17th century 'Wicked Bible' offered in Bonhams London sale

An extremely rare copy of the 17th century "Wicked Bible" is valued at £10,000-15,000 ($15,451-23,117) ahead of a sale at Bonhams London.

The book was printed under royal contract by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas in 1631. It's so named for an unfortunate printing error.

Wicked Bible Bonhams
The 'Wicked Bible' was printed in 1631

In the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" instead reads "Thou shalt commit adultery".

The error was not discovered for around a year but provoked a furious reaction from King Charles I when it came to light.

He ordered every copy of the book burned, hit Barker and Lucas with a hefty fine and banned them from printing anything ever again. Only around nine copies are known to have survived the inferno.

Some historians believe the mistake was incorporated deliberately by a rival printer, Bonham Norton, to destroy Barker's career.

Whether there is any truth to this theory is unclear, although if it was sabotage it certainly did the trick. Barker died penniless in prison in 1645.

Other lots in the November 11 sale include a pen and ink sketch of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet by EH Shepard on a P&O Orient Lines menu.

Shepard drew it for a steward in 1968, while journeying to visit family in Tasmania.

We have a fascinating range of books and manuscripts for sale.

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