Patrick's Rare Books

Bible in Latin (Vulgate), Kerver, Bonhomme, 1534

Bible in Latin (Vulgate), Kerver, Bonhomme, 1534

The third Bible printed by the first woman printer of a Bible in any language.

Biblia Sacra: integrum utriusque testamenti corpus complectens: diligenter recognita & emendate. Cum concordantijs ac summarijs simul et argumentis: ad toti intelligentiam biblie non parum conducerib. Insup in calce eiusdem: annere sunt nominum Hebraicorum Chaldeorum at Grecorum accurate interpretationes. Thielman * Kerver.

Colophon on last page reads: Parisijs/ex officina libraria yolande bon=homme/vidue spectabilis viri Thielmanni Kerver/sub signo unicornis in vico sancti iacobi/ubi et venundatur. M.D.xxxiiii.Octavo iudus Januarij.

Printer’s colophon with unicorn device reads: Thielman * Kerver* Parisijs. Ex edibus yolande bonhomme vidue spectabilis viri Thielmanni Ikerver. 1534.

Small octavo in contemporary vellum over board with raised bands and title plate on spine. Early drawn rectilinear framework (implying the design of a later Cambridge binding) on covers. Some chipping of title plate. Mild scuffing of vellum here and there. Mild surface cracking of vellum at hinges—though boards are securely attached. Prior owner’s name on ffep. Title page in facsimile, followed by Libror ordo (with 16th century annotations at bottom), then Biblie summarium (two leaves trimmed at fore-edge slightly into text), Tabula alphabetica historiarum, Creation of Man wood cut, Jerome’s epistle, prologue, Genesis … 2nd Maccabees, prologue to the gospels, Stem of Jesse wood cut, Matthew … John, Jerome’s preface to Paul’s epistles, Pauline epistles & Hebrews, Acts … Apocalypse (Revelation, with colophon at bottom), Interpretation of Hebrew (& Chaldean & Greek) names, Ad lectorum, Printer’s wood cut device with colophon, vellum manuscript binder’s waste end paper (likely 15th century, from the Corpus Iuris Civiis (Roman civil law code with commentary), Digest, Liber 22, par. 1 D Quando dies, 36.2.). Text block trimmed such that marginal cross references and titles at tops are variably affected (mostly not, but some with slight loss). Scattered underlining (sparse) in an early hand). Clean, bright, and tight throughout. Wood cuts have some faint golden-brown hand-colored areas. Biblical text complete, though marginal references variably trimmed. Measures approximately 6 x 4 ¼ x 2 1/8 inches.

Darlow and Moule 6113. Twelve leaves of prelims prior to Jerome’s epistle. Colophon's reading 1534 and MDxxxiiii. Black letter in two columns (each of 58 lines). Chapter headings, with capitals.

A rare Vulgate Bible, printed by a woman, Yolande Bonhomme (the widow of Thilman Kerver). Yolande printed two 8vo Bibles prior to this (1526 and 1530). “T Kerver was a German who began printing in Paris in 1497, and produced many beautiful books of devotion” (D&M 6090).

“The Interpretation of Hebrew Names...began its life as a separate text but for almost 300 years it became attached to the end of Latin Bibles. It is a fascinating alphabetical list of just over 5,500 proper names which occur in the Latin Bible, some of great obscurity, with translations of what those names originally meant as words in Hebrew.... There are several versions.... Most of the information...was derived from Jerome rather than from any actual knowledge of Hebrew. Its compilation dates from around 1180 – 1200, and it is commonly attributed to Stephen Langton (d. 1228), though without any real foundation.” (De Hamel, The Book. A History of the Bible. Pgs 112 – 113).

The Vulgate was the Bible of the medieval church in the West, having been translated by Jerome, from Greek and Hebrew into Latin, in the fourth century.