Antique Family Bibles and Antique Holy Bibles Salesman Samplers - Antique Family Bibles and Early English Bibles

Go to content

Main menu:

Family Bibles
Salesman Bible Samplers - How the Antique Family Bibles were sold 'door-to-door'
How to browse through our Bibles:
All Bibles are listed in order of publishing date. For each Bible there is a seperate detailed webpage with many, many more pictures that you can reach by clicking on the title of the Bible or at the 'more details' link at the end of the description.
A note on the quality of our Antique Bibles:
We take great pride in the quality of the Bibles we offer. We cannot replace missing pages or undo water damage and so on, but we do make sure that the binding of the pages as well as the covers is in good (daily) useable condition. Therefore most Bibles go through a restoration process where the spines are cleaned of old failing adhesive and loose pages or broken signatures are restored/replaced. Old spine leather is reinforced or replaced and spine reinforcement is applied with new headbands and the cover hinge is extra re-enforced. Also the cover leather is cleaned and treated and if applicable the clasps are cleaned and restored. This is not just a patch job! This process brings the strength of the book back to its original quality!

View your cart:


The famous and very beautiful and attractive large family Bible of the 1880ies and 1890ies were sold by sales representatives who would literally go 'door-to-door' so offer these Bibles. They would carry with them a 'Bible Sampler': a book with examples of the covers, spines and some of the contents of the various styles and options for Bibles offered by this particular publisher.
These Bibles would vary in price from about $4.50-5 for the 'cheapest' one to about $15 or even $18 for the most exquisite and extensively 'loaded' Bibles. Also the quality and decorations of the covers would be more extensive and expensive as the price would increase. For an extra $0.75 to $1.00 per clasp the customer could choose to add one or two of the closing clasps (usually in brass or silver) to 'close' the Bible. The Salesman Bible Sampler would also contain small notes with additional instructions or background information for the salesman to share with the customer and off course one or more pricelist.
In the Salesman Bible Sampler (at the end) would be a set of pages, the so called subscription list, where Bible Salesman would write down the names and addresses of each customer who ordered a Bible plus the choices he or she would make about the various options for the Bible
Even though one will find the names of many different publishers in these antique folio sized family Bibles, the vast majority of these Bibles were printed by A.J. Holman in Philadelphia. The name of the publisher mentioned on the title page is often more the local representative (or perhaps even franchise) that actually sold the Bible.  A Holman Bible can always be recognized by 'the Light of the World' trademark that is often found on the title page.
It is important to realize that these Salesman Bibles were VERY heavily used. The Salesman went house by house and the Bible Sampler was opened and used continuously. Therefore most of the Salesman Bibles that have survived this period are in a fairly shape. It is extremely rare to find one of these Samplers in a Very Good or better condition. Another noteworthy observation is that most Salesman Bibles not only offer a collection of English language Bibles but also almost always one or more Bibles in at least one other European language (mostly German)
(stock number 406)

10" x 7" x 1"  thick
GOOD (G) to VERY GOOD (VG) condition

A Salesman "The Standard Comparative Edition of the Illustrated New testament with notes" Sample book as used by salesmen/agents for O.A. Browning & Co from Toledo, Ohio, for door-to-door offering and sales, dating from ca. 1882
This New Testament Salesman Bible Sampler book offers examples of different styles for the English language Comparative Edition of the Illustrated New Testament. Ranged in pricing from $3.75 for the "extra fine English cloth" version (No. 1) through $6.25 for the "French Morocco" version (No. 5). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this interesting sampler. 

The binding is fairly tight but (as always) handle with care. This Sampler seems complete.  There is wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather.  Page are quite clean, no writings. Also included are the (not written on) subscription pages. Quite attractive New Testament sampler ...more... 

Price $195
(stock number G85)
12.5" x 10" x 2.75"  thick
VERY GOOD (VG) condition

A remarkably well preserved Salesman 'Complete Bible Library - New Pictorial Parallel Family Bible' Bible Sampler as used by salesmen for the Cincinnati Publishing Company of Cincinnati Ohio (an agent for AJ Holman) dating from likely the mid 1880ies for its Parallel Bibles. Parallel Bibles presented both the King James Version as well as the Revised Version in parallel columns next to each other.
Like with most Bibles of these years, the mentioned published was a representative for the A.J. Holman company who actually printed these Bibles.
This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 5 different styles for the 'Two Bibles in One Volume' ranged in pricing from $3.50 for the "Arabesque Leather" version through $11.50 for the "French Morocco" version. They also offered a German language Bible and the Sampler contains various examples of the German and a Swedish version as well.
This Salesman Bible is in an overall VERY GOOD and COMPLETE condition. The (original) binding is still holding, however open and use carefully as some of the pages are starting to come lose. This Sampler is very complete, even almost all of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached. Also the original - blank- subscriptions forms are present as well! There is NO writing (except for a few entries son the sales register pages). Still retains most of the gold embossing on the edges of the covers. There is some wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather.  This Salesman Bible Sampler is about as good as is possibly preserved from this era.

Price: $425.00

Price $595.00

(stock number G77)
12.5" x 10" x 3"  thick
 VERY GOOD and DAILY USABLE/RESTORED condition

A complete and comprehensive Salesman Pictorial Parallel-Column Family Bible Sampler as used by salesmen/agents for A.J. Holman (who was the actual printer of most large family Bibles of those days having many other companies/representatives selling their Bibles under other publisher's name as well) dating from 1880ies.
This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 7 different styles for the English language 'Improved Pictorial Parallel Bible' ranging in pricing from $5.00 for the "Arabesque Leather" version (No. 500A) through $15.00 for the "German Morocco" version (No. 506). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this VERY extensive sampler.  In this Salesman Bible, this Bible is also offered in the German and Swedish language (offered in a number of different styles), including examples of these versions.
Just about all of the special 'pink' and 'yellow' slips with instructions/information for the salesman are still included. This Salesman Bible is in a VERY GOOD and DAILY USABLE/RESTORED condition. The binding is excellent and hi-quality restored (you can use/read it on a daily basis without concerns). This Sampler is complete, even almost all of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached.  There is NO writing. Preserved gold embossing on the edges of the covers. There is some wear  and occasional typical staining. A VERY nice salesman Bible.  ...more... 
(stock number 997)

12" x 10" x 2"
VERY GOOD (VG)  condition

A truly unique find: a Roman Catholic 1880ies Bible sampler used to sell the famous Haydock, (color) illustrated Catholic family Bibles door to door. Quite some Protestant samplers have been preserved, but finding a Roman Catholic Salesman Bible is very rare - there were only very few produced, let alone still in existence!!! This sampler shows a publisher neutral title page (so the salesman/franchise could add their own name) but is dated via copy rights to 1884 the year of the publication of most (color) illustrated Haydock Catholic family Bibles.
This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 3 different Bibles:
- the 1884 black and white illustrated Haydock edition - with black and white picture of Pope Leo XIII and a b/w section of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Examples of the various introductory sections (like the Approbations, Portraits of the Bishops, color maps, Illustrated Catholic Bible Dictioanry, Hisotry of the Books of the Holy Catholic Bible,  Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dore engravings etc etc) are all present as well as a sampling of the Bible text itself.
- the 1884 color edition, with all of the above PLUS examples of the color illustrations (picture of the Pope, Stations of the Cross, Parables of Jesus) are included
- a sampler of the 1880es German language Catholic family Bible with examples of its various sections.

There are off course also examples of the various covers and spines to choose from. A VERY RARE Roman Catholic family Bible sampler book  ...more details ...

Price: $775.00

Price: $425.00

(stock number G26)

12.5" x 10" x 2.5"  thick
VERY GOOD (VG) condition

A remarkably well preserved Salesman Parallel - Column Edition Bible Sampler as used by salesmen for the Historical Publishing Company of Dayton, Ohio dating from likely the mid 188ies for its Parallel Bibles. Parallel Bibles presented both the King James Version as well as the Revised Version in parallel columns next to each other.
Like with most Bibles of these years, the mentioned published was a representative for the A.J. Holman company who actually printed these Bibles.
This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 4 different styles for the 'New Pronouncing Parallel Bibles -  the latest issued and the very best' ranged in pricing from $5.00 for the "American Morocco" version (Style A) through $12.50 for the "Genuine Turkey Morocco" version (Style D). They also offered a German language Bible and the Sampler contains various examples of the German version as well.
This Salesman Bible is in an overall VERY GOOD and COMPLETE condition. The (original) binding is still holding, however open and use carefully as some of the pages are starting to come lose. This Sampler is very complete, even almost all of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached. Also the original - blank- subscriptions forms are present as well! There is NO writing. Still retains most of the gold embossing on the edges of the covers. There is some wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather.   This Salesman Bible Sampler is about as good as is possibly preserved from this era.

An amazing piece of Bible history. ...more... 

Price $395.00

(stock number 642)

12.5" x 10" x 2.5"  thick
VERY GOOD (VG) condition

An amazing complete and comprehensive Salesman Family Bible Sampler as used by salesmen/agents for B.F. Johnson & Co in Richmond (A.J. Holman was the actual printer of most large family Bibles of those days having many other companies/representatives selling their Bibles under other publisher's name as well) dating from 1880ies.
This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 11 different styles for the English language 'New Standard Family Bible' ranging in pricing from $3.50 for the "Arabesque Panel" version (No. 0) through $22.00 for the "Parallel German Morocco" version (No. 11). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this VERY extensive sampler.  Just about all of the special 'pink' and 'yellow' slips with instructions/information for the salesman are still included.
This Salesman Bible is in a VERY GOOD and COMPLETE condition. The binding is sound (as always handle with care). This Sampler is complete, even almost all of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached. Some, but limited
writing. Preserved gold embossing on the edges of the covers. There is some wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather. See the many pictures.

An amazing piece of Bible history. ...more... 
(stock number 401)

12.5" x 10" x 2.75"  thick
GOOD (G) - VERY GOOD (VG) condition

A nice and attractive Salesman "Pictorial Family Bible" Sample book as used by salesmen/agents for P.W. Ziegler & Co. of Philadelphia and Chicago for door-to-door offering and sales,  dating from 1880ies. This Salesman Bible Sampler book offers examples of 5 different styles for the English language 'Pictorial Family Bible' ("the Best in the Field") Ranged in pricing from $5.00 for the "Arabesque Leather, Marbled Edges" version (No. 1) through $13.00 for the "Magnificently Bound in Extra Fine Morocco, Full Gilt Sides, Raised Panels" version (No. 5). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this extensive sampler.  For an extra 25 cents any of the above styles "will be furnished with the Old Version and the Revised Version of the New Testament in parallel Columns". Ziegler also offered the same Bible versions in the German language for the same prices ranging of $5.00 (No. 1) to $13.00 (Style 5) and the Sampler contains various examples of the German versions as well.

There are also pricelists and subscribers pages (some filled out, including 2 'testimonies' from local pastors!) included plus many instruction notes for the salesmen. The binding is holding well and allows for regular use and study with care (as always with these old books). This Sampler seems complete, even many of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached. There is NO writing (except for the subscription pages).  There is wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather.  Some rough pages, an occasional tear and other small damages throughout. Still, quite an attractive piece of end of 19th century Bible history!  ...more details...

Price $395

Price $450
(stock number 384)

12.5" x 10" x 2.75"  thick
VERY GOOD (VG) condition

A very fine example of an 1880ies Salesman  Pictorial Family Bible Sampler as used by salesmen/agents for the U.S.B. Publishing Company (A.J. Holman was the actual printer of most large family Bibles of those days having many other companies/representatives selling their Bibles under other publisher's name as well) dating from the early 1890ies. This Salesman Bible Sampler offers examples of 10 different styles for the English language 'containing the Old and New Versions in Parallel Columns' ranged in pricing from $4.25 for the "Arabesque" version (No. 3) through $15.00 for the "Genuine Turkey Morocco" version (No. 12). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this beautiful sampler.  In this Salesman Bible, this Bible is also offered in the German language ("The New Illustrated German Bible"). The Sampler contains various examples of this German language version as well. A number of the special 'pink' slips with instructions/information for the salesman are still included.

The binding has been restored, is sound and allows for daily use without any concerns. This Sampler is very complete, even a number of the salesman instruction slips/notes are still present and attached. There is NO writing. Preserved gold embossing on the edges of the covers. There is some wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather. An attractive Salesman Bible.  ...more... 
(stock number 433)

12" x 10" x 1"  thick
FAIR (F) to GOOD (G) condition

A Salesman "Self-Pronouncing Edition Holy Bible" Sample book as used by salesmen/agents for Hertel, Jenkings & Co from Atlanta, Georgia, for door-to-door offering and sales, dating from 1890ies.
This Salesman Bible Sampler book offers examples of different styles for the English language Combination Edition of the Self-Pronouncing Family Bibles, Ranged in pricing from $5.50 for the "cheapest combination Bible ever sold" version (No. 00P) through $11.00 for the "Pastoral Bible" version (Style E.C.). Examples of contents, covers and spines are all included in this interesting sampler. 

The binding is fairly tight but the covers are somewhat loose, some of the pages are also loose in the front. This Sampler seems complete. There is wear to the edges of the covers and areas on the leather.  Some rough pages, an occasional tear, some writing in the front, damp staining and other small damages throughout. Still, quite an attractive piece of end of 19th century Bible history!   ..more... 

Price $175
 
Back to content | Back to main menu