The Holy Bible containing the bookes of the Old & New Testament. Illustrated with chronographical sculps by J. Ogilby.



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SKU: 12017 PRINT BIBLE | Royaal Bijbel Categories: , , Tag:

A truly sumptuous and fantastic example of ‘The Holy Bible’ also called the ‘Royaalbijbel’ in Dutch. H. 45 x W. 30 x D. 8 cm.
Printed in the famous English university city of Cambridge in 1660 by the university printer John Field, and published by John Ogilby. The beautiful illustrations are provided by Nicolaes Visscher. Significantly, the year of publication is what is known as the ‘Restoration’. It saw the restoration of the Stuart Monarchy in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland when King Charles II returned from exile in continental Europe. The preceding period of the Protectorate and the civil wars came to be known as the Interregnum (1649–1660).
Prior to 1660, very few editions of the King James Version of the bible were illustrated, as English Puritans were strongly opposed to the use of religious images. With the restoration of the monarchy, publishers began to rejoice and illustrate their bibles.
This Royaalbijbel may have been privately compiled. Typical in many of the prints is that the actual biblical scenes are seen in the context of a being merely a detail in an extensively detailed landscape. Many consumers were able to choose the prints and have them bound by a bookbinder within a bible. Because of the private compilation and the considerably large stock list of Visscher of Royaalprints, every copy may well be unique and diverse. THE BIBLE BOOK. Folio. One volume in two. A rich contemporary full crimson Morocco leather [English] binding, with elaborate and ornate gilt tooling to the spines and boards. The centerpiece is an oval-shaped black leather lozenge with the gilt initials ‘HIS’ at the centre, complete with the holy cross and other decorative designs and symbols. In the Western culture there exist the compositions: “IHS” and also “IHC” being the first letters (iota-eta-sigma) of the name Jesus in the Greek alphabet: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ.
The boards are further enhanced by pretty gilt paneling, with twin rows of ruled gilt around the border. The spines consist of nine compartments, each with a repeatable attractive design in gilt, separated by raised bands in gilt. The second compartment has “The Holy Bible’ in gilt letters, with a matching black leather patch. All edges gilt (a.e.g.), marbled endpapers.
One hundred finely executed and high-quality double-page engravings by Visscher adorn this example, plus a wonderful panorama of the city of Jerusalem, a glorious depiction of King Solomon’s Temple, and detailed maps of ancient Syria, Egypt, and The Holy Land.
Although the maps and illustrations are uncoloured, this allows you the opportunity to observe and appreciate the true skill and execution of the engraver, without the possible distraction of colouring.
The bible is red-ruled throughout, complete with prelims including a title page dedicated to the newly restored monarch, and a highly decorative, illustrated frontispiece. In addition, (and perhaps to celebrate the restoration of the monarchy), there is a lovely full-page engraving of the royal coat-of-arms, characterized by the crowned Lion to the left (symbolizing England), the Unicorn to the right (symbolizing Scotland), and the crest in the middle with the quartered three lions of England and the royal French ‘fleur de lis’ in the first and fourth quadrants; the Lion rampant of Scotland in the second quadrant, and the Irish harp in the third quadrant. The royal motto of “Dieu et Mon Droit (God and My Right) and the motto of the Order of the Garter ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (Shamed be [the person] whoever thinks ill of it) are evident. CONDITION. The condition is good throughout, externally, the tops and the tails of the spines are slightly rubbed and worn, and there are some minor signs of wear to the covers and the joints. Internally the binding is firm, the English text is dark, the maps and illustrations have good dark impressions and suffer only from a little creasing in places and the odd small professional repairs to splits and tears, some plate wear – all of which is normal for a work of this age. As you might expect with a prominent Dutch engraver in Visscher, some engravings have titles in both Dutch and Latin. MAPS. Map 1.‘Syriae Veteris descriptio’ – description of old Syria.
Map 2. ‘Castra Israel in deserto’ – the camp of Israel in the desert.
Map 3.‘Peregrinatio Israelitarum in deserto’ – The pilgrimage of the Israelites in the desert.
Map 4. ‘Chronographia terrae sanctae descriptio’ – the chronology of the Holy Land.
A beautifully engraved double page set of three inset maps and a general regional map. The maps exemplify the historic region of the Holy Land and its surroundings. Red ruled borders.
Map 1 extends from Turkey in the north, east to Mesopotamia (Iraq), south to the Arabian Desert, and west to Egypt and Cyprus. The physical topography of the map shows a mountainous region predominately to the south and southeast, the mighty Euphrates River snakes its way from Turkey through Syria and into Iraq. Many other rivers and tributaries are shown, and larger cities and settlements are engraved. Among the coastal cities engraved are Gaza, Tire, Sidon, and Jaffa. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Gallilee are well represented, the Nile Delta is highly visible.
Map 2 shows the layout of the camp of the Israelites in the desert.
Map 3 shows the topography of the flight of the Israelites from Egypt into the desert. There is a compass rose for orientation. Relief is shown pictorially, also shown is vegetation, waterways, and the general topography.
Map 4 is the general map with the north orientated toward the bottom left of the page. This is a highly detailed and informative map of the region that comprised the twelve tribes of Israel. Relief is shown pictorially. It has a compass rose, a mileage scale, and rhumb lines.
There is (among many others) a beautiful double-page copperplate engraving of Elias praying unto the Lord and the sacrifice of a bullock on an altar made of simple stone blocks. The bullock has a stake through its throat and is ablaze. In the foreground, Elias is on his knees with hands and face raised up to the Lord. Next to him are urns and pottery, knives, and axes. Next to these items are rich eastern merchants in their fine clothes and turbans. The engraving is of the highest quality and detail, in no doubt helping to flesh out the textural reference. The caption beneath is in Latin and Dutch. Red-ruled borders.
Another stunning engraving is that of the worship of the golden image built by King Nebuchadnezzar. In the engraving, you see the magnificent image. Around it you see a collection of noblemen, soldiers, with long pikes, wealthy merchants, and the king himself. A herald is said to have ‘commanded people, at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp[…] and all kinds of music to fall down and worship the golden image that the king has set up[…] all those who do not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a fiery furnace […]’
In the background, some unlucky, hapless souls are seen in ‘a fiery furnace’. Red-ruled borders.
Engraved map on 2 sheets joined, cartouche to top-left with an inset plan of ancient Jerusalem ‘Hierosolymae veteris ichnographia’, key to top-right listing 55 landmarks, buildings, and monuments, the whole plate, title within cartouche and key with double-ruled borders in red ink, the plate with numbers referring to a key below the title, verso blank. The dimensions of the panorama map are 104 x 43 cm. The only blemishes are some small repairs to the centerfold in the middle, and to the extreme lower margin.
A fantastic artistic recreation of ancient Jerusalem, complete with the Temple envisaged before its destruction. Visscher presents a superb ‘bird’s eye view of the walled city of Jerusalem. He highlights the magnificent Solomon’s Temple as though it were a Renaissance-style palace. Built on an enormous masonry base, the huge neo-classical building is surrounded by colonnades and connected at its sides to the surrounding city by arched bridges over steep ravines. Interestingly, the entire city buildings themselves have an architectural air of 17th-century London, rather than that of a middle-eastern city.
Visscher’s impressive birds-eye panorama of the Temple in Jerusalem, again depicted as a magnificent Renaissance-style palace reminiscent of 17th century Europe.
Nicolaes Visscher was a Dutch engraver, cartographer and publisher. He was the son of Claes Janszoon Visscher. His son Nicolaes Visscher II (1649–1702) also worked with him and continued the family tradition of mapmaking after his death. Visscher died in Amsterdam in 1679. His son published a stocklist in 1680 in which 130 royal engravings are described. The engravings of the Visscher-stocklist are originating from the Flemish School, mostly after Rubens, Rembrandt, Jordaens, Landerseel, De Vos, De Hondecoutre, Potter, and Vinckboons. Typical in many of the prints is that the actual biblical scenes are merely a detail in an extensively detailed landscape, this is mostly due to the that the engravings had to be ‘stretched’ to fit the format.
John Ogilby was a Scottish translator, impresario, and cartographer. Best known for publishing the first British road atlas, he was also a successful translator, noted for publishing his work in handsome illustrated editions. Ogilby died in 1676 and was buried at St. Brides Church, one of Sir Christopher Wren’s new London churches.
John Field appears to have been originally a bookseller, however, on October 12th, 1655, he was appointed by Grace printer to the University of Cambridge (1655-1669). He printed many editions of the Bible, notably a quarto edition in 1648, a duodecimo edition in 1652, and a 32mo edition in 1653. In 1655, Field built a new printing office in Silver Street, Cambridge, the University having for that purpose taken a lease of the ground from Queens’ College for a term of years; and by several renewals, this continued to be the University Printing Office till about 1827 when the Pitt Press was commenced. Field died in 1688.