Holy Bible; Book of Common Prayer

BIBLE   |   John STURT   |   

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HANDSOMELY BOUND OXFORD KING JAMES BIBLE, 1724, WITH CONTEMPORARY PRAYER BOOK, ILLUSTRATED WITH OVER 200 FINE ENGRAVINGS AFTER JOHN STURT

BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New. BOUND WITH: The Book of Common Prayer. London and Oxford: John Baskett, 1724, 1719, 1724. Thick quarto, contemporary full black straight-grain morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers.

Early 18th-century edition of the King James Bible, copiously illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait of George II, 204 delicate copper-plates (four each on 51 interleaved sheets) re-engraved by John Cole after images created by master engraver John Sturt, in handsome contemporary calf.

The King James Bible, first published in 1611, is "the only literary masterpiece ever to be produced by a committee and was the work of nearly 50 translators… [who] lived at a period when the genius of the language was in full flower… [Macaulay praised it as] '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). This 18th-century edition, which includes the Apocrypha, is illustrated with 51 interleaved sheets, each containing four separate images on two plates, after original engravings by John Sturt, England's most noted engraver of books. In 1717, Sturt produced a series of 436 Biblical scenes for Samuel Wesley's History of the Holy Bible; the Sturt illustrations were re-engraved by John Cole and offered separately by Ware in 1727. This Bible bound with a contemporary edition of the Book of Common Prayer. First issued in 1549, the prayer book's stately language has considerably influenced not only ecclesiastical practice but also literature in English for centuries. Also with additional engraved title pages for Bible and Book of Common Prayer and for the suite of engravings itself. Also includes an index and a 1724 edition of Sternhold and Hopkins metrical psalter. Not in Darlow & Moule. Bookplate; owner signature dated 1743, two pages of early handwritten notes on the birth of five members of the Leigh Bennet family from 1794 to 1801.

Plates and text fine, only mild edge-wear to handsome contemporary calf binding.

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