The Estienne Sophocles in An Impressive Contemporary Binding

Sophocles (496-406 B.C.)

[Works in Greek] Tragoediae Septem. Una cum omnibus Graecis scholiis, & cum Latinis Ioach. Camerarij. Annotationes Henrici Stephani in Sophoclem & Euripidem, seorsum excusae, simul prodeunt.

Geneva: Henri Estienne 1568


Quarto: 25.2 x 16.2 cm. *4, a-z4, aa-zz4, aaa-kkk4, lll2; A-Z4, Aa-Gg4, Hh2 (includes blanks ggg4 and Hh2).


Bound in contemporary German tanned calfskin over beveled wooden boards, signed “I.M.” and dated “1577, with brass catch-plates (lacking clasps) and corner guards. The binding is elaborately tooled in compartments with numerous fine and unusual tools. The outermost compartment has two rows of interlocking sheaves of wheat. The double central compartments are decorated with fleurs-de-lis, arabesques, the initials and date, all tooled in silver (now oxidized). There are discreet, minor cracks in the leather along the upper hinge. There is also slight loss at the head and the tail of the spine. The text is in fine condition with excellent margins and occasional very light toning. With Estienne’s “Noli altum Sapere” printer’s device on the title page. Each tragedy is introduced by a large woodcut histoirated initial and an attractive headpiece. The Greek text is printed in two sizes of Claude Garamond’s "grecs du roi" type. Exquisite. By far the most beautiful example that I have handled.

“The great Estienne Sophocles, important for the scholia, which include those of Triclinius. The Greek text is followed by the commentary of Joachim Camerarius, and his Latin versions of Ajax and Electra. Estienne has again employed his peculiar system of diacritical notations.” (Schreiber)

chreiber 171; Renouard 131 n.3; Moeckli 69; Hoffman III, 414; Dibdin vol.2 p.411; Graesse p.440; Brunet vol.4 p311; Schweiger p.290; Adams S-1448