Foyled by the prices

How nice it would have been if the Tyndale Society had had sufficient funds to bid for two items in the recent sale of William Foyle's library by Christie's.

The two most notable were a 1556 (third and last) Quarto Edition of the 1534 New Testament by the publisher Richard Jugge. This is rare enough in all but complete state - all but the title page with an engraved portrait of Edward VI, here replaced by a facsimile page - but this copy was exceptional in that its contemporary gold-tooled brown calf binding was in such good condition and very beautiful. Hence the price of 13,000 - plus buyer's premium etc! (Estimate 4,004-6,000)

Even more impressive was the price realised by The Whole Workes of W. Tyndall, Iohn Frith and Doct. Barnes published in 1573. Against an estimate of 6,000-8,000, this realised no less than 34,000. Again the contemporary binding was exceptional and, in this instance, there was only the one edition which survives in three known copies, this one in a velvet lined red morocco box. As recently as 1950 it changed hands for 350!

The only other Tyndale item in the sale was an 1862 facsimile of the 1526 version of the New Testament based on the volume now in The BrimLibrary. Even this facsimile raised 4,000 (in line with the estimate 3,00-4,500) - but it was an exceptional specimen, one of only se' printed on vellum, illuminated with thirteen miniatures and bound in . exquisite decorative binding.

Chas Raws, July

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