Book, Spershott Family Bible

Production date
Current rights
Public Domain

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About this object
The Spershott Family Bible was printed in London by Robert Barker in 1616. It incorporates a Book of Common Prayer with the Pfalter (Salter) of Pfalms (Psalms) of David. The Bible is written in medieval English and embossed gothic type. It is known as the Breeches Bible because of a verse in Genesis, Chapter Three which tells of Adam and Eve sewing fig leaves together and from these, making themselves breeches. The more recent biblical translation for breeches is aprons or garments.

The Bible has been in the ownership of the Spershott family since 1666. In the front of the book is handwritten information documenting family births, deaths and marriages, messages of goodwill and blessings. James Spershott from the city of Chichester first owned the Bible. He paid to have the book bound and wrote: whose hands it should come in to, that they will carefully preserve it from all damage and may the Lord’s blessing accompany it to everyone [sic].
Production place
Production period
Production technique
Media/Materials description
a) Bible - leather cover, printed on paper with black ink.
b) Wooden box - wood, brass and metal.
c) & d) black ink on newsprint.
Bible: Length x Width x Depth: 320 x 220 x 80mm
Wooden Box: Length x Width x Depth: 400 x 330 x 140mm
Height x Width: 265 x 180mm
Height x Width: 250 x 230mm
Subject date
Current rights
Collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, [85505]
Credit line
gifted by Barbara Barrett and Carol Spershott
Other number(s)
2013/18, 85505
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