Discover Vintage America - NOVEMBER 2015

Little glass vase is Czech from the Kralik Glassworks

Q: We have a fine set of 14 volumes of the Holy Bible published by R.H. Hinkley of Boston in the limited edition No. 147 of 500 copies bound in pigskin and what appears to be wood. Each book has a single different colored scene under onionskin-like paper.

Each is in excellent condition, no tears or dirty pages or visible wear. One volume has written signatures of the original owner. What might these be worth? Thank you.


A: The complete title of your Bible set is The Holy Bible, Containing The Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha; Translated Out of the Original Tongues in the Year of Our Lord 1611.

There were three different early limited edition sets published by the R. H. Hinkley Company/ Merrymount Press, Boston, MA. Merrymount Press was founded by Daniel Berkeley Updike in 1904. They all contain etchings by LaLauze, Boilot, F. Pagnier, EM Laitin, Aubert and other artists of note at the time.

There were three limited edition runs with each containing 14 volumes all of which are thought to have been issued around 1904.

The spines are usually kid leather, over wood covers. It is excellent that the tissue is still over the illustrations. This was done to prevent the color from bleeding on to the text on the facing page.
If the condition is excellent to near mint, clean inside and out, and with unscathed wooden boards, the resale value of your particular set is $400-$500 USD.

Just as a side note, most Bibles are not worth much on the resale market. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

Note: All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade. Send questions with photos to Michelle to Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to for a one-on-one appraisal.