In the mid-1800s, the family Bible was viewed as more than teachings inspired by the light of God. They became sacred objects in their own right, taking center stage in the home and often with letters and souvenirs in the form of dried flowers.
The family Bible became the spiritual center of the home. The Protestant faith of the time worshiped the Living Word and valued sermons on ritual, so it is no wonder that the family Bible was seen as such a revered object. There were many events and happenings written in these books through which we can easily see 6017 years of Biblical and world history together.
The religious publishers of the time catered to this market by producing very numerous family Bibles, with color illustrations, pages to register marriages, deaths and births, and which in style owed everything to the bindings of the Middle Ages.
The old book with thick beveled wooden boards became the model for the 19th century family Bible, it also featured thick boards with beveled edges and could be as massive as its ancient counterpart. So the family Bible became the altar of domestic piety, somewhere where the sacred domestic life met the sacred life of the church fathers and prophets.
Unfortunately, the design of most of these family Bibles lacked the integrity of the content. When new they may have looked impressive, but the structure and materials used were governed by the harsh economic realities of the Victorian era. It is certainly possible to repair and preserve these books, however that work can take many hours and several hundred pounds.