17TH-CENTURY EDITION OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE, IN BEAUTIFUL CONTEMPORARY RESTORATION MOROCCO-GILT BINDING
BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments… London: Charles Bill & Thomas Newcomb, 1690 [or circa 1693]. Thick octavo, contemporary full polished black morocco, elaborately gilt-tooled spine and covers, raised bands, all edges gilt and gauffered. $4800.
Beautifully bound late 17th-century edition of the magisterial King James Bible, with engraved architectural title page, text ruled in red throughout, in sumptuously gilt-tooled full contemporary morocco from the Restoration, with a 1693 edition of Sternhold's metrical Psalter bound in at the rear.
The King James Version of the Bible, first published 1611, has exercised an incalculable impact on piety, language and literature throughout the English-speaking world. 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). Without Apocrypha, as issued. Separate New Testament title page, dated 1693; separate metrical Psalter title page dated 1693. See Herbert 832; Darlow & Moule 657: presumed date of 1694, though Herbert's copy lacked the general title page (text also ended on Cccc 4b). Small bookseller label on rear pastedown.
Text quite clean. Expert leather restoration to corners and spine ends; five of eight red morocco onlays in the shape of hearts on the front and rear covers have perished (three remain on the rear cover). A beautiful 17th-century Bible.