A Curious Heiroglyphick Bible; Or, Select Passages in the Old and New Testament, Represented with Emblematic Figures for the Amusement of Youth.
London: J. Barker [etc.],
The Hieroglyphick Bible is one of my favorite children’s books. It dates from 1783, with woodcuts attributed to engraver Thomas Bewick. Hieroglyphic bibles evolved from emblem books, where images or hieroglyphs served as symbols for intellectual ideas. Adapted over time, the use of hieroglyphics to communicate text shifted to a simpler approach that today we call rebus, which uses pictures to replace some words in each sentence. This bible, meant for young learners, is particular in that its binding of stiff vellum, with hand-painted covers and endpapers, was produced by the Royal School of Art Needlework (founded in 1875), still flourishing today as the Royal School of Needlework. Involved with the RSN were Arts and Crafts luminaries William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Walter Crane.