12 July 2017
BIBLE, English. The Holy Bible, conteyning the Old Testament, and the New: Newly Translated out of the Originall Tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised by His Maiesties Speciall Commandment. Appointed to be read in Churches. London: Robert Barker, 1611.
First edition of the King James Bible, with the reading ‘he’ in Ruth 3:15 (Bb2r). Second state of the engraved title; unsigned version of the map of the Holy Land. Preparation of the Royal Version took more than 5 years and was laboriously attended to by over 50 translators and researchers. 6 separate groups were assigned a specific section of the Scriptures and each made a preliminary translation under the direction of Lancelot Andrewes, Edward Lively and John Harding. The final translations were then exchanged and reviewed, reaching a final committee of six. Supervision of the printing was carried out by Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson. Although the Royal Version appropriates much from the Tyndale, Coverdale, Geneva and Bishops' Bibles, it is unquestionably regarded as the greatest literary translation of the Bible ever produced. Herbert 309; Pforzheimer 61; PMM 114; STC 2216. Arguably the most important book ever published in English. Copies of this edition that have not been made-up are extremely rare.
Royal folio (427 x 275mm). Collation: A6, B2, C6, D4 (preliminaries); 2A-C6 (genealogical tables); D2 (map); A-Ccccc6 (O.T. and Apocrypha); 3A-2Aa6 (N.T). 752 leaves. Gothic and Roman types, text double column and printed within woodcut rule-border. Calendar and almanac printed in red and black. General title-page within engraved border by Christian Boel and section title for the New Testament within woodcut border. Full-sheet engraved map of the Holy Land by John Speed after Dr John More (a few small repairs along gutter margin). 17 leaves of genealogical tables incorporating woodcut illustrations of Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel and other Biblical subjects. Numerous woodcut head- and tail-pieces, historiated and ornamental initials (inner margin of title repaired slightly affecting engraved surface, dampstaining at head affecting title through to B1, marginal dampstain affecting gatherings B-T with associated marginal repairs to leaves B1-C3, marginal dampstaining from gathering S in New Testament to end with 2 leaves consequently repaired) Modern calf. Provenance: Jonathan Byrd (bookplate)
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