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  • Ann’s Book... by PARSONS, Jacynth and Karl. PARSONS, Jacynth and Karl. ~ Ann’s Book... London: [William Brendon & Son, Plymouth for] The Medici Society, 1929.
    First edition of this attractive book illustrated by Jacynth Parsons. Parsons was a child prodigy, contributing superb illustrations to Ann’s Book by her father, the… (more)

    First edition of this attractive book illustrated by Jacynth Parsons. Parsons was a child prodigy, contributing superb illustrations to Ann’s Book by her father, the Arts and Crafts designer Karl Parsons, in 1929. In 1927 the Medici Society put on an exhibition of her ‘Pictures from the age of 3 to 16’ which met with considerable success. She later illustrated an edition of Blake under the patronage of W.B. Yeats, and several other works.

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  • Contes de Perrault... Préface de Henri de Régnier. by (PERRAULT). DRIAN [Etienne], illustrator. (PERRAULT). DRIAN [Etienne], illustrator. ~ Contes de Perrault... Préface de Henri de Régnier. Paris: Éditions d’Art de la Roseraie, [1922].
    First edition of Drian’s stylish illustrated version of Perrault’s tales including La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Barbe-Bleu (Bluebeard), Peau-d’Âne (Donkey Skin)… (more)

    First edition of Drian’s stylish illustrated version of Perrault’s tales including La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Barbe-Bleu (Bluebeard), Peau-d’Âne (Donkey Skin) and a risqué fable pastiche by Marcel Boulenger, Les Oeufs (The Eggs, 1912). This is copy number 256 of 388 copies. Drian (1890-1961) was one of the most celebrated fashion illustrators of 1920s and 30s Paris. Worldcat: Minnesota, Ocean State and V & A only outside Continental Europe.

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  • An Act for the Encouragement of John Harrison, to publish and make known his Invention of a Machine or Watch, for the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea. by (LONGITUDE. JOHN HARRISON). (LONGITUDE. JOHN HARRISON). ~ An Act for the Encouragement of John Harrison, to publish and make known his Invention of a Machine or Watch, for the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea. London: Mark Baskett, Printer to the King’s most Excellent Majesty; and by the Assigns of Robert Baskett, 1763.
    First edition of this important act acknowledging the success of John Harrison’s ‘H4’ chronometer in the accurate calculation of longitude, among the most important scientific… (more)

    First edition of this important act acknowledging the success of John Harrison’s ‘H4’ chronometer in the accurate calculation of longitude, among the most important scientific breakthroughs of the eighteenth century. ‘And whereas the Utility of the Invention of the said John Harrison has been proved by a late Voyage to Jamaica, under the Directions of the Commissioners of the Longitude; And whereas the said Commissioners at their Meeting on the Seventeenth Day of August last did adjudge, that by the Trial made of the said Instrument, it was found of considerable Use to the Publick, and did thereupon make an Order for the Payment of the Sum of Two thousand Pounds to the said John Harrison...’

    Harrison believed the extraordinary accuracy of his fourth marine chronometer (it lost just five seconds on an 81-day trial to Jamaica) should be enough to win the full £20,000 promised by the British government’s 1714 longitude prize, but the ‘Act for the Encouragement’ insisted on further tests and disclosures. ‘It was intended to enforce the Commissioners’ directions that Harrison make “a full and clear Discovery of the Principles” of his latest timekeeper to eleven named witnesses so that the details could be published in order to allow other clockmakers to reproduce the designs. Once these witnesses or the majority of them certified that Harrison had done so, then the Treasurer of the Navy was to pay the clockmaker £5000...’ (Baker). The 1763 Act for the Encouragement is the first official government acknowledgement that the revolutionary H4 chronometer had succeeded, but it took Harrison most of the rest of his life to extract the prize money from the Board of Longitude, despite his publication of An Account of the Proceedings in order to the Discovery of Longitude in 1763 (see Printing and the Mind of Man, 208).

    Several copies of this act have appeared at auction in recent years (notably the Streeter Library copy sold by Christie’s in New York for $14,400 in 2007) almost always physically disbound from complete sessional volumes of the Acts of Parliament. Though separately published with a general title (as here) individual acts were almost always bound together in yearly volumes as their pagination dictated — our copy is preserved in such a yearly volume with 24 other acts. Acts of this era were printed in limited numbers, usually estimated at around 1100 copies only. Baker, ‘Longitude Acts’ in Longitude Essays, Cambridge Digital Library, accessed June 2021. ESTC records just 8 copies of the act (3 in the UK, 5 in the US) and Worldcat adds a small handful more, though copies are under-recorded since they are often (especially in the UK) catalogued within volumes and sets of the Acts of Parliament.

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  • Monographia Pselaphidarum et Scydmaenidarum Britanniae: or an Essay on the British Species of the genera Pselaphus, of Herbst, and Scydmoenus, of Latreile... by DENNY, Henry. DENNY, Henry. ~ Monographia Pselaphidarum et Scydmaenidarum Britanniae: or an Essay on the British Species of the genera Pselaphus, of Herbst, and Scydmoenus, of Latreile... Norwich: S. Wilkin, sold also by Burks and Kinnebrook; Matchett and Stevneson; J. Parsons; and John Stacy, Norwich: and in London by Baldwin, Craddock, and Joy... and W. Wood, 1825.
    First edition. ‘Denny...(1803–1871), entomologist, was for forty-five years curator of the museum of the Literary and Philosophical Society in Leeds. Before his appointment he had… (more)

    First edition. ‘Denny...(1803–1871), entomologist, was for forty-five years curator of the museum of the Literary and Philosophical Society in Leeds. Before his appointment he had published on the genus Pselaphus (Monographia Pselaphorum et Scydmaenorum Britanniae, or, An essay on the British species of the genera Pselaphus of Herbst, and Scydmaenus of Latreille, 1825). His studies were to follow this direction for the rest of his life, and, while performing his duties as curator, he made himself a leading authority on the subject of parasitic insects’ (Oxford DNB). Many of the observations in the Monographia are from his fieldtrips in Norfolk and East Anglia and a good proportion of the subscribers are East Anglian, including several members of the Gurney family and Professor John Henslow at Cambridge.

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  • The Penitential Psalms. by HUMPHREYS, Henry Noel. HUMPHREYS, Henry Noel. ~ The Penitential Psalms. [London, 1861].
    First edition. ‘Noel Humphreys, when over 50, produced one more illuminated book, The Penitential Psalms, in 1861. It is similar in format and style to… (more)

    First edition. ‘Noel Humphreys, when over 50, produced one more illuminated book, The Penitential Psalms, in 1861. It is similar in format and style to the others: it is an older man’s work, with some very beautiful pages. Strangely, it contains neither date, not name of publisher or printer, and the first edition omits the name of Noel Humphreys himself’ (McLean). McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing, p. 110.

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  • The History of Joseph and his Brethren Genesis Chaprs. XXXVI. XXXVIII, XL. by JONES, Owen and Henry WARREN, illuminators. JONES, Owen and Henry WARREN, illuminators. ~ The History of Joseph and his Brethren Genesis Chaprs. XXXVI. XXXVIII, XL. London: Day & Son, [1865].
    First edition of a striking chromolithograph book, with all the pages and illustrations orientated to be read and viewed along the long edge of the… (more)

    First edition of a striking chromolithograph book, with all the pages and illustrations orientated to be read and viewed along the long edge of the book.

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  • Songs, Madrigals and Sonnets. A Gathering of some of the most pleasant Flowers of old English Poetry. Set in borders of coloured ornaments and vignettes. by CUNDALL, Joseph. CUNDALL, Joseph. ~ Songs, Madrigals and Sonnets. A Gathering of some of the most pleasant Flowers of old English Poetry. Set in borders of coloured ornaments and vignettes. London: [Charles Whittingham, Chiswick for] Longman, Brown, Green, and Co. 1849.
    First edition of these selections from Shakespeare, Milton, Marlowe, Coleridge, Spenser, Herbert, and others. ‘The ornamental borders in this book have been printed by means… (more)

    First edition of these selections from Shakespeare, Milton, Marlowe, Coleridge, Spenser, Herbert, and others. ‘The ornamental borders in this book have been printed by means of wood-blocks’. A collaborative enterprise between Cundall and the Chiswick Press it was printed in 2000 copies. ‘One-quarter share in the profits was to be paid to Joseph Cundall, but it is doubtful if there were any, since, in January 1851, forty bound copies and no less than one thousand six hundred and forty-two copies in sheets were sold to H.G. Bohn. It is a charming little volume and deserved a greater success: it is now a collector’s piece’ (McClean). McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.), pp. 70-71.

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  • The Sermon on the Mount. by AUDSLEY, W. & G. AUDSLEY, W. & G. ~ The Sermon on the Mount. [London Day & Son, 1861].
    First edition. ‘Illuminated by W. & G. Audsley, architects, Liverpool... Illustrated by Charles Rolt. Chromolithographed by W.R. Tymms.’ William and George Audsley were to become… (more)

    First edition. ‘Illuminated by W. & G. Audsley, architects, Liverpool... Illustrated by Charles Rolt. Chromolithographed by W.R. Tymms.’ William and George Audsley were to become highly influential in the Victorian gothic revival, designing significant buildings both in Britain and the United States. They created a number of lavishly illustrated books on ornament and Japanese art, notably The Keramic Art of Japan of 1875. ‘The size of this book alone is enough to make it one of the outstanding monuments to the Victorian passion for illumination’ (McLean). McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.), p. 133.

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  • A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher. CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher. ~ A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. London: Joseph Cundall, Old Bond Street, [1845].
    First edition of the first of Joseph Cundall’s illuminated gift books, with superb decoration by John Brandard printed in chromolithography. ‘The borders in the book… (more)

    First edition of the first of Joseph Cundall’s illuminated gift books, with superb decoration by John Brandard printed in chromolithography. ‘The borders in the book were copied from Harleian MS 2936 and MS 3469, Royal MS.19.C.3 and 19.C.8, the DeCroy MS, and Henry VIII’s Missal, all in the British Library; also used was a Book of Hours in the possession of the publisher. The miniature paintings are from Harleian MS. 2877’ (Claire McKendrick). Cundall (printer, publisher and photographer) is also known as the publisher of the first commercially printed Christmas card (in an edition of 1000 copies) in December 1843 (the same month as Dickens’s A Christmas Carol). He later produced some of the most handsome illustrated books of the 1850s and 1860s, including the ‘Home Treasury’ series of children’s books. McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.) pp. 90-1.

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  • Aphorisms of the Wise & Good. by STANESBY, Samuel. STANESBY, Samuel. ~ Aphorisms of the Wise & Good. London: [Thomas Bessent for] Griffith and Barran, [1852].
    First edition. The frontispiece included a mounted oval collotype print reproducing an engraved portrait of John Milton McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd… (more)

    First edition. The frontispiece included a mounted oval collotype print reproducing an engraved portrait of John Milton McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.), p. 137.

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  • Sentiments and Similes of William Shakespeare. A classified Selection of Similes, Definitions, Descriptions, and other remarkable Passages in the Plays and Poems of Shakespeare... second edition. by HUMPHREYS, Henry Noel. HUMPHREYS, Henry Noel. ~ Sentiments and Similes of William Shakespeare. A classified Selection of Similes, Definitions, Descriptions, and other remarkable Passages in the Plays and Poems of Shakespeare... second edition. London: [Spottiswoode for] Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1857.
    Second edition (the first 1851). Describing the first edition McLean wrote: ’The single colour plate in Sentiments and Similes is in fact very fine, and… (more)

    Second edition (the first 1851). Describing the first edition McLean wrote: ’The single colour plate in Sentiments and Similes is in fact very fine, and is superior in technical quality to the chromolithography of Noel Humphreys’ early books’. McLean, Victorian Bookbindings in Paper, p. 56; McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.) p. 110-1.

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  • The Psalms of David illuminated by Owen Jones. [The Victoria Psalter]. by JONES, Owen. JONES, Owen. ~ The Psalms of David illuminated by Owen Jones. [The Victoria Psalter]. [London: Day & Son, 1861-2].
    First edition of this monument of Victorian book design, combining Jones’s exhuberant medievalism with an excellent example of the original relievo binding. Originally published in… (more)

    First edition of this monument of Victorian book design, combining Jones’s exhuberant medievalism with an excellent example of the original relievo binding. Originally published in parts, 1861-1862, the binding an enormous example of deeply embossed leather executed in Leake’s patent ‘relievo’ process (1846-1850s). McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.), p. 129.

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  • Prayer written at Vailima. by [SANGORSKI, Alberto, illuminator]. Robert Louis STEVENSON. [SANGORSKI, Alberto, illuminator]. Robert Louis STEVENSON. ~ Prayer written at Vailima. [London: Chatto & Windus, 1910].
    A celebrated Sangorski production, illuminating the family prayers of the Stevenson family used at their Samoan home at Vailima. Alberto Sangorksi brought to perfection the… (more)

    A celebrated Sangorski production, illuminating the family prayers of the Stevenson family used at their Samoan home at Vailima. Alberto Sangorksi brought to perfection the Victorian revival of manuscript illumination. Second impression.

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  • The Balance of Public Favor. by (SCOTT). [DOYLE, John]. (SCOTT). [DOYLE, John]. ~ The Balance of Public Favor. London: Thomas McLean, 1827.
    An excellent contemporary satire on the literary celebrity of Sir Walter Scott ‘ depicting Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Moore, two friends but also literary… (more)

    An excellent contemporary satire on the literary celebrity of Sir Walter Scott ‘ depicting Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Moore, two friends but also literary rivals, sitting on opposite ends of a giant set of scales. The scales are not balanced: Scott is seated on the higher scale, looking gloomy, clutching the nine volumes of his biography of Napoleon, while Moore is on the lower scale, looking pleased, and confidently holding up a single small volume for Scott to look at. The print refers to the fact that Scott's “The life of Napoleon Buonaparte” was due to be published on the same day in 1827 as Thomas Moore’s prose romance “The Epicurean, a Tale”, based on his unfinished poem “Alciphron”; however, Moore managed to get his book published a day earlier. Scott’s biography was subsequently a commercial success but met with a very mixed critical reception, whereas Moore’s first novel was an immediate commercial and critical success, hence “the balance of public favour” falling in Moore’s favour’. BM Satires 15440.

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  • The Child’s Journal. Journal des enfans. Par une société de littérateurs Anglais... by (JUVENILE). MURPHY-BYRNE, [G.-D], editor. (JUVENILE). MURPHY-BYRNE, [G.-D], editor. ~ The Child’s Journal. Journal des enfans. Par une société de littérateurs Anglais... Vol. 1 [Le] Havre: [J. Morlent for] Bureau Central de la Direction; Vol. 2. Paris: Bureau Central de la Direction 1834-6.
    First edition of all the published issues of this rare French journal for English learners, published monthly, first at Le Havre and then in Paris.… (more)

    First edition of all the published issues of this rare French journal for English learners, published monthly, first at Le Havre and then in Paris. Besides the article titles in French the text is almost entirely in English, with frequent bracketed interpolations in French explaining difficult or idiomatic phrases. The editor was professor of languages at the Collége du Havre and published The Seine, an historical Tour from Havre to Rouen in 1836. We can locate no other copy of The Child’s Journal save the Bibliothèque nationale copy.
    The choice of texts is broad, with a special emphasis on tales of history, travel and adventure, with some concerning natural history. Among the adventures are shipwreck and captivity narratives abridged from their original sources, quite frequently set in North America, Russia and the South Seas. They include: ‘Cinque jours de résidence dans une ile déserte, Aventures extraordinaires d’un jeune marin de quatorze ans’; ‘La Femme Indienne, ou la victime de la superstition’ [set beside in the Mississipi, from Percy’s Anecdotes]; ‘Le Prisonnier et les anthropophages’ [from The Wonderful Magazine]; Cook; ‘Voyage du Capitaine Ross au Pôle nord’; ‘Aventure d’un officier Américain’ [General Putnam]; ‘Sept Mois dans le désert’ [derived from Hearne’s Journey to the Northern Ocean]; ‘Chasse aux chevaux sauvages’ [abridged from Washington Irving’s Tour on the Prairies]; ‘Naufrage du Navire The Harpooner’; ‘Balboa et la Mer Pacifique’ and ‘Le Voyageur et le Cayman’ and excets from Walter Scott, Joseph Flood, Carver’s History of Boston and Chamber’s Edinburgh Journal.

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  • Grana angelica; ou Véritables pilules écossaises, laissées à la postérité par le Docteur Patrice Anderson, d’Edimbourg, Médecin de Charles I, Roi d’Angleterre; desquelles Charles II saisoit sa médicine ordinaire. Préparées avec fidélité par G. Anthony, demeurent à l’enseigne des armes d’Angleterre. by (ANDERSON, Patrick). George ANTHONY and LE BRUN et RENAULT, Père et Fils. (ANDERSON, Patrick). George ANTHONY and LE BRUN et RENAULT, Père et Fils. ~ Grana angelica; ou Véritables pilules écossaises, laissées à la postérité par le Docteur Patrice Anderson, d’Edimbourg, Médecin de Charles I, Roi d’Angleterre; desquelles Charles II saisoit sa médicine ordinaire. Préparées avec fidélité par G. Anthony, demeurent à l’enseigne des armes d’Angleterre. [Paris c. 1790].
    A rare French broadside advertising the virtues of ‘Scotch Pills’ or ‘Grana angelica’ invented by the seventeenth-century Edinburgh physician Patrick Anderson which continued to be… (more)

    A rare French broadside advertising the virtues of ‘Scotch Pills’ or ‘Grana angelica’ invented by the seventeenth-century Edinburgh physician Patrick Anderson which continued to be popular in Scotland, England and France well into the nineteenth century. The long text in 12 chapters outlines the supposed virtues of the pills as a cure for almost any complaint. This French version imitates the English broadsides of the second half of the eighteenth century (there are several in ESTC) which themselves mimicked the form of Royal proclamations with woodcut arms at the head. It also reproduces the purported trademark of Anderson and his successor Isabelle Inglish which seems to have been pirated as often as the pills themselves.

    ‘Some time after 1625 Anderson was appointed physician to Charles I. In 1635 he published in Edinburgh Grana angelica, a treatise in Latin which puffed his mild aperient pills, made with aloes, colocynth, and gamboge, and pronounced a sovereign remedy for cleansing the system after carouses. Anderson claimed to have brought the formula of the pill back from a trip to Venice about 1603. Although this formula was allegedly deposited in the Rolls House, Edinburgh, to protect his proprietary rights, attempts to trace the document there have proved unsuccessful. Charles II was said to have constantly used the pills, known as Scots Pills, as his ordinary medicine’.

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  • The Seven Deadly Sins... illustrated in Mediaeval Manner by Phillys [sic] Vere Campbell. by BOWEN, Marjorie. BOWEN, Marjorie. ~ The Seven Deadly Sins... illustrated in Mediaeval Manner by Phillys [sic] Vere Campbell. 1950.
    A rather extraordinary faithful manuscript copy of Bowen’s set of seven strange satirical tales originally published in the Pall Mall Magazine, December 1913-June 1914, complete… (more)

    A rather extraordinary faithful manuscript copy of Bowen’s set of seven strange satirical tales originally published in the Pall Mall Magazine, December 1913-June 1914, complete with copies of the original illustrations by Bowen’s sister Phyllis Vere Campbell. The identity of the very accomplished copyist is provided only by the monogram on the title-page ‘FMSB’.

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  • Orientalisches Traumbuch. by LYDIS, Mariette. LYDIS, Mariette. ~ Orientalisches Traumbuch. Potsdam: [Dr. Selle & Co A.G. for] Müller & Co, [ 1925],
    First edition of Lydis’s astrological dream dictionary, complete with the moveable volvelle horoscope and striking plates printed in colours and gold. Among the numerous dream… (more)

    First edition of Lydis’s astrological dream dictionary, complete with the moveable volvelle horoscope and striking plates printed in colours and gold. Among the numerous dream motifs interpreted in brief, Lydis chooses the for full-page miniatures: the whore, the angel, flight, locusts, insects (she actually depicts a spider), sea creatures, suicide and the devil.

    A fragile book, this is among the early works by Austrian born Lydis (1887-1970) who settled in Paris in 1926. She became known for her daring prints celebrating same-sex and bisexual love (notably her 1926 portfolio, Lesbiennes) and she later illustrated numerous deluxe editions of Boccaccio, Louÿs, Baudelaire, Mirbeau and Valéry. Lydis had no formal artistic training (or at least her education is obscure) but her work was no doubt inspired by the freedom of twentieth-century Paris. She escaped the Nazis during the occupation, living briefly with her partner Erica Marx in England, before the couple emigrated to Buenos Aires.

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  • Bois dormant. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Bois dormant. Marliac, 2021.
    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features… (more)

    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features of the artist’s much-admired artist’s books, but makes use of the peepshow form to bring added depth and perspective to her enchanted world. The paper peepshow was popularised by publishers such as Martin Engelbrecht in Munich from the middle of the eighteenth century, evidently inspired by baroque stage sets, but reached the peak of their elaboration in the Victorian era. They were either sold as toys or souvenirs or, in expanded form, were popular fairground attractions. Each of Diane de Bournazel’s peepshows is a unique creation.

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  • Gelée blanche. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Gelée blanche. Marliac, 2021.
    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features… (more)

    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features of the artist’s much-admired artist’s books, but makes use of the peepshow form to bring added depth and perspective to her enchanted world. The paper peepshow was popularised by publishers such as Martin Engelbrecht in Munich from the middle of the eighteenth century, evidently inspired by baroque stage sets, but reached the peak of their elaboration in the Victorian era. They were either sold as toys or souvenirs or, in expanded form, were popular fairground attractions. Each of Diane de Bournazel’s peepshows is a unique creation.

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