While I’m not officially taking part in the #FirstsOnline virtual book fair, I thought you might enjoy this item from my personal collection. Published by Bilton & Scaggs of Greek Street in 1651, this crown octavo would have set you back about 4/- unbound, or 5/6 bound. Part of an old bible, the page weighted down by a small pair
There are several errata that make this copy interesting. As you can see, the poor typesetter was having something of a bad day. There are also some additional verses in Genesis, and the text itself is an odd marriage of wording from the Geneva and King James Bibles.
Possibly this non-standardised (and doubtless unlicensed) text was B&S’ attempt to appeal to a public still fond of the Geneva version, but with a streamlined, cheaper edition, lacking the marginal notes. An unauthorised hybrid was certainly not likely to have met with approval.
Given that Josiah Scaggs spent the last eight years of his life in Newgate Prison for forgery (before succumbing to typhus), official approbation was presumably low on his list of priorities. It’s something of a miracle that they got away with it for as long as they did.
That being said, I like to think there was some noble ambition in making a more compact and affordable bible available to people, and not just a desire for material gain. While the 1651 print run was destroyed, B&S (or at least a descendant of Cornelius Bilton) did later
produce a moderately popular ‘thumb bible’ which remained in print until the business was eventually dissolved in the late nineteenth century.

So that’s all right, then.

Hashytag #AntiqueBooks #VirtualBookfair #RareBooks

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More from @Mr_AZ_Fell

12 Feb
There is no peace between the oldest bookshops. Secondary vendettas spring up like weeds in old brickwork, breaking down the mortar of commerce and bringing trade to a halt.

The malaise spreads. Independent sellers of the written word, their windows festive with colours, covers,
look up from inventories, setting aside self-help guides and historical murders, children’s epics, celebrity biographies, shattering own-voices accounts and gleeful, winking satires.

The muttered chant of internecine antiquarian war draws them in and binds them. They are without
blame; we are surrounded by gilt.

Enter the High Priest of the High Street. ‘Trial by Water! Trial by Stone!’ it commands, and two by two, and three-for-two, and two-for-one, and on and on the rituals bleed out booksellers, and peasants in barns and nobles in castles
Read 6 tweets
6 Feb
This is what London shall come to. Silent, waiting streets, choked with makeshift barricades as we carve the city up into rival bookshop territories. Feral paper conservators huddled in dripping archways, patching up the wounded with waxed linen thread and rag paper.
The fog from seething kettles, samovars and coffee machines drifting in fragrant waves, herbal teas and builders’ brews warring with fine roasts and instant granules, until certain side-streets and alleyways are designated /cafetièrra ignota/, where none dare tread.
Meanwhile, the faithful, cleaving to their shop of choice, show their fealty with elaborate Ex Libris tattoos, and paint themselves with shades of Meltonian shoe cream in place of woad.

This is how it begins. Cordial jibes and arch comments.
Read 4 tweets
25 May 20
Welcome to more #BookbindingWithAziraphale! Well, we’ve looked at paper and binding techniques, so now it’s time to actually sew some signatures. I’ll be putting up lots of pictures but, as always, if anything is confusing do please ask questions and I’ll try and clear things up.
You will need: your improvised sewing frame (if you’re using one), darning needle, strong cord or twine, sewing thread (waxed linen thread for preference, but use what you can find – thick embroidery thread or dental tape will do for now), a piece of stiff cardboard for pressing
pages, and PVA glue or wheat paste.

Your folded signatures (sets of nested folios), which should have been sitting patiently under a clean piece of board, will be removed one at a time for sewing. To ensure you place them in the same orientation as they were stored, you may
Read 39 tweets
22 May 20
Hello, yes. I might have got slightly distracted by my exploration of bygone days, so let’s to business! In #BookbindingWithAziraphale today I am most definitely going to talk to you about sewing. A sewing ‘thread’!
Ahem. There are a variety of techniques for joining the pages of your codex together – I’ve mentioned sewing onto tapes or onto cords, the latter – known as ‘flexible sewing’ being my preferred method. Your choice of technique will be steered by the type of book you wish to make.
For example, you might want a book that can be opened to lie flat, for sketching. You might want a decorative spine, to reflect the book’s content, or one that is particularly hard-wearing as a journal to be frequently opened and reviewed.
Read 26 tweets
16 May 20
Hello! Today, I’d like to talk to you about paper. If you’d rather rush in (where this angel has no fear of treading), hasten forth and read ‘building the book block’. There you will find step-by-step instructions on folding and assembling your pages. #BookbindingWithAziraphale
However, understanding the structure and composition of the paper you’ll be using is fundamental to making a book that will last longer and look more professional, so I invite you to stay with me while I explain some concepts.
Paper is usually made from pulp – a mixture of water and plant fibres. These fibres might, for example, come from cotton, linen (flax), or wood. During the paper-making process, the fibres become aligned (imagine matches lying in a box) and consequently, the paper has a ‘grain’.
Read 20 tweets

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