A Stunning 19th Century Family Bible

January 25, 2023

A Stunning 19th Century Family Bible

New to our Colorado shop is this beautifully restored and exquisitely bound Brown’s Self Interpreting Family Bible. Brown’s Self-Interpreting Family Bible was first published in 1778 in two volumes in Edinburgh. The Self-Interpreting Bible was Reverend Brown's most significant work, and it remained in print well into the twentieth century.  Although undated, this family bible was published by William T. Amies, in New York and Philadelphia, circa 1880. 

This bible was produced as a family bible, to be handed down through a family with each successive generation. Family bibles were used as a marker of each married couple’s journey through life and the family’s history was commonly recorded in the bible. This bible features pages for family portraits, as well as places to record family births, deaths, and marriages. The family pages of this bible are blank, and could still be filled in and used as originally intended by whoever purchases this bible. 

Brown’s Self Interpreting Family Bible

Brown’s Self Interpreting Family Bible

Family bibles, often very large and elaborately decorated, first came into popularity during the Victorian era in the United Kingdom. Afterwards, the family bible was seen throughout Europe and eventually made its way into American households. 

Brown’s Self Interpreting Family Bible

This bible’s period binding is exquisite, with full black leather boards stamped, embossed, and engraved with intricate gilt details. The front and back boards both feature a deeply carved crucifix detailed in gilt and borders filled with gilt tooling of flowers, leaves, and interlocking circles. 

In the late 19th century, to counter the popularity of cheaper, popular dime novels, several publishers sought to elevate the book back to a piece of artistry that would be cherished for generations to come. They used expensive leathers, gilt details, and elegant engraved illustrations to do so. These sumptuously bound special editions of bibles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and poetry, like the Bible seen here, valued the book as a work of art in itself.

Stop by our shop at the Broadmoor to see this stunning Bible in person. Or shop it online!






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