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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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  • 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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  • Les Osages. by DELPECH, François Séraphin [after a drawing by] Louis-Léopold BOILLY. DELPECH, François Séraphin [after a drawing by] Louis-Léopold BOILLY. ~ Les Osages. Paris: Aubert, 1827
    In 1827 members of the Osages Tribe from the Ohio River Valley in Arkansas and Missouri, travelled to Paris with Louisiana resident David DeLaunay. They… (more)

    In 1827 members of the Osages Tribe from the Ohio River Valley in Arkansas and Missouri, travelled to Paris with Louisiana resident David DeLaunay. They were initially lionised by Paris society before being abandoned by their host and forced to fend for themselves. This celebrated lithograph shows Kihegashugah or Little Chief (age 28), Minckchatahooh or Little Soldier (age 22), and Grétomih (age 18 and cousin to Kihegashugah’s wife). It was issued as part of Delpech and Boilly’s Grimaces series (with three plates depicting the Osages) but was also issued separately, as here, without the captions found in the Grimaces version.

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  • Alphabet des Métiers. by (JIGSAW). (JIGSAW). ~ Alphabet des Métiers. Paris: Becquet for Huet [and sold by] Clochez et Sevette, [c. 1860s].
    A rare French jigsaw set in three parts — a wonderful and complete alphabet illustrated with trades and crafts (male and female) including the: an… (more)

    A rare French jigsaw set in three parts — a wonderful and complete alphabet illustrated with trades and crafts (male and female) including the: an armourer, laundrywoman, gilder, epicier, florist, glovemaker, herbalist, printer, gardener, ‘kiosque’ vendor, milkwoman, blacksmith, fancy goods seller (’nouveautés’), goldsmith, pavier, ironmonger, restaurateur, sculptor, dyer, factoryworker, tailor, wood engraver (’xylographes’ —a good solution for the letter ‘X’) and zincworker.

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  • Exposition Publique des Produits de l’Industrie Française; Catalogue des Produits IndustrielsQui ont été exposés au Champ-de-Mars pendant les trois derniers jours complémentaires de l’an VI; avec les noms, départemens et demeures des artistes et manufacturiers qui ont concouru à l’exposition; suivi du Procès-Verbal du Jury nommé par l’examen de ces produits. by (EXHIBITION CATALOGUE). (EXHIBITION CATALOGUE). ~ Exposition Publique des Produits de l’Industrie Française; Catalogue des Produits Industriels
    Qui ont été exposés au Champ-de-Mars pendant les trois derniers jours complémentaires de l’an VI; avec les noms, départemens et demeures des artistes et manufacturiers qui ont concouru à l’exposition; suivi du Procès-Verbal du Jury nommé par l’examen de ces produits.
    Paris: Imprimerie de la République; Vendémiaire an VI [October 1798].
    The very rare catalogue for the first exhibition of industrial products, held in Paris in 1798, the forerunner of the great universal exhibitions of the… (more)

    The very rare catalogue for the first exhibition of industrial products, held in Paris in 1798, the forerunner of the great universal exhibitions of the following centuries.
    Organised by the Minister of the Interior, François de Neufchâteau, with a view to ‘offering a panorama of products from the different branches of industry in order to encourage emulation’ this was the first great exhibition held in France. Its origins went back to the previous year and the initiative of the Marquis d’Aveze, who visited the factories of Sèvres, Gobelins and Savonnerie and was appalled both at the starving condition of the workers and at the superabundance of exquisite luxury goods with insufficient commercial outlet. With Neufchâteau, he arranged for an exhibition to be held at the Chateau de St Cloud but on the very day selected for the opening (18th Fructidor 1797) the Directory sent out its decree for the expulsion of the nobility — the Chateau de St Cloud was occupied by a company of dragoons and the Marquis expelled. The exhibition eventually took place the following year at the Chateau d’Orsay and on the Champ-de-Mars (on the spot where the spoils of the Italian campaign had been exhibited six weeks previously) and in a series of sixty arcades designed by David in fashionable Grecian style. Sixteen departments and 110 exhibitors were represented and as a note at the beginning of the catalogue explains, the number would have been even greater but for the speed with which the exhibition was organised, which made it impossible to get word to more distant departments of the country in time. It was a great success and the decision was taken to hold it annually.
    The pamphlet sets out the list of exhibitors and is followed by the statement of the Jury given on the 5th Vendemiare, a list of the twelve firms singled out for particular distinction by the jury, and a further list of another twelve firms meriting an ‘honourable mention’. The jury consisted of Vien, Gallois, Darcet, Chaptal, Mollard, Moitte, Gilet-Laumont, Duquesnoy, Ferd and Berthoud. It sets out its criteria clearly: the key merit of any work is the invention and its principle appeal in public terms is its utility. In the context of ongoing hostility with Britain, it is interesting to see that the jury confesses a preference for those products which rival or outshine their British counterparts. A couple of firms which did not choose to exhibit are nonetheless singled out for mention in the address: Boyer Fonfrede, a textile merchant, Didot jeune, the publisher, and Delaître, a cotton weaver. The prize winners included firms of international repute, such as Breguet, the clock maker, Lenoir, inventor and maker of mathematical instruments, and Conté, an engineer who first applied machine-ruling to engraving. Having made known its decision to hold the exhibition on an annual basis in future, the address concludes with resounding praise for the new face of France, delivered by the Revolution from subservience to its neighbours and slavery to ‘routine’, the enemy of all true art. Rare: no printed copy listed in the holdings of the Bibliothèque nationale (which has a manuscript transcription) and only 3 copies known in libraries in France. Worldcat lists copies at Yale, Northwestern, Oregon and the British Library. Sandoz and Guiffrey, Arts appliqués et industries d’art aux expositions, 1912, pp. 1-5; Douyere-Demeulenaere, Expositions publiques des produits de l’industrie francaise, Répertoire méthodique, 2008.

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  • Ulysse (Fragment) [in “900” Cahiers d’Italie et D’Europe 1. Cahier d’Automne 1926, ed. Massimo BONTEMPELLI et al.] by LYDIS, Mariette, illustrator. (James JOYCE). [Auguste MOREL, translator]. LYDIS, Mariette, illustrator. (James JOYCE). [Auguste MOREL, translator]. ~ Ulysse (Fragment) [in “900” Cahiers d’Italie et D’Europe 1. Cahier d’Automne 1926, ed. Massimo BONTEMPELLI et al.] Rome and Florence: “La Voce”, 1926.
    The earliest portrait of Leopold Bloom. Mariette Lydis contributed one illustration to the first issue of “900”, placed with the fragment of Ulysses in the… (more)

    The earliest portrait of Leopold Bloom. Mariette Lydis contributed one illustration to the first issue of “900”, placed with the fragment of Ulysses in the French translation by Auguste Morel. The image, captioned ‘Illustration’ is dated 1925 at the foot. No earlier illustration of Bloom is known (nor indeed any earlier illustration of Ulysses) and the standard idea of him is drawn partly from Joyce’s own inept sketch of him made in Paris in 1926. The image is clearly identifiable as a Leopold Bloom-like figure, yet is perhaps not a direct illustration (what are we to make of the Ostende tourist poster in the background, for example?) but no-one appears to have noted or commented on this remarkable image by an important female artist of the 1920s. While Slocum & Cahoon record the appearance of the text, the image is passed over in silence.

    Joyce was nominally a joint editor of the radical literary review “900”, with Massimo Bontempelli. Mariette Lydis was Bontempelli’s lover at this period (her letters to him are preserved at the Getty Institute) and probably also know Joyce. She sketched his portrait the following year in Paris.

    The Ulysses excerpt translated by Morel is episode 4, ‘Calypso’, introducing Leopold Bloom with his morning visit to the butcher’s shop for a kidney for Molly’s breakfast. James Joyce is listed among the journal’s editors on the half-title verso (along with Bontempelli, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Jerog Kaiser and Pierre Mac Orlan). Among the adverts at the end of the volume is a full-page for the forthcoming German edition of Ulysses by Rheinverlag of Zurich (the book appeared in the autumn of 1927). Another advert is for the journal Critica Fascista (a ’Fortnightly Fascist Review’). Slocum & Cahoon, A Bibliography of James Joyce (953), D25 (p. 113).

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  • A Collection of Votes and other Proceedings of the hon[oura]ble the House of Commons in the yeare 1688/[9]. by (BILL OF RIGHTS). (BILL OF RIGHTS). ~ A Collection of Votes and other Proceedings of the hon[oura]ble the House of Commons in the yeare 1688/[9]. [London, end of the seventeenth century].
    A contemporary or early manuscript copy of the ‘The Votes and other Proceeedings of the honourable House of Commons’ for the first year of the… (more)

    A contemporary or early manuscript copy of the ‘The Votes and other Proceeedings of the honourable House of Commons’ for the first year of the reign of William and Mary, 1688/9, recording the dramatic political background to the Glorious Revolution and with a complete copy of the Declaration of Rights (commonly called the ‘Bill of Rights’) and the more comprehensive ‘Heads of Grievances’ from which it was distilled. Along with Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights is one of the landmarks in the development of constitutional law of England (and by extension, America) setting out basic civil rights which would shape the structure of government into our own era. It set firm limits on the powers of the crown while confirming the place of parliament in legislation and the right to free speech within it. It also guaranteed the right to bear arms, but limiting it to Protestant subjects in defence against the perceived Catholic tyranny of the deposed James II. The Bill of Rights directly reflected the philosophy of John Locke and stands as one of the landmark documents in the development of civil liberties in the United Kingdom and a model for later, more general, statements of rights including the United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    It is included here, with much other parliamentary business, in a yearly manuscript volume of ‘The Votes of the House of Commons’. A distinct class of the record, the ’Votes’ were kept by a clerk of the House and recorded business transacted on each day's sittings, including the bills read, orders and resolutions passed, divisions, licences, and the like. Like the better known manuscript ‘Journals’ of the House of Commons the ‘Votes’ are primarily concerned with deeds, not words, and do not typically record the text of speeches or the acts themselves, though certain important determinations such as the Declaration of Rights are given in full. Copies of the Clerk’s originals could be made for members of parliament and there was a limited circulation of the texts in folio volumes such as this one, but they were not published in print until much later.

    The fine calligraphic title here originally read ‘1680’, and error corrected, with the final ‘0’ deleted and substituted with an ‘8’. The front free endpaper is inscribed with a note to the binder: ‘Titled Votes 1688 & Marbled on the Leaves’. Included is a note from 1948 from the Commons Librarian to a former owner. While it is impossible to be certain of the date of this manuscript version, both the hand and the binding would place it within a decade or so of 1688. Frankle, Robert J. ‘The Formulation of the Declaration of Rights’. The Historical Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, 1974, pp. 265–279. cf. D. Menhennet, The Journal of the House of Commons: A Bibliographical and Historical Guide, 1971; M.F. Bond, Guide to the Records of Parliament (1971).

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  • [Sujets tirés des tragédies de Sophocle. by GIACOMELLI, Sophia. GIACOMELLI, Sophia. ~ [Sujets tirés des tragédies de Sophocle. Paris, 1814].
    First edition of this very scarce collection of plates by a remarkable female engraver. Issued separately in 1814 and later as a suite to an… (more)

    First edition of this very scarce collection of plates by a remarkable female engraver. Issued separately in 1814 and later as a suite to an 1827 edition of the illustrations of Flaxman. The 1814 issue was accompanied by a title page, but this set from the library of an early admirer of her work, Prosper de Barante, has been bound without a title.

    Very little is known of this remarkable female engraver working in the austere neo-classical style of Flaxman, very much in tune with the aesthetics of the the Empire style in France. Giacomelli was also an accomplished singer. According to Fonds Français après 1800 (IX, p. 74) Giacomelli ‘a gravé au trait sous l’influence de David et avec l’amitié de Denon’. A lithograph portrait of her by Denon survives. The Journal des arts, des sciences, et de littérature reviewed her collection of plates for Milton’s Paradise Lost in 1813:

    ‘...les amateurs conviendront sans peine que la collection des douze figures de Mme Giacomelli est une des productions les plus agréables que la gravure nous ait offertes depuis long-temps. Nous vivons dans un siècle où les femmes ont conquis, dans la littérature, le rang le plus distingué: il suffit de jeter les yeux sur cet ouvrage, pour s’apercevoir que le domaine des arts ne leur est pas non plus étranger. Déjà le dessin et la gravure ont mérité à Mme Giacomelli d’honorable suffrages; son talent comme cantatrice avait avantageusement brillé dans plusieurs concerts...’ (vol. 15, p. 62).

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  • Messes noires. Lord Lyllian. by FERSEN, Jacques d’Adelswärd, baron. FERSEN, Jacques d’Adelswärd, baron. ~ Messes noires. Lord Lyllian. Paris: [Bussière, Saint-Amande, for] Librairie Léon Vanier, A. Messein, successeur, 1905.
    First edition (despite the mention fictive ‘deuxième édition’ on the title-page). A pioneering gay narrative and one of the first novels written about Oscar Wilde… (more)

    First edition (despite the mention fictive ‘deuxième édition’ on the title-page). A pioneering gay narrative and one of the first novels written about Oscar Wilde after his conviction. Messes noires is the story of Lord Lyllian, a tragic character born in Scotland with a striking overt resemblance to Wilde, addicted to adolescent boys and to opium. It was written on the Island of Capri where Fersen had fled following his arrest in France (for indecent assault and exciting minors to debauchery in the course of a series of soirées dubbed Messes noires). Fersen had formerly associated with a coterie of Paris decadents including Jean Lorrain, Robert de Montesquiou and Karl-Joris Huysmans, but his 1903 arrest caused a scandal in the press, who were quick to dub him ‘un nouvel Oscar Wilde’, and he was ostracised by almost all his former literary friends. The cover and title-page of the novel bear the Wildean epigram ‘L’amour a pour moi deux ennemis: / les préjugés et ma concierge’.

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  • Jack Sheppard. A Romance... A new Edition. by AINSWORTH, W. Harrison. AINSWORTH, W. Harrison. ~ Jack Sheppard. A Romance... A new Edition. London: [T. Brettell for] Richard Bentley, 1840.
    Second edition (The first edition had appeared the previous year, with the same plates, as three consecutive volumes in Bentley’s Miscellany). ‘Praised for its vivid… (more)

    Second edition (The first edition had appeared the previous year, with the same plates, as three consecutive volumes in Bentley’s Miscellany). ‘Praised for its vivid writing, especially its depiction of a storm on the Thames and its account of Jack Sheppard's escape from Newgate prison, the novel became so popular that by the end of 1839 nine different theatrical versions of it had appeared on the London stage. One of these versions introduced the hit song of the season (’Nix my Dolly, Pals’), based on a ‘flash song’ of criminal slang that Ainsworth had written for Rookwood. But Jack Sheppard also provoked criticism. John Forster attacked it in The Examiner for glorifying criminals, William Makepeace Thackeray did the same in his novel Catherine, and there were even suggestions that the notorious murder committed by Courvoisier in 1840 had been inspired by a reading of Ainsworth's novel’ (ODNB).

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