R. L. Allan New Classic Readers Commemorative Edition in Antique Mahogany Goatskin: Photos by Jesus Saenz

The R. L. Allan New Classic Readers Commemorative Edition ESV features one of the most beautiful bindings I have seen from the Allan shop, a natural grain antique mahogany goatskin whose exquisite color variation is highlighted in these photos courtesy of Jesus Saenz. The edition was limited to 150 copies. Enjoy the photos … and if you have one of these, let us know what you think. — JMB

_JSP9255 _JSP9259 _JSP9263 _JSP9270 _JSP9285 _JSP9296 _JSP9299 _JSP9303 _JSP9308 _JSP9311 _JSP9313 _JSP9322 _JSP9317 _JSP9323 _JSP9327 _JSP9329 _JSP9330 _JSP9332 _JSP9333 _JSP9334

44 Comments on “R. L. Allan New Classic Readers Commemorative Edition in Antique Mahogany Goatskin: Photos by Jesus Saenz

  1. Wow!!! Some awesome photography of some beautiful bibles! Thanks for sharing Jesus and Mark. Jesus that Antique Mahogany looks awesome alongside that Black Highland ESV. I’m somewhat enamored with my LP and ESV and I think both will be incredibly soft once broken in. Mark, I would love to get a Longprimer in this same material, but in black. Maybe we can convince Allan to start a new line of bibles in this goatskin, in addition to their Highland of course.

  2. That Commerative edition is amazing! I didn’t order one because I’m waiting for the version in Black goatskin (as boring as it might sound!). I have several brown Bibles and a tan ESV Reader, but I just tend to like classic black better. R.L. Allan does so many things rght! If I bought every Bible I liked,I’m sure I’d be breaking several of the Ten Commandments!

  3. As a fan of the NRSV, I struggle with a lot of un-Christ-like envy over the really beautiful editions of the ESV that are out there. The antique mahogany goatskin cover is just so lovely to look at.

    • Hearty agreement with Jason’s comment. I know Allan’s offers one NRSV with apocrypha; here’s hoping there can be more, and if they look like this ESV, so much the better!

  4. Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that this leather seems to take imprinting very well. These editions have some of the most clean and clear imprinting on the spine and front that I’ve seen on a bible.

  5. Truly amazing edition. Just received mine and cannot get over the changes in color in varying light conditions. I have a dozen or so Allans in various styles etc…and this is by far the most luxurious. I have a Longprimer on the way and don’t see how they’ll top this edition (although it seems I always think this and they continue to defy my expectations). We’ll done Allan.

  6. Thank you autocorrect on the iPad…regarding the we’ll vs. well…

  7. Much has been discussed regarding the leather cover of these editions but it is my first test drive of the blocks printed in the Netherlands. I do find it to be a vast improvement over the Chinese blocks in my ESV1. The paper is whiter, more opaque and has a better feel than my ESV1. I also love the size of the Readers Edition. My favorite edition up to this point was the now out of print, Heirloom Reference Bible. They have a 10.2 font size, the paper is plenty opaque which if I remember correctly was 27# paper with great feel and is more white than the other Crossway editions. I do think that this commemorative edition has now replaced that lovely book as my favorite Bible.

    Thank you all for the nice comments on the photos, I am glad you liked them.

  8. I ordered one of these editions and just received it! This is my first Allan and I cannot believe how beautiful this bible is. One thing that I noticed was that the numbered edition that I have is number 3 of 150 my ink is a blue color that looks like a ball point pen and is not the calligraphy fountain style like the one in these photos. I’m wondering when they changed pens?! I’m also curious if anyone knows the reason the limited edition crest and number is in the back few pages of the bible?

    • I have the KJV and the ESV COM’s and the KJV was not numbered using hand Calligraphy, although the ESV was, however the numbering on both of mine were done using a black marker and not ball point. Maybe since you have such a low count might be the reason yours is in blue ink?

      • Any chance you’d consider selling your ESV Com NCR? Or maybe trade or trade plus cash? I have lots of editions, mostly ESV. Anything you might be interested in?

  9. Wow, what a gorgeous Bible and thanks for the great photos Jesus. The cover looks so rich and classy in that color and with that leather. It looks like you could stick your finger in it, the color is so deep and rich. Glad to know you can still get bibles that are of such quality. I wonder if Leonard’s has anything close to that for a rebind? Now, I am going to fantasize about another Bible. Thanks Jesus.

  10. Wow. Both of those look lovely, and they’re ESV as well. I’d love a cover like that on my ESV and on my Greek New Testament as well.

    Lovely Bibles and photography, thanks for this post.

  11. Hey Jesus,

    What exactly is the other black ESV you have in these photos?


    • Adam, its an ESV1 that was a limited edition with red ribbons and red and white headbands. I thought they were supposed to be re-released but I don’t know what happened with that.

  12. I tend only to look for Allan Bibles via the Evangelicalbible.com website, and I don’t remember seeing this commemorative edition there. It’s a pity, because I have been saving up for a higher quality ESV than the one I have, and I definitely would have bought one if I had seen it. Although I normally have a preference for black leather or goatskin, this antique mahogany edition looks outstanding. And, as Jesus Saenz noted, it is not only the binding but the Jongbloed book block with higher quality paper and printing than the Chinese block in the ESV1 that makes this edition ideal. I hope Allan will produce some other editions with this book block–though a single column edition with a larger typeface than the PSR would be nice too.

    • Robert the Allan ESV NCR Edition is due out any day now in your choice of Black, Brown, Tan, and Marine Blue Highland Goatskin and the ESV NCR is the same text block pictured above. The current Schuyler ESV also uses this same text block.

  13. Norm, Thank you for pointing out the other Allans. The antique mahogany is so attractive, I wish I had known about them before the commemorative edition sold out. EvangelicalBible doesn’t list any of the colors in the new Allan edition; so I guess I’ll have to order one directly from Allan.

  14. No problem, I have a feeling EVBIBLE will post them as soon as they’re shipped. I’m assuming here, but I would imagine EVBIBLE is just trying too sell as many of their (Schuyler) brand before advertising the Allan edition. I did notice someone was offering an extra edition of the ESV Antique Goatskin Edition for sale on the Bible Exchange Facebook page. There are a few copies listed on EBAY at inflated prices, but if I were you I would wait and pick up one of the Highland Goatskin editions, since the Antique Goatskin has gotten mixed reviews.

  15. I ordered one of these, and was blown away by the binding as well. Indeed, it may be the best that Allan has put out. I was a little surprised by the color of mine, as I thought it would be more of a chocolate brown, but I like the lighter more caramel color.

    • Has anyone who has ordered one of these been disappointed by the color of the brown?

  16. Cary, I think I would have preferred the Longprimer in Black, but the brown I like very much in the KJV and ESV.

  17. Have a 53 COM. Expectations govern a lot of the like/dislike of this Bible. It doesn’t have the soft and limp feel of Highland goat. Ok. Some have tried to force it to shape like a Highland goatskin would and now have a damaged Bible. Others feel it is a cheaper leather which Allan used the “COM” label to foster off on the quality Bible buyer. On the up side it is a unique color and feel. It is stiffer and has an almost “waxy” feel to the surface which may be a treatment. For those of us who keep theirs there is offered the hope it will soften up in time. For those who hoped to flip theirs quickly for a large profit there seems to be disappointment. Lets here back in a year from other COM owners as to their impressions then.

  18. My family brought mine out to me in Cambodia (they were/are visiting for the holidays, not just to drop off the bible!) and it is a beautiful bible. I got #150. This is my first Allan, and though I should say that it’s the first of many, this thing is so nice, it’s hard to imagine a better one.

  19. This truly is a beautiful Bible. I love the color. The leather and binding are top quality. I have only good things to say about the physical book.

    However, I noticed something about the format that really puzzles me. Keep in mind that this is likely a problem with Crossway, not Allan, since Allan uses Crossway’s text blocks.

    Look closely at the fourth photo from the top (the “Bible Yoga” photo). The left hand page, inside column, bottom verse is Isaiah 1:29. As you can see the typesetter thought it would be a good idea to break the word “gardens” in half with the use of a hyphen, leaving the syllable “den” all alone on the next line. In the 2001 Crossway Classic Reference edition, the whole word “gardens” is indented to the next line.

    If you look at the next photo, you will see that in Daniel 7:14 the word “languages” is also broken by a hyphen, leaving “gauges” alone in the next line. Again, the older format indented the whole word.

    I’ve griped before about the problem that double column formats have with indenting lone words to the next line. But now we have lone syllables? This is completely unnecessary. The space is there to indent the whole word, or perhaps even a few words. What could the Crossway typesetters have been thinking?

  20. Does anyone know where I could purchase one of these bibles? I know they were only 150 made. I love this Bible.

  21. After holding off a few months, I thought I would ask if it is unusual to have a fold or crinkle or crease in most of the pages approximately one quarter inch from the binding. It is found in the margin and does not reflect readability at all. I didn’t do a page count of the folded pages, but I would guess that at least half of the pages are affected. Do I have an unreasonable expectation of wrinkle free paper in a Commemorative Edition? Do others have this same issue?

    The cover seems to not have the grain as in the above photos and is much lighter in color. I’ve kept and used this Bible mostly because 1) I love it despite the imperfection but 2) I rarely make waves if I’m not absolutely positive that I’ve received a “defective” product.

    • I have two of the COM editions, but do not have any such issue. Your best bet would be to contact Ian Metcalfe with R.L. Allan, also you might want to take a few pictures of the issue and send them to him. Ian I believe also has a page on this blog site where you can post your question.

  22. I have this beautiful bible but I was a little dismayed that many pages in the center portion had a wrinkle or crease one half inch from the binding and running most of the length of the page. The crease is not just one page many many sections. It really doesn’t interfere with the reading of the text nor the liquid functioning of the Bible and I use it every day. However, since this was a Commemorative edition, I didn’t expect quite such a noticeable flaw, especially since I have at least 6 other Allan Bibles with near perfect execution.

  23. I only have one high-end Bible, my recently purchased Allan’s NASB Reader’s Edition. That cover in the photos is insanely beautiful. Shame it was such a limited run!

  24. I have one of these lovely Bibles. Still in the box brand new. I would be interested in selling if anyone is interested.

    • Hi Alonna. I don’t know if you ended up selling the ESV Commemorative Edition, but I would be interested in buying one if you do.

      Please let me know.


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