YOUR BOOK-STACK, on the counter . . .
Bible. English. 1775. Authorized (i.e., King James Version). The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments; translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. Cambridge: Pr. by John Archdeacon, 1775–76. 4to in 8s (28.8 cm, 11.33"). Frontis.,  ff. $7,500.00
[with accompanying volume] The book of common prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the Church of England: Together with the psalter or psalms of David. Cambridge: Pr. by John Archdeacon, 1781. 8vo (20.7 cm, 8.15").  ff. [bound with] Vickers, William. A companion to the altar: Shewing the nature and necessity of a sacramental preparation, in order to our worthy receiving the holy communion. London: Pr. for Thomas Beecroft, 1783. Frontis., , [v]–55, [1 (adv.)] pp. (lacking half-title or initial blank?) [and with] Bible. Psalms. English. Sternhold and Hopkins. The whole book of psalms, collected into English metre. Cambridge: Pr. by John Archdeacon, 1785. 8vo.  ff.
This striking 18th-century set — owned by a wealthy Englishwoman who spent much of her life in Switzerland, for more on which see below — pairs a handsome Cambridge Bible and BCP in => masterfully designed and executed deluxe matched bindings. The Bible opens with a frontispiece engraved by Charles Grignion after Francis Hayman; the Apocrypha are present in this copy, and the New Testament has a separate title-page dated 1776. The BCP is bound with Companion to the Altar ("Note, This Book is bound up with the Common-Prayers of several sorts, printed by the University of Cambridge," as per the title-page); Sternhold & Hopkins bring up the rear.
Bindings: Contemporary mottled green morocco, covers framed in Greek key roll and dentelles composed of urn and flower motifs surrounding central JHS medallions with red morocco inlays and gilt-tooled flames; spines with gilt-tooled compartment decorations, Bible spine with gilt-stamped red leather title-label. While the covers of the two volumes are strongly similar overall (and "read" as => identical on first glance), the details of the design vary slightly between the Bible and the BCP, as the size disparity — and possibly the time gap between the publication dates — necessitated the use of different tools. The spine designs differ more notably but still most companionably, with the Bible's spine decorations being built up with foliate and floral motifs and the BCP's with suns and stars. => To engage in minute comparison of these bindings' detail is an entrancing exercise.
Provenance: Front free endpaper of Bible used for family record: Francis James Barwell de Sandol Roy, born in 1793 and died in 1813 ("Quel angoisse!"); Henri Guillaume de Sandol Roy, born in 1797; and a list of grandchildren: François, Sophie, Anna, and Alfred. The title-page inscription confirms that this set was owned by Sophie Bridget Barwell de Sandol Roy (1769–1850), daughter of William Barwell, a director of the East India Company; her brother Richard became a famously wealthy (and scandalous) nabob. Dubbed "la belle Anglaise" following her arrival in Neuchâtel, Sophie made a great splash in Swiss society and received a proposal from Colonel François Isaac de Sandol Roy (sometimes given as Sandol-Roy) — a proposal which she at first rejected, until he subsequently saved her from the guillotine in revolutionary Paris! For more on their story, please see Musée Neuchatelois, 1923 ed., pp. 2–4 (which includes a reproduction of a portrait of Sophie de Sandol-Roy done by Sir Joshua Reynolds).
Bible: Darlow & Moule 1247; ESTC T88808. BCP: Griffiths, Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer, 1781:1; ESTC T212010. Companion: ESTC T76554. Psalms: ESTC T221010. Bindings as above, moderate rubbing to extremities and sides with limited scuffing only; all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, and original matching dark blue bookmarks present (still attached). Bible with small area of waterstaining to lower inner margins of first few leaves, including frontispiece; varying faint to moderate foxing; one leaf with small repair to upper outer margin. BCP with a few instances of light foxing, pages mostly clean; laid in is a stitched pamphlet which seems to be a record of additional family information involving Albert, Victor, and Mary, although written in a challenging hand. => A gorgeous, lavish production altogether, with a remarkable, arresting provenance. (41458) Please RESHELVE This.
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