PSALMS 23-27 (in their entirety). “The Lord is my Shepheard, I Shall Not Want” (23:1). FIRST EDITION. FIRST ISSUE. Known as The Great “HE” Bible, the first and rarest edition of the King James Bible. That this leaf is a rare “He” variant (rather than a more plentiful “She” variant; see notes below) is proved by the exact woodcuts and the exact wording that matches exactly those found in all “He” variant bibles and their printed facsimiles (see pics). **In this case, it is sufficient to notice very easily several features unique to the “He” variant: that the initial “T” woodcut at Ps 23:1 is framed by double lines, that the the small “s” in “shepheard” is not capitalized, that “cuppe” in 23:5 is not spelled “cup,” and that the third citation in the inner margin reads “Ezech. 34.” instead of “Ezech. 34: 23”.** There are other indicators on this leaf as well, but compare this leaf with a true “He” facsimile and see for yourself (see the pics and compare with those from a 1611 “He” facsimile; see also online: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-Chapter-23_Original-1611-KJV/). See the census distribution, below, and a general distinction between the “He” and “She” variants of the 1611 edition.
FINE condition overall; full text and notes; margins (15″ x 10.25″) with partly shaved outer edges, shadows from the printing on reverse side, light stain to upper margin, thin worm streak to inner margin, small ink blotch to lower edge (recto); see pics. With 5 WOODCUT initials, “V” inhabited. This, the most popular text in the Old Testament following Genesis 1, sings prayers empowered by faith/trust in God who, like a shepherd, tenderly cares for his people (esp. Ps 23 and 27); Israel’s kings, in turn, were supposed to act like caring shepherds rather than as worldly kings. The “shepherd” theme is carried into the New Testament (see esp. John 10:1-18 and 21:15-19) with Jesus Christ, the awaited messiah and king of Israel, as the “good shepherd,” is God himself leading his People into the Kingdom of God. COA on premium “gold leaf” paper w. signature and seal.
Leaf and COA are set in a burgundy, museum-quality, Archival Booklet with two archival sleeves as recommended by the Library of Congress. Leaf may be quickly reversed (with care) for viewing the recto side. Booklet rests in an archival black clamshell box for safekeeping.
1. Limited edition copy of the 2011 (16″ x 11″) book by Drs. Donald L. Brake, Sr. and John R. Hellstern, titled: “A Royal Monument of English Literature: The King James Bible 1611-2011” and its world-wide census of extant 1611 “He” Bibles with descriptions of each, Credo House Publishers. This burgundy leatherette copy is one of 350 original copies of the 2011 book, and is a fitting tribute for this very remarkable leaf!
2. Full-sized book (16″ x 11″) abridged facsimile of the 1611 King James Bible, with an explanatory Introduction; printed by Bible Treasures, Greenville SC. Includes the original Introductory material (General Title, Dedication, To the Reader, Calendar, Almanacke, To Finde Easter, The Table and Kalender, Proper Lessons, Proper Psalmes, Order of Psalmes, Holy Dayes, Names and Order of Bookes, Royal Seal, The Genealogies, The Alphabetical Table of the Land of Canaan, Two-page Map), plus The Book of Psalmes (here, a mixture of He and She issues), Title to the NT, and the Gospel According to John! Quite a wonderful book that nonetheless must be used with care when determining true “He” and “She” issue leaves because the editors of this facsimile were not consistent!
A fantastic set. Free Priority Shipping and Insurance.
A “He” variant of the Ps 23 leaf was offered/sold by another vendor for over $8,000. For comparison, a 1611 “She” variant of Ps 23 (which is much less desirable than a “He” variant) was listed recently for $5,000. Of course, the condition of a leaf must be considered, but in general 1611 “He” variants sell for 2x – 4x that of “She” variants. In the rarified air of super-premium “He” variants, the old adage is clearly apt: buyer beware! The leaf offered here, as with all other Items on this site, is guaranteed to be genuine as described. The set here is priced to sell.
Notes on the 1611 edition with “He” and “She” variants: The year 1611 produced two variant folio editions, distinguished by scholars as the earlier and rarer “He” variant and the later corrected “She” variant. The “He” variant was entirely printed and published in 1611, while the “She” variant was partly printed in 1611 as mistakes were noticed and published throughout the years 1611-1613. There are more than 400 differences between the two variants, mostly in spelling, spacing, and initial woodcuts, though some mistakes were corrected (as in Ruth 3:15 where it mistakenly says that “he went into the citie” whereas it should read “she went into the citie” — thus the entire first issue is called the “He” variant, versus the corrected “She” variant). Recent census of 1611 editions worldwide show about 175 “He” Bibles and 450 “She” Bibles are extant. All “He” variants display 1611 title pages, while “She” title pages are either 1611 or 1613. There early variants are all 59 lines per column. In 1613, however, a unique folio edition of 72 lines per column was published. All subsequent folio editions (1617, 1634, 1639/40) are 59 lines per column and were interchangeable among themselves. To complicate matters further, publishers continuously “corrected” the editions in spelling or woodcuts (the language was still in flux, and woodcuts quickly wore out), leading to so-called “reprints” among many leaves in all of the “She” variants. Some experts disagree whether the 1611 “He” and the “She” variants should count as a single edition with two variants, or as two distinct editions. Reference: Herbert 319. See David Norton’s “A Textual History of the King James Bible” (Cambridge, 2005) and Francis Fry’s masterful work on the various editions, issues, reprints, and woodcuts among the 5 editions (Orig. “A Description of the Great Bible . . .” London, 1865; reprinted by Vance Publications 2001). All 59-line folio leaves (1611 He, 1611 She, 1617, 1634, 1639/1640) are interchangeable, so buyer beware. Nonetheless, with the tools specified above and the tenacity of a researcher, each leaf can be determined with certainty.