London: R. Bowyer, 1795. This Bible is remembered by many as the “Killer Bible” for its typographical error in Mark VII, verse 27: “Let the children be killed” rather than “filled.” However, it is more exemplary for its artistic design by some of England’s most skilled book artists of the period. James Fittler (1758 – 1835), who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1788 to 1824 and was marine engraver to George III, is also known for his engravings for the Boydell Shakespeare and Dibdin’s Aedes Althorpinae, though this Bible was probably his most ambitious literary project. Thomas Bentley, who printed the text, was known for his attractive editions including fine, large works for Thomas Macklin, Rudolph Ackermann, and Paul Colnaghi, all publishers of plate books, and was responsible for several of the earliest books for the Roxburghe Club. With two copper-engraved title-pages (with a separate title-page for the New Testament) and sixty-two plates (including two frontispieces) from the works of Dürer, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, and more. Binding is attractive despite some rubbing and light scuffing. All edges gilt. Brown endpapers. Gift signature to front flyleaf in volume one (dated 1841) and a tipped-in square of paper with another nineteenth century gift inscription. Tear to lower corner of 3H3 with loss (not touching text). Remarkably bright and fresh despite some foxing to plates. A very good, clean copy of the large paper edition, which is dramatically larger than the regular edition. Contemporary straight-grained English dark blue morocco. Gilt-decorated spines with raised bands, gilt borders on covers, gilt turn-ins, and blindstamped design of Greek keys. Quarto (9 ” x 12 ”). Unpaginated. Text in double columns. Item #16904
ESTC lists three editions of the Bowyer and Fittler Bible: this one, which ESTC describes as the large paper edition; the regular two-volume quarto edition (also 1795); and a two-volume twelvemo edition (1796), which was issued in parts. ESTC records only seven copies of this large paper issue: British Library, Cashel Cathedral Library, the Bodleian, University of Toronto, NYPL, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Houston.
Herbert 1394. ESTC T95050.