BIBLE IN ENGLISH
The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New: Newly Translated out of the Original Tongues: And Hath the former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised
Oxford: John Baskett, 1717-1716. 2 volumes, folio. (20 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches). Engraved frontispiece in vol. I, engraved vignettes on general title and New Testament title, engraved head- and tail-piece vignettes, and engraved initials.
Contemporary black panelled morocco gilt, the covers with gilt roll-tooled borders around a series of concentric gilt panels with ornamental leafy sprays and corner-pieces, central lozenge gilt composed of similar small tooling, spines richly gilt in nine compartments, morocco lettering piece in the second compartment, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers and gilt edges (discreet expert repairs at top and bottom of joints)
Provenance: Sir John Hynde Cotton (armorial bookplate); William Charles Smith (armorial bookplate); Maggs Bros., catalogue 1212, Bookbinding in the British Isles, item 86
First edition of the monumental, splendidly illustrated "Vinegar Bible" -- a "magnificent edition" (Darlow & Moule) here ruled in red and handsomely bound.
Commonly known as the "Vinegar Bible" from the misprint "the parable of the vinegar" for "vineyard" in the headline above Luke, Chapter 20. While a contemporary lambasted Baskett for this and other typographical errors in the text, calling it a "Baskett-ful of errors," Oxford historian of printing Harry Carter states that "only Baskerville's Bible is its equal among English Bibles for beauty of type, impression, and paper" (The History of the Oxford University Press, 1975, I, p. 171)
In 1709 John Baskett purchased the exclusive royal patent to print Bibles in England, control of which his family retained until 1799. This magnificent edition of the Bible is among Baskett's most important works, highly regarded for its large, elegant type; its 60 striking copper-engraved vignette head- and tailpieces; and its many delicately engraved historiated initials.
Two distinct varieties occur. This copy is Darlow & Moule's issue A, with additional engraved general title page depicting Moses writing the first words of Genesis (here bound as frontispiece); vignette view of Oxford on the general title page; and vignette title page for New Testament depicting the Annunciation, dated 1716.
The present example is noted for both its lovely contemporary black morocco gilt binding and for being ruled in red throughout. Similar bindings on this edition of the bible are noted in both the Wardington Collection and in Mirjam Foot's Studies in the History of Bookbinding p. 409.
Darlow & Moule 735; Herbert 942.