"EVERYTHING BESPEAKS THE SPLENDOR OF THIS EDITION": 1587 FIRST EDITION OF HUTTER'S GREAT HEBREW BIBLE WITH UNIQUE HOLLOW TYPE, LARGE THICK FOLIO IN ELABORATE CONTEMPORARY BLIND-TOOLED BINDING
(HEBREW BIBLE) HUTTER, Elias. Derech Ha'Kodesh—Via Sancta… sive Biblia Sacra eleganti et maiuscula characterum forma. Hamburg: Iohannem Saxonum, 1587. Large thick folio (11 by 15-1/2 inches, 4-1/2 inches thick), contemporary full alum-tawed leather, elaborately blind-tooled covers, raised bands; pp. (12), 1572 (i.e., 1568).
First edition of Hutter's monumental Hebrew Bible, edited by one of the most distinguished Hebrew scholars and promoters of Hebrew literature of his time, Elias Hutter (1553-1602?), professor of Hebrew at Leipzig, finely printed at the Hamburg press of Jacobus Lucius—an impressively bound folio production.
Edited by noted Hebrew Professor at Leipzig, Elias Hutter (1553-1602), with a text that "does not exactly agree with that of any earlier edition," this impressive folio production came to be known as Hutter's Hebrew Bible. "Everything bespeaks the splendor of this edition; and the boast of the title is amply justified by the beauty of the types" (Dibdin I: 55). Hutter's primary intent in producing this version was didactic; he believed that the Bible should be studied in its original language. "Hutter's concern was neither for correctness of text nor beauty of typography, though he succeeded in both. His was a more practical, scholarly mission—to make the Hebrew Bible more readily accessible to the student. He therefore used two forms of type—a solid letter for the root and a hollow letter for the prefixes and suffixes, which give the page an aesthetically pleasing and subtle shading" (Karp, 26). Hutter's effort, printed at the Hamburg press of Jacobus Lucius, marks the only instance in which hollow letters were used in a Hebrew Bible. "In this edition the root letters are printed in thick type, and the inflectional letters in hollow type; and when a root letter in any word does not appear, it is printed in small type above the line. Some copies of this Hebrew Bible were afterwards used to form a supplement to the Hamburg Polyglot of 1596" (Darlow & Moule). Text in Hebrew (with Latin introduction and title page). Bound without two text leaves (pp. 1497-1501), with photocopy facsimiles laid in. With gap in pagination between pages 1136-41, as issued. Darlow & Moule 5108. Vinograd, Hamburg 4. Karp, From the Ends of the Earth: Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress, 26. Berkowitz, In Remembrance of Creation, 99. Faint old institutional inkstamp to title page and endpapers; old ink ownership inscription on title page inked over, occasional underlining and marginalia.
First few leaves loosening and a little edge-worn; text generally clean. Exceptional contemporary binding with a bit of expected age-darkening but handsome.