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King James (Cambridge) – 1629 Complete


1629 Cambridge Bible


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SKU: B1629KJCambRed Category:


1629 King James “Authorized” Bible, Cambridge Universtity Press, editio princeps. FIRST EDITION, complete in all parts and with all titles, incl. the rare general title — with all intended Cambridge parts, Cambridge University Press, 1629, Tho: and John Buck, eds. Medium Folio (the only folio edition that year). This copy in SUPERIOR CONDITION, or “nearly fine” in strict bibliophile-condition-speak. VERY RARE IN THIS CONDITION, PAPER-TYPE, BINDING, AND COMPLETENESS. To my knowledge this Bible is in the best condition of any others on the market! Very few of all known 1629 Cambridge folio Bibles worldwide remain in this condition (in museums or anywhere else).

The first complete “editorial revision” of the King James Bible, the Cambridge edition was designed to correct the editorial failings (e.g., paper quality, type, readability) of the King’s monopoly in London. RULED-IN-RED throughout, on fine linen-rag laid “paper”, thick, bright, with no danger of tearing when handled. Reference: Herbert 424. Provenance: “A.G. Jennings 1877” (a New York businessman & historian of religion, d.1904). Contains: ORIGINAL ENGRAVED TITLE, BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, ALL/COMPLETE CAMBRIDGE PRELIMINARIES, OLD TESTAMENT, APOCRYPHA, NT TITLE, NEW TESTAMENT, BLANK, TITLE & WHOLE BOOK OF PSALMS COLLECTED INTO ENGLISH MEETER, TABLE OF PSALMS. Nothing original is missing. This Bible comes with a fitted slipcase (hand-made for this Bible; see pics) paired to coordinate with its finely tooled leather binding: medium brown linen cloth w. ivory colored felt inside (Value $250).

1629 Cambridge Bible & Slipcase: $19,500. (See OPTIONAL Cambridge Ensemble, below).

This is NOT the Hexham Abbey Bible, elsewhere on this site, but is the same edition as that Bible. 

This Bible is printed on fine, white, linen-rag paper (McMullin’s “D” forme), exceptionally nice, the heaviest and BEST paper used apart from the “Royal” editions (McMullin’s formes F and G). Wide margin leaves 11 15/16″ x 7 15/16″. Gauffered edges on all sides in geometric patterns of stars and diamonds. In strict antiquarian terms, Bible is in “nearly fine” condition, usable for daily reading, a few repaired  small marginal/edge tears and minor spots, albeit a larger dark red ink spill on final verso leaf of the Apocrypha (see pics). Bible comes in a felt-lined linen slipcase.

SUPERBLY TOOLED multi-panel leather binding, in period style modeled after one in the British Museum, of “British vegetable tanned calf” (all archival); w. 5 raised bands to the spine and gilt lettering. End-pages of contemporary antiphonal music sheets (c.1625-1630), as befits the function of this Bible. Only a very few such Bibles still exist in this superior state of preservation and completeness.

*** OPTIONAL (add $3500) 8-piece “Cambridge Ensemble” that celebrates its Cambridge heritage: (1) FIRST EDITION, very large c1220 illuminated manuscript leaf from the rare “Cambridge Bible” Manuscript, 11″ x 7.75″, Acts 3-7 (value $2200); (2) FIRST EDITION 1638 Cambridge Bible leaf, folio, ruled in red, title to Matthew 1-3 (value $350); (3) FIRST EDITION 1632 Engraved Title leaf to the Greek NT, octavo, printed at Cambridge, w. Title leaf to ACTS 1:1-18 (value $300); (4) 1591 Geneva Bible, facsimile reprint (only 3 originals are known to exist), this being the first Bible ever printed at Cambridge; a rare reprint w. only 500 numbered copies; like new, value $600, set in a fine presentation box; (5) New, NIV Cambridge Bible, NI206WM Premier Wide Margin Reference Edition, supple goatskin, in a Rosewood Presentation Box, (value $600); (6) New, 3-volume set of D. McKitterick’s “A History of Cambridge University Press”, (value $550); (7) D. McKitterick’s “Four Hundred Years of University Publishing and Printing in Cambridge, Catalogue of an Exhibition”, new (value $40); and (8) B. J. McMullin’s hard to find 1984 article “The 1629 Cambridge Bible”, (value $50), comparing 39 copies in the UK. **This Ensemble may be modified at Client’s request. TOTAL VALUE $4,690.

Valuation Notes: Just 41 copies of this 1629 first edition folio Bible are listed in the ESTC database. The 8-piece Ensemble above (additional $3500) contextualizes a beautiful and rare FIRST EDITION Bible. Judging by McMullin’s census (see Ensemble #8 above), this Bible ranks among the top 15-20 in the world! Compared to most 1629 Cambridge Bibles at auction: a 1629 Cambridge Bible, reasonably complete [most are not complete] with engraved title page [this alone represents nearly 30% of the Bible’s value and many Cambridge Bibles lack it or it is in poor quality], at auction houses — expect $25K – $30K (+ 22%-25% auction fees). Cambridge Bibles like the SUPERIOR one here come up for sale maybe once per decade. For $19,500 this superior red-ruled Bible is a gem among gems!

Additional information

Bible / Date

King James (Cambridge) / 1629




12.25" x 8.4" x 2.25