The Holy Bible, Edited by Rev. John Eadie, Illustrated, circa 1880s

The National Comprehensive Family Bible. The Holy Bible with an Abridgement of the Commentaries of Scott and Henry, and Containing also Many Thousand Critical and Explanatory Notes Selected from The Standard Authors of Europe and America. The Commentaries Condensed, and the Whole Edited by the Late Rev. John Eadie, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Biblical Literature to the United Presbyterian Church. With Numerous Coloured and Engraved Plates from Original Paintings by F. Goodall, R.A., Miss Gow, and P.R. Morris, A.R.A, also a Series of Beautiful Steel Plates After Eminent Masters, Coloured Maps, Family Register and Portrait Album, &C.  Twickenham, London: Thorne & Co., [N.D., c.1880]. Illustrated. Large quarto, with original full leather carved and gilded boards, original brass clasps and corner clips, and gilt edges. Presented with a custom-made archival clamshell box. 

Presented is a beautifully restored and exquisitely bound Holy Bible from the 1880s. This family bible was published by Thorne & Co., in both Twickenham and London. The bible features annotations, commentary, and edits by renowned Scottish biblical scholar, Reverend John Eadie. It is decorated with a stunning full chromolithograph title page, nine steel plate engravings, fourteen chromolithographed illustrations, and numerous maps. It also still contains its original family register, family events, and family portrait pages, also in full color. 

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 its original pages for a family register, family portrait gallery, and family events. The family pages of this bible are blank, and could still be filled in and used as originally intended by whoever purchases this 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.

This bible’s period binding is exquisite, with full black leather boards stamped with intricate gilt details. The front board features a deeply carved title border with gilt flourishes and lettering. The spine has gilt stamped titles and raised bands. The bible has its original brass clasps and corner clips. 

The advent of the printing press encouraged the craft of books that the small, literate class valued as works of art. Intricately bound books fell out of style in the late 18th century, but in the late 19th century, a resurgence of sumptuously bound special editions of bibles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and poetry countered 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, and used expensive leathers, handmade marbled boards, gilt details, metal clasps, and gauffered edges to do so. This is one such example of the book artistry created during that time. 

Reverend John Eadie (1810-1876) was an eminent Scottish biblical scholar, a master of the Greek text of the New Testament, and an influential Presbyterian minister. During his lifetime, he wrote five New Testament commentaries, which became standard works on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. Each commentary contained detailed investigations of the text, grammar, and linguistic features of the Greek text.

Eadie contributed several articles to the North British Review, the Eclectic Review, and the Journal of Sacred Literature. In connection with Mackenzie's Dictionary of Universal Biography he had charge of the ecclesiastical department and contributed writings and edits to Mackenzie's Dictionary’s many publications. In 1848 he wrote Biblical Cyclopædia, followed by a condensed Bible Dictionary. His An Analytical Concordance to the Holy Scriptures followed in 1856 and an Ecclesiastical Encyclopædia was published in 1861. In 1851 he edited a family bible with selections from the commentaries of Thomas Scott and Matthew Henry, of which some two hundred thousand copies were sold over several editions.


Very good condition. Quarto. Original full black leather, with front board carved with gilt tooling and accents. The spine has raised bands, gilt titles, and tooling. Original brass clasps and edge clips intact. Gilt edges. 

Illustrated throughout, with black and white steel engravings and printed chromolithographed pages. Blank family pages, to include family register, family events, and family portrait pages. Pages are healthy and in good condition. Some light foxing and toning throughout. 

The bible has been professionally restored and preserved. Bible is housed in a new, custom-made full black leather-grained cloth clamshell case. Case is archival and features gilt stamps to the front and gilt titles and tooling to the spine. 

Book Dimensions: 13" H x 10.5" W x 4.25" D

With Clamshell: 14.25" H x 11.75" W x 5" D