The Bible in Miniature, or a Concise History of the Old & New Testaments.
32mo (30 x 48 mm). 2 parts in one volume. (2), 148, (2), 149-256 pp. With 2 engraved title-pages and 14 engraved plates. Contemporary giltstamped red morocco with central black morocco oval onlay to covers bearing the sacred initials "IHS". All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers.
Third edition of this exceedingly rare abridged children's Bible in its original binding, previously published in 1771 and 1774. Hariss's "Bible in Miniature" is the second of its kind in England, preceded only by the 1727 "Biblia" printed for R. Wilkin (the date being altered by hand to 1728 in many copies).
This is a charming specimen of what is commonly called a thumb Bible due to its small size, a genre that flourished particularly during the 18th century, although the fashion continued well into the 19th century. While copies of the almost identical "Bible in Miniature", published in 1780 by Elizabeth Newbery, are much more frequently found, the plates of the Harris edition are "superior to the frequently worn-out illustrations used by Newbery" (Spielmann). They feature key scenes and figures of the Old and New Testaments, including Adam and Eve, King David, Joseph of Arimathea, the Nativity, Resurrection, and Judgment Day.
In excellent condition, with contemporary handwritten ownership of "Miss Cooper" to flyleaf. Rarely seen at auction: only a handful of copies in libraries worldwide, merely on microfilm in the UK; 3 copies in the United States.
Bondy, Miniature Books 33. Cf. Spielmann, Catalogue of the library of miniature books 16 (1771 edition). Welsh, Bibliography of miniature books 1009. Roscoe, Thumb Bibles J2616.