1599 Biblia Sacra Moerntorf Bible, Plantin Press

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FULL TITLE: DAT IS DE GEHEELE HEYLIGHE SCHRIFTURE BEDEYLT INT OUT ENDE NIEU TESTAMENT: VAN NIEUS MET GROOTE NEERSTICHEYT OVERSIEN, ENDE NAER DEN LESTEN ROOMSCHEN TEXT VERBETERT DOOR SOMMIGHE DOCTOREN INDER HEYLIGHER GODTHEYT INDE VERMAERDE UNIVERSITEYT VAN LOVEN.

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Published by [J. Moretus & J. van Keerberghen, 1599]

Printed by Danielis Vervliet, & Henrici Swingelij (colophon)

 

DESCRIPTION: 

Biblia Sacra. Dat is de geheele heylighe schrifture bedeylt int out ende nieu Testament: van nieus met groote neersticheyt oversien, ende naer den lesten Roomschen text verbetert door sommighe doctoren inder Heyligher Godtheyt inde vermaerde universiteyt van Loven. Antwerp: [J. Moretus & J. van Keerberghen, 1599]. [Typis Danielis Vervliet, & Henrici Swingelij (colophon)].

First edition, one of two 1599 issues with first woodcut, initialled P.B., folio, **⁴, A-2P⁶, ²A-2F⁶ ²G⁸, A-Q⁶, R¹⁰ (Ff4 is misprinted as Ee4). Facsimile of engraved, illustrated title page on modern, laid paper, title page from the other 1599 issue (STCV:12912249), which identifies only Moretus as publisher. Printed in Gothic type in 2 columns, with marginal notes; illustrated with 90 small woodcuts, mostly after Sebald Beham's 1533 designs; decorated initials, along with head- and tailpieces. Bound in contemporary calf, rebacked with the original covers pasted on, corners repaired, spine with five raised bands and "Biblia Sacra" blind-stamped.

"In 1599 a new version of the Dutch Louvain Bible appeared in Antwerp from the press of Jan Moerentorf (Moretus), 33 years after the publisher’s father-in-law Christopher Plantin had published the previous Dutch Bible, and 22 years after the most recent Dutch New Testament. The so-called ‘Moerentorf Bible’ was revised on the basis of the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate that had been released in 1592." (François 2015, 276). The edition "remained the standard version for Catholics in Belgium and the Netherlands until the late nineteenth century (Agten 2020 134-46)” (Dy & François 2023, 402).

The first woodcut signed P.B. is by Peter van der Borcht, a famous artist, etcher, and draughtsman who worked for Christopher Plantin. The rest of the woodcuts are mostly after Sebald Beham's 1533 designs, first published in his Biblisch Historien. Beham is counted among the best of the "Little Masters" or "Kleinmeister," a group of German printmakers "so named because of the small size of their plates"(Griffiths 1996, 42) and the detailed nature of their work. These Benham designs illustrated numerous Bibles throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, including the 1535 Coverdale Bible. 

Refs. STCV 12923651; USTC 402496; STCN 33877212X

CONDITION: Very good condition; collated complete, except the original title page, which is replaced with a facsimile on modern laid paper from a different issue of the 1599 edition. Contemporary calf binding rebacked with the original covers pasted on, some peeling, lacks, and gouges in leather; corners repaired. Marginal repairs and reinforcement, a few corner and marginal tears, some pinholes, ink and other stains; last leaf (R10) has old owner's signatures with dates on recto and verso, "Sum. Ludovici Boulanger Pastoris in Morbeke 1657,"  "33" on free endpaper;  stamp "Von LandSchoot CSTENDE" on ff. C2, M5, Ii4 and V6.

BOOK MEASUREMENTS: 2º, Folio. 

TOTAL LENGTH: **⁴, A-2P⁶, ²A-2F⁶ ²G⁸, A-Q⁶, R¹⁰ (Ff4 is misprinted as Ee4)