"THE HIGHEST POINT IN ENGLISH BIBLE PRINTING": BASKERVILLE'S MASTERPIECE, THE MAGNIFICENT 1763 FOLIO BIBLE, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND IN FULL MOROCCO-GILT
(BIBLE). The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New. Cambridge: John Baskerville, 1763. Large, thick folio (13-1/2 by 20 inches), early full black straight-grain morocco gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, raised bands, all edges gilt. $18,000.
First Baskerville edition, one of only 1250 copies, splendidly bound in early full morocco gilt.
"This edition 'has always been regarded as Baskerville's magnum opus and is his most magnificent as well as his most characteristic specimen" (Herbert 1146). "His most ambitious undertaking… widely acclaimed as his masterpiece" (Art of the Printed Book, 26). "Aesthetically, the highest point in English Bible printing so far was John Baskerville's folio printed at Cambridge in 1763… The Bible uses his types, paper and ink, and shows his characteristic 'machine-made' finish: very smooth and even in color and impression, with glossy black ink on smooth paper. The design is traditional, but the quality of material and workmanship is so high, and the conventions are so delicately modified and consistently applied that the result is extremely impressive" (Cambridge History of the Bible, 464). Beautifully printed in two columns of large type. With Apocrypha. List of subscribers present, in third state. Gaskell 26. Darlow & Moule 857. Herbert 1146. Huntington Library, Great Books in Great Editions 6. Bookplate.
Interior generally fine, expert restoration to beautiful binding.