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Author Topic: Buying a Bible  (Read 16100 times)
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BetsyConnolly
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« on: April 27, 2012, 05:39:14 AM »

Hello all,

I am doing an immersion event in the coming year. My role at said event dictates that I pretty much need to have a Bible.  I'm Catholic in my "real life", and I don't think my colorful paperback New American Standard Bible is going to cut the mustard. So I'm looking to purchase a plausible Bible. I am not comfortable with taking an antique Bible with me, I don't want it to get ruined, so my focus has been on finding a modern leather-bound Bible that will work.

I really am not familiar with book-binding techniques and the history of bookmaking, so I am throwing myself on the experts Smiley. My main research has been to look at pictures of Bibles documented to our period, and try to find something similar. I also am unwilling to pay over $100 for those fancy reproduction editions for what basically amounts to a prop (they seem giant anyway, and that won't work for this impression). This has necessarily raised a few questions.

  • There seems to be two different kinds of leather binding: A more "hardcover" one, and one that has soft, flexible covers. Is the latter correct? (I'm leaning towards no, based on what I've seen).
  • At gilt page edges PC? I haven't seen them yet in my research, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist, and ruling out gilt pages severely limits my options (which is fine, if it's not PC).
  • Most period Bibles I have seen have no words on the front, "Holy Bible" on the spine (if there is any title on the spine at all) and the covers are embossed. Is this generalization accurate?

Is there anything else I should be on the look-out for? Thanks in advance!
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Betsy Connolly
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 09:10:24 AM »

Miss Connolly,

Being of the same persuasion, I have had the same problem. The modern bibles that you speak of, if they are the same as mine, look fine, although plain. They have the simulated leather cover, and simply say Holy Bible on the front, no gilt paper. One is a white cover, the other a red-rust color, but the spine is where you'll find the trouble with the names of every outfit that put it together with modern logos. If you get a white one, then you could use white-out, but honestly I think covering with a period cloth might be better. I think that people might have covered their books with a cover to protect them from the elemants while walking to church. After all, I notice people in church today who have protective covers for their missal, so why not make your own with embroidery or scraps of cloth? EWTN sells them.

My own view is to look for an old one. I have found that original bibles, although passed down and sold in used book stores, are far cheaper. Whereas the modern two that I spoke of sell for near $40, the originals sell for $2-$12. I like the old ones better, especially the pocket bibles which were tiny tiny books. I bought two for my children, but now want another one for myself, and they are getting tough to find. A pocket prayer book or Catechism book with a crucifix inside might be easier to find, and they do have lovely gilt pages with colorful lithographs, although again, you're looking for those pre-VCII.

The most difficult thing you will find is getting used to reading pre-Vactican Council I, some text and prayers are slightly different. Today so many of us old folks, are having a time with the change of the missal, that it seems that some just got used to VCII text! I've gotten used to it now, but sometimes old phrases pop out of me. Cheesy

Yesterday I heard from a Priest that in the past Victorian people used cloth Scapulars. I've never seen one of these and wonder if they also fit into our time period?

-----she who finally was confirmed this Easter Sunday! It only took me over 50 years Cheesy
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BetsyConnolly
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 10:49:37 AM »

Sorry, I should clarify! The person I will be portraying will not be Catholic. I'm looking for a KJV. Would love to get my hands on some older Catholic Bibles.

I too have been looking in used book stores, but I still have those questions that are hindering my search.

Thanks for your thoughts - and congratulations on your confirmation!
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Betsy Connolly
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Mother Dean
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 01:18:58 PM »

Does this need to be a Bible or can it just look like a Bible?
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 03:29:26 PM »

Somebody someplace used to sell Testaments, in a Union & Confederate version.  The gentleman's impression was minister; IIRC he is a minister in the new millennium as well.


Well this isn't the website I remember but here is a link -- both versions out of stock!

http://www.fcsutler.com/fcbooks01.asp#bibles

about half way down the page.

There is a thread about covering books to improve accuracy.  Starting with a small Gideon-type Bible is OK.  Can't find it, may have been Before The Great Crash of '06....

Not much help today, am I???


ETA:  Re-enactor's Missions for Jesus Christ:

http://www.rmjc.org/

but the bookstore no longer lists Testaments.

Jean
Route 66
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 03:33:36 PM by Ms. Jean » Logged

Ms. Jean
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BetsyConnolly
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 03:32:02 PM »

I would like it to actually be a Bible. I should also say that I have no problems with imitation leather - and, if I am buying new, would actually prefer imitation to the real stuff, if possible.

Anyone willing to be hired cheap to recover a book? I pick and choose where my interests are Cheesy

Thanks for the link Jean, that's really promising if the price is right!
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Betsy Connolly
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Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 07:21:00 PM »

Betsy -

I don't know if this will be helpful but, I have two New Testaments sitting on the shelf above me. Each:
- Has a hard cover of embossed fabric over stiff board.
- No title on the cover; "Testament" on the spine.
- Measures 3 inches wide x 4.75 inches high x 0.75 inches thick.
- Does not have gilt edges.
- Was issued by the American Bible Society in 1863.

Regards,
Carolann
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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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CL Preston
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 09:30:06 AM »

You might check out these folks - http://www.grimmbindery.com/ if you are willing to recover an existing book.

They do single books, both new covers and recovers, as well as restoration services. for a fairly reasonable price. I was planning on using them for pretty much the same thing.

I want to add that I have not *yet* used them, so I have no recommendation of their work beyond what I have heard from others, which has been positive.

Also, they have been owned and run by the same family since the 1850s!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 09:36:56 AM by CL Preston » Logged

Carrie Preston
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 09:04:57 PM »

Carolann - Very helpful! Thanks for the confirmation on what I was seeing as common among Bibles/New Testaments.

CL Preston - Do you have any idea on their pricing? I do not want this to be a pricey endeavor, but I've never had a book recovered so I am not sure what the going rate is. Glad to have a recommendation for quality work!


Anyone else have any sources for buying Bibles or New Testaments?
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Betsy Connolly
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Robin C
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 11:30:39 AM »

Check out boxed lots at estate auctions.  I have seen bibles in with other books being auctioned.  There is always "treasures" of some sort in the boxes!
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K Krewer
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 06:16:16 AM »

I was just in an antique store on Saturday and they had several Bibles for a couple bucks apiece -- turn of the (last) century but no apparent difference.
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K Krewer
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2012, 06:10:37 PM »

I didn't see the question about cost until just now, sorry!

Their order page says a rebind is $35. So not a restoration, just a new cover. I don't know what kind of binding that would be, though. I'd give them a call and ask.
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Carrie Preston
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2012, 01:02:20 PM »

At one time our local Dollar Tree had some small testaments, they were black or white. The gold lettering came off fairly easily. I think the pages were gilt, and they a sort of "paste board"  cover.
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MissChele
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2012, 02:32:52 PM »

I found a covered hymnal at a flea market several years ago




For some reason, it was covered twice. The stitching goes thru the binding. I don't know the exact date of the hymn book, since the first few pages are missing. Hope this helps!


MissChele
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Donna Rowan
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2012, 06:30:15 PM »

That is way cool! Is that blue/green plaid an original homespun? That must have been very dear to someone to have recovered it that much. You might be able to date it "closely" if not exactly, by checking the writing dates for the hymns.Such as ..if the newest hymn was written in 1900. Then it cant be from 1820etc...
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 04:30:58 AM »

I found a covered hymnal at a flea market several years ago

 I don't know the exact date of the hymn book, since the first few pages are missing. Hope this helps!


MissChele

About your hymnal:  are the lyrics and the music printed on the same page, or different pages?  Are the tunes numbered or named?  Are there prayers or an order of service or The Apostle's Creed included in the hymnal?  Are the tunes printed with the oval notes we're familiar with, or one of the shape systems?

I have a small collection of hymnals.  If you can provide more information, someone on here may be able to identify this hymnal.

Hope this helps,

Jean
Route 66
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Ms. Jean
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MissChele
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2012, 11:28:04 AM »

It is only text. I have several that are similar but we don't know the exact date on this one. There is writing in pencil under the fabric, but I would have to cut the threads to be able to read any of it. I also have text, shaped and round note hymnals from early 19th century on. Shape note singing, mostly Sacred Harp,  is one of my other hobbies.

The plaid appears to be homespun.


MissChele
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Mother Dean
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2012, 06:49:13 PM »

Wonderful hymnal! I would love to see your collection. Perhaps you could be coerced into starting a new thread and sharing images. Smiley
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BetsyConnolly
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 06:27:11 PM »

That...might...work! I will have to look more into recovered Bibles and see if that might be an option. I just have major qualms about taking an antique book into the field, so being able to take a more modern Bible and make it look more period would be a good compromise for me. Thanks for sharing!
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Betsy Connolly
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MissChele
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 08:05:13 AM »

Wonderful hymnal! I would love to see your collection. Perhaps you could be coerced into starting a new thread and sharing images. Smiley

I would be glad to do that. I have not really documented them as well as I should.


MissChele
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