FIRST MOSCOW BIBLE, or the Books of New i e. The Bible, Old Testament.

Moscow: Pechatnyi Dvor, 1663. Item #696

[540 leaves]. 35x23 cm. Contemporary full leather. Modern clasps. [540 leaves]. 35x23 cm. Contemporary full leather. Modern clasps. Binding is restored: pieces of leather are added. The copy is complete. Old restoration of the title page and the leaf with Moscow’s plan and Russian coat of arms: corners and the margins are backed. The two last unnumbered leaves are with restoration as well of the similar nature with a bit of text missing from one of them. The rest of the block is without restoration and generally in good condition with minor damp stains. The owner’s inscription goes through the first 62 leaves of the Bible. It reads: ‘‘This book Bible from Kola Ostrog, the town man Petr Epimakhov, Pridannikov son was bought in Moscow last year in the vegetable row of Fedor Kharitonov’’. The inscription dates back to 1678. Kola is an important Russian outpost in the Arctic, now located 20 kilometres from Murmansk. At the time Kola was the most northern Russian settlement and had 500 inhabitants.

Seven full page woodcuts, including the title page, and the famous engraved frontispiece with Russian coat of arms and the plan of Moscow. The others are the evangelists and Luka. 97 woodcut headpieces, 25 end pieces.

First edition. First translation of Bible printed in Moscow. First plan of Moscow done in a Russian book. One of the most important contributions of Pechatnyi Dvor in the 17th century Slavonic printing.

The plan of the city was done by cartographer called Zosima, who was working at Pechatnyi dvor as an engraver and most likely been an icon-painter as well. The next plan of Moscow would be printed only by Michurin in 1739.

The edition was commissioned by tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and based on Ostrog Bible of 1581, although the text was altered and edited. The work on the text started from 1649 and for that matter the monks of Kiev Lavra have been called to Moscow - namely Epifanii Slavinetsky, Arsenii Koretsky and Damaskin Ptitsky. However in the end the text wasn’t altered drastically which met disapproval of Patriarch Nikon. The next plan of Moscow would be printed in Michurin in 1739. The next printing of the full text of the Bible in Russia will occur in 1751.

Price: $29,500.00