Great Bible Portion with Carved Wooden Cover

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book


Likely 1569


London, (England)




Printed on Paper


7.8 × 6.1 × 2.4 in. (20 × 15.6 × 6.2 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Starting in Exodus 12, this portion of the Great Bible ends with Amos 5. Comparison of other 16th-century Great Bibles and a note found in the endpapers written by “E. N.” suggest it was probably printed in 1569. The cover is unique, containing words and drawings carved into the thick wood. The front cover depicts an individual paying reference to a deceased knight with the words “The Chapel of our Ladye Talbote.” The back cover depicts knights in typical 16th-century armor and a woman with a child, most likely Mary with Jesus, since written above the carving is “The Blessed Virgin Mother.”

Printed around 1569, London, England. Acquired before 1876 by Revered Thomas Corser (1793–1876), Rector of Stand, Lancashire, England;[1] Purchased in 1876 by Geroge Wilson Rigg, Manchester, England;[2] Acquired by an unknown owner.[3] Purchased at auction in 1950 by an unknown owner.[4] Acquired in 1957 by Marguerite Smith (?–1959), Zion Research Library, Brookline, Massachusetts.[5] Acquired before 2010 by Jonathan Byrd, Rare Book Collector, Goodyear, Arizona; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] A handwritten note on the endpaper states this was “purchased . . . in June 1876 at the sale of the Revered Thomas Corser.” [2] G. Wilson Rigg is written on the endpaper. A note following his inscription, but written in a different hand, states that it was “purchased by him in June 1876.” [3] The handwritten note following George Wilson Rigg’s signature is written with a different hand in the passive tense, suggesting the owner after Rigg wrote the note. [4] An inscription written in pencil on the back endpapers states, “Sotheby. as part of Lot 15.” Sotheby’s has provided no additional information. Additional notes in pencil written by an unknown “E. N.” are present on the front endpapers. It is unclear who “E. N.” was and if the notes were written by the same hand. [5] A bookplate on the front pastedown states Smith’s name, Zion Research Library, and the year “1957.” Marguerite Smith was a librarian at Zion Research Library in Massachusetts and worked in the National Woman’s Party.

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