Harper Illuminated Bible

The Illuminated Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Translated Out of the Original Tongues ... Embellished with Sixteen Hundred Engravings by J.A. Adams, More Than fourteen Hundred of which are From Original Designs by J.G. Chapman.

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1846.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

First book edition, first issued in parts. Engraved presentation leaf, engraved main title, and engraved New Testament title printed in red, contents leaf printed in blue, printed and engraved main title printed in sepia, 2 frontispieces, text in triple column, the middle column narrow with notations and glosses; numerous wood-engraved illustrations throughout; without the 2 half-titles and without marriages, births and deaths pages. Large, thick 4to. Harper Illuminated Bible. Modern full morocco. Some scattered browning and spotting, occasional short marginal tears, some scratches to binding. Hills 1161; Hamilton 198; Herbert 1860; see also Exman, The House of Harper, pp. 34-35, and Weitenkampf, American Graphic Art.

Item #310453

“[T]his 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 painting and illustrations” (Hills, quoting Frank Weitenkampf).
“Drawing, engraving, and printing were all marvels at the time of this book’s production; and it well deserved the popularity it immediately obtained...” (Hamilton, quoting Linton).
Herbert 1860: “This elaborate Bible was issued in parts from 1843 onwards. Many of the illustrations were made from woodcuts by the electrotype process, the first in America.”
Weitenkampf: “The first notable American effort to produce a richly illustrated book.”.