Rare Book: 1730 Dutch Bible
April 28, 2022
RARE BOOK THURSDAYS: Dutch Bible from 1730
Today I have something really cool to show you! This is the second oldest book we have; it's from 1730. It's in Dutch, which I do not read, but I can still figure out the general titles since it's a bible and there's a traditional format that makes it easy to find various sections.
The book is in rough shape after all these centuries; it is missing one of the big metal clasps that hold it closed. But the one that remains still works, and it’s really beautiful.
The spine is broken; which is not ideal, but on the other hand it gives us an opportunity to look inside the layers that make up the binding! You can see that there is a wooden layer inside the leather cover. This is one of my favorite features in old books.
The front has a stamped / embossed design, which was probably made by shrinking the leather over the wooden core.
The title page is beautifully illustrated.
Several previous owners have written their names inside; I was able to make out the year 1762, and the other one is a little harder to read but seems to be from the 1800s.
This card was tucked inside; I presume it is from a previous bookseller. Based on the notes, it must have been written in 1935.
A few of the pages near the front have been repaired at some point in time, and I think this old tape is really interesting to look at. It's not how we would repair it in modern times but it's fun to think about the book being loved and cared for in the past. Someone spent some time on this.
Since I don't read Dutch I can't tell a whole lot about this particular edition, but I do notice that the apocrypha are in the back, instead of near the middle of the book like modern Bibles usually print them (when they are included).
Even though I don't read the language, I can still identify some things - like the book of Psalms, shown here.
When I took it out of the case to photograph it today I discovered something I hadn't seen before: there are several fold-out maps inside it! I don't know how I missed this (I love maps) but it is a really exciting discovery.
Some of the maps are loose and some are glued into the binding like the other pages.
All of the maps are larger than the page size of the book itself, and they are folded in on themselves (presumably to protect the edges). I wonder if this means they were added sometime after the book was originally made?
There's something written on the last page of the book, but I can't make out what it says.