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Sale 2486 Lot 229
THE AITKEN BIBLE (BIBLE IN ENGLISH.) [The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: Newly Translated out of the Original Tongues.] [1096 of 1114; 326 of 336 pages] (leaves A6-Zz12, Aaa-Aaa5; A-Cc6). 2 volumes in one. 12mo, later full morocco by Stikeman calf, minor wear; moderate foxing, minor dampstaining (mostly to the early leaves), tightly trimmed with a few headlines cropped, lacking 15 leaves: the general title, leaves A1-5, T12, U1-2, the blank between the Old and New Testaments (Aaa6, usually lacking), and the final 5 leaves II:Dd1-6; edges tinted red and gilt; early owner J. Widdefield's 1814-15 inscriptions on New Testament title page, later owner John W. Aitken's book plate on front pastedown. In 19th-century calf slipcase, minor wear. Philadelphia: R. Aitken, , 1781
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000
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, 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 as it was bound in as a cancel. Evans 17473; Hills 11; Sabin 5165; Wright, pages 51-67, 383-4; Zinman 4.