The Bowyer Bible

From the California Farmer — May 1856

A Valuable Bible.—At a recent sale in England of the library of a deceased gentleman named John Albinson. Boston, a Bible that cost, with the oak cabinet containing it, for the sum of four thousand guineas. and sold under the hammer for five hundred and fifty pounds sterling.

[How much is that today?  Well there are no inflation calculators that go that far back alas, the furthest date we have is 1913; so that would be about 11G, in todays market.  If you figure doubling that amount, then  25G would be the cost in today’s dollars.  Based on the real market value today, that was veritable steal, though how many could afford $25G then or now is what makes it a rarity.]

The sale consisted of forty-five vols., elegantly bound, and illustrated by at least six thousand engravings, executed by about six hundred of the most celebrated engravers of the time based upon the works of eminent artists from the year 1450 to the time of its completion.

Mr. Bowyer, a publisher, began the work of working on this edition of the Bible in London in the year 1800/ He produced two folio copies originally.

One copy is in the British Museum, in seven volumes. but does not contain the engravings mentioned.  Still  the magnificence of its printing, illuminating, binding, etc., makes it a curiosity.

The other copy was sold, see above. The cost of the engravings was £3,300 (about 70G )and is contained in a carved antique oak cabinet that cost an additional £150 {3G USD}. This splendid work is known by the name of the Bowyer Bible.  To read more  go here to the Bible Lore article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.