An engraved copper plate depicting nuns for an edition of the Decameron after the famous edition illustrated by Gravelot, Boucher et al.more...
(’Londres’, 1757-61). The work was several times reprinted in the eighteenth century and later (Cohen cites editions of 1779, 1791) sometimes with plates reduced to duodecimo format, as here..see full details
An engraved copper plate for an erotic illustration, probably for an edition of Vingt Ans d’un jeune homme, first published c.more...
1830 (despite false imprints of 1789 and 1790) and reprinted several times. It was condemned in 1842 and 1852’ pour outrages aux bonnes mœurs et à la morale publique’ and ordered to be destroyed..see full details
Two engraved engraved copper printing plates from a condemned erotic publication.more...
The seventeenth-century erotic dialogue L’École des filles had been frequently reprinted; and was paired in this Brussels edition of c. 1863-7 (with a false Paris imprint of 1798) with another work Le Degré des âges du plaisir (falsely attributed to Mirabeau). The edition was condemned by the Lille Tribunal correctionel in 1868 (probably on account of its illustrations) and ordered to be destroyed.
The two plates here are for illustrations in the second volume illustrating these passages:
‘Ne pouvant plus resister à l’ardeur qui me dévorait, car jétais tout en feu, je l’empoignai par le manche, je le menai au pied du lit...’ (II, p. 46).
‘J’ai lu dans un livre fort instructif... l’histoire de la fille d’un roi quie se servait d’une plaisante invention: elle avait une statue d’homme peinte en couleur de chair et fournie d’un puissant engin de matière moins dure que le reste; cet engin était raide et creux...’ (II, p. 98)..see full details
First edition of Code de Cythère, a utopian system for the regulation of prostitution in Paris, proposing a system of highly organized houses in which female sex workers would be gathered and cared for.more...
In a series of articles Moët sets out this utilitarian plan, dividing his subject into classes and orders and describing provisions for health, well-being, the care of infants born to them in the course of their work, and expected standards of dress and behaviour. He concludes with a detailed financial balance sheet. This early work on the subject cannot fail to have influenced Restif de la Bretonne, who adapts many of Moët’s ideas in his influential Pornographe of 1769. Gay tells us that Moët was the son of the royal librarian at Versailles. The false ‘Erotopolis’ imprint probably disguises a French origin.
Bound with the Code de Cythère is a rare roman galant also with a fale imprint, namely Le Frère questeur, probably a version of the earlier novel, Le Diable d’argent of 1707..see full details
First edition, second issue (Londres and La Haye imprint).more...
Intended as the first of a projected series of works with the general title Idées singulières, Le Pornographe is an important early manifesto for the regulation of prostitution. It also holds a significant place in the historical etymology of pornography: meaning literally ‘one who writes about prostitutes’, being the first modern coinage of a word used by the ancient Greeks.
Restif issued the work anonymously, presenting it with a preface claiming that the idea was not a French invention at all but one found in the manuscript of an Englishman by the name of Lewis Moore. In a series of letters, the work presents an anatomy of prostitution, noting its inevitability in cities such as Paris and its dangers to public health and morality. Most interestingly, it then outlines a system of regulations, with well-managed maisons publiques, in which prostitutes are required to stay, where they are protected and cared for and where customers are strictly controlled. A major pre-occupation is the contemporary anxiety over the (wrongly) perceived decline in population, a decline to which prostitution was seen to have contributed. Restif proposes that pregnant prostitutes be required to fulfil their pregnancies and that their children should be brought up and educated within the maisons publiques and to take up alternative professions when of age.
This early work by Restif encapsulates both his social realism his utopian aspirations, both of which became major aspects of his later novels.
The imprint is false and the work was published in Paris by Delalain, who sold the author’s works, but who deleted his own name from the imprint after the first impression. The two issues are identical save for the title-page..see full details
First edition with these illustrations, an attractive production with text and plates engraved throughout With an original signed drawing.more...
Example 22 of 35 copies on Arches, (there are a further 60 copies on vélin and 5 on Japon). Musset’s 1853 witty story of amorous intrigues with Madame de Pompadour at the court of Louis XV..see full details
27 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball.more...
The ball first commenced in 1892, and apart from the war years ran, until 1966. Attendance to the ball was restricted to students and former students of the École, as well as ‘artistic personalities’ who had contributed to the preparation of the ball. The balls were held in several major venues scattered throughout Paris over the years, with most taking place at the Moulin Rouge, the Salle Wagram, and the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles. Although in its early years the ball was simply an elaborate party, beginning in 1900 each ball had a specific historic theme, often derived from an ancient text or inspired by an ‘exotic’ foreign culture, around which various contests were arranged. With the addition of a theme the balls became more elaborate often turning debaucherous, romping affairs with guests soon discarding the period costumes that they were required to wear to gain entrance. The nudity, dancing and merrymaking often continued into the wee hours, the ball usually ending, with a shout of ‘Vive les Quat’z’ Arts!’, around seven o’clock in the morning, followed by a procession through the Latin Quarter, a romp around the Louvre, and a march over the Pont du Carrousel to the Théâtre de l’Odéon, where the partygoers would disband.
Not surprisingly The Bal des Quat’z’ Arts quickly became one of the premier events of the summer season. The invitations which had to be handed over at the door were elaborately designed to match the spectacle of the events, and correspondingly were often thematically orientalist, exotic, or primitive, with overtly erotic and sexual imagery. They are a tour de force of the evolution of artistic style, showing the progress from Art Nouveau to modernist primitivism, up through psychedelic design. The ball is famously depicted in a series of photographs by Brassaï of 1930 and numerous other photographic records exist of the ball and its associated street procession. The invitations here all have their perforated ticket (in one example, detached but present) and include the following years: 1912, 1917, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934 (two variants), 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950 (two variants), 1951, (three variants), 1952, 1953 (two variants), 1954 (two variants), 1955, and 1956. All in at least very good condition. A remarkable collection..see full details
Number 56 of 100 examples on pur fil du Marais, with an additional suite (total edition 176). An erotic book by the bohemian novelist and songwriter Mac-Orlan; illustrated in pochoir by Picart Le Doux, an impressionist artist who created washy and seductive night-scenes, most of which are depictions of prostitutes. He was well-known for his female nudes, was friends with Renoir, and also illustrated works by Verlaine and Baudelaire. He was best known as a tapestry designer..see full details
1 OF 70 COPIES, this one unnumbered, but with plates in two states.more...
A large-format illustrated edition of the quintessential and much-published decadent novel of courtesan life in Alexandria, the illustrations typical of the work of Calbet (they had first appeared in the edition of 1923)..see full details
FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION, one of 17 on Japon impérial (total edition 426) with an original signed drawing.more...
Magre (1877-1941) had lived a colourful and bohemian life, Figaro remarking in 1924: ‘Magre est un anarchiste, un individualiste, un sadique, un opiomane. Il a tous les défauts, c'est un très grand écrivain. Il faut lire son œuvre’. After 1919 he became a devotee of the theosophist teachings of Madame Blavatsky. Chimot was perhaps the natural illustrator for the decadent poems of Belles de nuit (first published 1913)..see full details
First edition, one of 100 copies on vergé d’Arches with plates in three states (of a total edition of 500).more...
A biographical study of the famous military transvestite, Ida St-Elme who served as a man in the French Imperial armies. It is based on her autobiography Mémoires d'une contemporaine (1829). This is rather atypical of Carrington’s productions—the quality of typography and illustration far higher than that of his more surreptitious erotic publications..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
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 of this extraordinary treatise on the status of eunuchs in society, according to civil and canon law.more...
Largely based on classical sources, history and (most interestingly) anecdotal evidence from the Orient, Ancillon considers the reasons for the phenomenon (including slavery, household, employment or punishment for sexual misdemeanour). The major contention is that while civil law permits a eunuch to marry, canon law should forbid it (as it did) on the grounds that a marriage could not be consummated. Along the way Ancillon recounts numerous anecdotes of famous eunuchs, notably Abelard, castrated at the instigation of Heloise’s family.
The book was later translated into English by Robert Samber as part of Edmund Curll’s Eunuchism display’d (1718).
This copy of Traité des Eunuques is one of at least two issues of the same year with slightly different paginations and title ornaments. The ‘Epitre dedicatoire’ is signed: ‘C. d’Ollincan’ an anagram of the author’s real name..see full details
The limitation notice reads ‘This Edition is issued to Subscribers only and limited to two hundred and fifty copies, numbered and signed by the Author. The price will be doubled after first of March, 1931’. This copy is, however, unsigned and unnumbered. The work forms issue no. 5 of The Lugano Series.
‘From 1920 until 1937 Douglas was settled in Florence... As his fame grew, he became much visited by inter-war writers, and forged close friendships with D. H. Lawrence and Bryher. During these years he lived with the publisher Giuseppe (Pino) Orioli, who helped him publish several limited editions, most of which were later commercially published in London... In 1937 Douglas was forced to flee Florence after the police made enquiries concerning his friendship with a ten-year-old local girl’ (Katherine Mullin in Oxford DNB). .see full details
Three editions had previously been published, the first in 1709, and this popular title went on to be republished numerous times during the eighteenth century. The translators are identified in the text as John Dryden, Nahum Tate and William Congreve. 'The history of love' is by Charles Hopkins and 'The court of love' is a metrical paraphrase by Arthur Maynwaring..see full details