One of 257 Signed Copies, with Woodcuts Printed from the Original Woodblocks
BIBLE IN ENGLISH. WYCLIFFE, John. New Biblia Pauperum. Being Thirty-Eight Woodcuts Illustrating the Life, Parables & Miracles of Our Blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, With the Proper Descriptions thereof, extracted from the Translation of the New Testament, by John Wiclif, Sometime Rector of Lutterworth. London: Printed at the Sign of The Grasshopper, by Unwin Brothers, The Gresham Press. , 1877.
First edition. One of 257 copies printed and signed by the Unwin Brothers. This being number 212. Two separate parts, each numbered and signed. The first being the prospectus with the title-page as above and [12] pp. (9 3/4 x 7 3/8 inches; 248 x 187 mm). The second and main part being the bible (10 x 7 7/8 inches; 253 x 200 mm) and comprising [3], 38, [3] leaves and with thirty-eight woodblock plates each facing a page of text. The text is printed in black with red initials on verso, recto blank. Woodblock plates are facing text, printed on recto, verso blank. Printed on special handmade paper, in Caxton Type No. 2. With a preface by A.P. Stanley.

Original drab boards, bound to the style of the period. Boards stamped in blind, in a design taken from an early block book in the British Museum. Spine lettered in gilt. Two brass clasps, lacking the strap attachment. Top edge dyed maroon, others uncut. Boards a bit soiled and rubbed along edges. Spine with some chipping and some wear to head and tail-pieces. Prospectus in original printed paper wrappers. Some very light soiling. Overall a very good copy of this interesting production.

This limited edition was produced for the occurrence of the Caxton Celebration of 1877. The original woodblocks dating sometime between 1470-1540 were purchased by the Unwin brothers and used to print the plates which pair up nicely with the facsimile text of Wiclif's New Testament of 1525. It is unknow what work these woodblocks were originally used for the printing of, as the have not been "recognized as belonging to any printed book"... "In issuing them, combined with a suitable descriptive text, our thought has been to produce, as nearly as possible, a counterpart of an old Biblia Pauperum, and thus form a fitting memorial not only of the Caxton Celebration, but also of the Wiclif Quincentenart." (Unwin Brothers, from the note by the printer).

Herbert, 2008.

HBS # 66069 $2,500