The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New. King James Version FORE-EDGE PAINTING – BIBLE.
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New
VERY RARE DATED 17TH-CENTURY FORE-EDGE

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New

London: E.T. For a Society of Stationers, 1655. 12mo (169 x 115 mm). Ruled in red throughout. Woodcut title. Contemporary black goatskin, elaborately tooled in gilt, small central oval onlays of calf at center of a large rectangular onlaid panel, spine in seven compartments with six raised bands, red morocco lettering-piece in one, a repeated gilt and floral design in the remaining (the flowers being onlaid), marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, WITH A CONTEMPORARY FORE-EDGE PAINTING BY LEWIS, painted under the gold edges, of flowers centering a quotation within a wreath "Blessed is he that [word faded]" and signed "Lewis fecit 1656". Provenance: contemporary ownership inscriptions of Martha Reyner, "Martha Reyner her Booke with the price 0-18" (front flyleaf) and "Martha Thompson Her Book Ano Domini 1705 et Praetorum huius [drawing of a bird]." In a fleece-lined green morocco folding case. Rebacked with original spine laid down, top headband partly frayed, one nick to leather on front cover, some slight fading of gilt. Item #408482

An exceedingly rare early fore-edge signed by the London firm of Stephen and Thomas Lewis, the earliest known English bindery to paint both the firm's name and a year directly on their fore-edge paintings. Their fore-edges were typical of the time, featuring elements from nature such as flowers, animals, or birds, and they incorporated often a wreath, as here, with a quote from the scriptures. This copy is additionally enhanced by its contemporary ownership by a woman reader.

The earliest dated fore-edge by Lewis in Weber is a 1651 edition of the Bible now at NYPL: dated 1653 it similarly depicts flowers, animals, and a motto. The present example thus dates from the earliest period of the firm's activities, and we trace no examples of such an early date at auction in at least the past 50 years.

Price: $45,000.00