Bertie's Own Bible — “A” Curious Imprint & aNorth Carolina Connection
Bible. English. 1653. The Holy Bible: containing the Old Testament and the New: newly translated out of the originall tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. London: Evan Tyler for a Society of Stationers, 1653. 12mo (14.8 cm, 5.8").  pp.
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This “authorized” Bible (i.e., King James Version) was printed by Evan Tyler, the King's Printer for Scotland in 1641–52 and 1660–72, for “a” society of stationers; “not,” as NUC Pre-1956 notes, “'the' society, but a body who pretended that they possessed the ma[nuscript] of 1611, and claimed the copyright.” The text, which in this edition does not include the Apocrypha, is printed 66 lines to a full pageruled in bright red with the dedication's text additionally surrounded by an ornamental type border of small fleurs-de-lis. The title-page, engraved by W. Marshall, isbeautifully hand-colored in shades of red, green, yellow, brown, grey, and purple. A separate woodcut title-page, elaborately red-ruled but uncolored, introduces the New Testament.
Binding: 18th-century full mottled crimson morocco, covers tooled in gilt with a rope and coin roll border, framing a single stamp of a Saracen ducally crowned, thegilt supra-libros of Albemarle Bertie at the center of each board, gilt along the board edges and turn-ins in a floral roll pattern; spine gilt extra with a leafy flower tool in each of six compartments divided by gilt rolled raised bands; all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, and a green silk marker.
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Provenance: Ownership signature of Albemarle Bertie, 9th Earl of Lindsey, the British general and member, briefly, of Parliament for Stamford, 1744–1818 (front fly-leaf verso); and his armorial bookplate (front pastedown). Another bookplate, small and circular (front pastedown, top), has the initials “M.A.H.” beneath a crown, likely for the M.A. Huntley who signed the front fly-leaf in ink. Presentation inscription signed Rev. [???] Edmunds “to his much valued & esteemed friend M.A. Pegus,” March 14, 1840.
The coat of arms forBertie County, North Carolina, incorporates the same shield, helm, and crest, as the arms of our Albemarle Bertie, whose relatives James and Henry Bertie acquired that land from the original Lord Proprietors before 1729.
This Bible isscarce: Just two copies were found in U.S. libraries via WorldCat and NUC Pre-1956.
Wing B2237; Herbert 631; ESTC R229989 (bound with Sternhold & Hopkins' Book of Psalms); L. Wilson, Bibles . . . in English, I, 183. Not in Darlow & Moule. On Bertie County, see: “James & Henry Bertie, Namesakes of the County,” in The Bertie Historical Association, vol. II, no. 2 (Oct. 1954). Binding as above; leather darkened more or less evenly all over to a rich russet, lightly worn along the front joint with an old inch-long repair at the top, board corners lightly bumped, front supra-libros rubbed from use, at the spot, imaginably, where Bertie put his thumb. One small tear to a later leaf, the very lower outer corners of a few leaves torn away to no adverse effect, and a minute chip to the edge of the title-page; text remarkably clean with instances of off-setting from the hand-coloring the only “stains.” (30139)
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