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1578 Magnificent Geneva Folio Bible


OT Title Page: 1578
NT Title Page: 1578
Size: 14.5 x 10 x 3.5
Font: Black Letter

Additional Features:
Inserted Engravings
(See Description)

Full Calf
End Papers: Cotton

Appraisal Value: $70,000

Sale Price: $27,500

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The 1578 Magnificent Geneva Folio Bible

[BIBLE IN ENGLISH.] The Bible. Translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages. With most profitable annotations… Whereunto is added the Psalter of the common translation agreeing with the booke of Common prayer….Imprinted at London / by Christoper Barker, Printer to the Queenes Maiestie Cum gratis & priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis. [1578]

Bound 19th century diced paneled calf both tooled and blind-tooled, sometime rebacked with original gilt spine, laid over, worn through leather at corners, rubbed and scuffed some all page edges gilt, turn-ins including all four edges of inside covers surrounded by gilt calf vine edge.

There are two different armorial bookplates of Richard Gregory on the front paste-down endpapers: the first reads: “Rich Gregory B.A. Trin. Coll. Cantab: F.F.S F.A.S. Coole, near Gort, Ireland & No. 56, Berners street London”. There is a note written at the top of the title: “This esteemed as one of the Ancient beautiful Editions of the Bible. See Typographical Antiquities by Ames…Richard Gregory.” There are notes in his hand (old pen) written throughout the book in the bottom margins many of them being bibliographic references to books on travel in India and the orient, tying in with the pictures of Hindu parallels to the Bible that have been tipped in. These notes and their bibliographic references place the ownership of Richard Gregory 1810-1840.  There is also a modern bookplate of M.S. Carothers.

Collation: title leaf. ***6, a-d6, e4; A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Qqq6, A-N6, N.T. title leaf, Aa-Tt6, *6, **3. Pagination: (1) title, (1) blank with clippings, (1) inserted portrait Edward VI, (1) inserted port. Q. Eliz.,(2) Epistle, (1) To the diligent and Christian reader, (1) blank, (1) blank recto of inserted port., (1) inserted port. of Cranmer, (4) Cranmer’s prologue, (4) Proper lessons, (1) An Almanacke (1578-1610), (12) Calendar (with notes below with allusions to some contemporary events), (1) blank, (38) Book of Common Prayer; 1-376 numbered leaves (i.e. 752pp) O.T.; 1-78 numbered leaves (i.e., 155pp (1) blank Apocrypha; (1) NT title, (1) blank, (1) names & order of books, (1) description of Holy Land, 1-113 numbered leaves (i.e.,225pp) NT; (2) Summe of Script, & colophon, (1) blank; (18) Tables. This copy without the preliminary leaves, the leaf before the title with the verse and prayer, and the final blank. Herbert: Hist. Cat. Of Printed Editions Engl. Bible, #154, “In this edition, the Geneva and the Prayer Book version of the Psalter appear side by side, the former in roman type and the latter in black-letter…The Prayer Book included in the preliminary matter exhibits many peculiarities; the word Minister is substituted throughout for Priest, and some of the Offices are omitted. Fry States in a MS. note that the Prayer Book is generally missing from copies of this edition, as a collector of editions of the book of Common Prayer are eager to acquire this peculiar variety, and often cut the leaves out of the Bible.

Both titles printed within elaborate woodcut border containing: the royal arms supported by two female figures, one carrying a sword and scales, the other a book and a sprig of heartsease; and bellow a lion and a dragon on either side of a tablet containing the words Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker. Cum gratia & Pribilegio (Most copies have a slip pasted over the original imprint adding the words Printer to the Queenes Maiestie and Regiae Maiestatis.: the initials C B appear in the lower corners of the central space, and also at the base of the cut. The same border is used for the NT title but the tablet, in this case, contains Prov. xxx 5,6. 36 Woodcuts printed in the text. These include 5 maps (Acts map is 21x17cm); a large woodcut in Ezekiel’s vision, etc.

There are also a number of engravings added to the book, apparently by Richard Gregory: blank leaf following general title inserted upon which are pasted large engraving of Edward VI (recto, copperplate by Gunst after Adrn. Vander Werss) and Queen Elizabeth (verso, engr G. Vertue after drawing by Isaac Zolvier Limner), blank leaf inserted before Cranmer’s Prologue upon verso of which is pasted a large copperplate engr. portrait of Cranmer (Gunst after Adrn. vander Werss) , small newspaper clipping re Cranmer’s posterity pasted at the end of his Prologue, smaller portrait of Elizabeth (steel engr by W.T. Fry, 1829) tipped in between Sept & Oct of Calendar. 2 portraits of Edward VI tipped in at beginning of Book of Common Prayer (first steel engr. by H.T. Ryall, 1830; second engr. by Passaeus); 2 steel engravings tipped in Genesis between leaves 1&2: “Serpent biting Creeshana’s heel” and Creeshana trampling on the Head of the crushed serpent.” Clipping re the “Valley of Ghor” mounted and tipped in between leaves 28 & 29; steel engravings tipped in between leaves 110 & 111 of Veeshnu recovering scared books lost in the Deluge; blank verso of the last leaf of the Apocrypha had a large full-page copperplate engraving (17th cent?) of Elizabeth pasted on it facing the N.T. title; between NT leaves 8 & 9 is tipped in a 19th-century steel engr. of the Transfiguration after Raphael; between NT Leaves 107 & 108 is a steel engr. of the “Tenth Avatar” –white horse & avenging angel; finally pasted on the blank verso of NT leaf [114] is another portrait of Elizabeth (steel engr.). There is a nice woodcut initial beginning the first chapter of each book of the Bible plus a few others.

Herbert #154