London: R. Wilkin, (1728). A wonderfully illustrated thumb Bible with sixteen copperplate engravings, including two frontispiece illustrations, one preceding the Preface and another prior to the main text, as well as two engraved title pages. Issued by printer and bookseller Richard Wilkin, this is the first English thumb Bible in prose, all earlier editions having been in verse, and was very popular with children, its intended audience.
This was the text from which the famed "Newbery Bible" of 1780 was derived, and as such, constitutes a kind of first appearance of its famous relative. Although the text of the two publications is the same, according to Spielmann, the illustrations in the Wilkin Bible are "vastly superior" to those in the Newbery edition. Indeed, the plain but finely executed depictions of Biblical subjects, such as Noah, Joshua, and the Nativity, are striking for the boldness of their lines. It is for this and other reasons that Bondy considered the Newbery Bible to be "distinctly inferior in most respects" to Wilkin's Bible.
As in most copies of the Biblia, this one contains Wilkin's handwritten "8" in the publication date on the main title page and again on an interior title page that marks the beginning of Volume II: Treating of the Evangelical Dispensation for the Ever Blessed Jesus Christ. In each instance the "8" is inked over the existing "7" in "1727," presumably to save the cost of printing new title pages a year after the date of original publication. Adomeit reports that other than this alteration, "there seems to be no difference" between copies with the handwritten dates and those without them.
This copy of the Biblia features a splendid binding of black morocco with ornate gilt floral motifs to covers, spine and bands, and dentelles. Bondy's comment that the Biblia is "a joy to behold and to possess" is a truly fitting endorsement of this delightful book. A.e.g. (iv), 278, (vi)pp. (1 5/8 by 1 1/16; 43x27mm). Item #31555
(Adomeit B16; Bondy, p. 33; Roscoe, p. 8; Spielmann 15B).