BIBLE, New Testament, Greek. [Title in Greek]. Novum Iesu Christi D.N. Testamentum. Paris: Robert Estienne, 1550. Folio, 334 x 226 mm. (13 3/16 x 8 7/8 in.), contemporary calf, covers with gilt and blind fillet borders and central arabesque lozenge blocked in gold, spine in compartments each with small gilt fleuron, later morocco lettering-piece, g.e., lacking ties, later endpapers, very worn, joints split, slight fraying to edges of first 6 and last 3 leaves, soiling to title and colophon leaves, upper edges a bit dust-soiled, a few small stains, 1-inch tear to b8 not affecting text. Third edition, 2 parts in one, Greek type by Claude Garamont in three sizes, Estienne's woodcut basilisk device on titles (Schreiber B1) and last leaf (Schreiber 10), Eusebian canons set within woodcut frames decorated with cherubs and architectural ornaments, foliated and grotesque Greek initials in two sizes, matching head-pieces; ruled in red. Adams B-1661; Darlow & Moule 4622; Harvard/Mortimer French 78; Renouard, p. 75, no. 1; Schreiber Estiennes 105.
THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT ESTIENNE EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, known as the "Editio regia": "it is the first edition of the Greek New Testament to contain a critical apparatus, recording variant readings from 15 manuscripts, including the famous Codex Bezar, first used here. The text of this edition became standard for over two centuries... This is universally known as the best-known and most influential of Robert Estienne's works--Renouard went so far as to say that this volume alone would have sufficed to establish Robert Estienne's reputation as scholar and printer" (Schreiber). The edition marks the first appearance of the largest size of Garamont's beautiful grecs du roi, the gros-parangon, used for the text, as well as the first use of all three fonts at once, the notes and shoulder-notes being printed in gros-romain and cicéro respectively.
Provenance: T. Jervis, Oct. 1815, inscription on front flyleaf, with purchase notes "See White's catalogue, part 2. Sep. 1814; in the late Mr. Lunn's catalogue (1815)," and long citation from Dibdin.