The First Chapter of Genesis
Note the British Museum stamp.
The 1550 Coverdale Bible
Copy from The British Museum and
Bristol Baptist College
[Bible in English.] The whole / Byble. / that is the holy scripture / of the Olde and Newe testament / faithfully translated into / Englyshe by Myles Couerdale, and / newly ouer / sene and correcte. / M. D. L. / … / London issue of the Zurich-Froschover / London-Hester 1550 Coverdale Bible, the last edition during the translator’s lifetime. Quarto. Leaf size = 223mm x 185mm. Collation: Prelims: general title-page in red and black facsimile (hand drawn); lacks [mantuan cross] 1 and 2 (general title and “The bokes of the hole Byble…”; starts with [mantuan cross]3 (which bears the stamp: MVSEVM BRITANNICVM (repeated on A1, incipit of Genesis and pp8 final leaf); has [mantuan cross] 3-6; lacks [mantuan cross] 7 and 8. Prelims in sum: has four of eight leaves called for in the London-Hester issue. Text: A-Z8; a-z8; AA-PP8; QQ4; (nb: the New Testament has no separate title called for – a stub at this point in this copy is not indicative of an integral leaf excised); aa-pp8 (end of Revelation); lacks gathering qq4 (table of Epistles and Gospels after the Use of Salisbury and the colophon). Book in sum: lacks eight leaves, four of prelims and four of back matter. Some headlines touched (closely shaved in some parts). Early leaves tired, worn. General light browning; some soil and staining as expected; some small tears/chips/repairs not enumerated. Some enumerated flaws: stains and abrasions affecting a few letters on B8v and C1r; F7 with 2” tear into text; N8 and V5, similar; Y4 and 5 with chips affecting side notes and text; Y7 with a long tear into text (should be repaired to prevent a text chip); g6 (incipit of Psalter) with chip affecting a note and a tear across one column; gatherings m and n in Proverbs a little worn and thumbed; r2 torn into a couple of lines of text; r4 and t1 chips touch notes; BB1 chip touches catchword and a note; KK5 chipped into text; MM6 torn into text; mm5 chipped into notes and text; pp7 and 8, final two leaves of Revelation are tired, soiled, chipped and repaired, but showing all text. Old dark paneled calf, “Gifford-style” spine. Swirl marbled endpapers. Worn at extremities but sound. Bookplates: “A. Gifford, D.D. of the Museum” and “Library. Baptist College. Bristol.” With red ink shelfmark twice: X.e.13. Copy also bears another shelfmark (Gifford personal?): A.e.19. A black stamp on front fly of a third call number: “89c.” Manuscript note on front flylead: “This Bible was given to A Gifford in consideration of his presenting the British Museum with a copy of the Harburgh [?] Charter, 21 April 1775 [?]” Pencilled collation on front flyleaf. Herbert 84. DM 55. STC 2080. Mozley.