"THE MOST CELEBRATED BOOK IN THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD": IMPRESSIVE 1696 FOLIO KING JAMES BIBLE IN BEAUTIFUL CONTEMPORARY BINDING
BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New… London: Charles Bill and the Executrix of Thomas Newcombe, 1696. Folio (9-1/2 by 16 inches), contemporary gilt-paneled brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $8800.
Late 17th-century folio edition of the magisterial King James Bible, beautifully bound in contemporary morocco-gilt.
"If everything else in our language should perish, [the King James Bible] would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power" (Macaulay). First published in 1611, the King James version "was not a new translation but a continuation, a refinement, a synthesis, of the work of Tyndale, Matthew, Coverdale, the Great Bible, the Bishops' Bible, Rhemes and Geneva. It has been compared to a great English cathedral: not the work of one period alone, but due to the devoted creation of several generations… No book has had greater influence on the English language or on the English character" (Great Books and Book Collectors, 109-10). It is "the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world… Other translations may engage the mind, but the King James Version is the Bible of the heart" (Campbell, 1, 275). Ruled in red throughout. Decorative woodcut initials. Separate New Testament title page. Includes Apocrypha. Not in Darlow & Moule. Herbert 841. Wing B2367. Armorial bookplates. Old ownership signature.
Occasional light foxing, soiling. Short marginal closed tear to New Testament leaf F1. Minor repairs to Old Testament leaf 2D1, New Testament leaf I1. Contemporary binding with expert repairs to joints, gilt bright. An excellent and impressive Bible, most handsomely bound.