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The Flagship of Flagships

January 18th, 2018 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest

The Allan 53 Longprimer has long been the flagship of the Allan range – ignoring for the moment any potential competition offered by the more recently introduced Longprimer Sovereign editions.

Two years ago we reverted to a vintage copy of the classic Longprimer, printed in the period 1952-1958 under Charles Batey, then Printer to the University of Oxford, giving us a page image that is much closer to the original intentions of the typesetters. This new-old page image, retaining the large, clear type of the Longprimer we all know and love, but with a crisper letter form and less of the broken type that marks out much-used letterpress typesettings, has proven an immediate hit. Its positive reception has enabled us to broaden the range of Bibles within the Longprimer family to include not just the traditional 53 but also last year’s upgraded 52 Longprimer, leather-lined and bound in soft Meriva calfskin at Jongbloed in The Netherlands, and the Thinline 43 Longprimer bound at Charfleet here in the UK.

For 2018 we are making a further improvement for the ‘classic’ 53 style, with the (re)introduction of the 53 Longprimer with Cyclopedic Concordance – taking the all-in-one Encyclopedia-style concordance, dictionary-of-names, helps and tables that is always so popular in the smaller Brevier Clarendon Bibles, and setting it alongside the renowned Longprimer typesetting.

Initially we considered the possibility of enlarging the text from the smaller KJV Bible editions, but a couple of customers not only made us aware that the Longprimer itself had been printed with the Cyclopedic Concordance – in a couple of different variations – but kindly sent us their copies to review. We have gone with the most original of these, dating back, like the Longprimer text we are now using, to the days of Charles Batey, and with the same classical style font and layout. This printing is more expansive than the Cyclopedic Concordance in the smaller editions, with an increased text size set out over more pages, but also significantly more and fuller tables, and more (and different) photographs and illustrations. So while it remains unquestionably the Cyclopedic Concordance that is so well-known and loved – yet, ironically, through being more original, it will also have something new to discover for today’s reader.

As our standard 53 Longprimer has been off the market for a year or so now it may be worth highlighting some of the key features of this Allan flagship Bible. As usual, the 53C will be available in Black, Brown, Navy Blue or Crimson Red Highland goatskin, with full yapp and red under gold page edges, leather-lined in dark blue (or brown for the Brown, red for the Red), with double gilt lines inside, three ribbon markers, Allan presentation pages and family record in our improved design, Cyclopedic Concordance, 32 pages of lined writing paper and 16 pages of Oxford Bible maps with index. In addition, there will be 4 new colourways for this new range, with Green and Purple becoming part of the standard line-up, as well as Silver Line variations on the Black and Navy Blue goatskin editions.

The 53C will be ready to go out to customers this summer – we hope you like it!

Battle of Copenhagen

53C Longprimer with Cyclopedic Concordance



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