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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 600

Simon Wastell "Microbiblion or The Bibles Epitome: in Verse" 1629

Estimate: $600 - $700

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MICROBIBLION OR THE BIBLES EPITOME: IN VERSE, Simon Wastell, London: Printed for Robert Mylbourne, 1629. 12vo, 510pp in 18th or early 19th C. leather-covered wrappers; with printed dedication "To The Right Honorable his singular good Lord, Sir William Spencer"; Illegible signature on blank page opposite New Testament dated 1673. Originally published in 1623 as a translation of John Shaw's Latin text of 1621 (A True Christian's Daily Delight), Wastell endeavored to replace Shaw's Old Testament with his own verse stylings. Retitled "Microbiblion..." this edition differs from the 1623 and subsequent printings as this is the only printing of Wastell's poetic version of the Old Testament. Although lacking a title page, comparisons made between both the 1623 and 1629 versions identify this edition as the latter. Contains first page of the poem "Upon the Image of Death" in rear. 5 3/4" x 3 1/4". Biographical Note: Simon Wastell (1562-1632?), a  schoolmaster and Biblical scholar, published in 1623 a translation of John Shaw's ‘Biblii Summula,’ (1621), titled ‘A True Christians Daily Delight,’ dedicated to Sir Robert Spencer, first baron Spencer of Wormleighton. It was a short summary in verse of the contents of the Bible, intended for children to commit to memory. To make the task easier the stanzas began with the successive letters of the alphabet. This first edition was later reprinted in 1683 (London, 12mo), under the title ‘The Divine Art of Memory.'  Wastell, however, himself issued a second enlarged edition in 1629, entitled ‘Microbiblion, or the Bibles Epitome in Verse,’ London, 12mo. The summary of the Old Testament was entirely recast, and, though still based on the ‘Summula,’ was rather an original paraphrase than a translation from Shaw. The summary of the New Testament was, however, merely reprinted from the first edition. The book was dedicated to Sir William Spencer, son of Sir Robert, who had died in 1627. The edition of 1629 also contained two poems ‘Upon the Image of Death,’ and ‘Of Mans Mortalitie.' (from


Title page absent; 2 rear pages missing: 2nd part of "Upon the Image of Death" with first page of "Of Man's Mortalitie" on its reverse; and 2nd part of "Mortalitie" with erratum notes on reverse. Pages with some chipping along bottom edge, and some evidence of prior insect presence. 

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