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  • anciens et modernes, composant la deuxième partie de la bibliothèque M.V***, de Chartres, les Vendredi 15, Samedi 16, Lundi 18, Mardi 19 Juin 1855 et le le lendemain s’il y a lieu, à 7 heures du soir. 21, rue des Grands-Augustins. 21, Par le ministère de Me Charles Charpentier commissaire-priseur à Paris, rue de Helder, 14; assisté de M. A. Aubry, Libraire-Expert, à Paris, rue Dauphine, no 16. by VENTE DES LIVRES VENTE DES LIVRES ~ anciens et modernes, composant la deuxième partie de la bibliothèque M.V***, de Chartres, les Vendredi 15, Samedi 16, Lundi 18, Mardi 19 Juin 1855 et le le lendemain s’il y a lieu, à 7 heures du soir. 21, rue des Grands-Augustins. 21, Par le ministère de Me Charles Charpentier commissaire-priseur à Paris, rue de Helder, 14; assisté de M. A. Aubry, Libraire-Expert, à Paris, rue Dauphine, no 16. Paris: M[ada]me de Lacombe, 1855.
    A book auction bill, advertising the second part of the auction sale of what was evidently an immense private library belonging to the unidentified (by… (more)

    A book auction bill, advertising the second part of the auction sale of what was evidently an immense private library belonging to the unidentified (by us) M. V***, de Chartres. Buyers premium is advertised at 5% and the catalogue was issued by auctioneer Charpentier and book expert Auguste Aubry. No copy of the catalogue (of either part) is recorded in the Bibliothèque nationale catalogue.

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  • Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... by LES VAMPIRES. LES VAMPIRES. ~ Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... Paris: H. Platel. Cheyère, [n.d. 1826].
    Two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’ [congé], ‘end of lease’ [fin de… (more)

    Two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’ [congé], ‘end of lease’ [fin de bail] and ‘increase’ [augmentation] and all the notes scattered on the ground make reference to the real estate business. The caption reads ‘We promise, no reduction’. Paris (like London) was in the throes of a vampire craze in the 1820s, following the publication of Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819, Charles Nodier’s melodrama Le Vampire was performed in Paris in June 1820, and spawned a host of spinoffs in popular culture and the press.

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  • Les grands effets merveilleux de l’Acupuncture. by (ACUPUNCTURE). (ACUPUNCTURE). ~ Les grands effets merveilleux de l’Acupuncture. [Paris]: Cheyère [and Mantoux], [n.d., c. 1825].
    A rare and amusing satire on the practice of acupunture ― much in vogue among certain Parisian doctors in the early nineteenth century. A sickly… (more)

    A rare and amusing satire on the practice of acupunture ― much in vogue among certain Parisian doctors in the early nineteenth century. A sickly male patient is receiving a doctor’s needles, the longest of which is seemingly destined for his heart; a young woman in a bonnet seems unimpressed with her needles (one pierces her tongue); while a young man throws down a set of crutches. On the wall behind hangs a painting of the martrydom of Saint Sebastian. Though known in France since the seventeenth century, acupuncture was revived in the decades after 1800 — Doctor Louis-Joseph Berlioz (1776–1858, the composer’s father) claimed to have used it successfully in 1810 and published a paper on the subject, while Jules Cloquet published his influential Traité de l’acupuncture in 1826.
    The print was listed in the Bibliographie de France for 1825 (p. 172). It was published by Mantoux and Cheyère (cf. the Paris Musée Carnavalet copy) though in our example Mantoux’s name has been cancelled in the imprint line.

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  • [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. by (FASHION). (FASHION). ~ [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. Paris, 1867-8].
    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion… (more)

    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion ― two richly-dressed women stand between marker posts for the years 1867 and 1868, one in deep winter attire with bonnet, scarf, cape and muff, the other in the light spring garments of the following year. Between them an elegant dandy stands with a velocipede (suggesting modernity, movement and rapidity) and above is a cartouche enclosing a naked woman below the legend: ‘Comment l’habiller-t-on?’ (‘how will they dress?’). The final leaf is similarly emblematic, with a splendidly-attired young woman in green stepping from 1868 to 1869 over a running stream.
    Anonymous and evidently once part of a sequence, these brilliant watercolours depict Parisian fashions at their most colourful and sumptuous. Those showing off fabrics with new chemical or aniline dyes of green, mauve and blue are often heightened with gum arabic, adding a lustrous sheen, evocative of rich and heavy silks then much in vogue. Skirts are full and often multi-layered, with arrangements for lifting the outermost layer for walking. Special attention is paid to the backs of these outfits, with a good number seen from the side or behind, showing the elaborate ruffles and bows (which would develop into fully-blown bustles in the following decade). There are stripes, plaids, pleats, ruffles, embroidery, lace and beadwork. Hairstyles are also carefully depicted, with long and thick tresses in a variety of braids and tresses, as well as luxuriantly loose styles.
    The anonymous artist was a highly accomplished fashion artist, brilliantly equipped to render details and textures of fabrics, dress and deportment, of the type employed by designers and couturiers to show off to prospective customers their latest creations. This is a remarkable record of a golden age of Parisian dressmaking at the height of nineteenth-century haute couture when designers such as Charles Worth were claiming the city as the focus of the fashionable world.

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  • Sténarithmétokie, ou Prompt calcul d’intérêts, par tables, pour les taux les plus usités, ou l’on trouve tous les capitaux avec leurs intérêts correspondans, pour tout nombre d’années, de mois et de jours; avec une table d’un genre nouveau et facil, qui donne au premier coup-d’oeil le temps qu’a couru un intérêt d’une époque quelconque à un autre; et une instruction sur la manière de se servir de ces tables. by JACQUAND, C.-A. JACQUAND, C.-A. ~ Sténarithmétokie, ou Prompt calcul d’intérêts, par tables, pour les taux les plus usités, ou l’on trouve tous les capitaux avec leurs intérêts correspondans, pour tout nombre d’années, de mois et de jours; avec une table d’un genre nouveau et facil, qui donne au premier coup-d’oeil le temps qu’a couru un intérêt d’une époque quelconque à un autre; et une instruction sur la manière de se servir de ces tables. Tournon: P.-R. Guilet, 3 Mars- 16 Mai 1830.
    First and only edition of a rare set of commercial tables for calculating interest, complete with its original card ‘indicateur’ to be laid over the… (more)

    First and only edition of a rare set of commercial tables for calculating interest, complete with its original card ‘indicateur’ to be laid over the tables, giving solutions. Based on a rate of 5 percent, the tables provide interest calculations for periods from one day to five years. Jacquand is styled ‘Commis-Greffier du tribunat de 1re instance de Tournon (Ardèche) et ancien professeur de Mathématiques’. The town of Tournon, on the banks of the Rhône south of Lyon, was an important trading place — particularly for wine — and through its Jesuit college also had a longstanding educational history.
    This is a very rare French provincial imprint. The verso of the title page leaves a space for the author’s signature as a guard against counterfeits (never filled in) and spaces for adding booksellers’ or stationers’ names, again not completed. Worldcat lists a single copy (Bibliothèque nationale).

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  • Livres de Fleurs. by VAUQUER [or VAUQIER], [Jacques]. VAUQUER [or VAUQIER], [Jacques]. ~ Livres de Fleurs. Paris: chez De Poilly rue St. Jacques a l’image St Benoist C.P.R. [c. 1680].
    First edition. A very rare collection of floral engravings for the use of goldsmiths, artists or needleworkers, this copy evidently used by an artist at… (more)

    First edition. A very rare collection of floral engravings for the use of goldsmiths, artists or needleworkers, this copy evidently used by an artist at an early date (perhaps the Nicolas Despeche, whose 1684 inscription appears at the foot of the title). With 20 plates in all the collection comprises the 10 plates from the Livres de Fleurs (including the title) plus an additional 10 plates (4 signed in the plate by Vauquer with the imprint of N. Langlois, the remainder unsigned) evidently combined in the early 1680s from the selection of Vauquer plates offered in Paris by publisher De Poilly.
    Vauquer (or Vauquier) was an etcher, draughtsman and gold-engraver (1621-86). His superb prints show a ‘delicate line, after his own compositions and those of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, his master and kinsman. Apart from a few biblical subjects on black ground for medals, snuff-boxes or watch-cases, he mostly represented flowers in bouquets or in vases, baskets, garlands or friezes. These were published by Nicolas Langlois (1640–1703) or François de Poilly (1623–93), often grouped in series: Livre de fleurs (10 pls); Vases de fleurs propre pour les peintres, brodeurs et dessinateurs (40 pls); Livres de fleurs propre pour les orfèvres et graveurs (8 pls, signed v. f. with the annotation à Blois). According to Mariette, Vauquer was skilled in drawing flowers and particularly excelled in engraving flowers and other decorations on jewellery’ (Grove Art).
    Contemporary and later collections of these plates are rare and show considerable variation, the individual parts and probably the plates themselves sold and bound to order. Our collection has the 10 numbered plates of the Livre de Fleurs, each (save the title) showing a well chosen bunch of flowers in globular glass vases, exquisitely rendered; then the four following plates with the Langlois imprints show stems of different flowers bound with ribbons, while the remaining plates are detailed studies of flower forms. Dunthorne, Flower and Fruit Prints of the 18th and early 19th centuries (1938), 317.

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  • Grand Equestrian Feat, called the Peasant Frolic. As performed at Astley’s Amphitheatre. Price 4d 1/2 Plain. by (CIRCUS). (TOY THEATRE). (CIRCUS). (TOY THEATRE). ~ Grand Equestrian Feat, called the Peasant Frolic. As performed at Astley’s Amphitheatre. Price 4d 1/2 Plain. [London]: W[illiam]. West at his Theatrical Warehouse, Exeter Street, Strand, Apr[i]l 14, 1821.
    A rare large-format toy theatre print with figures for cutting out and mounting from a performance at Astley’s Amphitheatre, which was then managed by Andrew… (more)

    A rare large-format toy theatre print with figures for cutting out and mounting from a performance at Astley’s Amphitheatre, which was then managed by Andrew Ducrow, the father of circus equestrianism. The plate is unsigned other than by the publisher William West and is unattributed in the British Museum print catalogue, but it is of high quality. The BM copy was acquired with the nineteenth-century collection of toy theatre prints assembled by Ralph Thomas, who had made a tentative attribution to William Blake in Notes and Queries in 1898 (June 4th, p. 455). The British Museum did not adopt the attribution, though there is certainly something of Blake’s style in the print. William West was the pioneer of the Regency toy theatre print, commissioning work from both Cruickshank brothers, Flaxman, Dighton and Brooke.

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  • Les Hermaphrodites. [L’Isle des Hermaphrodites nouvellement descouverte. Avec les moeurs, loix, coustume & ordonances des habitans d’icelle]. by [ARTUS, Thomas, sieur d’Embry]. [ARTUS, Thomas, sieur d’Embry]. ~ Les Hermaphrodites. [L’Isle des Hermaphrodites nouvellement descouverte. Avec les moeurs, loix, coustume & ordonances des habitans d’icelle]. [N.p ?France, N.d. c. 1605].
    First edition of Artus’s satire on Henri III of France (assassinated in 1589) who was reputedly fond of cross-dressing and whose court was widely criticised… (more)

    First edition of Artus’s satire on Henri III of France (assassinated in 1589) who was reputedly fond of cross-dressing and whose court was widely criticised for decadence and immorality.
    Les Hermaphrodites describes a realm populated by men who dress as women, not strictly (or biologically) hermaphrodite, but preoccupied by dress, hairstyle, makeup, extravagant gesture and speech. Also concerned with the laws and customs of the hermaphrodite kingdom, the satire operates by seeking to present Henri’s court as both dissolute and against nature. In so doing it reflects in great detail contemporary attitudes (both positive and negative) to gender-blurring of any sort, whether social or sexual. At one point, for example, Artus writes ironically that cross-dressing was perfectly permissible: ‘Chacun pourra s’abiller à sa fantasie, pourveu que ce soit bravement, superbement, & sans aucune distinction ny consideration de sa qualité ou faculté’, thus combining his disapproval with a suggestion of the negation of natural order or rank.
    The engraved title depicts a figure of ambiguous gender (presumably Henri himself) in male breeches, but full-hipped, with a suggestion of female breasts and a floral coiffe, with the legend ‘A tous accords’. Below it is the text:
    ‘Je ne suis masle ny femelle
    Et sy je suis bien en ceruelle
    Le quell des deux je doibs choisir
    Mais qu’importe à qui on ressamble
    Il vault mieux les avoir ensemble
    On en reçoit double Plaisir.’
    Henri’s sexuality was the subject of numerous contemporary satires. His taste for cross-dressing was well-known and his sexual orientation a matter of speculation, since he enjoyed close relationships with his male mignons (providing plenty of ammunition for moralistic detractors) but also well-publicised affairs with a succession of mistresses.
    The second part of the book is Discours de Jacophile a Limne. Les Hermaphrodites was republished in 1724 with the title Description de l’isle des Hermaphrodites. The first edition is notably rare.
    The arms of the contemporary binding are of the Clausse de Marchaumont family, probaby those of courtier Henri (d. 1613), the eldest son of Henry II’s secreatary of state Cosme Clausse, who served as Henry III’s ambassador to the Swiss states.

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  • Auguste a mauvais caractère. by DEVAMBEZ, André. DEVAMBEZ, André. ~ Auguste a mauvais caractère. Paris: Devambez éditeur, [ 1913].
    First (and only) edition of this rare and spectacular children’s book, inspired by the artist’s own children, printed in a very small number of copies… (more)

    First (and only) edition of this rare and spectacular children’s book, inspired by the artist’s own children, printed in a very small number of copies and entirely coloured by hand in pochoir by Jean Saudé. The huge double-page illustrations, with short accompanying text tell the tale of Auguste, a naughty boy who is only reformed after his toys revolt against him.

    André Devambez (1867-1943) had trained at the Beaux Arts, Paris, winning the grand prix de Rome in 1890. He was son and heir to the fashionable Devambez publishing business which had specialised in high-quality illustrated books, but struck out on his own as a painter specialising in the depiction of modern life. Several of his works are held by the Musée D’Orsay. Worldcat lists the Bibliothèque nationale and Cotsen (Princteon University) copies only.

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  • Florilège [spine title]. by [JEAN, prêtre]. [JEAN, prêtre]. ~ Florilège [spine title]. [France, c. 1890s].
    A curious florilegium, with extensive lithographed devotional text, presumably after the handwriting of author (’Jean, prêtre’) and a series of handcoloured lithographs. The latter include… (more)

    A curious florilegium, with extensive lithographed devotional text, presumably after the handwriting of author (’Jean, prêtre’) and a series of handcoloured lithographs. The latter include 31 of flowers (marigold, violet, primula, iris, cornflower, honeysuckle etc) which are paired with a description and devotional meditation on the opposite page. The others depict a hermit, a memento mori, a decorative contents list and (at the end) women in a religious procession with a banner. At least one them is signed ‘Jean’. The prefatory text is from Chateaubriand’s Le Martyrs: ‘En achevant ces mots, Zacharie s’arrêta, me montra le ciel où nous devions nous retrouver un jour, et, sans me laisser le temps de me jeter à ses pieds, il me quitta après m’avoir donné sa dernière leçon. C’est ainsi que Jésus-Christ dont il imite l’exemple, se plaisoit à instruire ses disciples, en se promenant au bord du lac de Génésareth, et faisoit parler l'herbe des champs et le lis de la vallée’.

    Although marked ‘Deposé’ on the first leaf, we have been unable to find any other copies or record of its publication. It was presumably printed in very small numbers.

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  • (MINIATURE BOOK). ~ Souvenir de l’Exposition Coloniale. Paris, 1931.
    A miniature photographic souvenir of the pavilions of the 1931 Paris Exposition Coloniale. (more)

    A miniature photographic souvenir of the pavilions of the 1931 Paris Exposition Coloniale.

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  • Geometrie en francoys. Cy co[m]mence le Livre de lart et science de Geometrie: avecq[ue]s les figures sur chascune rigle au long declarees / par lesq[ue]lles on peult entendre det facilleme[n]t co[m]prendre le dit art et science de Geometrie. Novelleme[n]t Imprime a Paris... by BOVELLES, Charles de. BOVELLES, Charles de. ~ Geometrie en francoys. Cy co[m]mence le Livre de lart et science de Geometrie: avecq[ue]s les figures sur chascune rigle au long declarees / par lesq[ue]lles on peult entendre det facilleme[n]t co[m]prendre le dit art et science de Geometrie. Novelleme[n]t Imprime a Paris... Paris: Henri Estienne, [dernier jour de Septe[m]bre 1511].
    First edition of the first geometry manual published in French ― considered the earliest scientific manual in French. Bovelles stood at the beginning of a… (more)

    First edition of the first geometry manual published in French ― considered the earliest scientific manual in French. Bovelles stood at the beginning of a new French tradition of teaching science and mathematics in the vernacular, and his aim (stated in his interesting preface) was to provide a text not for the speculative Latinist, but for the ‘common workman’. This was more than simply an author’s trope, since his text is indeed practical throughout, regularly referring to the material and physical conditions of the figures in question, not simply their theoretical forms, ‘implying that this geometry belongs to craftsmen, not scholars’. ‘[Bovelles] published the Géometrie François in 1511, the same year that the first illustrated edition of Vitruvius’s ten books on architecture was published in Venice. Unlike Vitruvius, however, Bovelles claimed to have written his book not for elite, Latinate readers, but for those he called ‘common’ [plebes] workmen. Today, this book exists only in few copies, and it was not reprinted.’ (Ooosterhoff, ‘Early French Readerships of technical Print’ in Translating Early Modern Science, eds. Fransen, Hodson, and Enenkel (2017), p. 209). The book proved popular and enduring with new editions of 1542, 1547 (enlarged), 1551, 1555 (two), 1557, 1566 and 1608.
    Born in Picardy around 1471, De Bovelles studied at Paris with the humanist Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples though evidently left the city during the plague of 1495 without taking a degree. He subsequently worked on numerous mathematical problems, notably squaring the circle by mechanical means, of which he gave an account in the Latin Geometricae introductionis published in 1503. This book was followed by Liber de XII numeris in 1510, considering perfect numbers, and by the present Géometrie of 1511. Besides mathematics De Bovelles is important for his 1509 De Sapiente in which he suggested that human perception did not necessarily mirror reality but also created it ― a work which was to have a tangible influence on Descartes. Very rare. With no UK or US copies and no copy in the Bibliothèque nationale we can locate only two copies in French libraries (Blois and Rouen) and a copy at Ghent. Inventaire chronologique des éditions parisiennes du XVIe siècle, II, Paris, 1977, no 29; Bechtel, Gothiques français, p. 311; Renouard, ICP, II, 29; not in Renouard, Annales de l’imprimerie des Estienne, Paris, 1843. R. Taton, ‘Bovelles et les premiers traités de géométrie en langue française’, Charles de Bovelles. Colloque de Noyon, 1979, Paris, 1982, p. 183-196.

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  • Description des objets d’arts qui composent le cabinet de feu M. le Baron V. Denon. [1] Monuments antiques, historiques, modernes; ouvrages oreintaux, etc... [2] by (DENON, Dominique Vivant). (DENON, Dominique Vivant). ~ Description des objets d’arts qui composent le cabinet de feu M. le Baron V. Denon. [1] Monuments antiques, historiques, modernes; ouvrages oreintaux, etc... [2] Paris: Hippolyte Tilliard [sold by Tilliard frères and Treuttel et Wurtz in Paris and Treuttel et Wurtz in London], 1826.
    First editions of the complete sale catalogues of Denon’s celebrated collections, a marked-up set from the collection of Frédéric Villot (1809-1875), Louvre conservateur of pictures… (more)

    First editions of the complete sale catalogues of Denon’s celebrated collections, a marked-up set from the collection of Frédéric Villot (1809-1875), Louvre conservateur of pictures and an important collector in his own right.
    Besides his erotic novella, Point de Lendemain, Denon (diplomat, artist and director of the Musée Napoleon at the Louvre) is primarily remembered for his role in Napoleon’s expeditions of 1798-9 and as author of Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte (1802). Among the most influential and important French collectors, he acquired obsessively but with discrimination, both for Napoleon and himself. His posthumous sales of 1826-7 included over 3000 lots of antiquities, pictures and prints, with eight important Egyptian papyri included in the first sale and his own drawings from the Egypt exhibition in another. The three volumes are very scarce complete and comprise: I. Monuments antiques, historiques, modernes; ouvrages orientale, etc. (ed. L.J.J. Dubois, 1390 lots); II. Tableaux dessins et miniatures (ed. A.N. Perignon, 977 lots); III. Estampes et ouvrages a figures (ed. Duchesne Aîné, 801 lots).

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  • The Maritime Flags of all Nations [cover title]. by HEATHER, William, publisher. HEATHER, William, publisher. ~ The Maritime Flags of all Nations [cover title]. London: W. Heather, at the Navigation Warehouse, Leadenhall-Street, 1807.
    A rare pictorial guide to naval ensigns. This 1807 issue in book form is made up from all 18 portions of an engraved chart first… (more)

    A rare pictorial guide to naval ensigns. This 1807 issue in book form is made up from all 18 portions of an engraved chart first issued by Heather in 1800, with an added letterpress label. The flags include all the known naval ensigns, including those of privateers and pirates. 125 naval ensigns begin with the principal British flags and continue with those of all the major European countries and their principal ports, then China, Persia, the United States and the major trading companies, such as the Dutch and British East India Companies. There are two pirate flags, entitled ‘Rovers’, and ‘Algerine Rover’ [Barbary Pirates]: the ‘Rover’, coloured red, is marked with a winged hourglass, a raised arm holding a cutlass and a skull and cross bones; the ‘Algerine Rover’ is also coloured red but marked with a skull.

    The 1800 chart bore an engraved dedication at the head ‘To the Right Honourable the Master Wardens, elder Brethren of the Trinity House’ not used in the book, though the Trinity House arms are added as a cover label. Rare, especially in book form. Worldcat lists the National Maritime Museum and UCLA copies only.

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  • ‘adapted to spike cranes in a war of the future with pigmies’
    Nashional Taste!!! Dedicated without Permission, to the Church Commissioners... by [CRUIKSHANK, George]. [CRUIKSHANK, George]. ~ Nashional Taste!!! Dedicated without Permission, to the Church Commissioners... London: G. Humphrey, April 7 1824.
    Architect John Nash is impaled on the spire of his new All Souls church in Langham Place, Marylebone, completed in 1823 as part of his… (more)

    Architect John Nash is impaled on the spire of his new All Souls church in Langham Place, Marylebone, completed in 1823 as part of his grand plans for the costly ‘improved’ swathe of London stretching from the lower end of Regent’s Street to Regent’s Park. With its rotunda and idiosyncratic steeple thhe landmark church was not universally admired. This plate is subtitled: ‘Dedicated without Permission, to the Church Commissioners. Providence sends Meat, The Devil sends Cooks, Parliament sends Funds, But, who sends the Architects?!!!’
    Dorothy George describes it thus: ‘An illustration of the debate of 30 Mar. when H. G. Bennett demanded the name of the architect of the church being built in Langham Place. ‘He should also like to hear what this mass of deformity had cost’, and professed himself ready to subscribe towards the cost of demolition. Under pressure, Arbuthnot admitted that the architect was Nash.... [who] is reputed to have commented to his assistants on this print: ‘See, gentlemen, how criticism has exalted me.’ The Times, 10 April, derided the spire as adapted to spike cranes in a war of the future with pigmies, envisaged by the architect’. BM Satires X, 1952.

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  • RAFINESQUE-SCHMALTZ, Constantine Samuel. ~ Caratteri di alcuni nuovi generi e nuove specie di animali e piante della Sicilia con varie osservazioni sopra i medesimi. Palermo: Stampe di Sanfilippo, 1810.
    First edition, very rare, of this wide-ranging account of plant and animal species in Sicily (many systematically recorded here for the first time) including a… (more)

    First edition, very rare, of this wide-ranging account of plant and animal species in Sicily (many systematically recorded here for the first time) including a fine series of plates of fish from Sicilian waters.
    Rafinesque-Schmaltz is one of the most intriguing figures among natural historians of his era is best known for his anticipation of Darwin’s theories of natural selection. Born at Constantinople to French and German parents he never studied formally but roamed widely in Europe and the United States, recording voraciously as he went, before settling in Ohio in 1815. He spent several years in America before settling for a time in Sicily, where he learnt Italian and occupied himself in commerce. He published three books in Italian, including the present Caratteri di alcuni nuovi generi, an account of the island’s natural history. Later returning to America he became acquainted with the major researchers there, including Asa Gray and Audubon, who, like many others, were broadly critical of his erratic autodidactic methods. Nonetheless, he was acknowledged by Darwin (in the third edition of Origin of the Species, 1861) as having contributed to the theory of evolution.
    The book was apparently issued in two parts, with pp. 1-69 concerning animals coming first. A few copies are recorded as having an additional part title dated 1809, but it is unlikely it actually appeared in 1809 (see Stafleu (1968). ‘Rafinesque’s Caratteri and Florula Ludoviciana’. Taxon, 17(3), pp. 296-299). Fitzpatrick, Rafinesque 1; Pritzel, Thesaurus literaturae botanicae, 7399.

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  • Die Jugend in den Erholungstagen auf dem Lande... mit 6 kupfern begleitet mit deutsch-französisch-italineisch und böhmischen text. by GRÜNER, V. R. GRÜNER, V. R. ~ Die Jugend in den Erholungstagen auf dem Lande... mit 6 kupfern begleitet mit deutsch-französisch-italineisch und böhmischen text. Vienna: [J. P. Sollinger for] Friedrich Wihelm Pfautsch, [n.d., c. 1830].
    First (and presumably only) edition of a rare and delightful large format illustrated children’s book depicting boys and girls enjoying country life, including gardening and… (more)

    First (and presumably only) edition of a rare and delightful large format illustrated children’s book depicting boys and girls enjoying country life, including gardening and open air reading. The text is quadrilingual: German, French, Italian and Czech. This exceptionally well preserved copy bears a contemporary prize label, recording it as a prize to one Anna Kalser at the Pilsner Kreishhaupt-Schule (Bohemia). Very rare: no copy found in Worldcat. KVK records a single copy (Austrian National Library) of a variant issue (also undated) in 8vo format (paginated pp. 33, not 15 as in our oblong 4to, with the plates folded uncoloured).

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  • A Morning Ride mid Country Scenes. by (PANORAMA). (PANORAMA). ~ A Morning Ride mid Country Scenes. London: [G. Barclay for] George Rourledge & Co, 1852.
    Sole edition, very rare, and a remarkable survival, of this pioneering and original children’s panorama. The eight joined plates present a single sequential narrative —… (more)

    Sole edition, very rare, and a remarkable survival, of this pioneering and original children’s panorama. The eight joined plates present a single sequential narrative — cleverly seen from different vantage points — of a morning ride across several miles of rolling English countryside some thirty miles from London (as the milestone in the first image indicates). The two young riders (Edward and Walter) leave their large county house, pass through lanes with green fields on either side, an imaginary village with church, inn and shops, passing windmills, a watermill, bridges and (in the last 2 images) the newly-built railway with steam-trains. A good-natured and simple story, the panorama and accompanying text presents a telling microcosm of genteel English Victorian society, the participants all acting in their proper place in an ordered society. The gamekeeper’s daughter opens a gate for the boys, a family acquaintance of rank rides by in her carriage, a wagonner supplying the village shops is given a tip for ale, the father rides to hounds, while a ‘loutish’ farm boy mentioned in the text is silently omitted in the panorama. The text, printed in regular letterpress was evidently intended to be read by an adult to a child.
    The use and presentation of the panorama for narrative is striking, quite unlike most contemporary British panoramas or children’s books of this date or earlier. The title page indicates that it was to form part of a series: ‘Stories told in Pictures’ of which the advert leaf mentions two further titles ‘nearly ready’: A Noon-Day Ramble and An Evening Walk. Neither appears to have survived, or perhaps were never published. A Morning Ride is exceptionally rare, with only the Opie Collection (Bodleian Library) and Rhode Island School of Design copies located. Opie EE 190. Described in detail in Hannah Field in an essay in the 2015 collection Space and Place in Children’s Literature, 1789 to the Present entitled ‘The Story unfolds: intertwined Space and Time in the Victorian Children’s Panorama’

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  • Lettres du prince roÿal de Prusse aujourd’huy Roÿ, ecrittes de Remusberg à Mr de Voltaire à Cireÿ en Champagne, avec les reponses. by VOLTAIRE. [François-Marie Arouet de]. VOLTAIRE. [François-Marie Arouet de]. ~ Lettres du prince roÿal de Prusse aujourd’huy Roÿ, ecrittes de Remusberg à Mr de Voltaire à Cireÿ en Champagne, avec les reponses. [France], 1740 [or soon after].
    A contemporary manuscript copy of thirteen early letters from Voltaire’s famous correspondence with Prussian Crown Prince Frederick (later ‘the Great’): a copy derived from a… (more)

    A contemporary manuscript copy of thirteen early letters from Voltaire’s famous correspondence with Prussian Crown Prince Frederick (later ‘the Great’): a copy derived from a text circulated in manuscript by Voltaire himself, probably given to the Rault de Ramsault family, with whom he was acquainted. While the letters here are not in Voltaire’s hand, despite the wording of the title-page (‘donné par Mr. de Voltaire...’) they were presumably copied by the family from an authorial version now lost or unidentified. They date originally from June 1736 to June 1739, so covering the beginning of Voltaire’s and Frederick’s exchange — opening with Frederick’s first letter of 8 June 1736; Voltaire’s response of 1 September and followed by 10 further letters to 8 June 1739. After this, from page 59, there are copies of two further Voltaire texts: De l’Usage de la vie (written in 1736 in defence of his widely-criticised philosophical poem Le Mondain), and Ode sur l’ingratitude (also 1736) and the following texts by Frederick: Considérations du prince royal de Prusse sur le trône, aujourd’huÿ juin 1740 (a response to Voltaire’s enquiries about Russia, and not published in print until 1791) and ‘...Une Lettre du roy de Prusse à Mr le Marechal Comte de Saxe du 21 aoust 1749, au retour d’une visitte que luÿ fit ce ma[rech]al...’
    The title-page bears the statement, ‘Ce manuscrit fut donné par Mr de Voltaire à Mde de Ramsault ma mère chez qui il fit un long séjour. 1740’ and is signed ‘Ramsault de Tortonval’. Charles Antoine de Rault de Ramsault (1687 - 1774, French military engineer army officer and director of fortifications at Lille) had corresponded with Voltaire shortly before 1740 and had evidently taken one of his relations into his service. Voltaire had a copy of the Henriade sent to the Ramsaults in January 1738 (Letters, 20 January 1738) and also gave a personally annotated copy of the 1740 Amsterdam edition of his Oeuvres to Mme de Ramsault, which bore a similar inscription to the one found in our manuscript: ‘Cette édition fut donnée à ma mère par M. de « Voltaire qui l’a enrichie de ses notes. Ramsault de Tortenval. »’ (Voy. Catalogue de livres rares, etc. dont la vente aura lieu le lundi 6 décembre 1880. Paris: Labitte, 1880, n° 65, p. 20, cited by Bengesco 2122).

    The letters are as follows:

    1. Lettre du P[rin]ce royal de Prusse à Mr de V à Berlin le 8 Juin [recorded elsewhere as 8 August] 1736. (Mr, quoi que je n’aie pas la satisfaction de vous connaître personnellement...);

    2. Reponse de M. de Voltaire à S. A. R. Mgr. Le Pr. R. de Prusse. [undated, c. 1 September 1736]. (Il faudrait être insensible, pour n’être pas infiniment touché de la lettre dont votre a. r. a daigné m’honorer...);

    3. 2e. Lettre de P. R. de Prusse à M. de Voltaire du 9. 9re. 1736. (Monsieur, c’est une épreuve bien difficile, pour un écolier en philosophie, que de recevoir des louanges d’un homme de votre mérite...);

    4. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire au prince roÿal de Prusse [c. December 1736]. (’Monseigneur, j’ai versé des larmes de joÿe en lisant la lettre du 9 septembre...’);

    5. 3eme. Lettre du P. R. de Prusse à Mr. de Voltaire à Remusberg du 7. 9re... [7 November 1736]. (’Je suis infiniment sensible à l’honneur que vous me faites de placer mon nom à la tête du bel ouvrage...);

    6. 4eme. Lettre du meme prince [3 December 1736]. (’Monsieur j’ai été agréablement surpris en recevant aujourd'hui votre lettre avec les pièces, dont vous avez bien voulu l’accompagner...);

    7. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire d’Amsterdam [?March 1737]. (’Mgr. je ne scai pas on commences, je suis engoué de plaisir de surprise et de reconnoissance...’);

    8. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire à Cireÿ le 1er janvier 1739. (’Jeune héros, esprit sublime,
    Quels vœux pour vous pui-je former?...’);

    9. De S. A. R. de Remusberg 22. 9vre 1738. [22 November 1738]. (’Mon cher ami, il faut avouer que vous êtes un débiteur admirable...’);

    10. Lettre de M. de V. à Cireÿ le 15 fev. 1739. (’J’ai reçu les étrennes...’);

    11. Lettre de M. de V. à S. A. R. à Cireÿ le 25 avril 1739. (’J’ai l’honneur d’envoyer à votre A. R. la lie de mon vin...’);

    12. D. S. A. R. de Berlin le 8 Juin [elswhere given as 8 January] 1739. (’Mon cher ami, je m’étais bien flatté que l’Epître sur l’humanité pourrais mériter votre approbation...’).

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  • Costumes d’Ivanhoe au bal donné par... le prince et princesse d’Orange à Bruxelles, mercredi le 5 février 1823]. by [SCOTT, Sir Walter. Félicité LAGARENNE, artist. [SCOTT, Sir Walter. Félicité LAGARENNE, artist. ~ Costumes d’Ivanhoe au bal donné par... le prince et princesse d’Orange à Bruxelles, mercredi le 5 février 1823]. Brussels, 1823.
    Sole edition of this rare suite of ten hand-coloured lithographs commemorating a ball inspired by Ivanhoe, held in Brussels on 5 February 1823 by the… (more)

    Sole edition of this rare suite of ten hand-coloured lithographs commemorating a ball inspired by Ivanhoe, held in Brussels on 5 February 1823 by the Prince and Princess of Orange in honour of the British community in that city. The ball was an early expression of ‘Scottomania’, and of the revival of interest in medieval pageantry, that occupied European high society following the publication of Ivanhoe in 1819. There were thirty-two guests at the ball, all attending in elaborate costume and dancing a special quadrille which became the talk of the town and remained ‘the principal topic of conversation at Brussels’ several months later (according to the The Repository of Arts, May 1823). The additional printed programme (not necessarily issued with the plates) tells us that Lord Danlo was Ivanhoe, while the Black Knight was played by Mr de Janti, and Mrs Berkley taking the role of Rowena. Further down the list is Mrs Fielden (sic), as Alicia, wife of the Joseph Ffeilden who owned this copy – she can be seen on the left in Plate VII. Jowers, Theatrical Costume 3126. COPAC shows copies at NLS, Edinburgh, and V&A. Worldcat adds Paris-INHA only.

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