Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

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Knuf Rare Books
26, Rue des Béguines
F-41100 Vendôme


Anita van Elferen


+33622732385 +33622732385



The Beckford copy of Erasmus?s Paraphrases
ERASMUS, DESIDERIUS. (1469-1536). Paraphrases in Novum Testamentum ... Complete in 6 parts bound in 4 volumes. Paris, Galliot Du Pré, 1540. Small 8vo (129 x 88). With the printer?s mark of Du Pré in all but one part and several woodcuts throughout the text. Seventeenth century red morocco binding, gold-tooled and with arms on the front- and backcovers of all four volumes. Inside borders gold-tooled, spine gold-tooled. All edges gilt. Lovely copies although cut a bit short at the top margins and one volumes slightly damaged at the top of the hinges. A magnificent complete set with the arms of Dominique Séguier (1593-1659), bishop of Auxerre (1633) and Meaux (1637) and the brother of Pierre Séguier, chancellor of France from 1537. Also from the library of Jean Hersent whose exlibris can be found in three of the four volumes. And from that of William Thomas Beckford (1882, I, no. 2846) who assembled one of the finest libraries of the nineteenth century. Beckford chose his books with care insisting on having the finest copies. His library was particularly remarkable for its extensive collection of historical and fine bindings. A rare, early edition of The Paraphrases, Latin Biblical paraphrases, rewritings of the Gospels by Desiderius Erasmus. They were composed between 1517 and 1524 and occasionally revised by Erasmus during the remaining years of his life. The publication history of the paraphrases is complicated. They were not published in the order one would normally find in the Bible and a contemporary purchaser would see them as composed of separable parts, out of which sets could be made up in any way that supply might dictate. To take as an example the present copy that consists of six parts in four volumes: The first volume with title ?Tomus Primus? consists of the Gospel of Matthew that is bound with that of Mark; the next volume has the Gospel of Luke, the third volume contains the Gospel of John and the Acts of the Apostles and the fourth volume, with the title ?Tomus Secundus? consists of the Epistles. Each of the four Gospels is dedicated to a different sovereign. Desiderius Erasmus (1469 - 1536) was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance and the first editor of the New Testament. A magnificent copy of this rare text with a distinguished provenance. Quaritch described it in their 1891 ?Catalogue of Bibles, Liturgies, Church History and Theology? (#706) as follows: ?The binding of these exquisite volumes would gratify the most fastidious and exacting taste?.
Exhibitor: Knuf Rare Books

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