MAGNIFICENTLY BOUND 1678 KING JAMES BIBLE AND BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER
BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New… London: John Bill, Christopher Barker, Thomas Newcomb and Henry Hills, 1678. Thick quarto, contemporary full red morocco rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands, elaborately blind- and gilt-stamped boards, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $6500.
17th-century editions of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, hand-ruled in red, with additional engraved title page, splendidly bound together in full contemporary Restoration binding, possibly the work of either the Queen's binder A or the Queen's binder B.
First published in 1611, the King James Bible is, in Macualay's words, "a book, which if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power" (PMM 114). Unquestionably the most influential of English Bible translations, the Authorized Version's impact on piety, language and literature is incalculable.
With general and New Testament title pages. Includes Apocrypha. This Bible is bound with a contemporary edition of the Book of Common Prayer. First issued in 1549, the prayer book's beautiful and dignified language has considerably influenced not only ecclesiastical practice but also literature in English for centuries. The volume also includes a contemporary edition of Sternhold and Hopkins' metrical psalter. The entire text block is hand-ruled in red. The magnificent binding is possibly by either the Queen's binder A or B, with one roll and one fillet used here that can be found on other books attributed to them. "Queen's Binder" is the term cointed by G.D. Hobson to refer to a group of bindings done for Catherine of Braganza and Mary of Modena during the Restoration period, often noted as a "golden age" of English bookbinding. They have since been differentiated into binders A, B, and C; binders such as Samuel and Charles Mearne, Roger Bartless and William Nott have all been tentatively identified as being among the Queen's Binders. Darlow & Moule 582. Griffiths 1678:2.
Text generally quite clean, with faint marginal dampstaining along top margin, a bit heavier in the metrical psalter; last two leaves of psalter with marginal paper repairs. Expert restoration only to extremities of sumptuous contemporary binding. A beautiful volume.