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English Bible : containing the Old Testament & the New. First page Genesis

Bible. English

[London]: Doves Press, 1903-1905

Columbia RBML BOOKART 017.En2 D75 1903b

Gift of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, 1908

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Doves Press Bible. The Doves Bible is considered the crowning achievement of Thomas J. Cobden-Sanderson's Doves Press. An associate of William Morris, Cobden-Sanderson trained as a barrister but was persuaded by William Morris and his wife Jane to begin his career as a binder in 1883, at the age of 41.  After studying with Roger de Coverly, he founded the Doves Bindery with the intention of improving the standards of bookbinding, which had declined in his day, due in part to the increase in publishing spurred by the introduction of paper made of tree pulp.  In his insistence on good quality materials and sound binding practices, he exerted a great influence on modern bookbinding and conservation. He started printing books in 1900, after the death of William Morris and the closing of the Kelmscott Press.

Cobden-Sanderson presented this set of the five volumes of the Bible, magnificently bound by the Doves Bindery using his design and dated 1906, to the Library of Columbia University on January 8, 1908. It was accessioned by the Library two weeks later on January 23, becoming an early addition to the Book Arts Collection. The first page displays a trademark of his: the long initial I that runs down all the pages of the text block.


Four Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Authorized version of King James I. With decorations by Eric Gill.  Page: The Gospel according to Matthew.

The Gospels

Eric Gill and Robert Giddings
London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1931
Columbia RBML BOOKART Z232 G57 1931 B47

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Golden Cockerel Gospels. The two artists who produced this work were both sons of Anglican preachers, and knew the texts of the Gospels as well as they knew typography and wood-cutting.  Eric Gill and Robert Giddings had worked together for six years at the Golden Cockerel Press before undertaking this work, their magnum opus. After some debate they decided to use the text from the King James Authorized version of 1611.  The work includes many historiated initials or combinations of figures and the first words of the text executed in woodblock, including the one pictured here. Because the artists oversaw both the woodcutting and the typesetting, great care could be taken to make the transition seamless.

Early in his career Gill did work on commission for the Doves and Ashendene presses, two of the important British private presses after William Morris’ Kelmscott Press. See the Doves Press Bible and the Ashendene Inferno. He had also carved stations of the cross in stone for Westminster Cathedral, another project that combined his piety and fine lettering. He is known as the creator of the Gil Sans and Perpetua typefaces, as well as for his printing and sculpture.


In the beginning, in the beginning, in the beginning.

In the beginning, in the beginning, in the beginning

Cambridge, England: Rampant Lions Press (Sebastian Carter) 2006
Columbia RBML BOOKART Z232.R14 2006 B47

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in the beginning, in the beginning, in the beginning. The Cambridge-based Rampant Lions Press produced this artistic interpretation of the first two chapters of Genesis in 2006.  Each days of creation is represented in a separate cahier and illustrated with a multiple image that changes and pages are turned.  The eight cahiers are gathered in a printed chemise of blue Murillo board, inside a dark blue clam-shell box with printed labels. These images from Day Three show the waters separating from the land.  Will Carter founded the Rampant Lions Press in 1924 and his son took charge of operations in 1991.

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