Argenorati [Strasbourg]: Ioannem Schottum [Johann Schott], 1535. Very Good. Item #14685
Argenorati [i.e. Strasbourg]: Ioannem Schottum [Johann Schott], 1535. First Thus. Thick octavo (6.75" x 5"); full contemporary parchment, faint manuscript spine titling, all edges stained dark red; ,1008 [i.e. 1009],pp. ([*]8 a-z8 A-2S8 2T4).; contemporaneously hand-colored title page printed within engraved border, hand-colored full-page woodcut facing p. 804, woodcut initials throughout (all hand-colored), text printed in double column within unusual verdigris green ruling. Imprint found on final leaf of text only.
Parchment darkened, especially at spine, faint pencil call number of the now-defunct New Rochelle College to front free endpaper verso, old repair to gutter edges of first three leaves, early 20th-century typescript ex libris to rear pastedown of a "Mr. H. Field, Gothic House" in Botley, Oxford, small printed excerpt on the biblical scholar Jerome mounted to front fee endpaper, extensive and erudite annotations in an early (1656) hand throughout, else a Very Good, possibly unique copy of this work.
Early Lutheran Bible published by Johann Schott (1477-1548), son of one of the city's earliest printers, Martin Schott. Schott fils assumed control of the family firm in 1500, publishing about two hundred titles by the end of his career, including religious works, botanical treatises, maps, and atlases.
At the time of publication Strasbourg had become a major hub of the Protestant Reformation, reflected by the output of the city's publishing houses. Scholar Myriam U. Chrisman's survey of 5700 titles published in Strasbourg between 1480 and 1599 found more than a thousand titles devoted to Protestantism. Indeed, the bibliographer of the Jacob Le Long "Bibliotheca Sacra" (1783) squarely states that it can be assumed that this Bible is Lutheran simply by having been published in Argenorati (the Latinate for Strasbourg). Even Philip Melanchthon, Martin Luther's collaborator, owned a copy, which he annotated extensively.
Of special note, however, is the unusual printing of the text within green ruling not seen in any other copy we could track down, including that of the Bavarian State Library which has been completely digitized. Additional searches of other Schott works that may feature the green lines also bear no fruit, though the British Museum's twenty-nine holdings include works with equally elaborate woodcut illustrations, some with dramatic red tone blocks or chiaroscuro bordering. Additionally, this copy has been expertly hand-colored, if not at time of publication then shortly thereafter, including blocks of color to the thousand or so initials throughout the text.
Notwithstanding the bibliographical oddities of this copy, this edition is rare in its own right, with none in the trade as of December, 2022. OCLC locates numerous copies throughout Europe but just two in the United States, at the American Bible Society and the Morgan (no entry mentioning the green lines). Missed by Darlow & Moule.
Myriam U. Chrisman. "Polémique, Bibles, Doctrine: L'Edition protestante à Strasbourg, 1519-1599," published in Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français, Vol. 130 (1984).
Jacobi Le Long. "Bibliotheca Sacra," Vol. IV, Part II (1783), pp. 314-5.