Venice, Basel: 1532. First edition. In 17th century leather binding. Spine with six raised bands, gilt compartments, one with title. Gilt turn-ins. Tinted edges. Binding rubbed at the extremities, some loss to leather at corners and joints, otherwise firm. Old damp stain, brown and grayish stains, affecting the first and last few quires stronger.
1] [From colofon:] Stampata in Vinegia [Venice]: per Gulielmo da Fontaneto de Monserra:& Merchio Sessa: e li heredi del. q. Piero de Ravani [Guglielmo da Fontaneto, Melchiorre Sessa e gli eredi di Pietro Ravani], Del.M.D.XXXII . ff.  386., Sign.: a10 b–z8 &8 𝝑8 ℞8 A–M8 N10 O–Z8; ill. (series of: Anima Mia).  Basiliae [Basel]: [From colofon: Apud Henricum Petrum (Heinrich Petri)] Anno restitutae salutis M. D. XXXVII.  mense Martio [From colofon: mense Februario, qui est annus mundi iuxta Judeorum supputationem 5297. & mense Adar]. pp.  154 .; Sign.: a4 A–S4 T6. : First edition by these printers, and under this title. Title in woodcut border, printed in red and black. One full page woodcut illustration, and numerous woodcut text illustrations and initials throughout. Text printed in two columns. Old presentation and possessor’s inscriptions on title page and on f. C. Foxing to N1 and N10. Few leaves in quire P, Y, and Z are slightly over-trimmed at the upper edge, touching the chapter title and pagination. : First edition. Hebrew title in woodcut border. Printed in two columns (except for a few pages or sections), for Hebrew and Latin text. Woodcut printer’s device on last page. Paper tanned due to aging. Few notes and underlines by a contemporary neat hand. An extremely scarce early Malermi translation of the Bible into Italian, bound together with the first Hebrew translation in print of the Gospel of Matthew by Sebastian Münster.  Biblia in lingua materna is an early edition of the Bible in Italian and one of the scarcest editions of the Malermi Bible. The first Italian translation of the Bible appeared as early as 1471 and was the second to be published in any vernacular after German (Mentelin Bible, 1466). The text was translated from the Latin Vulgata primarily by the Venetian Benedictine scholar, Nicolò Malermi (or Malerbi; ca. 1422–1481) around 1470. Malermi and his collaborators,e Lorenzo da Venezia and Girolamo Squarciafico worked on the translation for eight months and, besides their own translation, they also adapted earlier Italian translations of the Holy Scripture. Their work was first published on August 1, 1471, in Venice, it met with great favor and had many successive editions within the following decades. Among them the present 1532 edition, Biblia in lingua materna by Fontaneto and Sessa is one of the scarcest, USTC lists only three copies in Italian collections, none elsewhere (Biblioteca nazionale Sagarriga Visconti-Volpi, Bari; Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome; Biblioteca civica, Tortona; EDIT16 records another, however incomplete copy in the Vatican Library). Except for ours, we could not trace any other copies in the trade. The woodcut illustrations are mainly the reuse of Guglielmo Anima Mia’s 1493 edition of the Bible. The inscription on the title page (“Puygareau dedit”) suggests a relatively early French provenance. Essling 148; Sander 1005, Curi Nicolardi (Melchiorre Sessa tipografo ed editore) 58; Barbieri 18.  The second work in this volume, the translation of the Gospel of Matthew into Hebrew, is the first appearance in print of any portion of the New Testament in this language. Prior to the 16th century, Hebrew translations of passages from the New Testament appeared in Jewish polemical writings against Christianity, the earliest Hebrew translation of an entire New Testament book, also the Gospel of Matthew, was made in the 14th century in Spain. The first translation of the entire New Testament, by Elias Hutter, was published only at the end of the 16th century. (Shuali, 2016) Evangelium secundum Matthaeum in lingua Hebraica was translated by the influential German Protestant Hebraist, cartographer, and cosmographer, Sebastian Münster (1488–1552) in Basel, entitled in Hebrew Torat ha-Mashiaḥ, “The Torah of the Messiah”, and dedicated to King Henry VIII of England. Within the dedicatory text, Münster explains that he had received the Hebrew Matthew from Spanish Jews, allegedly Conversos, in a defective state with many omissions, and he restored what was lacking in the manuscript, however, failed to mark those passages. (Howard, 1986; Lapide, 1984) Scarce on the market, RBH records the sale of only three copies within the last 60 years. Litarature: Barbieri, E. (1989). La fortuna della “Biblia Vulgarizata” di Nicolò Malerbi. Aevum, 63(3), 419–500. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20858445; Curi Nicolardi, S. 2019. Melchiorre Sessa Tipografo Ed Editore (Venezia 1506-1555). Milano: Mimesis.; Howard, G. (1986). The Textual Nature of an Old Hebrew Version of Matthew. Journal of Biblical Literature, 105(1), 49–63. https://doi.org/10.2307/3261110; Lapide, P. E. (1984). Hebrew in the Church: The Foundations of Jewish-Christian Dialogue. (n.p.): William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.; Shuali, E. (2016). Why Was the New Testament Translated into Hebrew?: An Introduction to the History of Hebrew Translations of the New Testament. Open Theology, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0041.