A rather UNIQUE offering of a set of the three
famous, first edition, first Bibles printed in America by Christoph
Saur (Sower in English) in Germantown, Pennsylvania: the 1743
first Bible printed in America, the 1763 the first Bible printed on
American-made paper and the 1776 (also called the gun-wad Bible)
which is the first Bible printed from American-made type (font).
Christoph Saur (1693-1758) printed the first Bible
(the first Bible printed in the US in a European language - German)
- an edition of 1200 copies - in 1743 based on Martin Luther's
German translation. He included in the Apocrypha only the books that
Luther has used but also added III and IV Esdras (now referred to as
I and II Esdras by Protestants) and III Macabees. The verses in Job
19:25-27 are printed in two translations: Luther's and that from the
The 1763 Bible was printed as an edition of 2000
copies (the first Bible printed on American made paper) by Saur's
son who was also called Christoph (1721-1784). The third edition was
also printed by him in 1776 (3000 copies) and was the first Bible
printed with American made letter type. This one is also known as
the gunwad Bible as legend has it that many inbound pages of this
edition were used to make cartridge paper during the battle of
Germantown, October 4, 1777. All three Bibles are complete and in VERY GOOD
The 1743 edition has its general title printed in
RED and BLACK. Various ornament head-pieces. Tight binding (holding
very well) with original covers (lost its clasps) and replaced spine
with gold texts "Biblia" and "Germantown 1743". Some browning and
staining throughout. Separate title to New Testament and a
table/register and the end of the Bible.
The 1763 Bible has all original, covers, spine and
leather straps. Likely rebound sometime in the 20th century and it
is holding well. All complete with both title pages, colophons and
ornamental headpieces. text basically identical to the 1743 edition.
Some typical browning etc throughout. Extensive provenance notes on
the back of the front cover and some pages at the end of the Bible
dating back to 1753.
The 1776 Gun-Wad Bible is also bound in its
original covers and spine with original leather hasps (do not close
too well) and decorated with (original) brass corner and center
pieces - very nice! Binding holds very well. Some typical browning
but overal very clean and undamaged pages.
See below for about 150 pictures!