23rd Mar, 2022 10:00

The Spring Auction

  Lot 240

Holy Bible, Robert Barker, 1613/1611. Second folio edition of the King James Bible

Holy Bible, Robert Barker, 1613/1611. Second folio edition of the King James Bible, commonly known as the Great She Bible. Black letter with large typeface, printed in double columns with 59 lines to a full column. Complete with general title, New Testament title and double-page map of Canaan by More & Speed. Includes Apocrypha. With the reading ‘she’ in Ruth 3 v.15, and with a tipped-in slip correcting the ‘Judas’ for ‘Jesus’ error in Matthew 26 v.36. Worn mid-nineteenth century blind-stamped calf, red edges.

Footnote: What is extraordinary about this copy is that the last two and a half pages of the book of Revelations were missing from the book, so in 1850 Thomas Kendall, when only 13 years of age, using a pen and Indian ink, copied out the missing pages in perfect facsimile. Kendall’s work starts from the last few words of Revelations 20 v. 12 and goes on to the end, including the tailpiece. The calligraphy is such a superb copy of the old black letter typeface that it is virtually impossible to distinguish from the printed page. The only discernible difference is that the ruled border surrounding the page is slightly thinner. The paper used for the last two leaves is slightly heavier stock. Herbert 319. Printing and the Mind of Man 114.


Provenance: Acquired in 1957 at the dispersal sale of Thomas Henry Kendall's Chapel Street showroom and studio, thence by descent to the vendor.


Footnote: The bible was purchased in or before 1850 by William Kendall, an architect and building surveyor of Warwickshire. His son, Thomas Henry Kendall (1837-1919), the noted wood carver of Warwick, came to be regarded as the doyen of British wood carvers. As a boy he was frequently put to work copying plans and documents for his father. In 1850, when only 13 years of age, he copied out the last two and a half pages of the bible, which were missing from the book his father had bought. The bible and its history is recalled in articles on Thomas Kendall in The Biographer and Review, August 1900, and in The Gentleman’s Journal and Gentlewoman’s Court Review, August 27th 1910, where Kendall himself shows the bible to a journalist in response to a question asking to be shown some of his earliest work. Photocopies of these articles are included with the lot. The bible was exhibited in Warwick at the coronation celebrations in June 1911 and at Sotheby’s, Chester, in 1983.

Sold for £17,000

Condition Report

A note on the front endpaper states that the book was rebound by Robinson of Leamington in 1864. Boards are holding mainly by the cords and a piece is detached from the head of the spine. General title laid down with minor loss at bottom left. Following 3 leaves have been window mounted. A few other preliminary leaves have been reinforced on the fore-edge. Generally a little shaken. Good margins. Page size is 385mm by 260mm, overall 404mm by 275mm by 130m thick.

The boards are holding mainly by the cords.  The top 5" of the spine (with title Holy Bible) is detached but present.

Bidding indicates acceptance of the condition of the lot.  All lots are sold subject to general wear and tear commensurate with age and handling over time and only obvious faults will be mentioned after a visual inspection. If you have particular specialist questions on any lot, please state these before bidding since we cannot and will not provide a forensic examination of any lot but only a general condition report as a guide only. All condition reports given by Halls Holdings Ltd's representatives or agents are statements of opinion and not fact. If you require any further information about any lots in this auction or about bidding please do not hesitate to contact us again.


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