Pennyroyal Caxton Bible donated to Swem Library

Swem's Pennyroyal Caxton BibleThanks to the generosity of Bruce and Suzie Kovner, Swem Library has received a copy of the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible.  This version of the King James Bible was created by Barry Moser, the noted printmaker and book illustrator, who spent three years designing and setting the type and carving the engravings.

Published by the Pennyroyal Caxton Press in 1999, it is the first Bible illustrated entirely by one artist with illustrations for every book of both the Old and New Testaments since Gustave Doré’s edition of Le Saint Bible came close to this completeness in 1865.

Bound in two volumes, the Bible contains 233 illustrations.  Each volume is laid into a full linen tray case with the binding hand-stitched and made of vellum, the paper handmade, and the title stamped in 24-carat gold on the cover and spine.

Volume one contains the five books of Moses, the historical books and the books of poetry. Volume two contains the books of prophecy and the New Testament.

Pennyroyal Caxton Press was named for Moser’s Pennyroyal Press and Kovner’s Caxton Corporation, named for William Caxton.

William Caxton (ca. 1415~1422 – ca. March 1492), the first English retailer of printed books, is believed to be the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press in England.

Here are just some of the illustrations in the Bible

Jonah and the Whale by Barry Moser
Jonah and the Whale by Barry Moser

David by Barry Moser
David by Barry Moser

For more information about the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible and an explanation of the process behind its creation, click on this link:

To view the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, please contact the Swem Special Collections Research Center at or 757-211-3090.