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Maurice Scève's
Sulpice Sabon for Antoine Constantin, 1544

In order to privilege the emblems within this complex work, the 449 'dizains' are arranged (as in the book, in groups of nine) after each emblem, with the first five 'dizains' forming a putative 'emblem' at the beginning. The search-engine returns results for the whole of each of these groups.

Read the introduction to this book

This description is based on Entry F.520 in Alison Adams, Stephen Rawles, Alison Saunders, A Bibliography of French Emblem Books (Geneva: Droz, 1999-2002).

Reproduced by kind permission of Librarie Droz.

Bodleian Library: sce_001. Actual page height: 139mm.
Bodleian Library: sce_001. Actual page height: 139mm.


8o: a-o8 [$5 (-a1) signed], 112 leaves, pages numbered [1-4] 5-204 [20].


r.s. déé. laà, ReMa 3 1544.


a1ro: title; a1vo: privilege: granted to Constantin, dated 30 October 1543; a2ro: ‘A sa Délie’, signed with Scève’s device ‘Souffrir non souffrir’; a2vo: woodcut portrait of Scève; a3ro: dizains begin, and end n6vo; n7ro: ‘L’ordre des figures et emblemes’, ends n8vo; o1ro: ‘Table et indice de tous les Dizains’, ends o7vo; o8ro: blank; o8vo: mark.


50 emblems comprising woodcut figures pierced for the insertion of typographic mottoes, set in various woodcut compartments. Despite much speculation on the importance of the placement of the figures to the interpretation of the text, their spacing is determined by the constraints of typographical imposition. The significance of the figures and mottoes varies, but is usually connected with nearby dizains. Text in roman, 40mm for 10 lines.

Bodleian Library: Douce S35: a3v-a4r. Actual page height: 139mm.
Bodleian Library: Douce S35: a3v-a4r. Actual page height: 139mm.


Variant readings are found on the title: in line 7: ‘Pour An-’ and ‘pour An-’; in line 11: ‘priuilege’ and ‘priuleige’.

The critical edition of I.D. McFarlane gives a list of textual variants between copies of this edition (The ‘Délie’ of Maurice Scève, edited with an introduction and note by I.D. McFarlane, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966).

Another edition of the work appeared in 1564 (F.521).


Praz, p. 490; Landwehr, 682.

Copies located

A List of Library symbols can be found here.

Fra AiBM
Fra *BN (3 copies, 2 seen)
Fra *DiBM
Fra *GBM
Fra *LBM (2 copies, 1 seen)
Fra MarBM
Fra PBArs (3 copies)


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