Tragoediae Septem. Sophocles.

Tragoediae Septem.

Geneva: Paul Estienne, 1603. First edition of Paul Estienne's greatest achievement. Schreiber notes: "This is not a mere reprint of Henri's edition of 1578, but a much improved work: besides the commentaries of Camerarius, it includes the Annotationes of Henri Estienne, which were not found in the earlier edition. The Greek Sophoclean text is accompanied by the scholia of Triclinios and the Latin translation of Vitus Winsemius (Veit Oertel)" (Schreiber 273). With seven pages of early manuscript notes at the end. Greek and roman letter, in an elegant layout, with the Greek text occupying the upper half of the page, with the Latin translation underneath, and a Greek commentary at the foot. Second part in double columns, in Latin, with references in Greek. Printer's device on first title, decorative woodcut initials and tail-pieces. A few small marks, two leaves with short closed tear at fore-edge, one gathering misbound, light dampstain to upper margin of a few gatherings at center, but a very good and highly desirable copy in a spectacular binding. In new cloth slipcase. In a contemporary French prize binding of full sheep, with a provenance inscription marking its passing from the Abbey of Sain-Remi to the Jesuit College in Reims in 1626. Covers profusely gilt with a pattern of crosses, interspersed with fleurs-de-lys and central arms, flat spine, gilt-stamped with the same cross motif, with gilt lettering, edges dotted in gilt, remains of ties, all edges gilt. Hinges cracking, but very sound, small crack front joint near top edge. Expensive notes in a contemporary and early eighteenth-century hand in the preliminaries and at end, early ownership inscription (Grosley) and another (Roger) on first title-page, the second repeated on preliminary blank. Bound in as a reinforcement before the front free endpaper is a fragment of a fourteenth-century document on vellum. Two parts in one, quarto. [8], 788, [Estienne's Annotationes:] 202, [6] pp. Item #15567

This book was given as a prize by Henri de Lorraine, the great abbot of Sain-Remi, Reims, to the prefect of the Reims Jesuit college, 1626. It carries the Prefect's note on the front free endpaper and the front free end-paper and the Jesuit emblem embossed on a small piece of paper pasted at the foot. Eighteenth-century ownership inscription, "Grosley," likely the French scholar, collector and historian Pierre-Jean Grosley, on title, with his long, densely penned manuscript note (post 1724) occupying the rest of the page and its verso, as well as five pages of the three final free endleaves, with scholarly notes and comments on the editions of Greek tragedies.

Pierre-Jean Grosley (1718-1785) was a man of letters, local historian, and travel writer. A magistrate in his native Troyes, he was at the time of his death engaged in publishing his Mémoires histotriques et critiques pou l'histoire de Troyes, of which only the first volume was published (1774). Other works include Nouveaux mémoires, ou, Observations sur l'Italie et sur les Italiens, par deux gentilshommes suédois (1764) and Londres (1770), which was translated into English by Thomas Nugent as A Tour to London; Or New Observations on England and its Inhabitants (1772). He was a collector of medieval manuscripts, including a fine manuscript of the chanson de geste, Garin le Loherain, which is now housed at the Bancroft Library. It also bears the signature "Grosley." Brunet V, 447. Renouard 196, no. 12. Schweiger, p. 291. Schreiber, 273 ("quite rare").

Price: $8,500.00

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