Constantia (1990) no.128; Israel Museum Catalogue, Plantin of Antwerp (1981) pp. 95-8

Antwerp: Christopher Plantin 1569-72

Est: $20,000 - $30,000
A single volume of the exceedingly rare vellum issue of the Plantin Polyglot. Only thirteen copies were printed on vellum, on personal commission from King Philip II of Spain, of which half were lost at sea. The Polyglot is considered to be the greatest single printing enterprise of the 16th-century Plantin’s masterpiece, known as The Royal Polyglot (due to the patronage of Philip II), is a revised version of the first Polyglot Bible - The Complutension Bible of 1514-17. Plantin’s edition contains the text in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac. The order of the Books broadly follows that of the Complutension Polyglot. It was supervised by Arias Montanus, assisted by Plantin’s son-in-law and successor Franciscus Raphelengius and other leading scholars. Following the publication of this Polyglot Bible, Plantin was at the highest point of his career and managed the greatest printing-house of Europe. Berkowitz describes it as follows: “The editorial work is painstaking; the typography, format and execution are at the highest level of Plantin excellence. Beautiful and costly, the edition was not large...but many copies were lost at sea on the way to Spain; and the Antwerp Polyglot has ever since been a collector’s rarity.” D.S. Berkowitz, In Rememberance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible (1968) no,177. Only four complete vellum sets are presently known: The British Library; The Escorial; Turin, Royal Library and The Vatican. See Rooses and Voet 644. It was suggested concerning another volume sold at auction: “It is not unlikely that [this]...will be the only opportunity for collectors ever to acquire a portion of the Plantin Polyglot on vellum.” Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts, 15th December, 1998 Lot 21