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  • La Princesse lumière Conte de fées. by BARTEL, Jehan [pseudonym of Jehannette or Jeanette BARTEL]. BARTEL, Jehan [pseudonym of Jehannette or Jeanette BARTEL]. ~ La Princesse lumière Conte de fées. [Toulouse: Imprimerie du Centre], June 1905.
    A privately-published fairy tale by a young girl, of which we can find no copy in any public collection, nor any obvious trace of the… (more)

    A privately-published fairy tale by a young girl, of which we can find no copy in any public collection, nor any obvious trace of the work or its author elsewhere. The book is printed on a handsome glazed paper and incorporates three illustrations, presumably the work of the author. It was almost certainly her who also decorated the smooth calf binding with a whimsical design depicting an owl in a tree by moonlight. The printed dedication is to ‘ma chère petite Cousine Renée’, with this copy of what was presumably a very small edition inscribed to the author’s mother.

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  • Point de lendemain, conte. by [DENON, Dominique Vivant]. [DENON, Dominique Vivant]. ~ Point de lendemain, conte. Paris: P. Didot, l’aïné, 1812.
    First edition in book form, printed for private circulation and exceptionally rare. This copy bound in contemporary blue morocco with a rare additional engraved autoportrait… (more)

    First edition in book form, printed for private circulation and exceptionally rare. This copy bound in contemporary blue morocco with a rare additional engraved autoportrait by the author (a plate known in a handful of copies and in no other copy of Point de Lendemain).
    Point de Lendemain is one of the great erotic classics of French literature. One summer night, a married woman initiates an encounter with a young ingénu ― and so begins a sophisticated and nuanced story of mutual seduction. ‘In merely thirty or so pages, the erotic conte [tale] Point de lendemain … captures the libertine essence of the French eighteenth century. It is often read, with a fondness not far from nostalgia, as a vignette for a certain idea of libertinage. With Point de lendemain, Denon celebrates the subtle seductions and the intense voluptés of vicomtes and marquises, set in rococo landscapes à la Watteau or in lavish interiors worthy of Du Barry. Point de lendemain is as graceful as a painting by Fragonard …’ (Marine Ganofsky).
    This 1812 text has been reprinted many times, usually with plates making explicit what is so subtly left implicit in the original. In its first incarnation the tale appeared in an issue of the Mélanges littéraires ou Journal des dames in 1777 — its authorship concealed under the initials ‘M.D.G.O.D.R.’ — but Denon later revised and republished anonymously in this definitive edition of 1812, the version in which it is known today. It was printed in very small numbers (perhaps just 25 copies) and privately distributed. Copies are highly prized, both in private and public collections and we find just 4 copies in public collections worldwide: the Bibliothèque nationale copy only is listed in the Catalogue collectif de France, while OCLC/Worldcat lists American copies at Yale and the University of California, Berkeley only. There is also a copy in the Bodleian Library. L’Enfer de la Bibliotheque 57; Brunet II, 599; Diesbach-Soultrait 40; Monglond IX, 1167 (the two copies listed, including that of the Reserve, do not contain a plate). Marine Ganofsky, Point de Lendemain (Literary Encyclopedia, University of Saint Andrews, online).

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  • Devotions to Jesus Christ, in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar: containing, several pious Exercises for honouring this divine Mystery, and approaching it worthily. Composed in French by Dom Morel, a Benedictin monk, who died in 1731, and in the 79th Year of his Age; Author of several other Works of Devotion and Piety. by [MOREL, Robert]. [MOREL, Robert]. ~ Devotions to Jesus Christ, in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar: containing, several pious Exercises for honouring this divine Mystery, and approaching it worthily. Composed in French by Dom Morel, a Benedictin monk, who died in 1731, and in the 79th Year of his Age; Author of several other Works of Devotion and Piety. London: printed for Thomas Meighan, in Drury-Lane, [ 1756?].
    First edition in English. This copy in an attractive Regency binding with an interesting English Catholic provenance: the Hornyold family of Worcestershire. The Blackmore Park… (more)

    First edition in English. This copy in an attractive Regency binding with an interesting English Catholic provenance: the Hornyold family of Worcestershire. The Blackmore Park estate had been in the hands of the Hornyold family since the sixteenth century, and in 1844 Thomas Charles Hornyold donated land for the building of a new Catholic church. The church, with an attached monastery for monks of the Redemptorist order, was paid for by John Vincent Gandolfi, a Genoese silk merchant who had married into the Hornyold family and would inherit the Blackmore Estate in 1859. ESTC: BL, London Oratory, Bodley (several copies), Newberry Library and Clark Library (UCLA).

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  • [The New Foundling Hospital for Wit, fragment]. by FUGITIVE PIECES (spine and cover title). FUGITIVE PIECES (spine and cover title). ~ [The New Foundling Hospital for Wit, fragment]. [London: J. Almon, 1771].
    An eighteenth-century homemade binding of a portion of a popular literary and satirical miscellany, a reminder that not all reading from perfect copies. The New… (more)

    An eighteenth-century homemade binding of a portion of a popular literary and satirical miscellany, a reminder that not all reading from perfect copies. The New Foundling Hospital for Wit appeared from 1768-7) and was a vehicle for John Wilkes and his radical bookseller John Almon, each issue audacious satirical engravings. This one includes, as a frontispiece, ‘A Citizen of the World searching for a Wise Prince’ in which blindfolded man walks an empty street carrying a lantern and wearing a long, furred civic gown. On a sign board overhead is a portrait of Augusta, Princess Dowager of Wales and a jackboot, the emblem of the Earl of Bute. Below is a quote from Shakespeare: ‘Who says ‘Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye than twenty of their swords (Romeo and Juliet).

    Among the various verses we find Richard Berenger’s ‘On the Birth-Day of Shakespeare’ originally included in The World.

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  • [Essays and Novels]. by (JAPONISANTE BINDINGS). HOLMES, Oliver Wendell and William D. Howells, (JAPONISANTE BINDINGS). HOLMES, Oliver Wendell and William D. Howells, ~ [Essays and Novels]. Edinburgh: [University Press], David Douglas 1882-5.
    A group reliures japonisantes on a series of Edinburgh-printed ‘Author’s Edition’ copies of these two American authors. This style of binding, with characteristic embossed gilt… (more)

    A group reliures japonisantes on a series of Edinburgh-printed ‘Author’s Edition’ copies of these two American authors. This style of binding, with characteristic embossed gilt paper covers in Japanese style became a bibliophilic vogue in the 1880s, reflecting the tremendous enthusiasm for all things Japanese in contemporary Paris. It is most unusual to find them in this context, on a group of popular American titles:

    HOLMES, Oliver Wendell. The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. 1883. pp. xlviii, 212; 256, (without half-titles) [and] HOWELLS, William D. Their Wedding Journey and A Chance Acquaintance. 1882, pp. 320; 303, [1]; The Undiscovered Country, 1882, pp. 250; 4 pages of ads, 269, [1]; The Lady of Aroostook. 1882, pp. 204 191, [1]; The Rise of Silas Lapham. 1885, pp. 330; 320, [2]; A Forgone Conclusion. A Counterfeit Presentment and The Parlour Car. 1882, pp. 316; 228.

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  • Phonographie de l’amour, aggravée d’un commentaire au crayon par Lucien Métivet. by ‘GRYPERL’ [pseudonym of Georges Boyer]. Lucien MÉTIVET, illustrator. ‘GRYPERL’ [pseudonym of Georges Boyer]. Lucien MÉTIVET, illustrator. ~ Phonographie de l’amour, aggravée d’un commentaire au crayon par Lucien Métivet. Paris: Paul Ollendorff, 1895.
    Sole edition, one of 50 copies on chine. An illustrated collection of epithets on love and the relationships between men and women, a witty reflection… (more)

    Sole edition, one of 50 copies on chine. An illustrated collection of epithets on love and the relationships between men and women, a witty reflection of the sexual politics of fin-de-siècle Paris. The conceit of the title, and the charming accompanying vignette, involves communication (or perhaps miscommunication) via headphones and a phonographic machine operated by Cupid. It is a nice example of the contemporary fascination with the potential of electronic communications, with echoes of the science-fiction fantasy La Fin des livres by Albert Robida published in the same year, in which a new world of literature was a network of wires and headphones and of the Theatrophone apparatus recently exhibited at the Paris exhibitions. Worldcat lists 3 copies only: Bibliothèque nationale, British Library and Yale.

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  • The healing balm of many a weary hour. by SABBATH RECREATIONS. SABBATH RECREATIONS. ~ The healing balm of many a weary hour. [England or France, 1829].
    An unusual New Years’ gift from an unnamed compiler ‘for my dearly beloved Isabella Sophia Ochando de la Vanda. January one, 1830’; a manuscript compilation… (more)

    An unusual New Years’ gift from an unnamed compiler ‘for my dearly beloved Isabella Sophia Ochando de la Vanda. January one, 1830’; a manuscript compilation of verse and pious texts by hymnodist Edmeston, Shepherd, Southey (’The Victory’), Millman, Bowring, Burden, Emmerson, and Carlyle’s ‘Hymn before public worship translated from the Arabic’. Most of the texts are in English but a couple, by the Mechitarian cleric Nerses Clajense, are in Spanish and French respectively.

    The two fine watercolours show HMS Victory in battle and....

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  • (MINIATURE BOOK). A KEMPIS, Thomas. ~ Imitation de Jésus-Christ. Tours: A. Mame et fils, 1884.
    A Tours-printed miniature Imitatio Christi. (more)

    A Tours-printed miniature Imitatio Christi.

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  • Le Jardin des caresses. by TOUSSAINT, Franz. TOUSSAINT, Franz. ~ Le Jardin des caresses. May [-June], 1936
    An autograph copy, in an arabesque binding. of this classic text of French orientalism, made by the author for his wife and inscribed by him:… (more)

    An autograph copy, in an arabesque binding. of this classic text of French orientalism, made by the author for his wife and inscribed by him: ‘À Etelka, ma femme bien-aimée, qui est pour moi toute la splendour du monde et toute la poësie. Franz Toussaint. Mai 1936.’

    Le Jardin des caresses. Traduit de l'arabe, consisting of Toussaint’s sensuous translation/interpretation of Moorish erotic poems, partly anonymous, written in tenth-century Spain, first appeared serially in the Mercure de France and Revue de Paris in 1909-1911, then published together in 1911 and reprinted and translated in numerous editions throughout the twentieth century (the Golden Cockerel Press printed an English edition in 1934). Its numerous short stanzas, whose titles include: ‘Les Seins, les yeux, et la chevelure’, ‘Les oiseaux de la mosquée’, ‘La Sultane de l’amour’, ‘Al Maghreb’, ‘Les Sorciers’, ‘L’Astronome’ and ‘La Voluptueuse’ proved especially suitable for musical settings and so the work also found popularity in song.

    Toussaint is an interesting figure, both a respected scholarly translator of Arabic and other eastern languages (Sanskrit, Hindi and Persian), and a director of silent films, the best-known of which is Inch’Allah of 1922. He had spent many years in the Orient as a young man on military service. This appealing little manuscript was evidently made by the author as a gift for his second wife, Turkish-born Adelaïde Etelca Stefania Braggiotti, who he married in 1925.

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  • Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. by DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. ~ Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. France, c. 1800-1812.
    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in… (more)

    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in print without an index), a gazetteer to its Atlas, and an index to various other books, such as Valmont de Bomare’s Histoire Naturelle and Lacroix’s Géographie. A homespun affair, the volume is rather haphazardly arranged and presented in homemade boards covered in rather fine contemporary wallpaper. It includes references to regions, cities and landmarks in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (the latter including mentions of Cabot, Columbus and Penn) and several ingenious diagrams of the rivers of France.

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  • Histoire génerale et raisonnée de la diplomatie francaise; depuis la fondation de la monarchie, jusqu’à la fin du règne de Louis XVI. Avec des tables chronologiques de tous des traités conclus par la France. by FLASSAN, Gaëtan de Raxis de. FLASSAN, Gaëtan de Raxis de. ~ Histoire génerale et raisonnée de la diplomatie francaise; depuis la fondation de la monarchie, jusqu’à la fin du règne de Louis XVI. Avec des tables chronologiques de tous des traités conclus par la France. Paris: Giguet et Michaud for Lenormant, 1809.
    First edition, bound in red morocco with Napoleonic emblems by Rosa, who together with Bizouard, Bozerian, Tessier, Simier, Lefebvre and Doll, supplied bindings for the… (more)

    First edition, bound in red morocco with Napoleonic emblems by Rosa, who together with Bizouard, Bozerian, Tessier, Simier, Lefebvre and Doll, supplied bindings for the Imperial household.

    Written under the encouragement of the First Consul this is an important work in defining the purpose of modern diplomacy. Flassan was (like Napoleon) a product of the École militaire de Paris and served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before becoming professor of history at the military school at Saint Germain-en-Laye For Rosa: Ramsden, French Bookbinders, p. 178.

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  • photographically illustrated
    Visit (By Command of His Majesty the King) of his Excellency the Prime Minister of Nepal to H.M.S. “Dreadnought”, Friday, June 19th, 1908. by (DREADNOUGHT). (DREADNOUGHT). ~ Visit (By Command of His Majesty the King) of his Excellency the Prime Minister of Nepal to H.M.S. “Dreadnought”, Friday, June 19th, 1908. [London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, Ltd, 1908].
    A commemorative volume (‘Not for Publication’) issued to accompany the Nepalese Prime Minister’s visit to HMS Dreadnought on exercise in the English Channel. The superb… (more)

    A commemorative volume (‘Not for Publication’) issued to accompany the Nepalese Prime Minister’s visit to HMS Dreadnought on exercise in the English Channel. The superb photographs depict: the Dreadnought, a submarine (4 plates), a torpedo boat destroyer (2 plates). The Nepalese deputation witnessed a demonstration of firing and of the deflection of torpedoes with safety nets. Launched in 1906, Dreadnought was a revolutionary battleship which stimulated the Anglo-German arms race and gave its name to an entire class of heavily armoured craft. It was widely publicised as part of British naval propaganda and shown-off to numerous foreign visitors. The Nepalese Prime Minister was the Maharaja Sri Teen Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1863–1929), one of three nephews who had ordered the assassination of their uncle Maharaja Ranodip Singh Kunwar in the Nepali coup of 1885. Worldcat lists the Texas A&M copy only, and there is another in the Imperial War Museum.

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  • The Psalms of David, translated into Heroic Verse, In as Literal a Manner, As Rhyme and Metre will allow. With Arguments to each Psalm. And Explanatory Notes. by [WHEATLAND, Stephen and Tipping SILVESTER]. [WHEATLAND, Stephen and Tipping SILVESTER]. ~ The Psalms of David, translated into Heroic Verse, In as Literal a Manner, As Rhyme and Metre will allow. With Arguments to each Psalm. And Explanatory Notes. London: Printed for S. Birt... and J. Buckland... 1754.
    First edition. The dedication, to the Prince of Wales, is signed by Wheatland and the Anglican divine Silvester. Silvester was educated at Pembroke College and… (more)

    First edition. The dedication, to the Prince of Wales, is signed by Wheatland and the Anglican divine Silvester. Silvester was educated at Pembroke College and became a fellow in 1724, three years before Samuel Johnson arrived; he published Original Poems and Translations in 1733.

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  • Judah Restored: a Poem. In Six Books. By Dr. Roberts, of Eton College. by ROBERTS, [William Hayward]. ROBERTS, [William Hayward]. ~ Judah Restored: a Poem. In Six Books. By Dr. Roberts, of Eton College. London: Printed for J. Wilkie; T. Payne; W. Frederic, at Bath; J. Woodyer, at Cambridge; and J. Pote, at Eton. 1774.
    First edition. ‘Chief among Roberts’s poetical works is his long poem, Judah Restored: a Poem, in Six Books... which was commended by Southey as one… (more)

    First edition. ‘Chief among Roberts’s poetical works is his long poem, Judah Restored: a Poem, in Six Books... which was commended by Southey as one of the inspirations behind Thalaba. In his preface... Roberts modestly denies his poem the name of epic, on the grounds that it has no single hero; but its style, structure, and allusions (duly annotated to display the author’s considerable learning) mark it as an attempt to write a heroic poem in blank verse on a biblical theme after the example of Milton. The poem relates the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity...’ (Oxford DNB). Jackson, p. 30.

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  • Le Tableau de la Vie. Année 1820. by (MINIATURE BOOK). (MINIATURE BOOK). ~ Le Tableau de la Vie. Année 1820. Paris [?Marcilly], 1820.
    An almanac for the year 1820. Engraved throughout with text and images. A delightful miniature almanac, which is preceded by several popular songs (‘Aux Dames’,… (more)

    An almanac for the year 1820. Engraved throughout with text and images. A delightful miniature almanac, which is preceded by several popular songs (‘Aux Dames’, ‘le Portraits’, ‘le Banquet’, ‘la Barque à Caron’ etc.) Though without imprint, this is characteristic of the popular miniature books produced by Marcilly. Not in Worldcat (which locates only an 1821 issue, described as in ‘128mo’). It is probable that it was issued in these two years only. Grand-Carteret 1908 (citing a copy in the collection of Georges Salomons).

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  • Contes Moraux by MARMONTEL, Jean-François. MARMONTEL, Jean-François. ~ Contes Moraux ‘À Londres’ [with the first printed title giving ‘À Liège’, but actually Paris: Valade], 1780.
    A delightful edition in ‘petit format’ by Valade, who pioneered the format before it was made ubiquitous by his successor Cazin. The Londres and Liège… (more)

    A delightful edition in ‘petit format’ by Valade, who pioneered the format before it was made ubiquitous by his successor Cazin. The Londres and Liège imprints, of course, are false (Le petit format, Paris, 1878). The Contes moraux had first appeared individually in the Mercure, with a collected edition of 1761. The plates in our Valade edition are well-executed reductions of the Gravelot plates found in the first illustrated edition of 1763. Gay I, 709-10.

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