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The famous Elzevier Dutch States Bible with 12 double-page illustrations
finely coloured and highlighted in gold

Biblia, dat is de gantsche Heylige Schrifture, vervattende alle de canonijcke boecken des Ouden en des Nieuwen Testaments.
Including: De boecken genaemt apocryphe ...
Leiden, widow and heirs of Johannes Elzevier, 1663. 3 parts in 1 volume. Large folio (43 x 28 cm). With an engraved title-page, 3 letterpress title-pages (the first in red and black, and each with the same Elzevier woodcut tree device with "non solus"), a complete series of 6 double-page engraved maps (the so-called "vrome" (pious) series published ca. 1687) and a complete series of 96 engraved Bible scenes, 16 on each of 6 double-page plates, engraved by Cornelis Danckerts I for Fredrick de Witt in Amsterdam after the series by Mattheus Merian the elder. Further with numerous woodcut initials and tailpieces. All plates coloured by hand and highlighted in gold. 19th-century calf over bevelled wooden boards, sewn on 5 chords with mid-19th-century (1843) silver fastenings. [22], "368" [= 370]; [13], "167" [= 168]; [2], 77 ll.
€ 25,000
The first Dutch "States Bible" to be printed in roman type, printed by the famous Leiden printers, publishers and booksellers Elzevier, the present copy with 12 engraved double-page plates with maps and Bible scenes, beautifully coloured and highlighted in gold. The "States Bible" is the first officially authorized translation of the Bible into Dutch (the "Statenvertaling"), commissioned during the Synod of Dordrecht (1618-1619). The States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands were asked to pay for it, hence its name. The translation was completed in 1635 and approved, authorized and published in 1637 in Leiden. For the present 1663 edition, the Elzeviers followed the text of the 1657 revised and corrected edition. In a sense, it could be seen as a revolutionary publication, even though it still is an authorised version of the Bible; the present copy contains the live signature of a Leiden city clerk - as usual - to indicate its authorization.
Moreover, the Elzevier Bibles, including the present copy, were often complemented with beautiful maps and illustrations, thus converting a simple book into a work of art. All maps and illustration plates in the present copy, including the engraved title-page, are finely coloured by hand and highlighted in gold.
The engraved title-page was drawn by Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683), a highly esteemed and prolific painter of the Dutch golden age, and engraved by Theodoor Matham (1606-1676) a Dutch draughtsman, engraver and publisher. The cartographic content of the 6 double-page maps is based on the very popular series of maps originally made for the 1682 Keur folio Bible published in Dordrecht, but some Calvinists found the pictorial decoration of the Keur maps, based on classical Greek and Roman mythology, too extravagant and (due to the "heathen" content) inappropriate for a Bible. Poortman & Augusteijn (p. 217) lists only three bible editions that commonly use these "pious" maps, all published in Amsterdam in 1687, some 24 years after the present Leiden Bible was printed. They are therefore rarely found in the present edition.
All these "pious" maps appear in the present copy in their first state, with extensive explanations of the illustrations on the versos.
The other series of 6 double-page plates, each containing 16 small biblical scenes captioned at the head of each scene in Dutch and at the foot of the scene in English, were engraved by Cornelis Danckerts I (1603-1656). The gutter margin of each of the 6 plates contains a short instruction in Dutch and English for the placement of the plate, along with the publishers imprint ("Gedruckt t'Amsterda[m] by Fredrick de Witt voor an in de kalver straet by den Dam in de witte paskaert"). The "cassé" marbling in the endpapers is similar to Wolfe 115 (1840-1860), but Wolfe does not show it combined with the more common "shell".
With the signature of J. van der Werve, a city clerk, below the coat of arms of the city of Leiden on the verso of the first title-page, below the privileges. Spine professionally restored and hinges reinforced. Binding slightly worn. Some browning and foxing throughout, the edges are somewhat soiled. Occasional marginal water staining, not affecting the text. Two small tears in the foot margin of leaf 3K3, not affecting the text. A beautifully illustrated example of Elzevier's famous 1663 "States Bible" in a richly decorated regency/empire-style binding. Bijbel tentoonstelling statenvertaling, Amsterdam 1937, 105; Darlow & Moule II, 3321; Delaveau & Hillard, Bibles imprimées, 1200; Le Long, Boekzaal der Nederduytsche Bybel, p. 821; Willems 884. for the plates: New Hollstein, T. Matham, 267 (engr. title-page); Poortman, Bijbel en prent I, pp. 154, 172-173; & II, pp. 66-67 (illustration plates); Poortman & Augusteijn, Kaarten in Bijbels, pp. 216-223 (maps).
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