Super Rare c. 1796 Hieroglyphic Bible for the Amusement & Instruction of Children (some losses)

Regular price $165.00

I didn't know about "hieroglyphic bibles" produced in the late 1700s and making use of the rebus form (pictures replacing some of the words) as a means of introducing children to bible reading. The rarest, and first American version of these (only 4 copies are known to exist) was A Curious Hieroglyphic Bible published by Isaiah Thomas in 1788 in Worcester, MA, cited by the Library of Congress in 2012 as one of 88 "Books That Shaped America." This is not one of those, but it is quite similar; this one, based on my research and careful comparison with a few copies out there documented, is a 1796 first edition copy of the Hieroglyphic Bible for the Amusement & Instruction of Children, published by The Bookseller, NY. (Here's a link to a reference for it.) Included are about 100 pages in rebus form (pages 9-117) along with several pages devoted to Saints. I'm completely taken with the images (which include a couple of lambs with outlines enhanced with ink by a one time owner)--all sorts of animals, eyes and hands and feet and skeletons and forces of nature, on and on, in wonderful and evocative combinations. And at the bottom of each page is the straight text, in case one isn't quite sure how to translate the images. Photos give a good sense, and every page is as good as the next. The title page as well as pages 1-8 are missing, and the front cover is detached, but this is quite a marvelous and significant book--and a very visually rewarding one--nonetheless.

 5 9/16" x 3 3/4". Front cover detached, back cover beautifully hand-stitched to spine. A good amount of variation in darkness of ink on printed pages but completely readable throughout. Light wear to the edges of paper but no foxing and only very minor stains here and there. Page 129 long ago was integrated into binding at front of the book (I assume originally at the back). Title page through page 8 missing.