Lot 47
  • 47

Bible in English. New Testament [Tyndale's Version]

40,000 - 60,000 USD
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  • [The Newe Testament Yet Ones Agayne Corrected by W. Tyndale: where unto Is Added a Necssarye Table. Antwerp: M Crom? or Widow of C. Ruremond, 1536]
  • paper, ink, leather
4to (8 1/4 x 5 1/2 in.; 210 x 140 mm). Text in black letter, separate title-page for "Epistles of the Apostle Saynct Paul" within an architectural woodcut border, inserted between quires s and t, approximately 160 woodcut text illustrations (many repeats) including some after Dürer's "Apocalypse," numerous woodcut initials; 261 of 276 leaves, lacking pi4, e8, g1,8, and [Maltese cross]8 , a1 defective and remargined with text lost, fore-edge of a2 torn with loss of one side-note, short marginal tear through text on E4, side-notes shaved or cropped in first few quires, headlines shaved or cropped in quires B–I and [Maltese cross], browned and stained throughout, a few skillful marginal repairs. Seventeenth-century calf triple-filleted in blind, spine in 5 compartments tooled and lettered gilt, edges sprinkled red; joints and hinges cracked, old gouges to upper cover.


Thomas Guest (signatures on upper flyleaf dated 1642–1643 and lower free endpaper dated 1641, and on several other leaves)


STC 2833; ESTC S90897; Herbert 20. See also: E. Gordon Duff, "Adrian Kempe Van Bouckhout and the Quarto New Testaments of 1536," in The Library, New Series, Vol. VII (1909), pp. 376–383

Catalogue Note

The "Engraver's Mark" edition of Tyndale's translation: the woodcut first appearing on leaf t1 shows the foot of Saint Paul resting on a stone inscribed with the monogram AKB, i.e., Adrian Kempe de Bouchot.

Three distinct quarto editions of Tyndale's New Testament were printed in the year he was martyred (1536). They are chiefly distinguished by the variations in the woodcut of Saint Paul on leaf t1, with the other versions showing a mole or a blank stone. Although there appears to be no absolutely conclusive evidence to show the order of publication, various small differences suggest that the "mole" edition was the first, and the "blank stone" the last of the three. Forty-eight distinct blocks were used for the text illustrations in a complete copy.

Tyndale's New Testament in English, philologically sound and carefully derived from the Greek version of Erasmus, was bitterly opposed by the ecclesiastical authorities and many copies were burned. Since its publication, it has dominated all successive translations right up to modern times, with nine-tenths of the King James Version itself derived from this work.  

Rare. Since 1890 only three other copies have appeared at auction: The Goswold-Smyth-Vanhatten-Goyder-Evangelical Lutheran Church in America copy (sold in our rooms, 5 December 2013, lot 171; and previously at Sotheby's London in 1890 and 1958); an imperfect copy wanting 13 leaves in 1909; and another wanting 12 leaves (and with G1–7 supplied from another edition) in 1978, both at Sotheby's London. Of the seven institutional copies listed in STC, four are imperfect.