BIBLE, IN ENGLISH The Old Testament [Genesis to Numbers], vol. 1 (of 6), THE TEXT AND MARGINS ELABORATELY DECORATED THROUGHOUT IN COLOURED INKS, Thomas Macklin, 1800

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Lot 5
BIBLE, IN ENGLISH
The Old Testament [Genesis to Numbers], vol. 1 (of 6), THE TEXT AND MARGINS ELABORATELY DECORATED THROUGHOUT IN COLOURED INKS, Thomas Macklin, 1800
£ 1,500 - 2,500
US$ 2,000 - 3,300

Lot Details
BIBLE, IN ENGLISH The Old Testament [Genesis to Numbers], vol. 1 (of 6), THE TEXT AND MARGINS ELABORATELY DECORATED THROUGHOUT IN COLOURED INKS, Thomas Macklin, 1800
BIBLE, IN ENGLISH
The Old Testament [Genesis to Numbers], vol. 1 (of 6), THE TEXT AND MARGINS ELABORATELY DECORATED THROUGHOUT IN COLOURED INKS, 235 leaves (470 pages) with embellishments, several engraved illustrations, a few additional illustrations and cuttings (annotated by Wood) pasted in, "Language of Colour" colour-printed key sheet loosely inserted with several additional notes by Woods in the margins, long tear to one leaf, a few leaves loose, lacks 2 leaves of subscribers' list, gilt morocco presentation label ("The Gift of Robert Clayton Sutton Esq. to Mr. John Hawes. 1801") on front paste-down, nineteenth century calf, gilt lettered "Genesis to Numbers" on the upper cover, g.e., worn, spine cracked, covers detached, folio (460 x 365mm.), Thomas Macklin, 1800

Footnotes

  • "HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - THE LANGUAGE OF COLOUR" - A highly idiosyncratic, eccentric and colourful engagement with his Bible by an East Anglian merchant, who over a twenty year period (c.1888-1909) extensively annotated the volume throughout in bright colours, following a system of his own devising - two printed copies of which are loosely inserted. Words and phrases on each page are washed over or outlined (often both) in watercolours, in one of eight colours - each denoting a meaning: Yellow (God Speaking), Blue (Good. Honest), Green (Bad. Evil), Violet (Name of Place), Black (Devil. Sin), etc. All numbers are overpainted in oversized numerals in differing styles, often additionally added in the margins, alongside quotations or important words ("The Fire shall ever be Burning upon the Altar", "a Bullock. One Ram", "The Golden Plate. The Holy Flame", etc.). Periodically Woods records on exactly which days he has read through the Bible, for example "Read through in 4hrs 45 mins, 1888", "Read through on Sept. 20 & 21st 1899 taking there notes at the same time in 6hrs & 15m.", and "Read through & painted various colours & finished 10th Feby 1909 (age 73)". From these notes it seems probable that Woods never had the other volumes of this Macklin Bible, and we have found no evidence that his self-published leaflet on his method of engaging both physically and spiritually with the text was taken up by others.

    Provenance: Alfred Woods (1836-1912), a native of Suffolk, was chairman of Woods, Sadd, Moore & Co., seed and barley merchants. He moved to Beccles, where he was elected Mayor in 1891, and was a Guardian of the town's Wangford Poor Law Union. The East Suffolk Gazette notes that he gave a lecture (3 February 1885) on the subject of "Bible Scenes in the Old & New Testament" noting that this "took the form of gospel narrative with racy and solemn comment", whilst in 1902 he opened to the public "his splendid collection of Chrysanthemums, a privilege very much appreciated by the large numbers present", suggestive perhaps of his interests in both religion and joyful colour, evident in this copy of his Bible. On the front free endpaper are pasted a broadside (illustrated with portrait of Woods in his town mayor's costume), a small gelatin silver photograph portrait ("Taken Sept. 1906, age 66"), and his signature.
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