Sep 17, 2009 - Sale 2186

Sale 2186 - Lot 58

Price Realized: $ 43,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000
THE AITKEN BIBLE (BIBLE IN ENGLISH.) [The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: Newly translated out of the Original Tongues; and with the former Translations Diligently compared and revised.] A-Zz12, Aaa-Aaa5; A-Dd5; lacks the general title, the blank between the Old and New Testaments (usually lacking), and the final leaf. 2 volumes in one. 12mo, contemporary sheep, worn and dry, front cover detached; New Testament title chipped and torn with loss, first signature of the New Testament sprung and chipped at edges with minor loss, intermittent browning and staining; early owner's inscription on rear flyleaf advising in verse against stealing the book, library bookplate on the front pastedown. [Philadelphia: R. Aitken, 1782; 1781]

Additional Details

the first printing of the complete bible in english in america. Often referred to as "The Bible of the Revolution." No English-language Bible had been published in America during the colonial period, as the copyright to the King James version had been held by the Crown. This is the only Bible ever to be authorized by Congress, with their endorsement on leaf A1, and was printed on Pennsylvanian paper. Wright called this "the rarest of all early Bibles printed in America," and his census turned up only 32 copies. Many of the surviving copies also lack the general title, a common defect due to the title being bound in as a cancel. Evans 17473; Hills 11; Sabin 5165; Wright, pages 51-67, 383-4; Zinman 4.
Provenance: J.[?] Thurston inscription, 1786, possibly Jacob Thurston (1771-1820) of Fishkill, NY; gift of Jacob Thurston's daughter Rachel Hanson Thurston (b. circa 1820) to a Schenectady, NY library, 1894; Swann sale, 2 February 2006, lot 11; Meadows collection.