Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 63

Price Realized: $ 3,900
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
THE FIRST FOLIO BIBLE IN AMERICA (BIBLE IN ENGLISH.) The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments. 50 plates. [4], 1012 pages. 2 volumes in one, with second title page bound in. Folio, polished calf gilt binding from 1851, moderate wear; frontispiece lacking part of upper margin and laid down on paper, title page also laid down on paper, foxing, a few closed tears and paper repairs; early owner Sarah L. King's name gilt-stamped on front board, later John Howell bookplate on front pastedown, early provenance note laid down on front free endpaper. Worcester, MA: Isaiah Thomas, 1791

Additional Details

the first folio bible in america. Issued in the same month as the ratification of the Bill of Rights, which seems to be acknowledged in the preface by publisher Isaiah Thomas: "The civil authority hath set an example of moderation and candor to all Christians, by securing equal privileges to all." He traces a strong connection between the new republic and Christianity--"a religion which furnishes motives for every patriotick, civil and social duty."
The plates are all by American engravers, the bulk of them by Joseph Seymour, but also including examples by Norman, Hill, and Amos Doolittle (his first biblical illustration, pictured). Includes the plate list, sometimes lacking in the one-volume issue.
"The two Thomas Bibles of 1791 were without doubt far in advance of any other publications of the same kind that had appeared in America in point of typography, excellence of paper, binding, and general execution"--Wright, Early American Bibles, pages 74-88. Evans 23186; Hills 29.