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1660 Octavo King James Bible with 176 Hand-Colored Plates by the Naval Binder



The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New… [and] A Brief Information concerning Two Witnesses … published in High Dutch … translated into English by … John Sparros, 20 page manuscript.


A 1660 Restoration Bible in an ornate binding, with many hand-colored copperplate illustrations, a bound-in manuscript title on parchment, and a hand-written treatise.


Three full-page hand-colored plates precede the title: the illuminated arms of Charles II, the arms of the Grocer’s Company, and a hand-colored engraved portrait of Charles II. Ruled in red, with the engraved title hand-colored and printed titles (general title, New Testament, and Psalter) also ruled in red with gilt and yellow highlights.  With an additional hand-written title bound in on manuscript parchment reading “This Holy Bible was thus Adorned with Historicall Pictures in the Year of Christ 1660 by the Care and Cost of Thomas Batt of Dowgate London Citizen and Grocer” (also signed C. Cocker Ser in miniscule hand). On the facing page is a hand-written note regarding Emblems signed by T.B. Text in two column Roman Font, all ruled in red. Without the Apocrypha as issued. With a total of 43 hand-colored plates in the Old Testament (4 full page, 38 half page, with a dedication to Charles II by the engravers William Slatyer and Jacob van Langeren as the 2nd numbered plate in the Old Testament). An additional 133 unnumbered hand-colored plates either of a single scene or figure in the New Testament. Bound with the Whole Booke of Psalms with title page (1649) by Sternhold and Hopkins. At the end of the Psalter is another hand-colored engraving of Charles, this time within a heart surmounted by three crowns. Bound with a 20 page handwritten treatise, which is a personal contribution of Batt’s who endorses it: “Transcribed by me Tho. Batt out of an English manuscript translated out of the High Dutch Tongue December the 9th 1660.”


A-Z^8, Aa-ZZ^8, Aaa^4. Complete.


Contemporary black morocco with ornate onlays of red morocco and intricate gilt tooling. Spine with five raised bands and elaborate tooling to compartments. Metal decorative corners. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. The binding is very likely the work of the Naval Binder, so named because he worked for the Naval office. Bindings that originate from this shop are known by their gilt-tooled onlaid corners, as well as pointed oval centers. A similar 1673 Bible currently at the British Library by the Naval Binder shares a few small tools in common with this copy.


Front hinge worn; some loss to onlays; some tears to a few plates; Pp7 with tear into foot of text, some marginal thumb-soiling.


Similar to Herbert 670; STC 527. The Henry Davis Gift: A Collection of Bookbindings. British Museum Publications, 1983.


A London citizen’s passionate tribute to God and to his newly-restored King. The added expense of the hand-colored illustrations, the ornate binding, and the bound in 20-page manuscript was commissioned by Thomas Batt. Batt was a citizen of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of Grocers. Batt may have intended it to be a gift for a fellow Grocer or for his own family. This extra-illustrated copy contains at least three suites of engravings; a Restoration Bible of historical significance and truly a work of art.


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