Lot 172
  • 172

Bible in English - Coverdale

150,000 - 250,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink and paper
[Biblia The Byble, that is the holy Scrypture of the Olde and New Testament, faythfully translated in Englysh, and newly ouersene & corrected. Southwark: James Nycolson, 1537]

Folio (12 1/2 x 8 1/8 in.; 317 x 206 mm). Black letter, title of Prophets, Apocrypha, and New Testament within woodcut borders, 94 woodcut text illustrations, collation: A-T6, U4; Aa5, Bb-Qq6, Rr4; aAa-kKk6; Aaa6-Qqq6, Rrr7; A-B6, D-O6, P5; a-t6, V4=[582 of 602] leaves; lacking first 8 leaves including title, blanks Aa1, second P6, and second V8, as well as most of second quire C and V1-2 (which are supplied in photo facsimile), and V7, mends in lower outer corner of first quire A, dampstains in outer portion of first quires C-D and lower margin of first H-I with minor ones elsewhere, top margin generally cut short occasionally shaving a headline, lower outer corner of Q4 frayed with loss, lower outer corner of R1 torn affecting one word, fore-edge of woodcut border at Rrr7 shaved, upper outer corner of cCc1 torn affecting headline and title, slight worming in a few gutter margins, pentrials of "philip maunfield' in lower portion of U4. 18th-century polished tree-calf with blind-tooled border, spine gilt with gilt-stamped red leather title label; extremities worn, foot of spine torn. In a red morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped Tonner monogram.


Arthur Burrell (in a multi-consignor sale, Sotheby's 23-24 June 1947, lot 292) — George Goyder (bookplate, pencilled signature on endleaf, his sale, Sotheby's 23 June 1958, lot 12) — Florence Foerderer Tonner (bookplate)


Herbert 32; Darlow & Moule 15; STC 2064

Catalogue Note

The first folio bible printed in england, one of only two copies in private hands. H.R. Willoughby (in the American Journal of Biblical Literature, 55, 1936) records 13 copies in all (including the present one) of which at least 9 are imperfect. The text, though claimed in the title to be "newly ouversene & corrected," appears to be a close reprint of Coverdale's Bible of 1535.

Miles Coverdale (1488-1569) synthesized an elegant text from various sources including the Latin Vulgate, Luther's German version of 1532, the Latin version of Sanctes Pagninus, Zwingli's Zurich Bible and William Tyndale.

The only other copy in private hands is the Mostyn-Harmsworth-Howard copy lacking 19 leaves (sold Sotheby's 8 July 1946, lot 2418, and 1 March 1976, lot 15).