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  • Military Equitation: or, a Method of breaking Horses, and teaching Soldiers to ride. Designed for the Use of the Army... the third Edition, with plates. Revised and corrected, with Additions. by PEMBROKE, Henry HERBERT, Earl of. PEMBROKE, Henry HERBERT, Earl of. ~ Military Equitation: or, a Method of breaking Horses, and teaching Soldiers to ride. Designed for the Use of the Army... the third Edition, with plates. Revised and corrected, with Additions. Sarum [Salisbury]: printed and sold by E. Easton: sold also by by J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall, and J. Wilkie, St. Paul’s Church-Tard, London, 1778.
    Henry Herbert, tenth earl of Pembroke and seventh earl of Montgomery (1734–1794) led a colourful life: after the Grand Tour he became a cavalry officer,… (more)

    Henry Herbert, tenth earl of Pembroke and seventh earl of Montgomery (1734–1794) led a colourful life: after the Grand Tour he became a cavalry officer, married Lady Elizabeth Spencer and was appointed lord lieutenant of Wiltshire and a lord of the bedchamber to the prince of Wales He was forced to give up the latter when he eloped abroad with Elizabeth Catherine (Kitty) Hunter, by whom he fathered a son. Lady Elizabeth took her husband back in 1763, but he continued to have barely-concealed affairs: Walpole admitting he was ‘not surprised at any extravagance in his Lordship’s morals’.

    ‘Since youth Pembroke had been, in his own words, “horse mad”... and he had attended riding academies during his grand tour... In 1761 Pembroke published A Method of Breaking Horses, and Teaching Soldiers to Ride (2nd edn 1762; 3rd and 4th edns 1778 and 1793 entitled Military Equitation). This influential book provided sensible and much-needed advice. The author emphasized the need for officers to superintend the management of horses, advocated riding with a natural seat, and opposed the docking of horses’ tails’ (Oxford DNB).

    The third edition was published at Salisbury, close by Pembroke’s family seat at Wilton, and this copy contains an inscription in French apparently recording its presentation: ‘De la part de Mylord Pembroke’.

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  • Wisdom. by (REVERSE GLASS COLOURED PRINT). (REVERSE GLASS COLOURED PRINT). ~ Wisdom. London: J. Hinton, 44 Wells Street, Oxford Street, Feb 14, 1802.
    Wisdom as a woman. The print is a good example of the relatively short-lived fashion for the ‘back painted’ or reverse glass coloured mezzotint. The… (more)

    Wisdom as a woman. The print is a good example of the relatively short-lived fashion for the ‘back painted’ or reverse glass coloured mezzotint. The print is moistened and laid face down on a varnished sheet of glass and allowed to dry; once the paper is firmly fused with the varnish and glass, most of it is scraped away from the verso leaving a minutely thin layer of printed paper within the varnish. This is then varnished again on the verso to give a rich and distinctive translucency. Colours, usually in oil, are then added, again to verso. Over time the varnishes invariably darken, resulting in the rather subdued but still translucent hues found here.

    ‘Wisdom’ was probably part of a sequence of the Vitrues published by Hinton, shortly after 1800. The British museum catalogue includes a further print representing ‘Innocence’ (but not reverse glass treated).

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  • Étude sur la transformisme [and] Dictionnaire botanique. by (NATURAL HISTORY). DUMOULIN. (NATURAL HISTORY). DUMOULIN. ~ Étude sur la transformisme [and] Dictionnaire botanique. [Belgium, Herstal, prov. Liège, 1920s- c.1943].
    The life work of a Belgian natural history enthusiast, a massive and extraordinary collection of gathered knowledge, illustrated throughout with thousands of the author’s distinctive… (more)

    The life work of a Belgian natural history enthusiast, a massive and extraordinary collection of gathered knowledge, illustrated throughout with thousands of the author’s distinctive naive watercolours. The manuscript, in four volumes (one elephant folio, three folios), consists of complex visual arrangements of data which often extends over huge folded charts, each leaf filled to its maximum extent in neat manuscript in coloured inks. Though undated, it includes materials gathered in the period c. 1920-1943 and perhaps before, and in an inserted note, the otherwise unknown compiler describes the work of ‘most of my life’. It would appear to be the work of an amateur rather than an academic specialist, hence its striking originality as a work of popular science.

    The large folio volume is really a huge collection of charts devoted to human anatomy, animal and plant biology, the fossil record and evolution (or transformisme). Botany makes up the largest proportion, but there are sections on insects, reptiles, birds, flying lizards, marsupials and mammals. Dumoulin also had an interest in Africa and there are sections on the Sahara and on the Belgian Congo. The focus is worldwide and is drawn from reference works rather than original research, but the arrangements are highly idiosyncratic. Several evolutionary charts are attempted, mentioning Linnaeus, Darwin, Lamarck and Jussieu.

    The Dictionnaire botanique is a large 3 volume compilation mainly devoted to botanical classification, from the smallest mosses and seaweeds, to exotic flowering plants and forest trees. Like the larger folio volume, these volumes are illustrated throughout, with accompanying text in coloured inks and often containing emblematic figures of human figures appropriate to the origins of the plant: including Africans and Americans. They have apparently been bound from a large number of separate files (whose stiff paper cover with labels are preserved) each devoted to a different botanical family. The third volume contains additional materials at the end, including a study on Pasteur and germs, another on insects and another on bird classification. Like the preceding parts, these are also copiously illustrated in colour.

    We have discovered almost nothing of Dumoulin himself, though various details place him in the French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium around Liège. He includes a couple of leaves devoted to Belgium, one with an interesting historical schema (including a memento of various gas attacks in the Great War). A couple of inserted letters are to Belgian academic scientists and one expresses Dumoulin’s hope that his work would end up at a University. The cover of largest volume bears various mottos, perhaps a personal credo: ‘La vie sans science est presque l’image de la morte, C. Volpi’, ‘Chercher. Comprendre. Vouloir. Pouvoir. Oser. Sentir. Méditer’, ‘Naître, mourir et renaître sans cesse, telle est la loi, telle est lavie. V. Hugo’ and ‘Travailler pour être estimé. Etre estimé pour être aimé. Etre aimé pour être heureux’. The wooden stand suggests an intention for display. Whether this was an elaborate teaching aid, or simply an almost-incredible recreation, is an open question.

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  • [Chansons], by ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ~ [Chansons], Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain [Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes], 1898-9.
    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du… (more)

    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du Bataillon d’Afrique, L’Africaine, Départ pour Madagascar, La Pucelle de Bellville, Les Prisonniers morts pour la liberté.

    These notebooks are a fascinating example of a popular method of collecting popular French cabaret songs, all neatly copied up with headings and illustrations (usually suitably suggestive) copied from contemporary song sheets (an example of one of these loose sheets is loosely inserted). We have seen several similar examples, in which the illustrations are apparently traced using carbon paper from printed (or other manuscripts) exemplars. Their context is usually military or naval and they represent a significant form of popular or naive art.

    The decorative title, with elaborate borders describes Arbez Carme as ‘employé au Magasin des Vivres de Réserve du 23me Reg[im]ent d’Inf[anter]ie a Bourg, Ain’. Military records record his birth in 1876 in Jura, his occupation as a perruquier (wigmaker) and his recruitment in 1896.

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  • Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. by DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. ~ Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. [France, later-seventeenth century].
    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein...… (more)

    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein... première partie, first published in 1642. Evidently well-used, rebound in the nineteenth-century, and to judge from the binding, still handled and used thereafter, this is a large illustrated fragment consisting of parts 1, 2 and most of 3 (of 7) of the text. The original title-page and front matter, was replaced by a simple manuscript title, probably at the time of rebinding.

    La Perspective Pratique, by Jean Dubreuil ‘the Jesuit’ (1602–1670) was popular among artists, architects and designers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was still being used by artists well into the nineteenth century as a practical introduction to perspective drawing. As the original title indicates it was intended for the use of painters, engravers, sculptors, goldsmiths, embroiderers and tapestry workers and had a very wide circulation, reprinted in numerous editions, including several in English. It proceeds from the principles of drawing simple shapes and solids in perspective, to specific objects such as chairs, tables, opening chests and shelving, then to buildings and townscapes. Each set of instructions is accompanied by detailed illustrations, which were widely copied. In the printed editions, these were presented as engraved plates opposite the letterpress text, but in this manuscript they are carefully incorporated into the text for ease of use. It seems to have been a practical handbook, extensively, but carefully handled (but not marked or annotated) over a long period of time.

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  • Grand Panorama of London and the River Thames. 18 Feet in length. by (PANORAMA). (PANORAMA). ~ Grand Panorama of London and the River Thames. 18 Feet in length. [London]: ‘sold by Azulay, Thames Tunnel, [c. 1850].
    A well-known London panorama from Western Stone Wharf by the New Palace of Westminster to the Royal Victualling Office at Deptford Dockyard, in two long… (more)

    A well-known London panorama from Western Stone Wharf by the New Palace of Westminster to the Royal Victualling Office at Deptford Dockyard, in two long views. The buildings at Westminster show the Houses of Parlaiment as they are today, but before the building of St. Stephen’s tower (Big Ben) in 1859. The publisher, Bondy Azulay, occupied several booths beside the Thames Tunnel, then under construction, selling a wide range of London souvenirs including panoramas and peepshows.

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  • Les Métamorphoses de Melpomene et de Thalie ou Caractères dramatiques des Comédies françoise et italienne. by (THEATRE). WHIRSKER. (THEATRE). WHIRSKER. ~ Les Métamorphoses de Melpomene et de Thalie ou Caractères dramatiques des Comédies françoise et italienne. Paris: ‘Chez les Campions Frères, rue Saint Jacques, à la Ville de Rouen’, 1782.
    Melpomene and Thalia were the muses of tragedy and comedy and this is a dynamic series of engraved miniatures of contemporary characters in performances at… (more)

    Melpomene and Thalia were the muses of tragedy and comedy and this is a dynamic series of engraved miniatures of contemporary characters in performances at the Comédies Francaise and Italienne. They include Bellcoeur in the Retour imprevu (Regnard), the Trois cousines (Dancourt), Mademoiselle Clairon in Electre (Crebillon) and Mademoiselle Duménil in Oedipe, (Voltaire). They are engraved after the original watercolours by ‘Fesch et Whirsker’ (who may be one and the same person) preserved at the Comédie française.
    This is a reissue of an undated ‘Paris, chez l’auteur’ issue of c. 1770, with only the imprint altered (probably on the plate) to the Rouen address of the Campions frères. There was also a London edition (Sayer) of 1772, re-engraved and with the plates shorn of their verses. Colas 3073

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  • Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. by [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. ~ Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. Londres: [G. Schutzer, 13 Poland St] imprimé pour l’éditeur. Se trouve chez Treuttel et Wurtz... 1819 [-1821].
    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of… (more)

    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of battles and truces. A printed book, with a London imprint, with portions (including title) in manuscript copy, and plates dissected, partly copied in manuscript and re-arranged. It is difficult to interpret the unusual hybrid form here, but it would appear to be a contemporary collector or curator’s production allowing the illustrations to be consulted alongside their descriptions in the text. The plates in the printed edition presented the coins and medals in a different order to the text, with corresponding numbers linking the illustrations, but turning from text to plate may have been a tiresome business. The fact that the titles, preliminary text and indexes are given as manuscript copies is less easy to explain, though at least one of the manuscripts indexes is more comprehensive than that of the printed edition. Many of the illustrations are marked with a small flower shaped inkstamp, perhaps also a collector’s demarcation.

    Millin de Grandmaison (1759-1818) had been curator of the Cabinet des médailles et antiques of the former French royal library but died before this survey could be published. The manuscript was passed to the British-born James Millingen, formerly of the French mint, later an antiquary and dealer, who collated it and published it in London in both French and English versions. The imprints are faithfully copied in manuscript in our version, but it is likely a French rather than a British production.

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  • A short Account of Vessels used in the British Service. by ‘A LADY’, [WALKER, T. I., illustrator]. ‘A LADY’, [WALKER, T. I., illustrator]. ~ A short Account of Vessels used in the British Service. London: J. Moyes [for R. Ackerman], 1833.
    Sole edition, a very rare illustrated record of British ships, commercial and naval, by ‘A Lady’, probably an amateur lithographer and the ‘T.I. Walker’ whose… (more)

    Sole edition, a very rare illustrated record of British ships, commercial and naval, by ‘A Lady’, probably an amateur lithographer and the ‘T.I. Walker’ whose name appears on some of the plates (which were all printed by C. Hullmandel). Worldcat: State Library NSW and Canadian War Museum only. No copies located in British libraries. Walker not mentioned by Twyman in Early Lithographed Books.

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  • Lettres ornées du 16ème siècle [spine title]. by BAUDON, A. BAUDON, A. ~ Lettres ornées du 16ème siècle [spine title]. [Paris, c. 1860s].
    A collection of finely-executed miniatures reproducing in colour sixteenth-century printer’s ornaments and initials: 39 selected initials, three tailpieces, one headpiece and one printer’s device (Giunta,… (more)

    A collection of finely-executed miniatures reproducing in colour sixteenth-century printer’s ornaments and initials: 39 selected initials, three tailpieces, one headpiece and one printer’s device (Giunta, dated on verso 1567). Some are signed, minutely, ‘A. Baudon’ who we have been unable to trace. The artist has copied, in remarkable detail, these metalcut ornaments, reproducing in many cases the speckled backgrounds typical of punched or ‘criblé’ designs.

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  • Jugemens humains [and other extracts]. by (CALLIGRAPHY). GREGOIRE, L. (CALLIGRAPHY). GREGOIRE, L. ~ Jugemens humains [and other extracts]. [France], October, 1780.
    A series of calligraphic models or exercises of impressive size and quality. The writer, who signs his (or just possibly, her) name, minutely, at the… (more)

    A series of calligraphic models or exercises of impressive size and quality. The writer, who signs his (or just possibly, her) name, minutely, at the foot of the first leaf, has chosen two edifying texts to transcribe. The first three sheets contain passages (including one on the immorality of duelling) from Varietés serieuses et amusantes of 1765, while the other eight, rather unusually contain letters from a father to a daughter (Émilie), being extracts from Abbé Gerard’s epistolary novel Le Comte de Valmont, ou les égarements de la raison of 1774. It would be unusual if this denoted a female scribe, but the choice of these extracts is tantalsing.

    Each leaf is ruled in leadpoint and bears a large calligraphic cartouche, some have an additional penwork initial roundel and most exhibit a variety of scripts of exceptional neatness and regularity.

    Becker, Practice of Letters, Hofer collection.

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  • MISSEL. ~ MISSEL. [France, c. 1900].
    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand. Such books, printed with broad blank margins could be purchased with a… (more)

    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand. Such books, printed with broad blank margins could be purchased with a range of more-or-less unique embellishments in manuscript by talented anonymous ecclesiastical artists, usually women. This example is unusual for the range of its decorative motifs, including flowers, insects, stained glass windows, a sailing boat, elephants, a frog and peacocks. It combines consciously medieval imagery (notably a lady with a unicorn) with a delightful fin-de-siècle lightness, with elements of japonisme and art nouveau.

    The final full page images include a nativity scene with named bells on the opposing page: Jacques, Marie and Magdelain, perhaps a personalisation for its particular owner, again, almost certainly a woman.

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  • The Iron Man [Iron John]. by (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. ~ The Iron Man [Iron John]. [?London, ‘In the Year of the Lord’, 1931.
    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria… (more)

    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria Elizabeth Passini. The style is medievalist, paying homage to the chivalric manuscripts of earlier age, but is unmistakably of the 1930s. We have been unable to find any other examples of manuscripts by Passini, and it must have to have been a student project. Her later works were figurative drawing and paintings, often portraits and graphic designs for commercial clients.

    Elizabeth Passini was born in Innsbruck in 1911 into a family of notable Austrian painters and emigrated to England in the late 1920s where she studied at the Slade School. She also studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, the Central School and St Martins. She was a member of the Pastel Society, Contemporary Portrait Society and a founder member of the Hampstead Artists Council. She was a key member of the Hampstead art scene and regularly took part in the Open Air Exhibitions in Heath Street there from the late 1940s and, later on, the Royal Free Hospital Exhibitions. She taught at the Camden Arts Centre for many years. She died in 1995. Burgh House & Hampstead Museum holds a number of her works.

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  • Un Songe en Hiver. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Un Songe en Hiver. Marliac (Corrèze, Limousin), 2018.
    A unique book, entirely hand-illuminated by the artist. ‘A Dream in Winter’ is an enigmatic meditation on the theme of hibernation and dreaming, in which… (more)

    A unique book, entirely hand-illuminated by the artist. ‘A Dream in Winter’ is an enigmatic meditation on the theme of hibernation and dreaming, in which the artist places her human and animal figures in a winter land- and skyscape, with fallen leaves, bare branches, starlit skies and snowfall. Here, there is sleep, dreaming and sadness, tempered with a mood of love, longing and expectation. The successive pages invite us to read them as a narrative, but, as always with De Bournazel, the narrative is not linear or straightforward, with windows cut out and opening onto other pages, sometimes letting us see right through the book, linking the beginning to the end and inviting us to look always backwards, forwards and, most importantly, beneath the surface.

    The colophon reads: ‘Ce livre est unique. Je l’ai fait à Marliac au début de l’année 2018. Armelle Guégant l’a relié avec delicatesse’.

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  • The Poetical Works... by (BLAKE). SCOTT, John. (BLAKE). SCOTT, John. ~ The Poetical Works... London: Printed for J. Buckland. 1782.
    First collected edition, with 4 engraved vignettes by Blake after designs by Thomas Stothard. The Bradley Martin copy. Jackson, p. 96; Keynes 94; Russell 48. (more)

    First collected edition, with 4 engraved vignettes by Blake after designs by Thomas Stothard. The Bradley Martin copy. Jackson, p. 96; Keynes 94; Russell 48.

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  • Memory Holes. by CORON, Beatrice. CORON, Beatrice. ~ Memory Holes. New York, 2014.
    One of six copies, a fine and characteristic example of Beatrice Coron’s cut paper artist’s books. Across the four panels, the artist has opened a… (more)

    One of six copies, a fine and characteristic example of Beatrice Coron’s cut paper artist’s books. 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.

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  • Coupé-fouetté, Saut de chat [and other steps]. by (DANCE). (DANCE). ~ Coupé-fouetté, Saut de chat [and other steps]. [France, c. later nineteenth century].
    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,… (more)

    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.

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  • Du beau Monde. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Du beau Monde. [Marliac, 2018].
    A recent miniature book, unique, illustrated in ink and watercolour. ‘Ce tout petit livre est unique. Je l’ai peint et relié à ma façon et… (more)

    A recent miniature book, unique, illustrated in ink and watercolour. ‘Ce tout petit livre est unique. Je l’ai peint et relié à ma façon et à Marliac, en fin d’hiver 2018’.

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  • et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. by CAHIER D’ECRITURE CAHIER D’ECRITURE ~ et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. Ornans: 18 July 1857.
    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… (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. 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.

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  • Paris et ses environs, promenades pittoresques. by (PARIS). (PARIS). ~ Paris et ses environs, promenades pittoresques. Paris: [Jules Didot for] Louis Janet, [c. 1827].
    First edition of this very pretty and rare almanac-style guide to the principle walks and attractions in the Paris region, with plates including the Champs… (more)

    First edition of this very pretty and rare almanac-style guide to the principle walks and attractions in the Paris region, with plates including the Champs Elysées, the Chateaux de Vincennes and Malmaion and Rousseau’s garden at Ermenonville. Outside continental Europe, Worldcat lists only the Princeton, UCLA and Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal) copies.

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