[New Testament in Greek]
Τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης ἅπαντα

Novum Testamentum ex bibliotheca regia

Paris: Robert Estienne, 7 November 1546.


2 parts in 1 volume.

THE FIRST ESTIENNE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, and the first book issued from the Royal Press established by King François I to use the newly designed and smaller 'cicéro' font of the celebrated grecs du roi.

This 1546 edition is also known as the 'O mirifica' edition, from Estienne's preface beginning "O mirificam Regis nostri optimi & prestantissimi principis liberalitatem", in which the printer praises the King for commissioning Claude Garamond to create a new Greek font in order to produce volumes in small format.

Robert Estienne based the text on a comparison of the Complutense and the Erasmian editions with sixteen manuscripts. This collation was made by Robert Estienne's own son, Henri.

Physical desription:

Two volumes bound in one thick 16mo tome, leaves measure 13 cm x 8 cm (with large margins; this is one of the largest copies recorded in the trade in the last few decades!) Attractively bound in an early 19th-century blind-tooled morocco, spine with raised bands, blind-tooled and gilt-titled in compartments. Gilt-tooled turn-ins; marbled endpapers; edges gilt.

Pagination: 528; 361, [5] pp (the total of 894 pages).
Signatures: a-z8 A-K8; aa-zz8 [-zz8 blank].
COMPLETE, and with one of two final blanks present.

Title-pages to both volumes with woodcut ‘Basilisk’ devices (Estienne's mark as the royal printer in Greek), also with Estienne’s ‘Olive Tree’ device at the end of the 2nd volume (leaf zz8v); numerous grotesque and foliated headpieces and initials.

Text in Greek throughout, except for Estienne’s dedicatory preface (leaf a2r,v) which is in Latin. Errata (zz5v) and colophon (zz6r) at the end.

colophon f. with woodcut printer's device verso, divisional title to second part containing Epistles and Apocalypse, woodcut printer's device on both titles), and on verso of final leaf of second volume his olive tree device,, ruled in pale red ink throughout,


Title-page with an early (17th-century?) ownership inscription (inked out) of the Capuchin monks of Portogruaro (in Veneto, North-Eastern Italy).

Armorial bookplate of James Devereux Hustler to front pastedown: presumably of Rev’d James Devereux Hustler (1784 1846) of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

An ownership label signed Henry W. Moule and dated May 1920 pasted to front free endpaper: presumably of Henry William Moule (1871 - 1953) of Corpus Christi College (Cambridge), a missionary in China, Vicar of Damerham.


Near Fine. Complete. Binding slightly rubbed with minor edge-wear. Internally excellent, with only some very infrequent light marginal soiling and a few very minor spots. A former owner’s armorial bookplate to front pastedown, and an ownership signature to front fly-leaf. In all, a very attractive, clean, bright and solid example with wide margins.

Bibliographic references:

Adams B1657; Mortimer, French, 74; Renouard, Estienne, 65:2; Schreiber 90; Darlow & Moule 4616.

Please click on thumbnails below to see larger images.