Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana. Part 2

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana. Part 2

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 1074. (Bible in English) | Matthew's version, "the real primary version of our English Bible".

(Bible in English) | Matthew's version, "the real primary version of our English Bible"

Lot Closed

July 21, 06:02 PM GMT


15,000 - 25,000 USD

Lot Details


(Bible in English)

The Byble, which is all the holy Scripture: In whych are contayned the Olde and Newe Testament truly and purely translated into Englysh by Thomas Matthew. [Antwerp?: M. Crom for R. Grafton and E. Whitchurch of London, 1537]

Folio (337 x 234 mm). Facsimile title printed in red and black and surrounded by woodcut border, facsimile calendar and almanac for 1538-57, facsimile of the "exhortacyon to the studye of the holy Scrypture" with large engraved flourished initials I R at foot, facsimile 1p. "The summe & content of all the holy Scripture," facsimile 2pp. dedication to Henry VIII with engraved flourished initials H R below the printed signature, verso of Hh7 blank, title for "The Prophetes in Englysh" in red and black and surrounded by woodcut border partially handcolored in blue, "The Prophete Esaye" with large woodcut and engraved flourished initials R G, E W on the verso, verso of MM6 with engraved flourished initials W T handcolored in blue, title for "The volume of bokes called Apocripha" in red and black and surrounded by woodcut border, with preface "To the Reader" on verso, 3K10 a blank, center of New Testament title-page a facsimile in red and black and surrounded by woodcut border, verso blank, O8 recto with the colophon "The ende of the newe Testament, and of the whole Byble, To the honoure and prayse of God was this Byble prynted and fynesshed, in the yere of oure Lorde God a, M,D,XXXVII," and with the verso blank, type in two columns with marginal notes, 60 lines to the full column, numerous woodcut vignettes, woodcut historiated initials; in addition to the facsimile titles and preliminaries, part of Genesis I, and nine end leaves are in facsimile, lacking the 3pp. "A table of the pryncypall matters coneyned in the Byble," the 13ff. "The names of all the bokes of the Byble" and "A brief reheresall of the yeares passed sence the begynnynge of the worlde," and the 1p. engraving, a few leaves mutilated and supplied from another shorter copy, trimmed with occasional slight loss to marginal notes, tiny closed tear at the foot of a3, restoration to the foot of 3H2-3, 3H5, 3I8, and F6 not affecting text, marginal restoration to H2-4 and N1-7 partially affecting text, with additional occasional marginal restoration throughout, O1 unsigned in print but signed in pencil, annotations in black ink throughout, mild soiling, foxing and browning. In half calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands in 7 compartments, second with brown morocco label lettered in gilt, others with repeat gilt fleurons, edges stained blue; binding overall worn and rubbed, hinges cracked with upper board nearly detached, old dealers' descriptions laid down on rear pastedown.

First edition of Matthew's version of the Bible. "This version, which welds together the best work of Tyndale and Coverdale, is generally considered to be the real primary version of our English Bible. Thomas Matthew is commonly treated as a pseudonym of John Rogers (1500?-1555), Tyndale's intimate friend, and the first martyr in the Marian prosecution. But as Rogers only edited what is essentially Tyndale's translation, it seems more probable that Matthew stands for Tyndale's own name, which it was then dangerous to employ" (Herbert). The prominent flourished initials which appear throughout the volume—I R, H R, R G, E W, and W T—"no doubt stand for John Rogers, Henricus Rex, Richard Grafton, Edward Whitchurch, and William Tyndale" (Herbert). An excellent copy, and uncommonly found at this level of completeness. Excepting the facsimile titles, the present copy lacks only the three parts of the preliminaries.


Herbert 34; STC 2066


John Rippin (early ownership inscription prior to the New Testament title)

Please note that the description has been updated to reflect that there is additional occasional marginal restoration.