rare religious books

The Aitken Bible is one of the most celebrated American Bibles, considered to be the first complete English Bible printed in America. Before the War for Independence, British law gave a monopoly for printing the King James Version of the Bible to the Royal Printer; thus compelling the colonies to buy their Bibles from England. […]


The Lombard Gradual

by Laurent Ferri on March 21, 2014

Rare Books Digest is pleased to host Laurent Ferri, Curator of Pre-1800 Collections at Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, presenting the Lombard Gradual. Graduals are large books from which choirs of monks, friars, or nuns chanted prayers and portions of the mass during medieval times. This Latin manuscript on vellum originated […]


Yesterday, the Christie’s auction house sold The Rothchild Prayerbook, a Book of Hours, illuminated manuscript for $13,605,000 with the buyer’s premium. The auction held at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York had  an estimated sale value of $12,000,000-$18,000,000. The book, a masterpiece of Renaissance art, contains lavish  and extensive miniature illustrations of unsurpassed beauty in […]


 …And the world’s most expensive book sale in the history of book trades goes to the Bay Psalm Book owned by the Old South Church. It sold for 33 million US dollars to the auction’s high bidder: the new owner of the rare first book to be printed in America, billionaire collector of biblical books, […]


The St. Cuthbert Gospel (formerly known as the Stonyhurst Gospel) undoubtedly qualifies as the oldest intact European book. It is currently on display in the British Library on long-term loan by both its private owners and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The history of this book is the most dramatic exhumation of any manuscript known to mankind. Made […]


The first book printed in America

by Admin on December 18, 2012

The first Christian book printed in English in North America was also the first book printed in North America. The Bay Psalm Book was first printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by Stephen Daye, a locksmith whose name does not appear on the title page but who is nevertheless credited as the first printer of the first […]


Even before posting our feature on the “The Poor Man’s Bible” last April and, more recently, “The priceless Gutenberg Bible”  in September, the excitement surrounding rare religious books and, more specifically, old Bibles was on the rise.  Collectors are increasingly pouring large sums of cash into ancient religious texts. The Rare Book Sale Monitor (RBSM) recorded […]


The priceless Gutenberg Bible

by Liz on September 20, 2012

While the most common book ever to be published is the Bible, Bibles from the 1600s and earlier are actually considered quite scarce. They belong in a very elite group that is sought after by very wealthy collectors who are increasingly and unflinchingly pouring large sums of money into liturgical texts.  It is a group […]


Magical passageways through forgotten wardrobes. Tea times with a bewildered fawn. Epic battles of good fighting against evil. Nefarious plots and evil tactics against one sole source of good, forgiveness, and love. These such events are what are found in CS Lewis’s collectible rare book story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as well […]


The poor man’s Bible

by The bookworm on April 19, 2012

Collectors are increasingly pouring large sums of cash into ancient religious texts. The Rare Book Sale Monitor recorded “Religion & Theology”, our third most popular gender, to be slightly trailing “Modern First Editions” in overall price increase during the last 15 months. For a synopsis of the religious rare book market please read our earlier […]

{ 1 comment }