“A SPLENDID WORK… ORNAMENTED WITH FINE ENGRAVINGS”: 1800 FIRST EDITION OF MACKLIN’S SUMPTUOUSLY PRINTED AND ILLUSTRATED SIX-VOLUME FOLIO BIBLE
(BIBLE). The Holy Bible. The Old [and] New Testament Embellished With Engravings from Pictures and Designs by the Most Eminent English Artists. London: for Thomas Macklin, by T. Bensley, 1800. Six volumes. Large thick folio (15-1/2 by 18-1/2 inches), contemporary full red straight-grain morocco sympathetically rebacked, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, original marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $15,000.
Magnificently illustrated first edition of the Macklin Bible, handsomely bound by C. Kalthoeber of London in six massive volumes and illustrated with 70 splendid full-page copper-engraved plates after Artaud, Cosway, Fuseli, Reynolds, Stothard, Westall and other noted artists, and over 100 additional vignette head- and tailpieces.
“A splendid work, printed in very large type by Bensley, and ornamented with fine engravings” (Allibone, 1188). These magnificent illustrations were designed by Britain’s greatest painters, and executed by the foremost engravers of the time, including James Heath, James Fitler, William Bromley, Francesco Bartolozzi, and John Landseer. The numerous allegorical head- and tailpieces by Philipp Jakob de Loutherbourg provide a virtual encyclopedia of Judeo-Christian iconography. The type font was especially made for this edition, and words generally printed in italics are here distinguished only by a dot placed under the first vowel of the emphasized word. The beautiful large-type text is printed in two columns of 29 lines. Volumes I-IV contain the Old Testament and Volumes V-VI the New Testament, with the splendid plates bound appropriately throughout. With subscriber’s list and engraved dedication leaf. A further volume (not included here) containing the Apocrypha was added in 1816. Herbert 1442. Darlow & Moule 982. C. Kalthoeber’s binder’s label on rear pastedown of Volume I.
Occasional foxing to text, far less than sometimes found with this edition; crease to title page of Volume II. Plates generally quite clean, impressions crisp and clear. Expert restoration to edges and corners of boards, with a few minor scuffs and marks to morocco. An extremely good, very nicely restored copy of this splendidly illustrated Bible in contemporary morocco covers.