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  • ‘Maruyama-ha Fūga-chō’ [later cover title]. by (EROTICA --- SHUNGA). (EROTICA --- SHUNGA). ~ ‘Maruyama-ha Fūga-chō’ [later cover title]. Japan, late Edo period, c. 1780-1820.
    Twelve superb paintings on silk (six pairs), each a couple making love, with one image showing faces, the other, their genitals, in each case provocatively… (more)

    Twelve superb paintings on silk (six pairs), each a couple making love, with one image showing faces, the other, their genitals, in each case provocatively and playfully framed to present a detail only. The paintings of each pair are linked by subtle details of clothing, sometimes suggested through a small glimpse of a pattern or a colour found in its counterpart. They are probably cuttings rescued from a refined and elegant hand scroll or hanging scroll of a larger size, wittily preserved in pairs. These are rare survivals of very high status shunga painting of the decades around 1800. The later title label on the album cover attributes them to the so-called ‘Maruyama School’ of Kyoto, but they have more in common with the sophisticated erotic silk paintings of high status artists such as Chôbunsai Eishi working around 1800. Several such paintings, on scrolls, are reproduced in the British Museum exhibition catalogue Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (2013), see illustrations 56 and 57.

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  • [Invitations]. by BAL DES QUATZ’ARTS. BAL DES QUATZ’ARTS. ~ [Invitations]. [Paris], 1895-1966.
    53 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball. The ball was inaugurated in 1892, and apart from the war years, ran until 1966,… (more)

    53 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball. The ball was inaugurated in 1892, and apart from the war years, ran until 1966, with attendance restricted to students and alumni of the École, both men and women, as well as a few ‘artistic personalities’ who had contributed to the preparation of the ball. They were held in several major venues scattered throughout Paris over the years, with most taking place at the Moulin Rouge, the Salle Wagram, and the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles. Although in its early years the ball was simply an elaborate party, from 1900 each ball had a specific theme, often derived from an ancient text or historic period or inspired by an ‘exotic’ foreign culture, around which various contests were arranged. With the addition of a theme the balls became more elaborate often turning into debaucherous affairs with guests soon discarding the period costumes that they were required to wear to gain entrance. The nudity, dancing and merrymaking often continued into the following day, the ball usually ending, with a shout of ‘Vive les Quat’z’ Arts!’, around seven o’clock in the morning, followed by a procession through the Latin Quarter, the Louvre, and a march over the Pont du Carrousel to the Théâtre de l’Odéon, where the partygoers would disband.

    Not surprisingly The Bal des Quat’z’Arts quickly became one of the premier events of the summer season. The invitations were elaborately designed to match the spectacle of the events, and correspondingly were often thematically orientalist, exotic, or primitive, with overtly erotic and sexual imagery. They are a tour de force of the evolution of artistic style, showing the progress from Art Nouveau to modernist primitivism, up through psychedelic design — though in retrospect they exhibit a troubling degree of predatory sexism and cultural appropriation. The ball is famously depicted in a series of photographs by Brassaï of 1930 and numerous other photographic records exist of the ball, allowing a comparison of the themes of the printed invitations and the costumes worn on the night.

    There were different invitations for men, women and committee members, and most included a tear-off coupon, which often survivie. This group contains examples from the following years, all complete with their coupons except where specified: 1895 (by Caran d’Ache); 1901 (without coupon) 1902 (without coupon); 1904 (m, without coupon); 1906 (?f); 1908 (f without coupon); 1909 (f); 1912 (f); 1913 (f, without coupon); 1914 (poster, folded once); 1920 (f); 1922 (m); 1923 (f); 1924 (f); 1927 (f, without coupon); 1928 (f); 1928 (m, without coupon); 1929 (m); 1929 (comité, without coupon); 1929 (f); 1930 (comité, without coupon); 1931 (m without coupon); 1931 (f without coupon); 1932 (m, without coupon); 1933 (m, without coupon); 1934 (m); 1939 (f?); 1946 (m); 1947 (m 2); 1948 (m) 1948 (f, without coupon); 1949 (m) 1949 (f); 1950 (m) 1950 (f); 1951 (m) 1951 (f) 1951 (additional); 1952 (m) 1952 (f ) 1952 (additional); 1953 (m) 1953 (f); 1954 (m?); 1955 (m) 1955 (f); 1956 (m) 1956 (f); 1958 (m) 1958 (?); 1959 (m); 1964 (m); 1966 (m?), plus one unidentified year.

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  • Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. by [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. ~ Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. Paris: [Madame veuve Jeunehomme, rue Hauteville, no. 20, for] Plancher, 1815.
    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory… (more)

    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory narratives on the perils of loose women and gambling, Les Soirées actually contains several anecdotes of sociological interest. One involves a bragging libertine husband, who claims his wife would never cuckold him, only for the narrator to seduce her and to contrive a fitting punishment for his boasts. He arranges adjoining private rooms in a favourite Palais Royale restaurant, sending the husband to one with a complicit mistress, while he himself takes the libertine’s wife to another. As the couples make love, an opening between the two rooms allows them to see just enough of their neighbours to further inflame their desire. Only on leaving the chamber does the husband realise that it was his wife he has seen in flagrante in the other room, and with his friend. After an understandable outburst, a philosophical discussion ensues on the equivalence of female and male desire and morality (see Counter, The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France, 2016, p. 137).

    The two plates were evidently printed on the same sheet, appearing as a folding frontispiece in some copies.

    Anonymous, it is attributed to Cuisin, who specialised in Palais Royale titillation and produced many similar works. The printer, the widow Jeunehomme is an interesting figure, one of a handful of female printers in Paris at this point and a Bonapartist who was later imprisoned for political reasons (Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France, 1470-1870). Worldcat locates copies at Bn (without half-title), BL (with half-title) and Johns Hopkins (also 1815, but ‘Second edition’, perhaps an error, confounding this work with an earlier work with a similar title)

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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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  • [14 coloured erotic cards]. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ [14 coloured erotic cards]. [?Farnce, c. 1920s].
    14 rare belle époque cards, including: ‘Au Pompe-Dard — Pumping Fashion’; ‘Position du tireur debout — Standing fashion’; ‘Enviander les Brancards — Between the Shafts’,… (more)

    14 rare belle époque cards, including: ‘Au Pompe-Dard — Pumping Fashion’; ‘Position du tireur debout — Standing fashion’; ‘Enviander les Brancards — Between the Shafts’, etc.

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  • My Darling and I. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ My Darling and I. [Paris, c. 1940s].
    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen… (more)

    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen in Paris after 1945.

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  • An Elegy on the lamented Death of the Electrical Eel, or Gymnotus Electricus. With the lapidary Inscription, as placed on a superb Erection, at the Expence of the countess of H---------, and Chevalier-Madame d’Eon de De Beaumont. By Lucretia Lovejoy, Sister to Mr. Adam Strong, Author of The Electrical Eel. by (PERRY, James, answer to). ‘LOVEJOY, Lucretia’, pseudonym. (PERRY, James, answer to). ‘LOVEJOY, Lucretia’, pseudonym. ~ An Elegy on the lamented Death of the Electrical Eel, or Gymnotus Electricus. With the lapidary Inscription, as placed on a superb Erection, at the Expence of the countess of H---------, and Chevalier-Madame d’Eon de De Beaumont. By Lucretia Lovejoy, Sister to Mr. Adam Strong, Author of The Electrical Eel. London: T. Hookham, Hanover-Street, and J. Bew, Paternoster-Row, 1779.
    A rare satirical elegy and epitaph for the celebrated electrical eel, who could no longer rise to the occasion. A reissue of the sheets of… (more)

    A rare satirical elegy and epitaph for the celebrated electrical eel, who could no longer rise to the occasion. A reissue of the sheets of the first edition of 1777 with a cancel title, of this elaborate addition to the corpus of salacious 1770s pamphlets devoted to the subject of the electrical eel, a topic of serious scientific enquiry and popular merriment. This one continues the phallic joke and manages to draw in the hapless Chevalier D’Eon (whose sex was then popularly debated) alongside the lecherous Earl of Harrington.

    ‘If the Gymnotus Electricus, lately exhibited to the Public, be really dead, it is to be hoped that we shall have no more of these witty indecencies’ (Monthly Review, Nov. 1777). ESTC: Harvard and Princeton only worldwide of this issue. ESTC gives the pagination [4], 29, [1], but both the 2 copies reported have only pp [2] before title, as here, though it is perhaps likely the work was issued with a half-title or initial blank not present in surviving copies.

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  • The Electrical Eel: or, Gymnotus electricus. Inscribed to the Honourable Members of the R***l S*****y, by Adam Strong [pseud.], Naturalist. by [PERRY, James] ‘Adam STRONG’, [pseudonym]. [PERRY, James] ‘Adam STRONG’, [pseudonym]. ~ The Electrical Eel: or, Gymnotus electricus. Inscribed to the Honourable Members of the R***l S*****y, by Adam Strong [pseud.], Naturalist. London: Printed for J. Bew... 1777.
    First edition. ‘A satirical poem on the amours of various members of the nobility’ (ESTC) or, as the Monthly Review succinctly put it: ‘Poetical smut.… (more)

    First edition. ‘A satirical poem on the amours of various members of the nobility’ (ESTC) or, as the Monthly Review succinctly put it: ‘Poetical smut. Rochester revived.’ A number of imitations and replies were elicited. It is early work by Perry (formerly ‘Pirie’, 1756–1821), a Scottish journalist recently arrived in London ‘to try to break into the literary world’ (Oxford DNB). By the end of his career he had become ‘one of the most notable journalists of the age when the newspaper press was becoming established as a force in the country’ (ibid.)

    Studies of Gymnotus electricus by members of Royal Society and their correspondents had captured the imagination of the British public in unexpected ways. While the investigations of Walsh and Hunter made genuine discoveries into the nature of electricity (which culminated in the invention of Volta’s battery), contemporary wits and pamphleteers took advantage of the phallic connotations of the eel and its electrical properties to deride the sexual peregrinations of London society.

    In this copy several of the printed lacunae have been filled in by a contemporary hand, identifying Lady Sarah Bunbury and Lady Grafton, among others, as devotees of the electrical eel. Jackson, p. 52.

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  • (CARRINGTON, Charles, publisher). PETRONIUS. ~ The Satyricon of Petronius. [Nijmegen: Thieme for Charles Carrington in Paris, 1902].
    First Carrington edition, one of 440 copies on handmade paper (of a total edition of 515), this copy with the pasted overslip on the title… (more)

    First Carrington edition, one of 440 copies on handmade paper (of a total edition of 515), this copy with the pasted overslip on the title reading: ‘Important notice. The present translation was done direct from the original Latin by “Sebastian Melmoth” (Oscar Wilde).’ --- a spurious claim. With its overtly homosexual themes, the Satyricon, was certainly important to Wilde (he even refers to it explicitly in A Picture of Dorian Gray) but Carrington’s scurrilous claim has always been disputed. It is only relatively recently, however, that an explicit retraction forced upon Carrington was found in an insert published (ironically) with his 1909 edition of Dorian Gray. Only a proportion of the edition contains the overslip pasted over Carrington’s name. In our copy the final advert leaf with colophon giving the printer’s name has been carefully and deliberately removed, perhaps before binding. The binding here is identical to that of the Eccles copy preserved in the British Library, thus suggestive of a publisher’s binding. Boroughs, R., ‘Oscar Wilde’s Translation of Petronius: The Story of a Literary Hoax,’ English Literature in Transition: 1880—1920 38, p. 9-49. Bn Catalogue: ‘Dans un de ses catalogues de vente, n° 5, Charles Carrington, l'éditeur, propose sous le n° 1403 un ouvrage qui semble identique, en attribuant dans le corps de la notice le travail à un "Oxford M.A.", avec en note : "Traduction attribuée à l'esthète célèbre le feu Oscar Wilde". On notera cependant que, dans la correspondance publiée, les deux seules allusions faites au "Satyricon" sont relatives au dossier de presse de "Dorian Gray", ouvrage dont Carrington avait acquis le copyright. De même il ne semble pas que les éléments d'apparat critique, "Introduction, Synopsis of the plot, List of books used", permettent de remonter jusqu'à un article d'Oscar Wilde sur ce sujet. Par contre Mason, "Bibliography"... n° 336, signale un encart de l'édition, publiée en 1909 par Charles Carrington, de "Picture of Dorian Gray"... indiquant qu'il n'attribuait plus ni la traduction de Pétrone ni celle de Barbey d'Aurevilly, à Wilde.

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  • The Merry Muses, a choice Collection of favourite Songs gathered from many Sources... to which are added two of his Letters and a Poem—hitherto suppressed—never before reprinted. by [BURNS, Robert]. [BURNS, Robert]. ~ The Merry Muses, a choice Collection of favourite Songs gathered from many Sources... to which are added two of his Letters and a Poem—hitherto suppressed—never before reprinted. ‘Privately printed. [not for sale.], 1827’, [but c. 1881].
    A very rare spurious edition of these erotic and bawdy poems by Burns and his circle, first published in 1799 (of which edition only 2… (more)

    A very rare spurious edition of these erotic and bawdy poems by Burns and his circle, first published in 1799 (of which edition only 2 copies are known to survive). The title-page is headed ‘Not for maids, ministers or striplings’. The Roy collection of Robert Burns contains several similar reprints to ours (including our issue) each with differing title-pages giving ‘1827’.

    ‘Shepherds I have got the clap,
    Stroking of my Anna;
    My time’s filled up, oh sad mishap,
    With taking salts and senna.
    I for her King’s Place forsook,
    Where girls I had past telling;
    But now my pipe’s turned to a crook,
    My b—, how they’re hanging...’ Roy collection of Robert Burns, p. 141 b.

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  • Peccatum mutum (the mute Sin, alias Sodomy) a theological Treatise. For the first Time translated from the Latin of Father Sinistrari. by SINISTRARI, Ludovico Maria. SINISTRARI, Ludovico Maria. ~ Peccatum mutum (the mute Sin, alias Sodomy) a theological Treatise. For the first Time translated from the Latin of Father Sinistrari. Paris: Isidore Liseux, 1893.
    First edition in English, very scarce, a portion of Sinistrari’s De Delictis et Poenis Tractatus Absolutissimus (1700). The English title here finds an echo the… (more)

    First edition in English, very scarce, a portion of Sinistrari’s De Delictis et Poenis Tractatus Absolutissimus (1700). The English title here finds an echo the following year with ’The love that dare not speak its name’ in Lord Alfred Douglas’s poem ‘Two Loves’ (1894), later discussed at length in the Wilde trial. Liseux was a pioneering figure in the publication of clandestine literature in English, working from Paris, but evidently supplying an English market. His publications were frequently scholarly texts in the history of sexuality and found their way onto the shelves of bibliophiles and collectors of erotica.

    Ludovico Maria Sinistrari (26 February 1622 – 1701) was an Italian Franciscan priest, author, and member of the Inquisition tasked with the investigation of sexuality. Worldcat: Cornell, NYPL, UC Davis, Trinity College Oxford, Bibliothèque nationale

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  • The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana translated from the Sanskrit. In seven parts, with preface, introduction, and concluding remarks. by [BURTON, Richard Francis, Sir, translator]. [BURTON, Richard Francis, Sir, translator]. ~ The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana translated from the Sanskrit. In seven parts, with preface, introduction, and concluding remarks. ‘Reprint: Cosmopoli: MDCCCLXXXIII: for the Kama Shastra Society of London and Benares, and for private circulation only.’ 1883 [but later].
    Despite the date 1883, this is likely to be one the numerous re-issues made within a few years copying the 1883 reprints very closely and… (more)

    Despite the date 1883, this is likely to be one the numerous re-issues made within a few years copying the 1883 reprints very closely and often distinguishable only though minor issue points and by the paper on which they are printed. This copy, uncut, is smaller than the dimensions given for the first four reprints listed by Penzer. Penzer, An Annotated Bibliography of Sir Francis Burton, p. 163-167

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  • Ananga-ranga; (Stage of the bodiless One) or, The Hindu Art of Love. (Ars amoris indica.) Translated from the Sanskrit... by [BURTON, Richard Francis, Sir and Forster Fitzgerald ARBUTHNOT, translators]. [BURTON, Richard Francis, Sir and Forster Fitzgerald ARBUTHNOT, translators]. ~ Ananga-ranga; (Stage of the bodiless One) or, The Hindu Art of Love. (Ars amoris indica.) Translated from the Sanskrit... ‘Reprint: Cosmopoli, MDCCCLXXXV for the Kama Shastra Society of London and Benares, and for private circulation only,’ 1885.
    In 1873, Burton prepared an anonymous literal translation of the Kama-Shastra or The Hindoo Art of Love, of which only six copies were printed. It… (more)

    In 1873, Burton prepared an anonymous literal translation of the Kama-Shastra or The Hindoo Art of Love, of which only six copies were printed. It was planned to reissue the work in 1885, but only proofs appeared before plans for publication were abandoned. However, no less than three reprints appeared soon after, all bearing the date 1885.

    This copy, printed on thick, watermarked paper, conforms to Penzer’s description of the first reprint edition, being ‘slightly broader than the subsequent reprints’, though he had not personally seen a copy of this edition. Burton's Kama Shastra Society and its quasi-scholarly publication of erotic material served as the model for Leonard Smithers’ later Erotika Biblion Society. Penzer, An Annotated Bibliography of Sir Francis Burton, pp. 171-173.

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  • Manual of classical Erotology (De figuris Veneris)... Latin text and literal English version. by (CARRINGTON, Charles, publisher). FORBERG, Friedrich Karl. (CARRINGTON, Charles, publisher). FORBERG, Friedrich Karl. ~ Manual of classical Erotology (De figuris Veneris)... Latin text and literal English version. ‘Manchester One Hundred Copies privately printed for Viscount Julian Smithson M.A. and friends’ [Paris: Charles Carrington], 1884.
    First edition of this important parallel English, Latin and Greek version. It followed a poor piracy of 1882 badly translated from Liseux’s French edition of… (more)

    First edition of this important parallel English, Latin and Greek version. It followed a poor piracy of 1882 badly translated from Liseux’s French edition of 1882. Carrington gave a wry veiled account of its publication in his 1902 catalogue, Forbidden Books: ‘Were I a bookseller, I do not think I should ever take the trouble to print such a book as I have now before me. Here is a Latin work, full of notes, and bristling with Greek quotations. A most careful and masterly translation has been placed opposite every page of the original text, and it needs no literary critic to see that no one but a real classical scholar—an old Oxford man—could ever have successfully struggled with such a task... The two stout volumes have evidently been printed on the Continent—and for very good and valid reasons, as no English printer would dare to undertake such a work,— therefore each page would have to be submitted to the translator, at least three or four times, foreign compositors working mechanically. Many months would thus pass in wearisome proof-reading, and when at last the hundred copies are struck off, and each man receives his due, what margin of profit awaits the silly bookseller-publisher? He is insulted in every way and laughed at if he dares to wonder that the British Customs seize any copies...’

    Carrington published some 300 titles (some using his own name and others using false imprints, as here) mainly in Paris where he lived from about 1894 until 1907, selling books from a shop in the Faubourg Montmartre. He notably printed a number of works by Oscar Wilde when few other publishers would risk implication in Wilde’s downfall and, besides outright pornography, he printed a number of editions of classical and oriental authors and important works on the psychology of sex. In 1907 he was deported from France for consistently publishing and selling literature “of a very obscene and vulgar character”. He continued his publishing business in Brussels before returning to Paris in 1912. By 1920 Carrington was blind from the effects of advanced syphilis, being admitted to the mental hospital at Ivry, south of Paris, where he died in 1921.

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  • Traité des Eunuques, dans lequel on explique toutes les différentes sortes d’eunuques... On éxamine principalement s’ils sont propres au mariage, & s’il leur doit être permis de se marier... by [ANCILLON, Charles]. [ANCILLON, Charles]. ~ Traité des Eunuques, dans lequel on explique toutes les différentes sortes d’eunuques... On éxamine principalement s’ils sont propres au mariage, & s’il leur doit être permis de se marier... ?Berlin, [ 1707].
    First edition of this extraordinary treatise on the status of eunuchs in society, according to civil and canon law. Largely based on classical sources, history… (more)

    First edition of this extraordinary treatise on the status of eunuchs in society, according to civil and canon law. Largely based on classical sources, history and (most interestingly) anecdotal evidence from the Orient, Ancillon considers the reasons for the phenomenon (including slavery, household, employment or punishment for sexual misdemeanour). The major contention is that while civil law permits a eunuch to marry, canon law should forbid it (as it did) on the grounds that a marriage could not be consummated. Along the way Ancillon recounts numerous anecdotes of famous eunuchs, notably Abelard, castrated at the instigation of Heloise’s family.

    The book was later translated into English by Robert Samber as part of Edmund Curll’s Eunuchism display’d (1718).

    This copy of Traité des Eunuques is one of at least two issues of the same year with slightly different paginations and title ornaments. The ‘Epitre dedicatoire’ is signed: ‘C. d’Ollincan’ an anagram of the author’s real name. Gay III, 1239.

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  • The Old Serpent’s Reply to the Electrical Eel... by [PERRY, reply to.] [PERRY, reply to.] ~ The Old Serpent’s Reply to the Electrical Eel... London: Printed for M. Smith, and sold by the Booksellers... L,DCC,LXXVII [i.e. 1777].
    Sole edition. In the Monthly Review’s opinion: ‘A fruitless attempt to catch the Eel of Wit by the tail.’ With allusions to Wilkes, Garrick, and… (more)

    Sole edition. In the Monthly Review’s opinion: ‘A fruitless attempt to catch the Eel of Wit by the tail.’ With allusions to Wilkes, Garrick, and Catherine the Great, among others. Jackson, p. 56.

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  • ‘POETICAL SMUT. ROCHESTER REVIVED.’
    The Electrical Eel: or, Gymnotus electricus. Inscribed to the Honourable Members of the R***l S*****y, by Adam Strong [pseud.], Naturalist. A new Edition, with considerable Additions... by [PERRY, James]. [PERRY, James]. ~ The Electrical Eel: or, Gymnotus electricus. Inscribed to the Honourable Members of the R***l S*****y, by Adam Strong [pseud.], Naturalist. A new Edition, with considerable Additions... London: Printed for J. Bew... 1777.
    ‘A satirical poem on the amours of various members of the nobility’ (ESTC) or, as the Monthly Review succinctly put it: ‘Poetical smut. Rochester revived.’… (more)

    ‘A satirical poem on the amours of various members of the nobility’ (ESTC) or, as the Monthly Review succinctly put it: ‘Poetical smut. Rochester revived.’ A number of imitations and replies were elicited. It is an early work by Perry (formerly ‘Pirie’, 1756–1821), a Scottish journalist recently arrived in London ‘to try to break into the literary world’ (Oxford DNB). By the end of his career he had become ‘one of the most notable journalists of the age when the newspaper press was becoming established as a force in the country’ (ibid.)

    Studies of Gymnotus electricus by members of the Royal Society and their correspondents had captured the imagination of the British public in unexpected ways. While the investigations of Walsh and Hunter made genuine discoveries into the nature of electricity (which culminated in the invention of Volta’s battery), contemporary wits and pamphleteers took advantage of the phallic connotations of the eel and its electrical properties to deride the sexual peregrinations of London society.

    ESTC lists 4 editions of 1777. This ‘new edition’ is enlarged form the first, but probably preceded the stated ‘third’ edition, with a much enlarged pagination. Jackson, p. 52 (first edition, with a different pagination).

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  • Le Pornographe, ou Idées d’un honnête-homme sur un projet de réglement pour les prostituées, propre à prévenir les Malheurs qu’occasionne le Publicisme des Femmes: avec des notes historiques et justificatives. by RESTIF DE LA BRETONNE, Nicolas-Edme. RESTIF DE LA BRETONNE, Nicolas-Edme. ~ Le Pornographe, ou Idées d’un honnête-homme sur un projet de réglement pour les prostituées, propre à prévenir les Malheurs qu’occasionne le Publicisme des Femmes: avec des notes historiques et justificatives. ‘Londres, chez Jean Nourse... A La Haye, chez Gosse junior, & Pinet’ [but Paris: Delalain,] 1769.
    First edition, second issue (Londres and La Haye imprint). Intended as the first of a projected series of works with the general title Idées singulières,… (more)

    First edition, second issue (Londres and La Haye imprint). Intended as the first of a projected series of works with the general title Idées singulières, Le Pornographe is an important early manifesto for the regulation of prostitution. It also holds a significant place in the historical etymology of pornography: meaning literally ‘one who writes about prostitutes’, being the first modern coinage of a word used by the ancient Greeks.

    Restif issued the work anonymously, presenting it with a preface claiming that the idea was not a French invention at all but one found in the manuscript of an Englishman by the name of Lewis Moore. In a series of letters, the work presents an anatomy of prostitution, noting its inevitability in cities such as Paris and its dangers to public health and morality. Most interestingly, it then outlines a system of regulations, with well-managed maisons publiques, in which prostitutes are required to stay, where they are protected and cared for and where customers are strictly controlled. A major preoccupation is the contemporary anxiety over the (wrongly) perceived decline in population, a decline to which prostitution was seen to have contributed. Restif proposes that pregnant prostitutes be required to fulfil their pregnancies and that their children should be brought up and educated within the maisons publiques and to take up alternative professions when of age.

    This early work by Restif encapsulates both his social realism his utopian aspirations, both of which became major aspects of his later novels.

    The imprint is false and the work was published in Paris by Delalain, who sold the author’s works, but who deleted his own name from the imprint after the first impression. The two issues are identical save for the title-page.

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  • Paneros. Some words on aphrodisiacs and the like. by DOUGLAS, Norman. DOUGLAS, Norman. ~ Paneros. Some words on aphrodisiacs and the like. Florence: [Tipografia Giuntina] ‘privately printed for subscribers by G. Orioli, Lungarno Corsini’, [ 1930].
    First edition, privately printed. The limitation notice reads ‘This Edition is issued to Subscribers only and limited to two hundred and fifty copies, numbered and… (more)

    First edition, privately printed. The limitation notice reads ‘This Edition is issued to Subscribers only and limited to two hundred and fifty copies, numbered and signed by the Author. The price will be doubled after first of March, 1931’. This copy is, however, unsigned and unnumbered. The work forms issue no. 5 of The Lugano Series.

    ‘From 1920 until 1937 Douglas was settled in Florence... As his fame grew, he became much visited by inter-war writers, and forged close friendships with D. H. Lawrence and Bryher. During these years he lived with the publisher Giuseppe (Pino) Orioli, who helped him publish several limited editions, most of which were later commercially published in London... In 1937 Douglas was forced to flee Florence after the police made enquiries concerning his friendship with a ten-year-old local girl’ (Katherine Mullin in Oxford DNB).

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  • Ovid’s Art of Love, in three books. Together with his amours, and remedy of love. Translated into English verse, by several eminent hands. To which are added, The Court of Love, a tale from Chaucer. And the History of Love. Adorn'd with cutts. by OVIDIUS NASO, Publius. OVIDIUS NASO, Publius. ~ Ovid’s Art of Love, in three books. Together with his amours, and remedy of love. Translated into English verse, by several eminent hands. To which are added, The Court of Love, a tale from Chaucer. And the History of Love. Adorn'd with cutts. London: printed for J. Tonson; and sold by W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-noster Row, 1719.
    A scarce early edition. Three editions had previously been published, the first in 1709, and this popular title went on to be republished numerous times… (more)

    A scarce early edition. Three editions had previously been published, the first in 1709, and this popular title went on to be republished numerous times during the eighteenth century. The translators are identified in the text as John Dryden, Nahum Tate and William Congreve. 'The history of love' is by Charles Hopkins and 'The court of love' is a metrical paraphrase by Arthur Maynwaring. ESTC gives 7 locations: BL (2 copies), John Rylands, Manchester (2 copies). McMaster University and Universities of Illinois and Waterloo.

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