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  • UZANNE, Octave and Albert ROBIDA. ~ Contes pour les Bibliophiles. Paris: Ancienne Maison Quantin, Librairies-imprimeries réunies, 1895.
    First edition. Jointly authored with Robida, who also provided the illustrations, Contes pour les Bibliophiles contains Uzanne’s prescient essay ‘La Fin des livres’. This remarkable… (more)

    First edition. Jointly authored with Robida, who also provided the illustrations, Contes pour les Bibliophiles contains Uzanne’s prescient essay ‘La Fin des livres’. This remarkable text has been eagerly discussed by commentators on the interface between traditional and electronic book. Like many contemporaries Uzanne and Robida had been enthralled by inventions such as Edison’s phonograph and Ader’s ‘théatrophone’ and they predicted fundamental shifts in the consumption of literature in their wake. ‘La Fin des livres’ describes (and illustrates) wonderful devices for the consumption of audiobooks in the home and in public places, suggesting that they would become as straightforward as turning on a tap. The library of the future would in turn become a roomful of recorded cylinders, and publishers would be required to register the voices of their authors by way of copyright.

    What would such a democratization of the word do to the printed book? Uzanne’s response was to look at current production of books and insist that books would not die provided they remained objects of beauty and desire worthy of the attention of bibliophiles. The wonderful cover illustrations and typography are by George Auriol, member of the Chat Noir circle and friend of Erik Satie.

    This is copy 985 of 1000 copies on vélin, and contains the additional and rarely-found erotic plate attributed to Fragonard, ‘Les Fricatrices’, printed in 300 copies only and sold separately.

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  • Mancher sucht sein Gluck im fremden land meines bluhet nur [an ihrer hand]. by (MOVEABLE ’BIEDERMEIER’ CARD). (MOVEABLE ’BIEDERMEIER’ CARD). ~ Mancher sucht sein Gluck im fremden land meines bluhet nur [an ihrer hand]. Nuremberg: Riedel, [n.d., c. 1830]
    A charming example of the early nineteenth century German moveable greetings card (popularly referred to as ‘Biedermeier’ cards, after their era). In this one the… (more)

    A charming example of the early nineteenth century German moveable greetings card (popularly referred to as ‘Biedermeier’ cards, after their era). In this one the legend reads ‘Mancher sucht sein Gluck im fremden land meines bluhet nur an ihrer hand’ [Some seek happiness in a foreign land, mine just blossoms in your hand] and the mechanism reveals a young lady hidden in a tree and dips the gentleman’s head towards her hand. The third moveable part (not now moving) is his articulated arm. The card is numbered ‘177’ in the lower left corner, giving some idea of the scale of production of these wonderful moveable paper artefacts.

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  • Journal de ce qui s’est passé à la tour du Temple, pendant la captivité de Louis XVI, roi de France. Par M. Cléry, Valet de Chambre du Roi. by (LOUIS XVI). ‘CLÉRY, M.’ (LOUIS XVI). ‘CLÉRY, M.’ ~ Journal de ce qui s’est passé à la tour du Temple, pendant la captivité de Louis XVI, roi de France. Par M. Cléry, Valet de Chambre du Roi. ‘À Londres: De l’imprimèrie de Baylis, Greville-Street. Se vend chez l’auteur, No. 29, Great Puteney-street, Golden-square & chez Messieurs les Libraires de Londres, & des principales Villes de l’Europe’, 1798.
    A best-selling account of the tribulations of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette after their captivity and in the days leading to their execution in 1793. Cléry… (more)

    A best-selling account of the tribulations of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette after their captivity and in the days leading to their execution in 1793. Cléry was indeed Louis’ faithful valet, but authorship of the memoir is not certain. The plates depict the prison tower, a plan, and a facsimile of two final letters in Marie-Antoinette’s hand. These letters were engraved from the originals and widely circulated as relics of the French monarchy.
    Numerous issues of the Journal appeared in 1798, the first year of publication, in both English and French. There are issues with Irish and American imprints, but most copies of the French edition have London imprints giving ‘Se vend chez l’auteur’ with the author’s address in Great Pulteney Street, Golden Square, like this.

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  • Calendrier perpétuel. La Famille Royale. by (PERPETUAL CALENDAR) PHELIPPEAUX, [Antoine, engraver, after] MASSARD. (PERPETUAL CALENDAR) PHELIPPEAUX, [Antoine, engraver, after] MASSARD. ~ Calendrier perpétuel. La Famille Royale. Paris: [Antoine] Phelippeaux [after] Massard, [n.d. c. 1815].
    A rare moveable volvelle perpetual calendar depicting the French royal family as restored after the fall of Napoleon. The dials give years from 1816 to… (more)

    A rare moveable volvelle perpetual calendar depicting the French royal family as restored after the fall of Napoleon. The dials give years from 1816 to 1823, the dates for days of the week, along with lengths of day and night, sunrise and sunset, the month and the corresponding sign of the zodiac. A calendar giving traditional Gregorian dates such as this takes on a political aspect, printed as it was after an era in which strenuous efforts had been made to suppress the Gregorian calendar in favour of the revolutionary calendar and dates (years, months and days of the week) entirely reinvented.

    The portraits of the royal family (Louis XVIII), the duc and duchesse d’Angoulême and the comtes d’Artois and de Berri, are placed above an architectural frieze depicting Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette bidding farewell to their families before execution. The absence of the duchesse de Berri, who married the duke only in June 1816 provides the latest likely date of publication, though it is probable that the print appeared earlier — in December 1815, in preparation for the new year. We have found no record of this calendar print in the usual online resources, either in Europe or further afield.

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  • Catalogus gloriae mundi... In quo multa praeclara de praerogatiuis, praeeminentijs, maioritate, praestantijs, & excellentijs, continentur... Opus ad omnes publicas et quotidianas actiones dirigendas, controuersiasq́ue grauissimas dissoluendas, perquàm vtilissimum : in XII. libros diuisum. Nunc denuo accuratissime emendatum, ac nouis figuris elegantissime illustratum: ita vt facilè omnes caeteras editiones antecellere possit. by CHASSENEUZ, Barthélemy de. CHASSENEUZ, Barthélemy de. ~ Catalogus gloriae mundi... In quo multa praeclara de praerogatiuis, praeeminentijs, maioritate, praestantijs, & excellentijs, continentur... Opus ad omnes publicas et quotidianas actiones dirigendas, controuersiasq́ue grauissimas dissoluendas, perquàm vtilissimum : in XII. libros diuisum. Nunc denuo accuratissime emendatum, ac nouis figuris elegantissime illustratum: ita vt facilè omnes caeteras editiones antecellere possit. Frankfurt: Sigmund Feyerabend, 1579.
    A spectacular renaissance illustrated book, the first edition with the detailed and dramatic double-page etched plates by Jost Amman. First published at Lyon in 1529… (more)

    A spectacular renaissance illustrated book, the first edition with the detailed and dramatic double-page etched plates by Jost Amman. First published at Lyon in 1529 with single-page woodcuts (reprinted with the same woodcuts in 1546) there were also Venice editions of 1569, 1571 and 1576 with quarter-page woodcuts.

    A vast encyclopaedic work, the Catalogus gloriae mundi sought to set out the hierarchy of creation —animate and inanimate, from the heavens themselves to the governments, laws and sciences of humanity. Its particular value was in setting out orders of precedency and protocol in law and ceremony, which probably accounts for its interest to publisher Sigmund Feyerabend, who enlisted Amman to create large emblematic plates for this edition, derived from the earlier woodcut illustrations. They are:

    1. A genealogy with insignia of royal houses (including European houses and those of Persia, Egypt, Israel etc); 2. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; 3. a mandala depicting the ranks of the hierarchy of the heavens; 4. a sitting of the papal court; 5. an imperial council; 6. a regal council; 7. a judicial court; 8. the nobility; 9. the military ranks; 10. The liberal arts and sciences (14 female personifications); 11. the mechanical arts (7 female personifications); 12. a geocentric cosmography. Andresen, A. Jost Amman, 32-43; The New Hollstein: German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts 1400-1700, 1998, VI.144. A very scarce book. Worldcat lists non-European copies at Folger, Getty and Huntington libraries only.

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  • L’Ombre immortelle de Catherine II au tombeau d’Alexandre Ier. by LE NORMAND, Marie-Anne Adélaïde. LE NORMAND, Marie-Anne Adélaïde. ~ L’Ombre immortelle de Catherine II au tombeau d’Alexandre Ier. Paris: Mlle Le Normand, auteur-éditeur,... Dondey-Dupré père et fils,... et chez les principaux libraires de la France et de l’étranger, 1 Février 1826
    First edition of Le Normand’s panegyric for Alexander I and her prophecies for the state of Russia following the Emperor’s death in 1825. Marie-Anne Lenormand… (more)

    First edition of Le Normand’s panegyric for Alexander I and her prophecies for the state of Russia following the Emperor’s death in 1825. Marie-Anne Lenormand (1772–1843) was a celebrated (or notorious) clairvoyant, publisher, and self-publicist Famed throughout Europe for her exclusive clientele, she popularised cartomancy and spawned an enormous wave of imitators. At the height of her career she claimed to have advised the likes of Robespierre, Talleyrand, Metternich, the Empress Josephine and Emperor Alexander himself; others argued that the whole thing was a sham, and she was frequently arrested, spending several weeks in prison.

    The title verso here gives a list of Le Normand’s other prophesies, both published and forthcoming. Though the half-title verso bears an author’s statement, requiring authorised copies to be signed by her, this copy is unsigned (though genuine).

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  • Les Merveilles et les originalités architecturales a l’Exposition 1900. by [LÉVY, Albert]. [LÉVY, Albert]. ~ Les Merveilles et les originalités architecturales a l’Exposition 1900. [Paris, 1901].
    A rare and spectacular set of 100 original cyanotypes of the buildings and pavilions of the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. The large format prints include… (more)

    A rare and spectacular set of 100 original cyanotypes of the buildings and pavilions of the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. The large format prints include the Porte monumentale and a series of views of the monumental Grand and Petit Palais together with the national pavilions and those devoted to the arts, industry and commerce. Besides the two Palais, the majority of the buildings were temporary — built on iron frames covered with plaster and artificial stone — and most were demolished immediately after Exposition closed. Levy’s large format prints for the Merveilles are a beautiful and valuable record of their architectural variety.
    Albert Lévy (1847-1931) was both a pioneering and prolific architectural photographer, unusual for his time in working on both sides of the Atlantic, with studios in Paris and New York. Characteristically, his collections were issued as cyanotypes printed directly from the original glass negatives. His collections included numerous sequences of French, British and American buildings of the Gilded Age, but many, including the Merveilles et les originalités architecturales a l’Exposition are now very rare indeed.

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  • Le Cook de l’enfance et de la jeunesse, ou Choix des particularités les plus intéressantes, des détails les plus instructifs et les plus curieux contenus dans les relations des trois voyages de ce célèbre navigateur autour du monde; précédé d’une notice sur sa vie... avec quatre jolies gravures. by (COOK, Captain). CHAMPAGNAC, J. -B. -J. (COOK, Captain). CHAMPAGNAC, J. -B. -J. ~ Le Cook de l’enfance et de la jeunesse, ou Choix des particularités les plus intéressantes, des détails les plus instructifs et les plus curieux contenus dans les relations des trois voyages de ce célèbre navigateur autour du monde; précédé d’une notice sur sa vie... avec quatre jolies gravures. Paris: [Cosson] Fruger et Brunet, 1836.
    First edition. A juvenile Cook in French, describing his voyages to the Pacific, including New Zealand, Batavia (Jakarta), Tahiti and the Sandwich Islands. the plates… (more)

    First edition. A juvenile Cook in French, describing his voyages to the Pacific, including New Zealand, Batavia (Jakarta), Tahiti and the Sandwich Islands. the plates being: Mort de Capitaine Cook (frontispiece); Indien courant un Muck; Habitans de l’Ile Mallicalo and Débarquement du Capitaine Cook dans la baie de Karakakooka. The appendix contains an interesting ethnographic essay ‘Des deux variétés de l’espèce humaine recnnues dans l’Océanie’, two others on the geography of Oceania and on previous voyages to the region followed by biographies of participants in Cook’s voyages (Cook, Banks, Solander, the Forsters, Clark and Bligh). Worldcat and Library Hub locate no UK or North American copies (though there is one at the University of Hawaii)

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  • de l’Étranger a Londres. Album de croquis amusants contenant tous les renseignements utiles sur Londres et ses environs. by GUIDE COMIQUE GUIDE COMIQUE ~ de l’Étranger a Londres. Album de croquis amusants contenant tous les renseignements utiles sur Londres et ses environs. Paris: Imprimerie Jouaust père et fils, 1862.
    Sole edition of this comic guide to London and the English, issued to coincide with the Great Exhibition. The four letterpress pages give some limited… (more)

    Sole edition of this comic guide to London and the English, issued to coincide with the Great Exhibition. The four letterpress pages give some limited information for visitors: English money, the major sites (headed of course with the Crystal Palace), several hotels, inns and restaurants, carriage and boat fare, a few useful phrases and some baffling tips on British manners ― but this is really a vehicle for the 14 comic plates. They depict 46 numbered scenes or characters including: a coachman and a sweep, The Times newspaper, two pugilists, judges, beggars, hawkers, a Scotsman, huge barrels of drink (labelled ‘Monster Cask’) and a ratcatcher. The cover attributes the lithographs to ‘Mr Cric’ and the text to ‘Mr Crac’ and gives Paris and London booksellers’ addresses, with a price of ‘1 Shelling’. Worldcat lists the Vanderbilt University copy only; no British copies located in Library Hub; the CCFr lists a single copy in France (Bar le Duc).

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  • [A bound collection of 54 plates] by MOTZ, Johann Michael, heirs of; and Albrecht SCHMIDT. MOTZ, Johann Michael, heirs of; and Albrecht SCHMIDT. ~ [A bound collection of 54 plates] Augsburg [n.d. but soon after 1750].
    An interesting collection of 54 rare hand coloured plates by Augsburg publishers Johann Michael Motz and Albrecht Schmidt, very much in the style of the… (more)

    An interesting collection of 54 rare hand coloured plates by Augsburg publishers Johann Michael Motz and Albrecht Schmidt, very much in the style of the recreational and educational prints of the slightly earlier Augsburg engraver-publisher Martin Engelbrecht. Like Engelbrecht’s these prints were intended for popular consumption and were often cut up for albums or other decoupage projects. All are very rare, notably the fine 4-plate suite of the continents here and a part of the biblical sequence by Schmidt. The album was evidently put together c. 1800 from two or more constituent parts, perhaps already quite well used to judge by the variation in condition across the collection and by the various patterns of previous stab holes. An early owner/user has added some amusing pencil drawings to the rear endpapers.

    Comprising:

    1. Les Amans Surpris (after Boucher, c, 1750), Motz.
    2. Les Plaisirs au jardin & La musique, 2 plates, Motz.
    3. Europa, Asia, Africa, America, 4 plates, lower lines of verses and imprint cropped, but Motz after I. Waxmuth.
    4. Der Frühling, Der Sommer, Der Herbst, Der Winter, 4 plates, Motz.
    5. Das Feuer, Das Wasser, Die Lufft, Die Erde, 4 plates, Motz.
    6. Der Morgen, Der Mittag, Der Abend, Die Nacht, 4 plates, Motz after Stockhman[n].
    7. [Hunting], 2 untitled prints, Motz after Stockhman[n].
    8. [Old Testament. Genesis] 14 plates, numbered 5-12, 37, 40, 45-48 each with gold borders, Albrecht Schmidt. [of 56?]
    9. [Old Testament, Genesis, the story of Joseph]. 13 plates, numbered 1-5, 7-14. Motz.
    10. [The Prodigal Son]. 6 plates, numbered 1-2, 5-8, Motz after C. Vogt (stubs of plates 3 & 4, evidently cut out).

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  • Memoire pour Anne Grandjean, connu sous le nom de Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, accusé & appellant. Contre Monsieur le Procureur General, accusateur et intimé. Question. Un hermaphrodite qui a épousé une fille, peut’il être réputé profanatuer du Sacrament de mariage, quand la nature qui le trompoit, l’apelloit à l’état de mari? by (GRANDJEAN, Anne). (GRANDJEAN, Anne). ~ Memoire pour Anne Grandjean, connu sous le nom de Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, accusé & appellant. Contre Monsieur le Procureur General, accusateur et intimé. Question. Un hermaphrodite qui a épousé une fille, peut’il être réputé profanatuer du Sacrament de mariage, quand la nature qui le trompoit, l’apelloit à l’état de mari? Paris: Louis Cellot, 1765.
    First edition of this important legal memoir, the official record of the trial of Anne Grandjean (later Jean-Baptiste). Anne Grandjean was born at Grenoble in… (more)

    First edition of this important legal memoir, the official record of the trial of Anne Grandjean (later Jean-Baptiste). Anne Grandjean was born at Grenoble in 1732, and baptised and raised as a girl until she discovered her attraction to other girls at the age of 14. Confessing this to her father, he was convinced of her feelings, and had her re-baptised as Jean-Baptiste, insisting she live as a young man. At the age of 32, while living as a married man at Lyon, a childhood friend informed Jean-Baptiste’s wife that she had married a ‘hermaphrodite’. Subjected to judicial enquiry, Grandjean was declared to be female and banished in perpetuity with the requirement that he live as a woman and have no further congress with the female sex for the rest of his life.
    The official memoir of the case is thus a remarkable source of detail concerning contemporary orthodox notions of sex and gender. The case and the verdict reward a very close reading and yield several immediate observations. Firstly, the term ‘hermaphrodite’ is used to denote same-sex attraction rather than in a physiological sense, secondly, the decision to change gender was made under the advice of a Catholic confessor who counselled that to remain a woman attracted to women would inexorably lead to a crime in the eyes of the church and, thirdly, a major objection to the transition was that Jean-Baptiste had unlawfully adopted the legal status of a male citoyen. Gay III, 107.

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  • Opium: historical Note, or, The poppy in China published by order of the Inspector General of Customs. (China. Imperial maritime customs. II, Special series: no. 13.) by (OPIUM). [EDKINS, Dr Joseph]. (OPIUM). [EDKINS, Dr Joseph]. ~ Opium: historical Note, or, The poppy in China published by order of the Inspector General of Customs. (China. Imperial maritime customs. II, Special series: no. 13.) Shanghai: Statistical Department of the Inspectorate General of Customs and sold by Key & Walsh Limited in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yokohama and Singapore and by P. S. King & Son in London, 1889.
    First edition of this important report on the history of opium use and trade in China, printed in China but considered the the first English-language… (more)

    First edition of this important report on the history of opium use and trade in China, printed in China but considered the the first English-language book on opium. Its author was a British missionary long established in the Far East as a translator for the Inspectorate General of Customs at Shanghai. It provides not only botanical and medicinal accounts drawn from earlier Chinese sources, but traces the introduction of opium by Arab and then European traders which had led to the nineteenth-century opium wars.

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  • Armorial album created for the Festes Der Zauber Der Weissen Rose (‘Magic of the White Rose’ celebrations). by [FEODOROVNA, Alexandra, Empress of Russia, born CHARLOTTE Princess of Prussia. [FEODOROVNA, Alexandra, Empress of Russia, born CHARLOTTE Princess of Prussia. ~ Armorial album created for the Festes Der Zauber Der Weissen Rose (‘Magic of the White Rose’ celebrations). Potsdam] 13 July 1829.
    A charming little album created for the birthday celebrations of the young Russian Empress, Alexandra Feodorovna (1798-1860), wife of Czar Nicholas I (born Princess Charlotte… (more)

    A charming little album created for the birthday celebrations of the young Russian Empress, Alexandra Feodorovna (1798-1860), wife of Czar Nicholas I (born Princess Charlotte of Prussia, daughter of Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm III). The ‘Magic of the White Rose’ celebration was organised by Charlotte’s brothers and recreated a medieval tournament on the theme of the mediaeval legend of ‘Blanchefleur’, the pet name given to Alexandra in childhood, after de la Motte-Fouqué’s Rose Blanchefleur. It is recorded in several prints and lavish illustrated books as well as other souvenirs (such as sets of commemorative china repeating the emblems found in this diminutive album). The album was probably one of six commissioned by the Empress and presented to her sisters and sisters-in-law on July 13th and contains the emblems of each of the knights in the form of quasi-heraldic escutcheons.
    There are 48 highly-coloured armorial emblems, including mottoes in Latin, French, German and Italian. with mottoes such as: ‘Dem Freunde die Brust, dem Feinde die Stirn’; ‘Agilité vaut plus que force’; ‘Nunquam retrorsum’; ‘Schönheit besiegt die Stärke’ (‘Beauty conquers strength’); ‘Tout pour elle rien sans elle mais qui est elle’ and ‘Uni militat astro’. The paintings are made in a very pretty red morocco notebook with gilt stamped binding (with a rose device), original pencil and two preliminary leaves with erasable surfaces. Ilatovskaya and Pakhomova-Geres, Volshebstvo Beloi Rozy (St. Petersburg, 2003).

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  • Mémoires de Léotard. by (CIRCUS). LÉOTARD, Jules. (CIRCUS). LÉOTARD, Jules. ~ Mémoires de Léotard. Paris: [Simon Raçon et comp[agnie], 1860.
    Rare first edition of the memoirs of the great circus performer Jules Léotard, pioneer of the flying trapeze who inspired the 1867 song ‘The Daring… (more)

    Rare first edition of the memoirs of the great circus performer Jules Léotard, pioneer of the flying trapeze who inspired the 1867 song ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze’. A second edition of his Mémoires appeared in the same year, with the same pagination, but giving ‘deuxième édition’ on the title — almost all library copies appear to be of this later edition. The superb comic lithograph by Durandeau shows Léotard trapezing over the city of Paris, while adoring female fans cry out to him from the rooftops (some flying heart-shaped kites). With Blondin, Léotard was one of the first great celebrities of the circus, when he visited London in 1861, Charles Dickens wrote: ‘I have been beguiled into seeing Léotard, and it is at once the most fearful and most graceful thing I have ever seen.’ (Letter to Macready, June 11, 1861).

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  • anciens et modernes, composant la deuxième partie de la bibliothèque M.V***, de Chartres, les Vendredi 15, Samedi 16, Lundi 18, Mardi 19 Juin 1855 et le le lendemain s’il y a lieu, à 7 heures du soir. 21, rue des Grands-Augustins. 21, Par le ministère de Me Charles Charpentier commissaire-priseur à Paris, rue de Helder, 14; assisté de M. A. Aubry, Libraire-Expert, à Paris, rue Dauphine, no 16. by VENTE DES LIVRES VENTE DES LIVRES ~ anciens et modernes, composant la deuxième partie de la bibliothèque M.V***, de Chartres, les Vendredi 15, Samedi 16, Lundi 18, Mardi 19 Juin 1855 et le le lendemain s’il y a lieu, à 7 heures du soir. 21, rue des Grands-Augustins. 21, Par le ministère de Me Charles Charpentier commissaire-priseur à Paris, rue de Helder, 14; assisté de M. A. Aubry, Libraire-Expert, à Paris, rue Dauphine, no 16. Paris: M[ada]me de Lacombe, 1855.
    A book auction bill, advertising the second part of the auction sale of what was evidently an immense private library belonging to the unidentified (by… (more)

    A book auction bill, advertising the second part of the auction sale of what was evidently an immense private library belonging to the unidentified (by us) M. V***, de Chartres. Buyers premium is advertised at 5% and the catalogue was issued by auctioneer Charpentier and book expert Auguste Aubry. No copy of the catalogue (of either part) is recorded in the Bibliothèque nationale catalogue.

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  • Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... by LES VAMPIRES. LES VAMPIRES. ~ Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... Paris: H. Platel. Cheyère, [n.d. 1826].
    Two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’ [congé], ‘end of lease’ [fin de… (more)

    Two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’ [congé], ‘end of lease’ [fin de bail] and ‘increase’ [augmentation] and all the notes scattered on the ground make reference to the real estate business. The caption reads ‘We promise, no reduction’. Paris (like London) was in the throes of a vampire craze in the 1820s, following the publication of Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819, Charles Nodier’s melodrama Le Vampire was performed in Paris in June 1820, and spawned a host of spinoffs in popular culture and the press.

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  • [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. by (FASHION). (FASHION). ~ [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. Paris, 1867-8].
    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion… (more)

    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion ― two richly-dressed women stand between marker posts for the years 1867 and 1868, one in deep winter attire with bonnet, scarf, cape and muff, the other in the light spring garments of the following year. Between them an elegant dandy stands with a velocipede (suggesting modernity, movement and rapidity) and above is a cartouche enclosing a naked woman below the legend: ‘Comment l’habiller-t-on?’ (‘how will they dress?’). The final leaf is similarly emblematic, with a splendidly-attired young woman in green stepping from 1868 to 1869 over a running stream.
    Anonymous and evidently once part of a sequence, these brilliant watercolours depict Parisian fashions at their most colourful and sumptuous. Those showing off fabrics with new chemical or aniline dyes of green, mauve and blue are often heightened with gum arabic, adding a lustrous sheen, evocative of rich and heavy silks then much in vogue. Skirts are full and often multi-layered, with arrangements for lifting the outermost layer for walking. Special attention is paid to the backs of these outfits, with a good number seen from the side or behind, showing the elaborate ruffles and bows (which would develop into fully-blown bustles in the following decade). There are stripes, plaids, pleats, ruffles, embroidery, lace and beadwork. Hairstyles are also carefully depicted, with long and thick tresses in a variety of braids and tresses, as well as luxuriantly loose styles.
    The anonymous artist was a highly accomplished fashion artist, brilliantly equipped to render details and textures of fabrics, dress and deportment, of the type employed by designers and couturiers to show off to prospective customers their latest creations. This is a remarkable record of a golden age of Parisian dressmaking at the height of nineteenth-century haute couture when designers such as Charles Worth were claiming the city as the focus of the fashionable world.

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  • Sténarithmétokie, ou Prompt calcul d’intérêts, par tables, pour les taux les plus usités, ou l’on trouve tous les capitaux avec leurs intérêts correspondans, pour tout nombre d’années, de mois et de jours; avec une table d’un genre nouveau et facil, qui donne au premier coup-d’oeil le temps qu’a couru un intérêt d’une époque quelconque à un autre; et une instruction sur la manière de se servir de ces tables. by JACQUAND, C.-A. JACQUAND, C.-A. ~ Sténarithmétokie, ou Prompt calcul d’intérêts, par tables, pour les taux les plus usités, ou l’on trouve tous les capitaux avec leurs intérêts correspondans, pour tout nombre d’années, de mois et de jours; avec une table d’un genre nouveau et facil, qui donne au premier coup-d’oeil le temps qu’a couru un intérêt d’une époque quelconque à un autre; et une instruction sur la manière de se servir de ces tables. Tournon: P.-R. Guilet, 3 Mars- 16 Mai 1830.
    First and only edition of a rare set of commercial tables for calculating interest, complete with its original card ‘indicateur’ to be laid over the… (more)

    First and only edition of a rare set of commercial tables for calculating interest, complete with its original card ‘indicateur’ to be laid over the tables, giving solutions. Based on a rate of 5 percent, the tables provide interest calculations for periods from one day to five years. Jacquand is styled ‘Commis-Greffier du tribunat de 1re instance de Tournon (Ardèche) et ancien professeur de Mathématiques’. The town of Tournon, on the banks of the Rhône south of Lyon, was an important trading place — particularly for wine — and through its Jesuit college also had a longstanding educational history.
    This is a very rare French provincial imprint. The verso of the title page leaves a space for the author’s signature as a guard against counterfeits (never filled in) and spaces for adding booksellers’ or stationers’ names, again not completed. Worldcat lists a single copy (Bibliothèque nationale).

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  • Les Hermaphrodites. [L’Isle des Hermaphrodites nouvellement descouverte. Avec les moeurs, loix, coustume & ordonances des habitans d’icelle]. by [ARTUS, Thomas, sieur d’Embry]. [ARTUS, Thomas, sieur d’Embry]. ~ Les Hermaphrodites. [L’Isle des Hermaphrodites nouvellement descouverte. Avec les moeurs, loix, coustume & ordonances des habitans d’icelle]. [N.p ?France, N.d. c. 1605].
    First edition of Artus’s satire on Henri III of France (assassinated in 1589) who was reputedly fond of cross-dressing and whose court was widely criticised… (more)

    First edition of Artus’s satire on Henri III of France (assassinated in 1589) who was reputedly fond of cross-dressing and whose court was widely criticised for decadence and immorality.
    Les Hermaphrodites describes a realm populated by men who dress as women, not strictly (or biologically) hermaphrodite, but preoccupied by dress, hairstyle, makeup, extravagant gesture and speech. Also concerned with the laws and customs of the hermaphrodite kingdom, the satire operates by seeking to present Henri’s court as both dissolute and against nature. In so doing it reflects in great detail contemporary attitudes (both positive and negative) to gender-blurring of any sort, whether social or sexual. At one point, for example, Artus writes ironically that cross-dressing was perfectly permissible: ‘Chacun pourra s’abiller à sa fantasie, pourveu que ce soit bravement, superbement, & sans aucune distinction ny consideration de sa qualité ou faculté’, thus combining his disapproval with a suggestion of the negation of natural order or rank.
    The engraved title depicts a figure of ambiguous gender (presumably Henri himself) in male breeches, but full-hipped, with a suggestion of female breasts and a floral coiffe, with the legend ‘A tous accords’. Below it is the text:
    ‘Je ne suis masle ny femelle
    Et sy je suis bien en ceruelle
    Le quell des deux je doibs choisir
    Mais qu’importe à qui on ressamble
    Il vault mieux les avoir ensemble
    On en reçoit double Plaisir.’
    Henri’s sexuality was the subject of numerous contemporary satires. His taste for cross-dressing was well-known and his sexual orientation a matter of speculation, since he enjoyed close relationships with his male mignons (providing plenty of ammunition for moralistic detractors) but also well-publicised affairs with a succession of mistresses.
    The second part of the book is Discours de Jacophile a Limne. Les Hermaphrodites was republished in 1724 with the title Description de l’isle des Hermaphrodites. The first edition is notably rare.
    The arms of the contemporary binding are of the Clausse de Marchaumont family, probaby those of courtier Henri (d. 1613), the eldest son of Henry II’s secreatary of state Cosme Clausse, who served as Henry III’s ambassador to the Swiss states.

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  • Florilège [spine title]. by [JEAN, prêtre]. [JEAN, prêtre]. ~ Florilège [spine title]. [France, c. 1890s].
    A curious florilegium, with extensive lithographed devotional text, presumably after the handwriting of author (’Jean, prêtre’) and a series of handcoloured lithographs. The latter include… (more)

    A curious florilegium, with extensive lithographed devotional text, presumably after the handwriting of author (’Jean, prêtre’) and a series of handcoloured lithographs. The latter include 31 of flowers (marigold, violet, primula, iris, cornflower, honeysuckle etc) which are paired with a description and devotional meditation on the opposite page. The others depict a hermit, a memento mori, a decorative contents list and (at the end) women in a religious procession with a banner. At least one them is signed ‘Jean’. The prefatory text is from Chateaubriand’s Le Martyrs: ‘En achevant ces mots, Zacharie s’arrêta, me montra le ciel où nous devions nous retrouver un jour, et, sans me laisser le temps de me jeter à ses pieds, il me quitta après m’avoir donné sa dernière leçon. C’est ainsi que Jésus-Christ dont il imite l’exemple, se plaisoit à instruire ses disciples, en se promenant au bord du lac de Génésareth, et faisoit parler l'herbe des champs et le lis de la vallée’.

    Although marked ‘Deposé’ on the first leaf, we have been unable to find any other copies or record of its publication. It was presumably printed in very small numbers.

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