Jun 21, 2016 - Sale 2420

Sale 2420 - Lot 68

Price Realized: $ 488
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
THE "HORNET BIBLE" (BIBLE IN ENGLISH.) The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments. 837 pages. 12mo, publisher's calf, moderate wear, rejointed; minimal dampstaining and wear. New York: D. Fanshaw, 1828, stereotyped for the American Bible Society by D. & G. Bruce

Additional Details

200 Bibles printed by Fanshaw were issued to the men of the USS Hornet by the American Bible Society in 1828. The ship was dismasted in a gale off Mexico the following year, and sank with the loss of all hands. A month before, Lieutenant L.E. Symmonds had been transferred off the ship a month before the tragedy, and wrote in his copy "USS Hornet foundered at sea in the gale of Sep. 5, 1829, and 199 Bibles like this went down with her. This the only one saved. Myself the only person." The Symmonds copy was preserved at the New York Public Library.
Fanshaw printed more than 200 Bibles in 1828, so they did not all go down with the Hornet. Several editions were published that year, all identical except for a tiny edition number on the verso of the title page. The Hornet had copies of the 118th edition. 8 other copies are listed in OCLC, covering the stated 106th, 111th, 113th, 119th, 122nd, and 124th editions. The present copy is the stated 109th edition per a note on the verso--as close as we are likely to get to the Bible that went down with the Hornet. Hills 626; none others known at auction.