BIBLE – New Testament, Greek and Latin. Novum Instrumentum omne, diligenter ab Erasmo Roterdamo recognitum & emendatum. Basel: Johann Froben, 1516.
First published edition of the New Testament in Greek, edited by Erasmus, with his commentaries and parallel Latin translation, the basis for the subsequent translations of Luther and Tyndale. Although the New Testament volume of the Complutensian Polyglot was printed as early as 1514, it was not circulated until about 1520, due to the fact that Erasmus had been granted a Papal sanction and an exclusive privilege by Maximilian I. Erasmus's edition ‘obtained a much wider circulation, and exercised a far greater influence than its rival on the subsequent fortunes of the text’ (Darlow and Moule 4591). Adams B-1679; In Remembrance of Creation 161.
Two parts in one, folio (315 x 208 mm). Publisher’s woodcut device on title and last page, 3 pages with wood-engraved borders by Urs Graf, numerous woodcut capitals, head- and tail-pieces, the head-piece and two large initials blocked in red at beginning of second part; blank leaf t6 present, intermittent early rubrication (some light marginal worming in first quire, marginal chipping at title fore-edge and last few leaves, occasional light marginal spotting or staining, blank corner of b6 repaired, margins of 3b1, 2f1 and 2f6 crudely ?washed, hinges reinforced). Contemporary blind-tooled German pigskin over wooden boards, frieze tooling including representations of the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity, plus a cardinal one: Justice (rebacked preserving original backstrip, somewhat darkened). Provenance: some contemporary and early marginalia – ‘Bibliothecae Joh. Georgii Lehmi Diac. Cimelium’: A treasure of the library of Johann Georg Lehmus, deacon (early ownership inscription) – Anson Phelps Stokes (bookplate) – note saying that this gospel is rare because it lacks a phrase about the Trinity in John 1.5 (early inscription).