Apr 16, 2019 - Sale 2505

Sale 2505 - Lot 34

Price Realized: $ 5,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(BIBLE IN ENGLISH.) The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments. 48 plates. 1310, [2], 89 pages. 4to, contemporary calf, worn; lacks front free endpaper, foxing, minor dampstaining, lacking 2 internal text leaves, edge wear and closed tears to some plates; early owner inscriptions on verso of frontispiece and on page [8], though the family register form is left blank. Worcester, MA: Isaiah Thomas, 1791

Additional Details

first royal quarto bible in english published in america. "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. Thomas accepted payment in "wheat, rye, Indian corn, butter, or pork" in addition to cash.
Most of the plates are by Worcester engraver Joseph H. Seymour, though at least one is by Amos Doolittle of New Haven (illustrated). Although the colophon to the New Testament calls for 50 plates, Hills maintains that the number actually varied; copies we have noted at auction have all had either 2 or 48 plates. We are not aware of any copies with 50 plates. Evans 23185; Hills 30.