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1819: First printing of part of Tolfrey's Sinhalese translation of the Bible

[Bible. Genesis. Sinhalese] The Holy Bible, translated into Singhalese, and printed under the direction of the Colombo Auxiliary Bible Society. Colombo Printed at the Wesleyan Mission Press 1819
First edition 4to, pp.[iv], 157, [1]. A very good copy in original boards. Spineprofessionally restored. A little scattered light spotting, more prominent on title page. With the bookplate of the library of the von der Gabelentz family from Thuringia, Germany and ownership inscription of Hans Conon von der Gabelentz on end-paper.
Darlow & Moule 8312; Rhodes p.75

The separate edition of Genesis, first book of Tolfrey's translation to be printed, issued with the title-page for the complete Bible, as noted under Historical catalogue 2134. Like all the early editions of the Sinhalese Bible printed under British rule, this was produced by the Wesleyan Mission Press set up in 1815 under the supervision of William Martin Harvard. In 1816 the Wesleyans acquired the presses and equipment of the Colombo Auxiliary Bible Society and from May that year their publications too were printed under Harvard's supervision. Hans Conon von der Gabelentz, 1807-1874, was a noted German linguist and bibliophile. He is said to have spoken 24 languages and known 84. His library contained some 10,000 volumes. He published a grammar of Manchu in 1832, and was one of the founders of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in 1845.