(titelprent, 22) 468, (13) 167, (2) 77 folia. 19e eeuwse Leren, met goud bewerkte band, ribben, 8 hoeken en 2 sloten, Folio H. 46 x B. 30,5 x D. 15 cm. (Schutbladen vernieuwd, boekblok midden-onder iets ingesleten, titelprent ontbreekt.) Een uitzonderlijk fraai exemplaar van de enige Statenbijbel uit de 17e eeuw in de nieuwe -Romeinse- drukletter. Met de 6 dubbel-folio kaarten van Nicolaes Visscher, originele hand-gekleurd en, op een uiterst fraaie wijze, met goud gehoogd. De band is gebonden in bruin-rood leer met sloten en versierd met goudopdruk op zowel de platten als de rug met een motief van bloemen en ranken. Opvallend is dat het boekblok nog in zeer goede staat is. De Elzevier uitgeverij experimenteerde veel met inktsoorten om zo de zwartste druk te verkrijgen. Hierdoor zijn de boekblokken vrijwel altijd gebruind. Poortman, W.C. (1983). Bijbel en Prent. Deel I: Boekzaal van de Nederlandse Bijbels, p. 172-173 / Poortman, W.C. (1995). Kaarten in Bijbels, p. 179-85
(22) 468, (13) 167 (2) 77 folia. Contemporary blind-stamped Leather with 7 raised bands, 2 clasps, and 8 corner pieces, large Folio H. 46 x L. 30,5 x W. 15 cm. (Endpapers renewed, title print lacking, some small wear in the lower margin). The first edition of the Elzevierbible contains the Old and New Testament and the Apocrypha. The 6 double-folio maps by Nicolaes Visscher are all contemporary hand-colored and fabulously heightened with gold. The Elzevierbible was the first Dutch Bible that was printed in a Roman font. Remarkable is that the text block is still in a good condition, the Elzevier printing office experimented a lot to create the blackest of inks. Because of this the text blocks are in almost every case very browned. The text block and the maps of this copy are in extremely good condition.
The colouring. Regularly added to the Leiden Elsevier bible of 1663 were six engraved double-folio Bible maps by Nicolaes Visscher, including a new World map (1663) engraved by Abraham Vanden Broecke (1617-1688). Apart from the decorative legends and cartouches, these maps were illustrated with countless bible stories, integrated into the maps with minuscule figures or as inserts along the borders and in corners. In this Bible, all six maps were richly illuminated and heightened with gold. Paper, engravings, and colours have been preserved very well. The fresh white of the paper and the fine engraving support the brightness of the skillful colouring and subtle use of gold. Though anonymous as usual, the colourist was an experienced master in his trade.
The colouring was done in a consequent, open style, characteristic of the second half of the 17th century in Holland. All maps are double framed by hand by two firm lines directly along with the image, in respectively gold (inside) and vivid opaque red. The colouring is light and transparent, with heavier, contrasting colours along country-borders, and opaque red spots for cities or fortresses sometimes accentuated with a golden dot. Heavier colours are also applied in details as ornamental figures around cartouches and legends, and in the engraved bible stories in or around the maps. Legends in cartouches and captions of illustrations are often kept white, contrasting with the heavier colouring of their ornaments and thus adding to the clarity of the image.
The distinct surfaces of countries are covered overall with very light transparent colours, mostly yellow, pink of greenish-blue; the surface of water or sea is mostly kept uncoloured; regions with mountains are covered with transparent ochre, sometimes over a light green striping, while each separate mountain has been touched with umber at the shadow-side. Except for some places where orange was applied, the vivid, decorative colours have kept their original clear freshness, though no rare or costly pigments were used. An exception is the pigment minium or red lead, used for orange in some cartouches or in clothes on several maps. This orange has turned at places into dark grey by oxidation – as often seen with this lead pigment, which was in general use in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Especially notable is the fine and lavish but at the same time efficient application of the warm-tinted real shell-gold on all maps. The use of fine golden lines can be seen everywhere, in cartouche decorations, clothing, etc., while tiny details at specific biblical locations enliven the map itself.
Considering the high and skillful quality of the colouring, refined and at the same time fast and experienced, and the fine and decorative handling of the gold, showing characteristics in style and handling of the best Dutch colouring known at the time, the colouring and gilding of this prestigious Elzevier edition were most probably done by Frans Koerten’s workshop, ca. 1660 the foremost master colourist in the Netherlands, who was also regularly employed for a de-luxe colouring by publishers like Blaeu and Janssonius. Some specific characteristics in colour handling summed up here below support this conclusion.
The 6 individual maps with some comments on their colouring.
1. Paradise (after fol.1) ‘De Gelegentheyt van’t Paradys ende ’t Landt Canaan, mitsgaders de eerst bewoonde landen der Patriarchen, uyt de H. Schrifture en verscheyden Auctoren by een gestelt door Nicolaes Visscher.’
The colour balance of this map is held in a light pink, green and white, enlivened by the gold of the large frame and by accents in dark blue, orange, and red. The orange (minium) frame of the two illustrations inserted at the top of this map has been slightly oxidized. Many tiny engraved details on this map such as trees (in Eden) and mountains are very meticulously coloured.
2. World (after fol. 4) ‘Orbis Terrarum Tabula Recens Emendata et in Lucem Edita per N. Visscher.’Fine blanc colouring, the dominating white of both halves of the earth contrasting with the bright colouring and dark tones of de allegorical scenes in the four corners. The clothing of the figures includes no engraved coloured and gilt details.
3. 40-years Peregrination from Egypt to Canaan (after fol.81)
‘Peregrinatie ofte Veertich-Iariche Reyse der Kinderen Israëls, Uyt Egypten door de Roode Zee, ende de Woestyne, tot in’t Beloofde Landt Canaan. Met groote verbeteringe van nieuws geteeckent en uytgegeven Door Nicolaus Visscher.’
Very fine coloured and gilt map, the three illustrations along the bottom including the Ark of the Covenant, and 3 attributes of the Tabernacle, are all lavishly gilt; in the map itself a few minuscule engraved details were accentuated with a circle or a star in gold, such as ‘Moses ontfanght de Wet’.
4. Jerusalem in birds-eye view (after fol.228)
‘De Heylige En Wytvermaerde Stadt Ierusalem eerst genaemt Salem Genesis 14.Vers 18’This complicated map shows a fine colour balance in red lake, rosa, white and green, with details in blue, gold and brown, and small golden accents.
5.Jesus and the Apostles in Canaan (after fol.1)
‘Het Beloofde Landt Canaan door wandelt van onse Salichmaecker Iesu Christo, neffens syne Apostelen. Met groote verbeeteringe uyt de H. Schrifture van nieuw geteeckent en uytgegeven door Nicolaes Visscher.’
Map within the lower border four illustrations, all framed in gold, and in the middle, a cartouche also framed in gold: the clothes of the figure on the far left were originally orange (minimum) but are oxidized into dark grey.
6.Geographic description of the travels by the Apostles and Paul (after fo. 60)
‘Geographische Beschryvinghe van de Wandeling der Apostelen ende De Reysen Pauli, Mitsgaders (…) Nicolaes Visscher.’
This map, with an overall colour balance of white and pink, has a very rich coloured and gilt border at the upper and lower side, with ten tiny images illustrating 25 stories of the life of Paul, all framed in pink at the sides 12 festoons finely heightened in gold. On the map, several cities are dotted in gold. Exceptionally the water surface watts in this map has been covered with a very light transparent blue.