"THE AITKEN BIBLE (THE BIBLE OF THE REVOLUTION) IS IN EVERY WAY AN ACHIEVEMENT": THE BIBLE OF THE REVOLUTION, ONE OF 50 COPIES OF THE SIGNER'S EDITION, WITH TWO ORIGINAL LEAVES FROM THE FAMED 1782 AITKEN BIBLE
DEARDEN, Robert R., and WATSON, Douglas S. The Bible of the Revolution. San Franscisco: Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, (1930). Octavo, original red morocco gilt, raised bands, uncut; housed in a custom chemise and half morocco slipcase. $2500.
"Signer's edition," one of 50 copies (out of a total edition of 580), with two original leaves from the famed Aitken Bible of 1782, "The Bible of the Revolution," this special edition also including an original leaf from The Confession of Faith, printed by Benjamin Franklin in 1745, and a number of essays and facsimiles. Presentation copy, inscribed by Robert R. Dearden, the author of one of the included essays, "To my esteemed friend John J. Coyle with cordial regards from Robert R. Dearden Jr, Nov 10th 1931." With a number of related laid-in items, including an original telegram from noted antiquarian A. Edward Newton praising the publication.
Published in 1782 in Philadelphia by Robert Aitken, "The Bible of the Revolution" was the first Bible to published in English in America; the only Bible to be explicitly endorsed by Congress, it is equally famed today for its rarity, with only about 50 complete copies known. Among the items included in this volume: facsimiles of the the general title page and the New Testament title page, along with an original leaf from each testament; an original leaf from The Confession of Faith, printed by Benjamin Franklin in 1745; portraits of Robert Aitken, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington; facsimiles of the signatures of the Declaration of Independence's signers; facsimiles of Aitken's printing of the Declaration of Independence and of an autograph letter signed by George Washington discussing the Aitken Bible; and essays by Robert Dearden Jr. and Douglas S. Watson ("The Bible of the Revolution") and Edwin E. Grabhorn ("A Note on the Typography of the Period"). This copy additionally has a facsimile of John Adams' bookplate on the front pastedown and the bookplate of Dearden laid in. Also laid into this copy is an original telegram from noted antiquarian A. Edward Newton, stating "The Aitken Bible (The Bible of the Revolution) is in every way an achievement. I heartily congratulate you, the Grabhorns and all who have had a finger in this delightful pie. From every point of view the book deserves the great success which I prophesy for it"; this telegram is quoted in a notice of the publication printed in The Argonaut on March 21, 1931. One of 50 copies of the "Signer's edition," out a total edition of 580 copies, which included 15 "editorial copies" and 515 "Colonial edition" copies.