One of six copies, a fine and characteristic example of Beatrice Coron’s cut paper artist’s books.more...
Across the four panels, the artist has opened a series of tunnels linking worlds above and below ground, inviting us to look into ‘memory holes’. Dreamlike and haunting, Memory Holes is a meditation on what lies below the surface of everyday life, but, as often in Coron’s world, we are never sure what is real, and what is imagined. Examples of her work, both books and public art, are held by numerous significant museums and libraries in Europe and America..see full details
An elegant anonymous satire on fashionable dress for women, directed especially against the painful pursuit of an artificial figure: ‘Come here, you two girls, that look full in my face, / And you that so often are turning your back [the Graces], / Put on these cork rumps, and then tighten your stays / ‘Till your hips, and your ribs, and the strings themselves crack. / Can ye speak? can ye breathe? - Not a word - Then ‘twill do. / You have often dress’d me, and for once I’ll dress you.’.see full details
A delightful set of anonymous sequential photographs of ballet steps, presumably designed as a teaching aid, capturing a dancer’s movements broken down frame by frame, rather in the manner of Eadweard Muybridge.more...
A set of blank ornamental borders designed for use by the convent girls of the monastery of the order of the Visitation at Ornans in Eastern France.more...
Probably destined for use as models for notecards and letters, as suggested by the contemporary tracings. A wonderful example of contemporary decorative arts in a convent environment these watercolours are elegantly ornate, incorporating foliage, flowers, vines, swags and birds. The convent at Ornans had been founded in the early seventeenth century and, after the Revolution, refounded as a religious school in 1839 for girls. The Ordre de la Visitation de Sainte-Marie, or ‘Visitandines’ had existed also from the early seventeenth century, founded as an active order for the visitation of the sick..see full details
First and only edition, issued the year after the Easter Rising, showing hundreds of Dublin businesses seeking exports all over the world.more...
Among the many listings and advertisements for brewers, distillers, foundries, printers, publishers, linen manufacturers, shipyards, engineers and so on, are found two one-third page adverts for the Yeats sisters’ Cuala Industries and the Dun Emer Guild. The two firms had been founded under the Dun Emer name by Elizabeth and Lily Yeats in 1902 producing Arts and Crafts printing, embroidery, rugs and tapestry, before dividing in 1904. The Cuala advert shows the Yeats’s Churchtown bungalow and reads: ‘Embroidery—Lily Yeats. Hand Press—Elizabeth C. Yeats. Editor of the Press—W.B. Yeats.’ The Dun Emer advert shows a woman working at a loom and offers ‘Hand-woven Carpets & Tapestries, Embroideries, Enamels, Bookbinding’.
There are also historical and topographical accounts of the city. This was the first appearance of the Dublin Year Book and it was apparently not reprinted..see full details
LINKING KEY FIGURES IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY REFORM MOVEMENTS, THE THREE LETTERS HERE ARE ADDRESSED TO MEDICAL PIONEER ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, THE FIRST WOMAN TO RECEIVE A MEDICAL DEGREE IN AMERICA AND THE FIRST TO BE ENTERED ON THE BRITISH MEDICAL REGISTER.more...
Blackwell’s old acquaintance, Florence Nightingale, writes to her in an apparently unpublished letter of 1871 of the difficulties of public health projects, which would involve: ‘going, for instance, into all the back slums of London & other towns – practically learning & teaching there what constitutes the health of dwellings, the health of children, the health of populations, of occupations &c.’ Twelve years earlier (1859) her cousin George Eliot, signing herself in her assumed name of Marian Lewes, responds to an appeal by feminist pioneer Barbara Bodichon by forwarding her letter to Elizabeth Blackwell, while novelist Dinah Mulock thanks Blackwell for a ticket to one of her lectures.
The documents were collected by a Mrs Denniss, perhaps given to her by Blackwell herself as a memento and include three excellent photographic portraits, including a magisterial print by Elliott & Fry. Comprising:
1. NIGHTINGALE, Florence. Autograph letter, signed ‘Florence Nightingale’ to Miss [Elizabeth] Blackwell. [August 2], 1871. ‘Nothing that you do, independently of our being old friends, can fail to interest me’. She states the business of bringing everyone, ‘the little as well as the big’ to understand the ‘Laws of Life’ is the first business of everybody. However, she expresses doubt that it can be achieved in the way Blackwell has suggested is possible: ‘Sanitary work of this kind can only be done by going personal grappling with the evils by going personally among those for whom it is to be done – going, for instance, into all the back slums of London & other towns – practically learning & teaching there what constitutes the health of dwellings, the health of children, the health of populations, of occupations &c.’ Nightingale had known each other since 1850, though their medical careers took diverging paths, Nightingale achieving celebrity for her work in the Crimean war, while Blackwell established her medical practice (against considerable odds) in America. By 1871, she had been back in England over twenty years pursuing her campaign for women’s medicine, by which time Nightingale was largely confined to her bed through illness. Two-and-a-half pages on a bifolium (black edged, leaf size 205 × 130 mm), folded twice, envelope addressed in Nightingale’s hand to Blackwell in London [redirected to Cornwall], marked ‘Private’, penny stamp, postally marked at London, Matlock and Penzance.
2. LEWES, Marian. [Mary Ann EVANS, ‘George ELIOT’]. Autograph letter, signed, to Dr [Elizabeth] Blackwell. Holly Lodge, Wimbledon Park, Wandsworth, Ap[ril] 16, 1859. ‘Being unable myself to respond to Barbara [Bodichon]’s appeal in the enclosed letter [not present], I obey her wish by forwarding it to you’. This short letter was written in the year Adam Bede was published, and two months after Eliot had moved to Holly Lodge with her partner George Henry Lewes, already married with children. It refers to ‘Barbara’s appeal’ ? almost certainly Barbara Bodichon, a mutual friend of Eliot and Blackwell, then engaged in several campaigns for women’s health, employment and suffrage. One page (177 × 115 mm), two lateral folds.
3. MULOCK, Dinah Maria. [later Dinah CRAIK]. Autograph letter to Dr Elizabeth Blackwell. Wildwood, North End, Hampstead, 29 Feb[ruary], 1859. Presenting compliments and thanking her for the ticket for the lectures, which she must forgo on grounds of health, but will pass on to a young friend. Mulock’s best-known novel John Halifax, Gentleman had appeared in 1856, followed by A Woman’s Thoughts about Women (1857) and A Life for a Life (1857), the latter arguing for a single moral standard for both women and men, and for the equivalency of their strengths. One-and-a-half pages on a small bifolium (112 × 90 mm).
4. BLACKWELL, Dr Elizabeth. Photographic portrait by Elliott & Fry, London, 1907. (147 × 98 mm), original publisher’s mount. Verso inscribed ‘To Mrs Denniss’ [not autograph] and in a later hand: ‘Dr Blackwell in August 1907 – 84 and a half years’.
5. ? Photographic print after the portrait drawing of 1859 by the Comtesse de Charnacée, a later reproduction of a photographic print by Swain, J. H. Blomfield, Hastings. (Oval 88 × 58 mm) publisher’s mount. Inscribed on verso: ‘…1859 the year Dr Blackwell was placed on the British Medical Register’.
6. ? Photographic print, reproduced from the portrait of 1888 and issued by W. A. Thomas, Hastings. (138 × 95 mm).
7. ? Photograph of Rock House, Hastings. (120 × 160), faded and creased.
8. ? Photogravure print of Blackwell’s grave and memorial at Kilamun, Holy Loch, Argyleshire. (200 × 138), soon after 1907. Frayed at head..see full details
First edition in French of Mrs Ross’s gothic Minerva Press novel, The Balance of Comfort; or the Old Maid and Married Woman (1817).more...
At least 13 novels have been attributed to Ross, published between 1811 and 1825, mostly by the Minerva press. This set is bound in distinctive crimson bindings, with the crown and ‘ML’ monogram of Marie Louise, Empress of France, later Duchess of Parma, the second wife of Napoleon. Her library was sold in the 1930s..see full details
First edition of an erotic classic, with a frontispiece by Rops.more...
On publication, the book was condemned in France by the Tribunal of Lille, presumably on account of the frank accounts of the young women’s bisexual adventures. It has been attributed to both Droz and Poulet-Malassis, on doubtful grounds..see full details
First edition: a sapphic novel (a sequel to De Pougy’s Yvée Lester published two year previously).more...
De Pougy was the pseudonym of Anne Marie Chassaigne, celebrated Parisian dancer and courtesan. Escaping to Paris after an abusive early marriage, she dabbled in acting and prostitution, becoming a regular user of cocaine and opium, a writer, and a star of the Folies bergères. She had numerous relationships with women, notably Natalie Clifford Barney, recorded in her novel Idylle Saphique, published in 1901..see full details
A delightful collection by a prolific gastronomic author, devoted to the matter of women at table, a counterpoise to the masculinity of French gastronomy: ‘Une table sans femmes est une table sans fleurs’. This is one of 20 copies on Van Gelder, after 10 on japon (total edition 400)..see full details
A historical novel by Dunan, a poet and literary critic known for her erotic and science fiction stories. She belonged to the Dada movement and was acquainted with Bréton, Soupault, Éluard and Picabia. Set in a small village not far from Paris, the story follows young Babet, a pretty, ambitious, yet greedy renaissance peasant. Her husband Jean Hocquin has been sentenced to death and so Babet, in her desperation makes a pact with the devil to save him from being hung. Hocquin escapes, however soon after, a young gentleman arrives, seducing Babet with expensive gifts..see full details
An historical novel on the Man in the Iron Mask by Dunan, a poet and literary critic known for her erotic and science fiction stories, which include elements of feminism, naturism, anarchism and pacifism. She belonged to the Dada movement and was acquainted with Bréton, Soupault, Éluard and Picabia. .see full details
Meditations by cosmopolitan and progressive figure Julia Brewster (wife of Franco-Amercian poet Harry Brewster), with a preface by Rod, a Franco-Swiss novelist who worked in Paris, he describes Brewster in his preface as seeing the world and her life as, ‘un poème animé du souffle de Dieu’..see full details
First edition, with author’s inscription to François Truffaut.more...
Goll was a German-French writer and journalist who married the poet Yvan Goll. She studied at the University of Geneva and became involved in the peace movement, working as a journalist after emigrating from France in protest of World War One. She wrote numerous short stories, poems and novels, mostly on the subject of love..see full details
Inscribed presentation copy, ‘Quebec, le 26 Fevrier 1931. Hommage de l’auteur Jean-Charles Harvey’. A collection of eleven short stories with a hint of science fiction, by Harvey, a Canadian journalist, editor and novelist. He was known for attacking bourgeois ideology in his work Les Demi-Civilés (1934) and was condemned by the Roman Catholic church, leading to a subsequent dismissal from his job at the journal Le Soleil. The cover illustration is by Simone Routier, a Quebec poet and writer, who studied drawing and sculpture at the Quebec School of Arts..see full details
First edition of the first French book on the diabolo or devil sticks, and thus probably the first European book on the subject.more...
The diabolo craze swept Paris in 1812, all the illustrations here are of young men and women at play with this juggling toy. Besides the first two chansons, on a diabolo theme the texts here are typical of other contemporary almanacs, and the last 14 pages contain an almanac for 1813. Derived from an ancient Chinese toy it was the French who first embraced it as a fashionable activity in the early nineteenth century..see full details
First edition, regular copy on Lafuma (after 25 on Japon and 50 on Hollande, total edition 1330).more...
A brilliant literary jeu d’esprit presenting contemporary French authors as shopkeepers: François Mauriac presides over a butcher’s, La Chair et la sang, Macorlan, a fishmonger’s, Les Poissons morts, Max Jacob, a photographer’s studio, Le Cabinet noir, Colette sells travel goods from La Vagabonde, Carco presides over a brothel, Rien q’une Femme, Gide sells gorceries at Nourritures terrestres, while Jean Cocteau presents a crazy sideshow booth, La Noce massacrée..see full details