Two watercolour books kept by an English schoolboy, Henry Moore (born 1831), between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.more...
They are exceptional not for orthodox artistic merit, though they are fine (and sometimes compelling) examples of British naive art, but for their depiction of some of the minutiae of provincial domestic life. Henry was evidently an observant adolescent, who, in addition to making painstaking portraits of his family and views of his local surroundings, recorded such charming details as the pattern on the bedroom carpet at home, a flycatcher’s nest tucked into an iron gate-hinge and the elaborate icing on a traditional English ‘Twelfth Cake’.
A child of the English Midlands, Henry Moore was son of a canal agent at Stone in Staffordshire, a small town on the Trent and Mersey Canal, just South of Stoke on Trent and the Potteries. Many of the best images in his notebooks are of details of the Stone Navigation Office, suggesting the family lived on site, and he includes a fine study of the red brick and slate roofs of the rear of the office, and views of the cart shed, the cow house, the flower garden gate, the strong room, the check office, canal bridges, factory chimneys and a nearby windmill. There are also full- and double-page images of the town and its neighbouring buildings, among which the imposing red brick workhouse is outstanding. He also takes a boy’s interest in boats and trains, with two typical canal boats and a railway engine.
He makes portraits of his younger siblings, girls and boys in contemporary dress and takes pleasure in recording possessions at home: ‘mama’s opal bottle’, ‘mama’s bread-pan’, ‘mama’s great [Staffordshire] jug’, a piano, a Christmas plum pudding, candlesticks, brushes, a mother-of-pearl bookmark and several domestic fabric patterns. There are also records of trips further afield: with boats on the Severn and Mersey, the organ at Worcester, while an intriguing sequence shows domestic details of a particular house in Calthorpe Street, [Bloomsbury, London], with a parlour and bed, carefully depicted.
He was sent to boarding school at Bromsgrove, another canal town some 60 miles away in neighbouring Worcestershire, where he attended the Free School, then undergoing a tercentenary rejuvenation under pioneering schoolmaster John Day Collis (see Oxford DNB). Here, Moore made views of the new school buildings and of the church from the school playground. According to the school records he seems to have been a model student, winning a prize every year and earning a scholarship to Oxford, where he went up to Worcester College in 1849. He took both a BA and MA, became a fellow in the course of 15 years spent at Oxford. He apparently then became a cleric in London.
Moore also includes numerous imaginative scenes, usually rather more crudely drawn than those from life: many are of soldiers in uniform and several are of circus performers. He clearly had access to books too, and there are copies of scenes from Francis Edward Paget’s Hope of the Katzekopfs; Or, the Sorrows of Selfishness. A Fairy Tale (1846), Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit (1843), Moule’s English Counties (1837), Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Hamlet, Shaw’s Travels (1746 and several later editions) and the ‘Panorama of the Battle of Sabraon’ (exhibited 1846, and perhaps seen either in the flesh or via published engravings). .see full details
Second edition, a reissue of the 1799 edition with a new title.more...
Middleton’s designs include several cottages ornés, typical of the contemporary Picturesque movement, substantial villas, a public bath, a court house, an observatory, greenhouses, an aviary, a ‘gothick chapel’ and tea houses in the form of a Chinese temple and a Turkish temple. ‘…Middleton adopted a manner of illustration that was peculiarly his own. The designs are etched in a nervous line that obscures smaller details but delineates significant features of the building design and surrounding scenery, but also contributes an uncommon liveliness and animation to the illustration as a whole. The plates are further distinguished by bright, sometimes garish color in in ocher, salmon, pale green, bright green and bright blue tints.’ (Archer, Literature of British domestic Architecture 1715-1842, 1985, 206.4 (1799 edition with identical plates).
Middleton trained in architectural draughtsmanship under James Paine, gaining admission to the Royal Academy in 1779, before being employed by Henry Holland around 1783. He superintended Holland’s works at Carlton House..see full details
The celebrated life of a colourful swindler and impostor, first published in 1745 and reprinted numerous times.more...
This is one of two editions printed for Buckland, Bathurst and Davies in 1793. The final 5 pages contain a notable cant dictionary.
Carew fell in with a band of gypsies as a wayward young boy. “After a year and a half Carew returned home for a time, but soon after resumed a career of swindling and imposture, which saw him deceive people to whom he had previously been well known. Eventually he embarked for Newfoundland, but stayed only a short time. On his return to England he passed as the mate of a vessel, and eloped with the daughter of a respectable apothecary from Newcastle upon Tyne, whom he later married.
Carew soon returned to the nomadic life, and when Clause Patch, a Gypsy king or chief, died Carew was elected his successor. He was convicted of being an idle vagrant, and sentenced to be transported to Maryland. On his arrival he attempted to escape, but was captured and made to wear a heavy iron collar; he escaped again, and encountered some Native Americans, who removed his shackles. On departure he travelled to Pennsylvania. He was then said to have swum the Delaware River, after which he adopted the guise of a Quaker, and made his way to Philadelphia, then to New York, and finally to Boston, where he embarked for England. He escaped impressment on board a man-of-war by pricking his hands and face, and rubbing in bay salt and gunpowder, so as to simulate smallpox” (John Ashton, rev. Heather Shore in Oxford DNB).
This biography is variously attributed to Bampfylde Moore Carew himself, to Robert Goadby and also to his wife, Mrs. Goadby. .see full details
First edition in English, very rare, of this celebrated treatise on inventions and origins, including accounts of the inception of printing, theatre, mathematics, medicine, magic, religion, law, government, prostitution and warm baths.more...
First published in Latin in 1499 (Venice) and augmented in 1521, it digested a huge mass of classical, biblical and contemporary learning and became a Renaissance bestseller with as many as 30 Latin editions alone appearing before the author’s death in 1555. The 1546 English translation, an abridgement by Thomas Langley, did not appear until 1546, by which time the Urbino-born Polydore had been resident in England for several decades. A diplomat, scholar and historian Vergil counted Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Cuthbert Tunstall, Thomas Linacre and Baldessare Castiglione among his acquaintances and correspondents (Oxford DNB).
Issued no less than three times in 1546, this English edition is remarkably rare. We can find only this copy at auction in the last 50 years.
The work is divided into eight books, from which Langley makes succinct abridgements, of which a selection of chapter headings gives a flavour:
I. 9. ‘The begynnyng of Tragedies, Comedies, Satyres, and newe Comedies; 11. ‘Who founde Musyke’; 12. ‘Who found Musicall instruments’; 14. ‘Astrologie’; 15. ‘Who fonde Geometrie, Artihmetike’; 16. ‘Physike’; 17. ‘The inventours of herbes medicinable’; 18. ‘The beginnyng of Magike’; 19. ‘Two kyndes of divination’.
II. 1. ‘The originall of lawes’; 2. ‘Who ordeyned the first gouvernaunces’; 6. ‘Who set furth books fyrst, or made a library, Printyng, paper, parchement, arte of memory’ (which includes the observation: ’Truely the com[m]odite of liberaries is right profitable & necessary, but in co[m]parison of the crafte of printyng it is nothyng, both because one ma[n] may printe more in one day, then many men in many years could wryte: And also it preserveth both Greke & Latine auctours fro the dau[n]ger of corruption. It was found in Germany at Mogunce [Mainz] by one J. Guthenbergus a knight , he found moreover the Inke by his devise that printers used ...)’
Among other entries we find treatments of: war, Olympiades, plays, metals, coins, painting, ‘wyne, oyle, honye, chese, and strange trees broughte into Italy’, labyrinths, theatres, prostitution and brothels, and Christian and Moslem origins and customs.
Provenance: Sotheby’s, June 14th, 1965, lot 231 (Traylen, £55); Blackwell, Centenary Catalogue, 1979, item 27, £450; private collection..see full details
A CAPACIOUS AND OUTLANDISH FRENCH LIVRE DE RAISON (COMMONPLACE BOOK), DENSELY WRITTEN IN IDIOSYNCRATIC FRENCH WITH A SERIES OF NAÏVE AND HIGHLY-COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS OF HISTORICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL FIGURES.more...
Anonymous in its surviving form (it has lost 44 preliminary pages through accident or deliberate removal) it still represents a rich and surprising store of contemporary popular culture. It combines practical wisdom (medical and household recipes, a calendar and a formulary of letters) and history (accounts and memorials of the events of the Revolution and Revolutionary Wars), to which are added an abundance of oracles, popular songs, verses, maxims, puzzles, jokes and a wonderful dictionary for the interpretation of dreams. A brief sampling of the many texts suggests that this will become a rewarding resource for the reconstruction of a particular vein of popular culture. Detection of political bias or intention is no easy matter: though the writer clearly regrets the bloodthirsty acts of the Revolution, celebrates the successes of Napoleon in the subsequent wars, and reproduces a republican hymn to George III of England, a dialogue between Napoleon and King George and poem on Waterloo. Quite who compiled this remarkable manuscript and where is a matter for research. The relatively neat and regular script is countered by chaotic grammar and spelling — words and phrases are frequently phonetic, perhaps bringing the reader close to contemporary speech patterns. The maker’s literacy is certainly pragmatic, suggesting he was perhaps an official or clerk, capable of making effective records but remaining refreshingly untouched by high literary culture. The bold and naïve illustration is in keeping with this. Colour, ornamentation and visual impact are to the fore, while proportion and perspective are in short supply and if we need to seek parallels or comparisons for the style, then they are best found in contemporary popular woodcuts and broadsides produced by printers such as Pellerin of the Imagerie d’Épinal. It is quite possible that a regional location will be revealed through study, but for now, all that can be said is that the manuscript s very unlikely to be Parisian or metropolitan. Subjects for the images include numerous memorial portraits of victims of the Revolution (including the princesse de Lamballe, those drowned in the Nantes massacre of 1793/4, the duc de Berry and Louis XVII) plus a series of character sketches of selected inhabitants of the world. Among the latter are found English peasants and burgers, natives of African Guinea, Egypt, Castille, Rome, Gascony, Brittany and Paris; stilt-walking shepherds of the Landes, a Dover housewife, a pair of hairy savages and a depiction of house in America (‘habitation de la merique’). Other images are emblematic and include two misogynistic portraits of ill-tempered women, tempered by some rather touching heart-shaped emblems of love, wisdom and marriage..see full details
First and only complete collected edition, a superb and handsome set completed with 2 volumes of Cook’s ‘Life of Ruskin’ (1911) uniformly bound (41 vols in all).more...
‘The edition was the outcome of twelve years work by Edward Tyas Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, although Cook completed the bulk of the editing. The aim of The Library Edition was to provide the complete works of Ruskin, both literary and artistic, in uniform volumes. The edition was undertaken by Messrs. George Allen, Ruskin's publishers. Illustrated by 820 wood blocks and 990 full-page plates with 120 facsimiles of MSS., the edition includes 269 plates of Ruskin's own drawings of which 200 had never before been published. Portraits of Ruskin are used as frontispieces to some of the volumes. The press work was carried out by Messrs. Ballantyne of Edinburgh, and the weight of type amounted to nine tons, whilst the printing ink weighed 1800lbs. Printed on hand-made, linen rag paper (about 87tons) with a double watermark of Ruskin's monogram and seal. The edition consisted of 2062 sets, of which 2000 were available for sale to subscribers for the full set. The first volume was published on 27 March 1903. George Allen did not live to see the completion of the edition dying on 5 September 1907, his children taking over the firm ... Cook and Wedderburn provide the standard reference work for Ruskin studies.’ (from the University of Lancaster’s Preface to their electronic edition).
‘The apogee of Ruskin's immediate influence was marked by the decision to publish a monumental Library Edition of his complete works in thirty-nine volumes, edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, which appeared between 1903 and 1912. Although biographically reticent and presenting a liberal version of Ruskin (as did Cook’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography), this became the foundation for future Ruskin scholarship’ (Oxford DNB)..see full details
Not found in any of the usual online or printed sources, a delightful juvenile almanac, containing ten moral verses each with a vignette, engraved throughout.more...
Though the publisher Maillard de Bresson produced several other almanacs, and this one is quite typical of the genre, it seems to have eluded bibliographers, including Grand-Carteret. The Journal historique et littéraire (January 1756) gives a useful account of the publisher’s business: ‘M. Maillard de Bressan continue a vendre des caractéres, des desseins & vignettes, des armes à jour, des papiers peints, des sentences, des devises, & forme avec succès la suite de ses fables morales, & instructives pour la jeunesse de l’un et l’autre sexe. It fait des envois auc Communautés Religieuses & à toutes personnes chargées de l’éducation des enfants, ou à des Marchands qui s’adressant à lui. Il demeure actuellement au Collége de Cambray, pres de la rue Saint Jacques, à Paris’..see full details
First edition of an important early proposal for the popularisation of air travel by powered balloon.more...
The first powered balloon flight had been achieved by Henri Giffard in 1852, but the major challenge facing early aeronautical engineers was the application of steam power to lighter-than-air craft. Named the Explorateur aerien, Farcot’s proposed craft was a fish-like airship of 15 tons carrying capacity with fins and double propellors and a 5 horsepower engine. He suggested its use for both pleasure and scientific experiment. Eugène Farcot (1830-96) was involved in the early flight experiments and was a member of the pioneering Société aérostatique et metéorologique; he rightly predicted the revolution in both travel and society which could be brought about by powered air travel, writing about it both in fiction and non-fiction and he later achieved celebrity as the pilot of the Louis-Blanc, one of the balloons which broke the Paris siege in 1870. A clock-maker by profession he was perhaps best known to his contemporaries for his sophisticated and expensive clock mechanisms. .see full details
First edition, Bibliothèque des Chemins de Fer issue (of which it forms part of the second series).more...
A fictional account of the voyage to Sydney, the convict regime, the Australian interior and the gold mines. Merruau’s list of sources includes the ‘Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the State of the Colony of New South Wales’ as well as Rowcroft’s Tales of the Colonies and Haygarth’s Bush Life in Australia..see full details
Sole edition of this bibliographical catalogue of 210 printed works issued at the time of the Estates General of 1614-15, comprising official documents, memoirs, counsels, petitions, harangues, discussions of the death of Henry IV, arrêts du Parlement, pasquinades and satires.more...
Each entry includes a line or two of commentary. An advisory body representing the three estates in France, the Estates General had met periodically from the middle ages to 1614, which proved to be its last assembly for over 150 years. As France headed towards revolution, the Estates General was summoned as a desperate measure in May 1789 on the model of the 1615 assembly—doubtless the occasion of this rare little bibliography..see full details
Written in prison and first published in 1783, Mirabeau’s learned but witty treatise on the varieties of sexuality in antiquity was immediately banned and issued in very few copies (traditionally only 14).more...
Later editions continued to provoke the censor and are also rare. In this Paris edition, a near-contemporary reader has inserted notes on the early publication of the text, the opinion that Mirabeau presents ‘des tableaux plus licentieux que ceux de l’Aretin’, and Greek transliterations of chapter headings, with definitions.
Pia’s A-342 conforms to this edition, save for the spelling of the first word of the title. Pia gives ‘Errotika’ as in all previous editions, while ours reads ‘Erotika’. This may therefore be Pia’s error, and may also suggest ours is the first edition to bear the modernised title spelling customary in all later editions..see full details
A DELIGHTFUL BOOK, CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST CHARMING FRENCH MANUSCRIPTS WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED, A COLLECTION OF FAMILY SONGS AND ENTERTAINMENTS COMPOSED OVER A PERIOD OF 20 YEARS to 1808, memorialising a deep and sentimental friendship between two families with young daughters.more...
The compiler, Césaire Delaplanche and his wife Marie Adelaïde (Adèle), produced three daughters: Virginie, Heloïse and Pauline and father Césaire encouraged them to mark family occasions in song, a tradition which lasted at least the 20 years charted by the manuscript. The hundreds of original songs here were composed by the girls (presumably with their father’s help) for birthdays, New Year celebrations, feast days, weddings, visits, reunions and suppers and for recording gifts (an embroidered purse and tobacco case are mentioned), in honour of tutors, or in memory of deceased relations and friends. Each verse is transcribed in full, headed with the name of the popular tune to which they were sung: Femmes, voulez-vous éprouver?, Femme Sensible Entendre-tu le ramage, Pauvre Jaques, Sous les auspices de l’Hymen, to name but a few.
The story told by the manuscript is not without sadness. The death of the Delaplanche girls’ mother in 1805 drew the remaining family closer to their friends M. and Mme Loiseau and their daughter Julie. Indeed the book seems to be largely a homage to the kindness of the Loiseaus to the bereaved Delaplanches around that time, beautifully expressed in the allegorical frontispiece. Three young girls, Amitié, Estime and Reconnaissance (corresponding to Virginie, Heloïse and Pauline Delaplanche) offer a red book, La Clef des coeurs, to a bird (Loiseau) perched in a tree, who accepts it and takes the girls to a marble pavilion, the Temple du Bonheur & de la Vertu.
The verses are simple, sentimental and affecting, extolling the virtues of familial love and respect and reflecting the proverbial strength of filial respect in French society. One particular entertaiment, Hommage à la Reconnaisance. Ou Combat entre l’amitié & l’amour filiale, is emblematic of the manuscript as a whole, in expressing the gentle tension between friendship and family love. The songs are in no way pious, and the relative absence of religious imagery is striking. In fact, the impingement of the outside world on this subtle family drama is only lightly felt, and then only in ghosts of the French Imperial presence. The orderliness of the manuscript is disturbed in two places, tellingly. Seven leaves are cut out after p. 232, with the Index indicating that these contained a Chanson en l’honneur de l’Empereur (the Index entry itself is erased at an early date), while two further leaves (pp. 433-436) are on different paper, clearly substitutions, which bear another version of a chanson dedicated to Napoleon.
The implied narrative of the collection is brought to a close in 1808 with the engagement of Julie, the Loiseau daughter to a M. Dupézard. The two are married in October, accompanied by family songs and verses, in which the young groom is expected to participate (several of the last songs are his), and the manuscript closes with a valedictory poem by Césaire Delaplanche: ‘Il est fini mes bons amis...’.see full details
A very rare French translation of Lancaster’s The British System of Education (1810).more...
In French, it is apparently preceded only by Système anglais dinstruction (1815) a translation by the duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, also rare. Lancaster’s ‘monitorial system’, in which huge groups of 100 pupils were educated in factory-inspired classes was widely adopted in Britain and the United State; with Dickens its most effective detractor (via the Coketown schoolrooms of Hard Times). The plates of this Brussels edition reproduce those of the English editions, with plans of the schoolroom workstations and plate illustrating group reading from a board (saving the purchase of books).
Born in London in 1778 the Quaker Joseph Lancaster founded several schools there, before introducing the system to North and South America. He died in New York in 1838 afer being run over by a carriage..see full details
This notorious caricature was issued as part of the segregation era ‘Darktown Comic’ series.more...
A black woman wearing a tattered brown dress and worn shoes, with an apron decorated in the stars and stripes, and a tall bonnet with a wide brim and white frill, standing on a plinth in the manner of the Statue of Liberty though looking far from serene, but rather clamouring; she holds a flaming torch and a book labelled ‘New York Port Charges’; at her feet is a cockerel crowing; she has her back to the city, shown behind her across the water, with a distant bridge.
The partnership of Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895) grew into one of the largest and most prolific printing companies of all time, at one point responsible for 95% of all lithographs in circulation in America. Beginning as a lithographer, Currier recognized the market for topical prints and news and became successful as an independent lithographer and later print publisher, before taking on his bookkeeper and accountant Ives as a partner. With hand-operated presses on one floor, artists, stone grinders and lithographers on the floor above and a team of others colouring the finished lithographs by hand on the floor above that, the firm extended well beyond its New York offices, selling retail and wholesale, from street-carts and through booksellers, nationally and internationally, including by mail-order. They flourished on their populist approach, promoting themselves as ‘The Grand Central Depot for Cheap and Popular Prints’, and ‘the best, cheapest, and most popular firm in a democratic country’, providing ‘colored engravings for the people’ and issuing over 7000 prints in countless copies. According to Byran Le Beau, after initially depicting the horrors of slavery in the 1840s, the company began instead to focus on African Americans as the cause of divisive politics and civil war, until by the end of the century, they were portraying them as incapable of living in anything but a condition of servitude. If in this they were, as described by a prominent collector of Currier & Ives material, Harry T. Peters, ‘businessmen and craftsmen … but primarily mirrors of the national taste, weather vanes of popular opinion, reflectors of American attitudes’, they were in equal measure responsible for endorsing and establishing the distorted views they both targeted and marketed so well (cf. Bryan F. Le Beau, African Americans in Currier and Ives’s America: The Darktown Series, in Journal of American & Comparative Cultures). .see full details
Liseux was a pioneering figure in the publication of clandestine literature in English, working from Paris, but evidently supplying an English market. His publications were frequently scholarly texts in the history of sexuality and found their way onto the shelves of bibliophiles and collectors of erotica. Not generally been noted, the title here finds an echo the following year with the famous phrase ’The love that dare not speak its name’ in the poem ‘Two Loves’ by Lord Alfred Douglas, published in 1894, later discussed at length in the Wilde trial..see full details
First edition, bound in red morocco with Napoleonic emblems by Rosa, who together with Bizouard, Bozerian, Tessier, Simier, Lefebvre and Doll, supplied bindings for the Imperial household.more...
Written under the encouragement of the First Consul this is an important work in defining the purpose of modern diplomacy. Flassan was (like Napoleon) a product of the École militaire de Paris and served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before becoming professor of history at the military school at Saint Germain-en-Laye.see full details
A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each drawing on one side of fine double-folded paper, captioned in ink in Chinese.more...
Albums such as these were produced in Chinese studios for the export market and were especially popular with Europeans for their exact portrayal of various aspects of Chinese life of the period: customs, costumes, occupations, flora and fauna. They ‘depicted those phases of Chinese life which fascinated the Westerner but defied descriptions to friends and family at home. Before the advent of the camera, this medium played an extremely vital role in revealing Oriental culture to the West.’ (Crossman, The China Trade, 1972). Though marketed to curious Europeans these albums represent important interpretations of Chinese life by indigenous Chinese artists. The present example is notable for being dated 1843, at the very end of the First Opium War just as five ports in China were being opened to the British.
These albums were luxury products, each one individually produced, and therefore priced beyond the means of any but the wealthy. Individual artists were never identified.
Lady Churchill, the original owner of the album, was born Lady Frances Fitzroy, the fifth daughter of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third duke of Grafton. In 1801 she married Francis Almeric Spencer, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Marlborough and created first Baron Churchill of Wychwood in 1815. It is unlikely that the elderly Baron Churchill and his wife were in China at the time she received the album, and much more probable that it was presented to Lady Churchill in England as a gift, possibly by one of her military sons such as George Augustus Spencer, who was an officer in a regiment serving in China. .see full details
First edition of this codification of the laws governing the Cornish tin industry.more...
The Convocation of Tinners exercised ancient rights of jurisdiction over much of Cornwall; customary rights exercised long before the codification of English law and which had been confirmed by royal charters since the time of Edward I. Stannary law was sanctioned by the crown in recognition of the special responsibilities of the Cornish tinners in providing a valuable raw material. It has been claimed that the right to hold Convocations has never been formally repealed by the English crown, a legal anomaly exploited by the Cornish nationalist movement. A previous codification had been printed in 1725. .see full details
First edition, rare, of this collection of children’s songs.more...
Ludovica Brentano, later baroness Desbordes (1787-1854), affectionately known as Lulu, was grand daughter of Sophie von La Roche (the first widely known German female novelist) and she became patron of the Grimm brothers; contributing two tales to their Kinder- und Hausmärchen..see full details