“I just pre-ordered my own complete 1733 Bible, and I’m excited to get it when it’s finished. For those of you who have never seen Bible Man’s binding work, he produces some of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen, and they are the best thing going for reenacting and living history. When preaching from or reading one of these marvelous Bibles, Psalters, or Books of Common Prayer, you don’t have to tilt the book away so that the public can’t see that it is modern, because you’ll have in your hand an expert authentic reproduction that will stand the public’s scrutiny.” Myric McBain
The Old Testament folded, put into signatures, and out of the book press. The Old Testament is made up of two complete signatures plus a third partial signatures. All of these signatures add up to 804 pages.
We had to disassemble our 1733 bible in order to scan it. The before and after can be seen above.
Each printed page contains four pages of the Old Testament. These four pages are printed with two pages on each side. After they are printed, the pages are folded in half, then placed inside each other in order to form a 16-page signature. These have to go in the correct order or the Bible will be a scramble. 16-page signatures are common in 18th century books. However, this Old Testament has a signature that varies from this norm. Signature “S” is only an eight page signature. I don’t know why, except that is how the original printer decided to set up this book when he printed it. I see no other reason.
Binders and printers use the alphabet to know how to put their books together, instead of using page numbers. In this book there is no sig. “J” nor “U” nor “W”. Example: This Old Testament has signatures (A, A2, A3, A4, B, B2, B3, B4, C, C2…Z, Z2, Z3, Z4…the entire alphabet repeats twice using Aa, Bb, Cc… on the second alphabet…it also uses part of a third alphabet, Aaa, Bbb, Ccc…) The title page is page one of sig. “A”. It does not have the A printed on the title page. Every other page has an A2 or A3 or A4…then on to “B”… then “C”. “C 2″…That covers the first 8 pages. The next, or last 8 pages of each signature are not numbered, because if the first 8 pages are in the right order, the others pages will be correct.
Bruce Jennings reading his 1733 Bible
This is James Moore reading the Christmas Story by candle light from our replica 1733 King James Bible. I read Luke 2:1-20
The Bible above is our 24th Bible that we have made. All have gone to reenactors, except the one that went to the Tower of London, then onto Kew Palace. It is currently on display in the Palace’s kitchen. It is a replica of the kitchen Bible that was used to swear in all of the staff back in the days when Mad King George lived there.
Look for the above Bible on display in the Kew Palace kitchens, Kew, England, the former residence of King George III. We have been there years ago. I sure would like a photo of this Bible in it’s current settings.
This bible was used in the filming of Courage, New Hampshire AKA “Sons of Liberty” on PBS.
The Bible that we mailed to The Tower of London has arrived. “Dear James. Has arrived today. Even better than I imagined. Very convincing and beautiful too. I will keep you informed about the progress of the project, with some photographs Many thanks!”
– Chris Gidlow Live Interpretation Manager Historic Royal Palaces