BIBLE, in English. The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New. London: by John Bill and Christopher Barker, 1671-69. [Bound with]: The Whole Book of Psalms. London: by T. R. for the Company of Stationers, 1669.
8° (172 x 115mm). Double column, ruled in red. Engraved title with architectural border surmounted by a trumpeting angel holding open the scriptures, sectional title to the New Testament with woodcut arms of Charles II. Title to the Psalms within typographcial border. (Small hole in D5, F6 with burn hole at margin, 2Q6 torn with loss of shoulder note, a few other marginal tears, occasional browning and staining, E1 of the Psalms soiled with loss of a few letters.) LONDON BINDING OF CONTEMPORARY BLUE TURKEY POSSIBLY BY THE NAVAL BINDER, the sides with gilt-tooled tulips, semi-circles and dots, and larger onlaid flowers in red or citron surrounding a broken panel, the panel with red onlays at the angles and central citron onlay tooled with volutes, gilt spine with coloured onlays in four of the six compartments, gilt board edges, comb-marbled endpapers, GILT PAGE EDGES WITH A CONTEMPORARY FORE-EDGE PAINTING OF FLOWERS and inscription 'Search ye Scriptures, John 5. vers 39' (a little chipped, spine rubbed at extremities, front inner hinges slightly split). Provenance: Elizabeth Baker 1692 and 1693 (inscriptions on front and rear endpapers); 'Elisabeth Baker her book given to her by her grandmother March 1721' (inscription on front endpaper).
The Naval Binder was so-named by H.M. Nixon because of the bindery's connection with the Navy Office. If not by the Naval Binder, this beautifully-executed binding closely resembles his work in its choice of tools, amd use of coloured onlays with a broken centre panel. There are a number of binders who decorated their fore-edges with the quotation from St. John V, verse 39, 'Search the Scriptures.' For a similar example on a Bible of 1682, see Maggs Bookbinding in the British Isles 1996, no. 64. DMH 705; Wing B-2281A and B-2497.