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    [Bible in English]. The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Newly Translated out of the Original Greek; And with the former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by R. Aitken, Bookseller, opposite the Coffee-House, Front-Street, 1781. Early edition of the first New Testament printed in English in America. Twelvemo. Not paginated. A-I6 K-U6 W-Z6 Aa-Dd6. Text in two columns. Title within woodcut border and with Robert Aitken's woodcut monogram device on the verso of the title.

    Contemporary calf, old reback preserving much of the original spine, with subsequent repairs to the joints, hinges strengthened and repaired. Somewhat scuffed and worn, with ring impression on front board slightly more than two inches across, and smaller ring and adjacent stain on rear board. Edges soiled, writing or marks on both pastedown endpaper with "Samuel" distinguishable on front pastedown, no free endpaper at the front and begins with title page. No free endpaper in the rear, last leaf of text is blank on verso and has writing: "Maria Becking / her holy bible/ 1803" and other indistinguishable writing. Sheets toned, soiled and foxed. Small stains to A2 and A4-5, and H1, closed edge tears to fore-edge margins of L2-5, and repaired tear to Bb3. Some corners creased or bent. Dampstain to most leaves affecting the fore-edge margin and adjacent text from signature Aa to the end. Last leaf brittle and fragile with chipping and loss at the fore-edge and bottom margins.

    Having emigrated from Dalkeith Scotland to America around 1770, Robert Aitken (1734-1802) established himself in Philadelphia as a printer and publisher. Responding to the demand for bibles in the American colonies, and with the circumstance of the Revolutionary War naturally breaking the English monopoly over Bible production and supply America, Aitken set out to publish what would eventually become, in 1782, the first complete Bible in English printed in America. The first iteration of Aitken's New Testament appeared in 1777 (very few copies are extant, as is the case for any New Testament printed in English in America before 1781). The Old Testament was published in 1782 to complete the bible.

    The Aitken New Testament of 1781 is most often found bound together with Aitken's 1782 Old Testament. It is very uncommon to find just the New Testament as a stand alone volume.

    Evans 17101; (Herbert 1283; Sabin 5165 - on both testaments)

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    8th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,404

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