“IF EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LANGUAGE SHOULD PERISH…”: 1675 CAMBRIDGE EDITION OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE, IN BEAUTIFUL CONTEMPORARY “COTTAGE-STYLE” MOROCCO-GILT
BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New… Cambridge: John Hayes, 1675. Thick quarto, contemporary full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated boards and spine, red morocco spine label, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, leather clasps and brass catches. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Beautifully bound 1675 Cambridge edition of the King James Bible—“the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world” (Campbell, 1)— handsomely bound in elaborate, contemporary “cottage-style” morocco-gilt.
First published in 1611, the King James Version of the Bible 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). “Other translations may engage the mind, but the King James Version is the Bible of the heart” (Campbell, 275). Beautifully bound in full contemporary elaborately gilt “cottage” binding, a style quite popular with mid- to late-17th century bookbinders. With engraved architectural title page, decorative woodcut initials. Separate New Testament title page, dated 1673. Ruled in red throughout. Collates closely with Darlow & Moule 561 (Old Testament ends on leaf 3P4a; New Testament, T4a; Ephesians 2.13 reads “sometime”). Armorial bookplate, old owner signature, old ink shelf numbers.
Interior quite clean. Joints tender, binding sound; lightly rubbed with minor abrasions; clasps and catches intact. An excellent Bible in distinguished “cottage-style” morocco-gilt.