Dalziels' Bible Gallery, Number 73 of 1000 Copies

Front cover and spine

Brown, Ford Madox, Edward Burne-Jones, Arthur Boyd Houghton, William Holman Hunt, Frederick Leighton, Edward John Poynter, Frederick Sandys, Simeon Solomon, George Frederick Watts, et. al. (illus.), DALZIELS' BIBLE GALLERY: ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT FROM ORIGINAL DRAWINGS (New York: Scribner & Welford, 1881).  First edition, 42 x 35cm [folio], in ¾ leather over publisher's vellum boards w/gilt & red title & design to fr. cover, 67 unpaginated card-stock leaves mounted on stubs, w/72 proof wood engravings by the Dalziels printed on India paper laid on rectos.  Stated Limited Edition (73/1000) printed at the Camden Press, London.  Binding Good (expertly rebacked & recornered in russet pigskin w/5 raised bands, new facsimile floral ep.s [original ep. leaves inserted at rear], & some rubbing & staining to boards w/moderate loss to title); contents Good (outer edges of some leaves tidemarked & darkened [plates are clean]).  (Inv. #1091)  C$2,000

    By 1862 the Dalziel Brothers were making preparations for an illustrated edition of the Bible, & over several years commissioned drawings from many of the finest illustrators of the period.  However, for various reasons the project never reached fruition, & 72 of the 90 accumulated engravings were finally publ. w/o biblical text, in 2 sizes: a bound regular edition of 1000 numbered copies; & a large De Luxe issue of 100 vellum-backed portfolios w/the loose-leaf sheets laid in.  Because the regular issue was priced at 5 guineas, "our Bible commercially speaking, was a dead failure,... some 200 copies being all that were sold. The balance of the number printed were disposed of at prices which we will not here record" (Brothers Dalziel 1901, p.256).  In any case all evidence points to 4 separate issues:
1) a pre-publication issue w/the Dalziels's undated Camden Press imprint (examples are in the British Library, Nat'l Library of Scotland, Univ. of Cambridge, Barber Institute, & Univ. of Chicago, all being the regular format);
2) the trade issue w/Routledge's 1881 imprint, limited to 1000 copies;
3) the special large paper issue in portfolios, also w/Routledge's 1881 imprint, limited to 100 copies; &
4) the American issue w/cancelled titlepages bearing the 1881 imprint of Scribner & Welford (New York), who sold them in "[port]folio, vellum, & calf" for US$35.00 each (contemp. advert).
    Judging from the Dalziels' statement quoted above, more than 800 copies were sold to Scribner & Welford--our copy is a fairly typical example.

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