529 leaves (8 1/4 x 5 1/2 in; 211 x 140 mm). Collation: 1-178, 184, 19-668, 675= 529 leaves. Pagination: (2), 3-139 (1), 141-399 (1), 401-459 (1), 461-528 (1)= 529 leaves. Four titles: Pentateuch, Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, Writings; Initial words set in ornate woodcut borders. A few leaves very lightly stained; f. 144, hole affecting a few letters; f.145, small tear affecting none; occasional marginal notations; ownership notes on final leaf. Modern calf. Rebacked. Spine in six compartments with title gilt stamped on black leather plaque.
Daniel Bomberg, the celebrated printer of Hebrew books, was renowned for having established the earliest Hebrew press in Venice. Publishing more than 200 books over the course of three decades (1515-1549), his many accomplishments include the printing of the first Mikra'ot Gedolot, a four volume folio-sized Rabbinic Bible with commentaries (1517-18).
Bomberg's quarto Bible of 1521 is a scarce second edition of a publication that appeared simultaneously with the magnificent Rabbinic Bible. It seems that Bomberg was sensitive to the market demand for a less expensive edition and concurrently with the publication of his monumental Rabbinic Bible, he produced a single-volume quarto edition, without the rabbinic commentaries, making it both more affordable and more likely to appeal to a broader audience. The present volume attests to the success of Bomberg's strategy as he found it necessary to reissue his one-volume edition within four years of its initial publication.
The colophon of this second edition contains interesting information concerning the history of Hebrew book production. The editor, Cornelius Adelkind, states that to date they have "completed [the printing of] twenty-five tractates of the Talmud and twelve quires from the book of Rav Alfasi" (a massive code of Jewish law). Adelkind further expresses the hope that God might "grant him the merit to complete the entire Talmud and also the great Alfasi as it our lord Daniel's wish."
Based on the clarity of their type and layout, the quarto Bible editions of Daniel Bomberg have long been celebrated as among the most beautiful Bibles published in the sixteenth century.
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