New In: Stunning 19th Century Family Bible

November 15, 2023

New In: Stunning 19th Century Family Bible

New to our Colorado shop is this beautifully restored and exquisitely bound Holy Bible from 1882. This family bible was published by William Briggs, in Toronto, Canada. The bible contains both the Old and New Testaments, Cruden’s Complete Concordance, a comprehensive bible dictionary, apocrypha, psalms, a “concise history of all religious denominations,” and more.

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 to record family births, deaths, and marriages. It also has a presentation page and a temperance page. The family pages of this bible are blank, and could still be filled in and used as originally intended by whoever purchases this bible. 

Presentation Page from 1882 Family Bible

Marriage Page from 1882 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 North American households. 

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 are deeply carved, detailed in gilt, and filled with  tooling of flowers, leaves, and interlocking circles. 

Binding from 1882 Family Bible

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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