Dating old bibles
The Newe Testament Of Ovr Lord Iesus Christ Publisher: London: Imprinted by Christopher Barker, 1580. Publisher: At London : Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, 1580.
Tvvo right profitable and fruitfull concordances : or large and ample tables alphabeticall. Publisher: Imprinted at London : by Christopher Barker, printer to the Queenes Maiestie. Thomas Sternhold; John Hopkins; William Whittingham. COMPLETENESS AND CONDITION: Perhaps the first thing to consider in an appraisal, after the identification of the Bible and an assessment of its historical importance, is its completeness.
These are often marketed to buyers that are not sophisticated book collectors, but perhaps just people who want to own a nice old Bible and are not familiar with the market.
As an enthusiast of early printing, I must say that while I think early Bibles are grossly undervalued when compared to other collectibles, it is still possible to buy them at numerous regular book auctions and often at surprisingly modest prices.
This one consists of the following:[I] The Booke of Common prayer and administration of the Sacraments : and other rites and ceremonies in the Church of England.
Imprinted at London : By Christopher Barker …, 1580. Publisher: Imprinted at London : By Christopher Barker, printer to the Queenes Maiestie, 1580.
If you have any questions about a Bible you may have (especially any printed before 1800), feel free to send photos to [email protected] I thought it would be instructive to look at and appraise, in a step-by-step fashion, a Bible that was recently sent to us and which is shown in the photos below.
IDENTIFICATION: The book we received was a 1580 copy of the Geneva Bible.
This Bible retains enough of the original English paneled calf (likely 17th century) to at least have that wonderful immediate impression of historical authenticity. THE PROVENANCE (PREVIOUS OWNERS): Occasionally it is possible to find signatures or genealogical records that can tie a specific Bible with an important previous owner or prominent family.
One should note that the Bible at auction likely possessed a more attractive binding than the present copy as it is described as having “blind-tooled calf with metal fittings”, which can be very handsome.
The auction record for a similar copy: Bible in English – [New Testament Geneva-Tomson].
For instance, there are historically interesting Bibles such as the 1858 “Pony Express Bible” that is a coveted artifact of the Old West or the Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible (1843- 1846), which was the most extensively illustrated American book up until its time.
There are also feats of the printer’s art such as the 1800 Giant Macklin Bible Seven-Volume Bible, which is considered among the most impressive Bibles ever printed.