27 - 28 June 2006
BIBLE, Old Testament, Psalms, in Greek. Paris: François Estienne I, 1543.
16o (109 x 69 mm). Printed in red and black in Greek type. Late 19th-century brown morocco, panelled in blind and in gilt, spine gilt-lettered and decorated, edges gilt (some moderate rubbing). Provenance: purchased from Emil Offenbacher, 29 May 1963.
"GREEK PSALTER OF EXCEPTIONAL RARITY, which, with the equally rare Greek Horae of the same year, contains the earliest appearance in a book of any part of the celebrated 'grecs du roi' (except for the rare 1543 Alphabetum Graecum, issued as a type specimen book...) 'The lower-case of the type here used is still entirely Aldine, but the capitals are considerably larger... the following year, 1544, these capitals recur in conjunction with a new lower-case, both together making up the first French Royal type, in an edition of the writings of Eusebius signed by Robert Estienne' (Scholderer, Greek Printing Types, p. 10 and fig. 28). This rare Greek Psalter may have been printed by Robert Estienne--in view of the use of the 'grecs du roi'--who is known to have printed other books for his brother. Renouard calls the Greek Psalter and the Greek Horae the two most remarkable books of François Estienne, adding that 'ces deux volumes sont rare'" (Schreiber 122). Not in Adams. Renouard Estienne 100:1.
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