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  M & S Library Number: 21630
 

    Rare Prospectus (in Colors) for the Great Illuminated Bible

     

    (BIBLE). (PROSPECTUS). Complete in About 50 Numbers--at 25 Cents Each. Harper's Iluminated and New Pictorial Bible Embellished with Sixteen Hundred Historical Engravings, Exclusive of an Initial Letter to Each Chapter, by J.A. Adams, More Than Fourteen Hundred of Which are from Original Designs, by J.G. Chapman?ΔΆ[Caption title & partial text]. Sm. folio broadside, printed in green with elaborate red & green typographical border. New York: [1843]. A bit of fraying on bottom and right hand edges. Paper browned. $500.00

     

         Hills 1161: "This work was originally announced in 1843, and was issued in 54 numbers at 25 cents each." Hill locates just one copy, in the Arents Collection, with 54 fascicles, as originally issued.

          Hills, quoting Frank Weitenhampf: "...this Harper publication was a remarkable production for its time and place, and retains its importance in the annals of American book-making. W.J. Linton, noted wood-engraver and author, knew 'no other book like this, so good, so perfect in all it undertakes.' The illustrations are like paintings of history, as are so many of the old European Biblical paintings and illustrations." Hamilton 198, also quoting Linton: "Drawing, engraving and printing were all marvels at the time of this book's production; and it well deserved the popularity it immediately obtained..." Weitenkampf: "...the first notable American effort to produce a richly illustrated book."

    In addition to a description of the intended contents and design, the prospectus notes: "The great superiority of early proof impressions, from the Engravings, will ensure to those who take the work in Numbers the possession of it in the Highest State of Perfection." One might ask where those (except for the Arents copy) have gone.

 

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