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 one of the most influential works of French garden theory in French.more...
Morel was the father of landscape gardening in France, best known for the Théorie des Jardins and for his work with the marquis de Giradin in the celebrated garden at Ermenonville, and later at Malmaison. Morel never travelled to England, but was clearly influenced by theories of landscape being developed there. The title here bears a quote from Milton: ‘In narrow room nature’s Whole Wealth, yea more / A heav’n on earth...’ (Paradise Lost IV)..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
‘The book is a survey of existing information concerning various kinds of airs and the experiments and discoveries of Lavoisier, Priestley, Scheele and others.The author presents his ideas concerning the nature of gases (pure air, oxygen is the basis of all), phlogiston, heat, combustion, acidity (oxygen not the necessary constituent), etc.’ (Cole). ‘..all combustibles (including perhaps diamond) contain inflammable air, which he identified with phlogiston and thought it is contained in metals...He called oxygen ‘pure air’ and nitrogen (phlogisticated air) ‘impure air’. Pure air consists of vesicles inflated by the principle of heat. Nitrous air (nitrous oxide) is a compound of nitric acid and inflammable air or phlogiston. Fixed air, which he called ‘acid air’, can be converted into phlogisticated air or into pure air.’ (Partington)..see full details
First edition of the author’s first two plays.more...
De Belloy began his career as an actor with a company of comédiens touring Northern Europe and found favour at the court of the Empress Elizabeth at St Petersburg. It was there in 1757 that he wrote his first play, then entitled Le Triomphe de l’amitié, which was performed in Paris as Titus on his return in 1761. It was not a success, but de Belloy followed it with Zelmire in 1762 to much greater acclaim. The tale of a princess of the Isle of Lesbos, it was drawn from Metastasio (as was Titus) and was later the source of Rossini’s Zelmira (1822). De Belloy’s major success, Le Siège de Calais followed in 1765..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 Hispano-Moorish romance, which unfolds during the long medieval struggle between Christians and Muslims for control of the Iberian Peninsula, Zayde often considered the last great French romance before the emergence of the modern novel (a development also attributed to Madame de Lafayette, with her La Princesse de Clèves). The first volume contains the first appearance of Daniel Huet’s treatise on the origin of novels.
Like the better-known La Princess de Clèves, the novel was issued carrying the name of Madame Lafayette’s friend and confidant Jean Regbault de Segrais, secretary the duchesse de Montpensier. It is also likely that de la Rochefoucauld had hand in the novel’s composition. Lafayette was the only woman author of Ancien regime France who had a work accepted into the canon of world literature—The Princess of Clèves, variously referred to, depending on context, as the first psychological novel, the first historical novel, even the first realist novel..see full details
A fine contemporary portrait, etched and engraved by Louis Jacques Cathelin after the portrait by Joseph Ducreux of 1771.more...
It was issued as part of a series depicting the Habsburg Royal family originally made to coincide with the arrival of Marie-Antoinette (Joseph II’s sister) in France. This example is of the reimpression of 1774 with the Esnauts et Rapilly imprint..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
Contemporary caricature portraits of the great American millionaires Carnegie, Pierpont-Morgan, Gordon-Bennett, Harjes, Frick and Depew.more...
The drawing was probably intended for reduction and publication in an (unidentified) journal. Rouveyre (1879-1962) was immensely prolific as a caricaturist and maintained friendships and correspondence with important figures such as Apollinaire and Matisse (having met the latter as joint students of the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau)..see full details
A very scarce London-printed account in French of the demise of Charles I.more...
Three issues of 1650 are known, the other two being octavo with 155 pages plus prelims. ESTC assigns Wing number H2091 to both without further comment. The work was reprinted at Paris in 1792, an interesting anticipation of France’s own regicide in January 1793..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
In verse with English translation in prose, on facing pages. Composed in the aftermath of the Duke’s fatal stabbing on the steps of the Paris Opera by an anti-monarchist Bonapartist, Louis Pierre Louvel. Noel de Quersonnières (1728-1845) formerly commissaire-général of the French armies was reputed to have died at the age of 116, though his dates suggest he only reached 106.
There appear to be two issues: for the English and French market respectively. The first contains a ‘Discours preliminaire’ explaining the translation, with a printed section title to the verso of the title. The second (ours) does not have the section title printed on the title verso and the leaves of the ‘Discours’ are cancelled (hence the apparent mispagination of the prelims in this issue)..see full details
First edition in English of one of the most influential technical painting manuals of both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Traité de mignature (also École de la mignature).more...
First printed by Christophe Ballard in 1673, the publisher’s initials perhaps giving rise to unproven attribution to one ‘Claude Boutet’, it appeared in over 30 editions in a variety of European languages over the next 200 years, often with additions and alterations by anonymous authors.
The English edition is dedicated to John Montagu, second duke of Montagu (1690–1749) by its anonymous translator. After an exposition of the available colours and materials, the chapters consider in turn: Draperies; Of Carnations [flesh], or the Naked Parts of Painting; Landskips and Flowers; followed by a short treatise on the advantages of miniature painting over other techniques. The section devoted to flowers is extensive, with detailed instructions on the painting of roses, tulips, anemones (’wind-flower’), carnations, lilies, hyacinths, peonies, crocuses, irises, jasmine, tuberoses, hellebores, daffodils, passion-flowers, pinks, pomegranate, indian bean flower and crown imperial, among others..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
A remarkable manuscript account of a French campaign in Bavaria and Bohemia during the first Silesian War, in the form of extracts from (unpublished) letters from an artillery major.more...
It is subtitled: ‘Extrait des lettres ecrittes par Mr. Du Gravier surtout ce qui s’est passé depuis le depart des Trouppes de France pour la Bavière, jusqu’au retour de celles que Mr. Le M[arécha]l de Belisle a ramenée de Prague.’ The campaign was led by the Maréchals de Broglie and de Belle Isle and the detailed extracts cover the march to Prague, its storming by French troops in 26 November 1741, the subsequent siege at the hands of the Austrian army and the escape of some 14,000 French troops from the city in December 1742..see full details
A delightful fin-de-siècle devotional manuscript illuminated with great skill by a Miss Maury of Nice, reputedly when in her nineties.more...
Each day of the week is provided with prayers and devotions written in her neat calligraphic hand and almost every page bears at least one example of her minutely-rendered illumination. About the maker we know nothing else. She signs and dates the manuscript at the end..see full details
Folio (335 × 210 mm), pp. , plus several blank leaves at end. Text in manuscript, full-page illustrations in crayon or pastel. Lightly browned throughout, fragile at edges with minor fraying, all the result of poor quality paper. In original cloth backed notebook. Binding rather worn. A handsome chanson manuscript, anonymous but for the decorative initials 'J.B'. The songs include: 'Le Pigeon blessé', 'Sous les Platanes', 'Carmen', 'Chagrins d'Amour', 'Juanita', 'La Femme est un jouette' and 'Mort pour la France'.
II. Émile LEBLOND. Dijon, c. 1904.
Manuscript, 4to (214 × 170 mm), pp. 1-12, 17-98, 101-102, 105-270, 280-320, several blanks at rear. Evidence of 3 leaves removed, perhaps by the maker. Numerous drawings in ink and crayon, decorative headings. Original cloth notebook. Rather rubbed. An illustrated chansonnier made by a soldier of the First Artillery, stationed at Dijon. This is an especially full example which gives some unusual details as to its making: Leblond occasionally records the number of weeks he has been in service and there is evidence of carbon tracing, demonstrating the use of illustrations from popular journals in making these chansonniers. The songs include: 'Berceuse militaire', 'L'Africaine', 'Chapeai bas devant la Marseillais', 'Vous êtes si jolie', 'Four frou' and 'Ma Ninette'.
III. Yvan LOREAU. Chemillé-sur-Seine, c. 1909.
Manuscript, small 4to (216 × 175 mm), pp. , 88, ruled paper. Drawings in ink and crayon. Original limp wrappers. Yvan Loreau writes on his title-page that this manuscript was made 'Sur le tour de France' and begun on 11th December 1909. Songs include: 'Voila la Parisienne', 'Le petit coeur de Ninon', 'Ah! Ma p'tit Lili', 'Le ruban bleu de l'hirondelle' and 'Pas sur la bouche'.
IV. Alexandre MOULLET, 'le gros bâtarde'. Valence, 1913-14.
Manuscript (on squared paper), 4to (222 × 170 mm), pp. . Drawings in ink and crayon, partially unfinished. Some thumbing and fraying, one leaf loose. Original half cloth notebook. An illustrated chansonnier made on the eve of the Great War for one Alexandre Moullet, picturesquely nicknamed 'le gros bâtarde', of the 5eme Régiment d'Artillerie lourde, 8ème batterie, at Valence (Drôme). Songs include: 'Les petites Toulonnaises'; 'Soldat vierge', 'Marins de Marseille', 'Coeur Crise', 'Sur la Riviera' and 'Le dernier Tango'.
V. REDON. Valbonne (Ain), 1921.
Manuscript on paper, small 4to (216 × 170 mm), pp. , plus numerous blanks at rear, numerous drawings in pencil, ink and crayon (a couple cut from newspapers or journals, decorative headings. Original half cloth notebook. Songs include: 'Tu voudrais me voir pleurer', 'La vals du pastis', 'Vous rendez tous les hommes fou' and 'Le train fatale'. One verse is subscribed 'Fait a la Valbonne le 12-12-21 une soiré de grand froid'. .see full details