London: E[lizabeth] Newbery, 1780. 64mo (binding size: 41 x 30 cm = 1.5" x 1.25"). , 256 pp. With engraved general title, engraved New Testament title + 14 engraved plates. Contemporary English red morocco, gilt, in centers of both covers the IHS holy monogram gilt on green leather oval onlays, marbled endpapers, a.e.g. Very good. Item #3565
Beautiful copy in original condition of Elizabeth Newbery's famous Thumb Bible, with a near contemporary inscription: "Mary Roslotham, from Mama when she could read nicely, with her best love."
Elizabeth Newbery was the widow of Francis Newbery, who was the nephew of the famous John Newbery, publisher and author of many pioneering children's books. She issued the present edition in imitation of Harris's 1771 publication "The Bible in Miniature." It contains a summary of the chief events of the Bible, with chapter and verse references to the original. Its measurements are only 1.5" x 1.25" (see Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 67).
"Of the earlier English Thumb Bibles, one of the most familiar and often encountered is The Bible in Miniature, or a Concise History of the Old and New Testaments, printed for E. Newbery in 1780. A common feature of Thumb Bibles is illustration, which varies from crude woodcuts to elegant engravings." (Lilly Library, Thumb Bibles of Western Europe and America).
Elizabeth Newbery's edition is follows very closely Harris's 1771 "The Bible in Miniature" almost word for word, with the same number of pages, engravings of the same subjects, and closely-similar title-pages, though with the distinctive misprint "Miniuture."
Of this edition, the SMU Prothro copy has the two engraved title-pages but only 13 (of 14) plates, as we learn from their online exhibition "Four Centuries of Religious Books for Children" (2012).
ESTC T134732 ("In this edition the page numbers are enclosed within brackets and there are no press figures and no colophon"). Bondy, p. 34. Roscoe J-28. Gumuchian 6251.