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Author Topic: Baskerville Bible - What Value?  (Read 2677 times)

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Dave Hughes

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Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« on: October 27, 2017, 04:11:21 PM »
Bit of an urgent inquiry. I spotted this 18th Century Bible up for sale in a local auction (viewing today, sale tomorrow).

I've done a quick search of the internet and seen one in pristine condition going for 20,000 dollars!

But this one's different:




As you can see, it's very tatty. Sold as seen. Not even sure if it would have all the pages.

I opened it up:




Close-up of the typography:




Anyone know how much this is worth? Before Saturday?


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Dave Hughes

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My 1771 Baskerville Bible
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 04:46:54 PM »
Unfortunately nobody was able to give me any advice on this before the auction. It was very short notice, but I went to the auction anyway and bought it!

Just to add a bit of suspense, here's a stealthy video I took while bidding:


So 6 paid, including auctioneer costs.

The book is in fairly poor condition, I think the front title page is missing. But here's a picture of the start to the New Testament which shows that it was printed by John Baskerville in Birmingham in 1771.



Here's a few more pics:



A double-page spread showing condition inside the book



Double-page spread showing one of the about ten full-page plates



The sorry condition of the spine and binding.

Apologies for the poor quality of the pics, I did them in a rush on my phone.

This is a second edition of the Baskerville Bible, printed in 1771.

So now I have a few questions.

Is there any point in restoring this book, considering that it has a number of pages missing from the front?

Would it be of any value to someone who has another copy, including the front pages?

Anyone got any advice on this subject?
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Dan Jones

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Re: Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 09:42:30 PM »
Dave, just my two cents. I would figure out what pages are missing and get scans of them. I would cast the Baskerville type (what point size are you thinking it is)? Then over time, set the pages required. To finish, either learn enough bookbinding to do it yourself or find a person to make a nice leather cover edition out of it, this would be a source of great pride to you when it is done and a great story!

Dan

Dave Hughes

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Re: Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 11:09:30 PM »
Thanks Dan, plenty to think about! The first page seems to be Chapter 8 of Exodus, so not sure how many pages are missing

The main body of type seems to be 11 or 12pt but of course there are bigger headings and smaller footnotes. The paper is pretty thick.
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Sean McFarland

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Re: Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 02:07:01 PM »
I collect old bibles.    Here is a reference I use to determine reasonable "buy value" for books I look for.   

If you take the inventory list price and devide it by two, you are close to a "value".   His bibles are in superb condition and generally complete and original.  That being said, this bible complete, original bound in original binding would probably be worth to a buyer $3750.   

If you want to chat about old bibles, feel free to email me. 

Sean

sean@signstructures.com

Dave Hughes

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Re: Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 06:08:10 PM »
Thanks for posting Sean, My understanding of the Bible is that it is a "Second Edition" the first edition being printed in 1765. It was also substantially changed from the First Edition.

I shall be ringing round a few local antiquarian book shops tomorrow to see if any of them have one. I would like to establish how many pages are missing.

This is the first page in mine, marked "Q" - so I guess there are a few missing.




I guess it would be worth showing it to a local bookbinder as well, to estimate the cost of restoration.
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Dave Hughes

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Re: Baskerville Bible - What Value?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 08:59:11 AM »
I've managed to track down another copy of this bible. York Minster Library are getting their 1772 copy out of secure storage and letting me have a look at it on Monday.

I shall also be able to take photographs of the missing pages (without flash).
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