(San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1930). 270 x 177 mm. (10 5/8 x 7"); leaf measuring 153 x 93 mm. (6 x 3 5/8"). 34 pp. No. 172 OF 515 COPIES (of a total edition of 580).
Original red morocco-backed blue paper boards, spine with two raised bands and gilt titling. In the publisher's blue paper slipcase. With six full-page illustrations and a folding facsimile of a letter written by George Washington. WITH AN ORIGINAL LEAF FROM THE FIRST AMERICAN BIBLE TO BE PRINTED IN ENGLISH, text from the last chapter of Isaiah and the first chapter of Jeremiah. Heller & Magee 131. In near-mint condition.
Chosen as one of the Fifty Books of the Year for 1930, this handsomely produced leaf book contains a specimen from Robert Aitken's 1782 Bible, the first to be printed in English in the new United States. The Revolutionary War had stopped the importation of Bibles from England, and by 1780 the shortages of this much-in-demand book were acute. The Scottish emigré printer Robert Aitken took up the challenge, producing first a New Testment and then a complete version of the Scriptures with the approval of Congress. It was an entirely American production, printed on paper made in Pennsylvania. In addition to the essay by Dearden and Watson on the history of this significant publication, our leaf book includes an essay from Edwin Grabhorn on the typography of the period. Complete copies of the Aitken Bible are now rare, commanding hammer prices in the high five figures at auction. This excellent work from the renowned Grabhorn Press offers an affordable opportunity to own an important part of American history. (CBJ1717)