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  Lot 385

Bible, English, Coverdale's Version

Biblia the Bible, that is, the Holy Scrypture of the Olde and New Testament, faithfully translated in to Englyshe, and newly ouersene and correcte. M.V.XXXVII, includes Apocrypha, the “thyrd part of the olde testamente, whose contentes folowe in the nexte page" and "The new testament faythfully translated and lately correcte by Myles Couerdale" each have separate register and foliation, a-z8, aa-ee8, ff6, gg-rr8, ss10, aa-hh8, ii-4, kk-zz8, A-P8, Q1 only (lacking leaves before Genesis, namely main title & preliminaries? Q2-4 and final blank?), pp. 553-554 from 1605 Barker Bible edition (Revelation XIX-XX1), black letter, double column, title to part 3 and New Testament within woodcut border, full page woodcut (f4), historiated initials, other text woodcut (f7v), first couple of leaves almost detached, with traces of glue at gutter, light browning and soiling throughout, occasional staining and intermittent damp staining, a few marginal repairs, headlines shaved at head in places, C4 trimmed, ff2 torn with loss of text, a few repairs and some tearing occasionally affecting side notes, marginalia in contemporary hands, early paper strip pasted onto front free endpaper reading ‘Coverdales translation’, [ESTC S120866; STC (2nd ed.), 2065; Darlow & Moule (Rev. 1968), 33; Luborsky & Ingram. Engl. illustrated books, 1536-1603, 2065], J. Nycolson, Southwark, [1535], [bound with] The Whole Booke of Psalms, lacks all after G7r (f. pasted on rear endpaper and trimmed), woodcut printer’s device on title, printed music, G5 torn with loss of text, G6 heavily chipped, some staining, [S124745; STC (2nd ed.), 2517], [J. Windet], for the Company of Stationers, 1605, modern bookplate, 19th century vellum boards, spine tooled in gilt with Tudors’ arms, a.e.r., a little soiled, new marbled endpapers, 4to.

*** First title. The first quarto Bible printed in England. Extremely Rare. ESTC records only 7 copies worldwide. The only copy sold at Sotheby’s in 1976. Following the publication of Tyndale’s New Testament in several editions in the 1520s and 1530s, large numbers of people were used to and expected to be able to read or hear the Bible in English. Miles Coverdale (1488–1569) therefore translated what became the first complete Bible in English. As Tyndale was arrested and awaiting execution, translating the Bible into English had become less dangerous, but the first edition of Coverdale’s Bible was nevertheless still published abroad. After the Bible had been printed in Antwerp (where Coverdale lived) in 1535, two editions, one folio and one quarto, were published in London in 1537. It was the first time that a complete Bible in English was openly printed in England and was dedicated to the King himself. In 1539 Coverdale was hired by the king to assist Thomas, Lord Cromwell produce the Great Bible, authorized for public use in Anglican churches.

Sold for £31,250

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