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    One of the Greatest American Illustrated Books of the Mid-Nineteenth Century

    [Illustrated Books]. The Illuminated Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Translated Out of the Original Tongues... New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1846. First edition of this magnificently-illustrated book. Thick folio. Approximately 13 x 9 inches. [x], 844, [ii], 128, [xii], 256, [60, indices] pages. Plates reckoned within pagination, several pages printed in color. Publisher's handsome full red levant morocco, boards double-ruled and decoratively paneled in gilt, spine tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, five raised bands, gilt board edges and turn-ins, all edges gilt. Spine a bit dull, binding worn, hinges just starting, some foxing in text. Neat contemporary presentation on "A Sacred Token" leaf (page [1]). Still, near fine condition, much better than usually seen for this title, especially when the size and heft of the book is taken into consideration. From the collection of Zita Books.
    "Before Darley came the first really ambitious American book, the Harper Illuminated Bible of 1846 with 1600 engravings most of them from designs by J. G. Chapman. This would have been a considerable undertaking anywhere but for a country where book production had not long been in progress it is quite remarkable. The influence of steel-engraving can be discerned in the sharpness of the engraving, all of it in the facsimile style, most of it undertaken by J. S. Adams. Adams also supervised and took part in the printing of his own cuts, and his work now marks the beginning of a great improvement in wood-engraving generally. This is one of the few bibles that is generally and consistently illustrated throughout. Literally every opening has a half-page block, a tiny vignette, or a decorated initial, often all three; and the illustration of the Psalms or the Epistles, usually left severely alone, presents no obstacles. The result is however a technical rather than an artistic tour de force remarkable in its time and place and expertly printed but with all the limitations of the age." (Bland)
    Bland, History of Book Illustration, p. 303.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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