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  • Commentaire sur les coustumes de Lorraine auquel sont rapportées plusieurs ordonnances de S.A. & des Ducs ses deuanciers. Avec des arrestz de son conseil & autres cours souueraines, & autres decisions de droit & practique. by (COUTUMES. LORRAINE). CANON, Pierre. (COUTUMES. LORRAINE). CANON, Pierre. ~ Commentaire sur les coustumes de Lorraine auquel sont rapportées plusieurs ordonnances de S.A. & des Ducs ses deuanciers. Avec des arrestz de son conseil & autres cours souueraines, & autres decisions de droit & practique. Espinal [Épinal]: Ambroise Ambroise, 1634.
    First edition of this commentary on the customary law of Lorraine, by Pierre Canon ‘juge adsesseur au bailliage de Vosges’. With the rise of feudalism… (more)

    First edition of this commentary on the customary law of Lorraine, by Pierre Canon ‘juge adsesseur au bailliage de Vosges’. With the rise of feudalism in medieval France, the country evolved into two distinct judicial territories. The provincial parliaments in northern and nestern France, such as that of Lorraine, acted as sovereign judicial bodies independent of each other and claimed independence from the king, applying droit coutumier, or legal principles derived from local customs and privileges. The customs of Lorraine were ‘codified in 1594 under the auspices of Charles III, duke of Lorraine. The coutume of Lorraine included three general coutumes, those of the bailliages of Nancy, Vosges, and Allemagne’ (cf. The Coutumes of France in the Library of Congress, Caswell & Sipkov. 1977, p. 55).

    The annotations in this copy appear to be in a single early hand, giving running headlines to most right-hand pages, plus further headings in the left and right margins, together with numerous calligraphic asterisks, some in leadpoint, some in ink. There also three records of proceeding relating to customary law at the rear, incuding one (dated 1667) concerning taxation wrongly exacted by the Abbess and Convent of Bouxidre (unidentified) on local inhabitants. A slightly later hand has added a very neat table of contents (perhaps at the time of binding). Gouron & Terrin. Coutumes, 1111; LC Coutumes, 451. Rare: George Washington University and Library of Congress only outside continental Europe.

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  • Essais politiques et militaires. Enrichis de diverses maximes & remarques tirées des anciens auteurs. Par le sieur De Mouchembert. by (DALLINGTON, Robert). MOUCHEMBERG, A.-M. de. (DALLINGTON, Robert). MOUCHEMBERG, A.-M. de. ~ Essais politiques et militaires. Enrichis de diverses maximes & remarques tirées des anciens auteurs. Par le sieur De Mouchembert. Paris: Nicolas Buon, 1627.
    First edition in French of Aphorismes Civill and Militarie (London, 1613) comprising 246 political and military aphorisms selected from the Italian historian Guicciardini, designed to… (more)

    First edition in French of Aphorismes Civill and Militarie (London, 1613) comprising 246 political and military aphorisms selected from the Italian historian Guicciardini, designed to teach the lessons of history in a pithy and pragmatic form, in the spirit of Montaigne. The original had been dedicated by the English courtier Robert Dallington to Henry, Prince of Wales and later also to Prince Charles. Mouchemberg’s free translation, retaining the structure of the original, with glosses and apparatus, was dedicated to Antoine Coiffier-Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, who had negotiated the marriage of the Prince of Wales (later Charles I) with Louis XIII’s sister, Henrietta Maria of France in 1625. Mouchemberg later published a continuation of another British work — Argenis by John Barclay.

    Dallington (1561-1636) is an interesting figure in European literary culture. Initially educated at Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) but without taking a degree, he published translations from the Hypnerotomachia as The Strife of Love in 1592, dedicated to the memory of Sir Philip Sidney and to the Earl of Essex (into whose circle he was drawn). He made at least two grand tours, one in a party with Inigo Jones. His View of France was first published in 1604 and his Survey of … Tuscany in 1605, both written for private circulation. Rare: Worldcat lists the British Library as the only location outside continental Europe, with no North American copies.

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  • Factum pour les religieuses de Sainte-Catherine-lès-Provins contre les Pères cordeliers. by [VARET, Alexandre-Louis]. [VARET, Alexandre-Louis]. ~ Factum pour les religieuses de Sainte-Catherine-lès-Provins contre les Pères cordeliers. [n.p., n.d.], ‘Imprimé avec approbation l’an de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ’ [ 1668].
    First editions of two significant anticlerical polemics. Factum pour les religieuses de Sainte-Catherine-lès-Provins is a celebrated example of the power of popular print over conventional… (more)

    First editions of two significant anticlerical polemics. Factum pour les religieuses de Sainte-Catherine-lès-Provins is a celebrated example of the power of popular print over conventional legal process. In the 1660s a faction of nuns at Saint-Catherine sought to overthrow the tyranny of their abbess who was in league with the local Franciscans. Unable to access regular legal channels (as women and nuns) they appealed directly to the local parlement with this devastating Factum detailing a host of abuses committed by the Franciscans in their convent. The Factum was ‘purportedly addressed to their judges but intended for broad public distribution. In it they charged that the Franciscans ran Sainte-Catherine as a personal brothel, seducing and sometimes physically forcing the nuns into sexual relationships with friars while simultaneously plundering the convent’s treasury. The titillating Factum pour les religieuses de Sainte-Catherine-lès-Provins contre les pères cordeliers told a story that borrowed narrative inspiration from contemporary novels and pornography. It quickly became a sensation. The Franciscan order denounced the work as an illegal defamatory libel, and most copies of the original appear to have been seized and burned. But the Factum was quickly bootlegged, became a hot commodity in the clandestine book trade and earned, from the evidence of its multiple editions, a very broad readership (Tuttle). Indeed, several early editions survive, almost all issued without genuine imprints, and the first edition is extremely rare. Among the nuns’ many complaints is the accusation that friars brought pornographic books into the convent including Maximes d'amour, L’Ecole des filles and Catechisme d’amour and that one of them supplied a novice with a cipher to ‘write filth’ (pour écrire des ordures).

    Elixir Jesuiticum also issued without a formal imprint was directed against the Jesuits and contains an interesting dedication to English Archbishop William Laud. Factum: cf. Gay II, 225 and see Tuttle, ‘From Cloister to Court: Nuns and the Gendered Culture of Disputing in Early Modern France.’ Journal of Women's History (2010) 22, 2, pp. 11-33; Elixir Jesuiticum: VD17 12:115207Y

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  • The Chronicles of Engand, France, Spain etc. etc... with Notes and Illustrations. by FROISSART, John, Sir. FROISSART, John, Sir. ~ The Chronicles of Engand, France, Spain etc. etc... with Notes and Illustrations. London: [Woodfall and Kinder for] George Routledge and Sons, [n.d. c. 1870s-80s]
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  • Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, in the Reigns of Elizabeth, James I, and Charles I 1540-1646. by DEVEREUX, Walter Bourchier, editor. DEVEREUX, Walter Bourchier, editor. ~ Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, in the Reigns of Elizabeth, James I, and Charles I 1540-1646. London: John Murray, 1853.
    First edition. This copy with the inscription to the first volume: ‘Philip James Digby Wykeham from his sincere friend and schoolfellow Henry W. May on… (more)

    First edition. This copy with the inscription to the first volume: ‘Philip James Digby Wykeham from his sincere friend and schoolfellow Henry W. May on his leaving Eton. Election Saturday 1859.’

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  • Rhétorique françoise, a l’usage des jeunes demoiselles. Avec des exemples tirés, pour la plupart, de nos meilleurs orateurs & poëtes modernes. Quatrième edition corrigée & augmentée. by [GAILLARD, Gabriel-Henri]. [GAILLARD, Gabriel-Henri]. ~ Rhétorique françoise, a l’usage des jeunes demoiselles. Avec des exemples tirés, pour la plupart, de nos meilleurs orateurs & poëtes modernes. Quatrième edition corrigée & augmentée. Avignon: Louis Chambeau, 1773.
    First published in 1745, Gaillard’s was a popular guide to rhetoric for the use of young women. This copy has an early female gift/ownership inscription.… (more)

    First published in 1745, Gaillard’s was a popular guide to rhetoric for the use of young women. This copy has an early female gift/ownership inscription. Though many of the examples in the guide are traditional examples of rhetorical excellence, the introduction provides and interesting discourse on celebrated female rhetorician, mentioning Elizabeth I of England as a supposed translator of Sophocles and Marie Stuart’s Latin oration at the French royal court.

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  • The Magic Fruit Garden. by DUNLOP, Marion Wallace. DUNLOP, Marion Wallace. ~ The Magic Fruit Garden. London: [Ernest Nister in Bavaria for] Ernest Nister in London and E.P. Dutton & Co. in New York. 1899
    First edition of this children’s allegory of female education by one of the most prominent early British suffragists. Marion Wallace-Dunlop was involved in the suffrage… (more)

    First edition of this children’s allegory of female education by one of the most prominent early British suffragists. Marion Wallace-Dunlop was involved in the suffrage movement from 1900 (the year after this book appeared) and was thrice imprisoned at Holloway: first, in 1908 for obstruction and second, in 1909 for stencilling an extract from the Bill of Rights onto the wall of St. Stephen’s Hall, Westminster. During her second incarceration she was the first suffragist to go on a hunger strike. In November 1911 she helped to organise a window-smashing campaign and was imprisoned once more and in 1928 she was a pallbearer at Emmeline Pankhurst’s funeral.

    The Magic Fruit Garden is a ‘fairy tale about a girl struggling to write an essay on ‘Perseverance’. In her quest for wisdom, Doc finds a magic fruit garden where knowledge-fruit grows on bushes and trees. Here she picks ‘geography-plums and history-apples and grammar-pears and all the time her knowledge of everything kept growing bigger and bigger’. In a glass conservatory, Doc encounters piles of sweets ‘made from mixtures of the various fruits in the garden boiled in a syrup called Research. There was botany-sugar, zoology-candy, geology-toffee, and sugar-plums of every kind and colour’. When she gets home, her brother tells Doc it was only a dream and remarks that it’s ‘just like a girl to think that a dream is real. However, he then embarks on an adventure of his own which forces him to admit the magic garden is real (from the website of the University College London Exhibition, Disrupters and Innovators, 2018). Dunlop’s printed dedication reads simply: ‘To my Mother’.

    ‘Marion Wallace-Dunlop studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1903 (when she also exhibited a painting at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts), and in 1905 and 1906. Her paintings were also exhibited in Paris. She illustrated in art nouveau style two books, Fairies, Elves, and Flower Babies and The Magic Fruit Garden, both published in 1899’ (Oxford DNB). The Magic Fruit Garden was issued by Anglo-German publisher Ernest Nister, best known for his colourful moveable and popup books. Very scarce in both commerce and libraries. In the US, Worldcat lists copies at: Purdue, Princeton, Dartmouth and Universities of Rochester and Connecticut only.

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  • [An Album; or Selections from many Authors; interspersed with Drawings and Poetry]. by JORDAN, Ann. JORDAN, Ann. ~ [An Album; or Selections from many Authors; interspersed with Drawings and Poetry]. [British Isles, 1828 [and later, to c. 1885]
    A good and typical illustrated commonplace album with transcribed verses, drawings and watercolours. The selections are very much representative of the contemporary fashion among women… (more)

    A good and typical illustrated commonplace album with transcribed verses, drawings and watercolours. The selections are very much representative of the contemporary fashion among women for such manuscript collections: poems by Byron, Goldsmith and others, verses of friendship, loss and leave-taking, nature poems, riddles and aphorisms. A nicely self-aware inclusion here is Benjamin Franklin’s humorous ‘Paper a Poem’ relating paper types (gilt paper, copy paper, brown paper, foolscap, touch paper, waste paper and so on) to human analogues. The relatively few poems by women include Ann Radcliffe’s ‘To the Nightingale’ and ‘To Anne’ (unattributed here but by Mary Anne Browne, 1812-1845, entitled by her ‘Written in an Album’). Most of the contents have been entered within a few years of 1828 followed by a scatter of much later entries of the 1870s and 80s towards the end.

    The best description of the album genre in the history of reading and writing is by William St Clair in The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (2004, pp. 224-9), a passage could aptly serve as a description of Ann Jordan’s album.

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  • [Manuscript treatise. by (OBSTETRICS and MIDWIFERY). (OBSTETRICS and MIDWIFERY). ~ [Manuscript treatise. France: ?vicinity of Marseille, later nineteenth century].
    A substantial unpublished manuscript practical treatise on obstetrics and midwifery. 39 headings (most with numerous subheadings) plus several further sections towards the end where spaces… (more)

    A substantial unpublished manuscript practical treatise on obstetrics and midwifery. 39 headings (most with numerous subheadings) plus several further sections towards the end where spaces have been left for formal headings not completed (for the full list of contents see below). An entirely practical treatise, probably intended as a course of instruction for midwives, it opens with a statement of ‘Les qualités d’une Sage femme’ covering both the physical and temperamental requirements of the calling (’Qualités physiques’ and ‘Qualités morales’). Throughout this carefully prepared and presented text are found numerous references to authors of the published corpus of European works in obstetrics including the works of: [Marie-Louise] Lachapelle [1769-1821]; [Jean-Louis] Baudelocque [1746-1810]; [Franz] Naegele [1778-1851]; Madame Meyer [?] and [Antoine Louis] Dugès [1797-1838] among several others. It thus presents an interesting case study in the dissemination and reception of medical knowledge in a practical context beyond the context of formal printed texts.

    Les qualités d’une Sage femme
    Accouchement
    Bassin en Général
    Excavation
    Detroit Infèrieur
    Articulations du Bassin
    La tête du foetus à terme
    Appareil de Copulation
    Vagin
    Appareil de Germination
    Apareil de Gestation
    Changements que l’Utérus eprouve pendant les divers Mois de la Grossesse
    Déplacements de l’utérus
    Renversement de l’utérus
    Divisions de l’Abdomen
    Developpement des annexes du foetus
    Membranes propres à l’Oeuf
    Placenta
    Le Cordon ombilical
    Developpement du foetus
    Fonction du foetus
    Circulation foetale
    Changements que la circulation eprouve pendant les divers Mois de la grossesse
    Changements que la circulation foetale eprouve pendant le travail de l’Accouchement
    Changements que la circulation foetale eprouve après la Naissance
    De la Grossesse (with a series of direct and indirect diagnoses)
    Grossesse Géméllaire
    Grossesse-extra-uterine
    Accouchement
    Sécrétion du lait
    Présentations du Foetus
    Positions de la Présentation du Vertex
    Présentation de la Face
    Présentation du Pelvis
    Description du Forceps
    Avortement
    Hémorrage Produite par Implantation Anomale du Placenta
    Invertie Utérine
    Eclampsie ou Convulsion

    Joseph Rounard is listed at the address in Marseille’s Place d’Orléans from the later 1840s.

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  • John Bull, makeing a Naval Enqury [sic]. by [DUNDAS, Henry]. [WILLIAMS, Charles]. [DUNDAS, Henry]. [WILLIAMS, Charles]. ~ John Bull, makeing a Naval Enqury [sic]. London: S. W. Fores, April 1 1805.
    An April 1 satire on Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, who was accused of appropriating funds for non-naval purposes during his tenure as Lord of… (more)

    An April 1 satire on Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, who was accused of appropriating funds for non-naval purposes during his tenure as Lord of the Admiralty. His trial was a sensation and attracted a huge audience in Westminster Hall. In this print, when interrogated by John Bull in naval dress, he replies simply: ‘Indeed Mr Bull - I knaw nae more aboot it - than Johnny Groat o'the Highlands.’ The satire is revealing of the prevailing anti-Scottish sentiment provoked by the case.

    Fores’s imprint advertises ‘Folios of Caracatures lent out for the Evening'.

    Dundas was the most prominent Scottish politician of his era and instrumental in the progress of the Scottish Enlightenment. He is commemorated by one of the most prominent memorials in Edinburgh, the column and statue in St. Andrew’s Square. His commemoration is contentious — Dundas having effectively delayed the abolition of slavery for several years. BM Satires, 10381.

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  • [Embroidered sampler]. by PREEST, Emma. PREEST, Emma. ~ [Embroidered sampler]. [Gloucestershire, July 20 1847.
    ‘Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit / Death how certain Death how sur[e] / Sin the wound. And Christ the cure’. ‘Emma. Preest. Her… (more)

    ‘Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit / Death how certain Death how sur[e] / Sin the wound. And Christ the cure’. ‘Emma. Preest. Her work / Tuts Hill House / July. 20. 1847 Aged /12. Years. Old’.

    Emma Preest is possibly the Emma born on the 8th June 1835 at Bream Eaves, Gloucestershire and baptised in the Wesleyan chapel at Monmouth — certainly that would accord with her given age (12) in 1847 when she made this sampler. The identity of Tuts Hill house is not straightforward, there having been two houses so named in the vicinity of Tidenham, Chepstow. We can find no pictorial evidence of either of them as a three-storey, four bay house as in Emma’s depiction, and no Preest family associated with either. But if one accepts the likelihood of Emma being Gloucestershire born, both houses would have been some ten miles from her birthplace, suggesting the possibility she entered service at one of them at the age of 12 (quite possible) and that this may have been an ‘apprentice’ piece. Young girls were taught this kind of sewing not so much as a primer in reading (still less writing) as in household needleork and linen labelling.

    The verse is a variation of a popular gravestone epitaph: ‘Life is uncertain, death is sure, Sin the wound, and Christ the cure. If we have correctly identified Emma Preest, she married in 1854, had several children and emigrated with her family after 1870 and died in 1915 at Shawnee, Perry County, Ohio, USA, aged 80.

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  • Victoria the good Queen and Empress. by (QUEEN VICTORIA). [BULLEY, Eleanor A.]. (QUEEN VICTORIA). [BULLEY, Eleanor A.]. ~ Victoria the good Queen and Empress. London: Gardner, Darton & Co, 1897.
    First edition of this diminutive near-miniature tribute to Queen Victoria ‘Dedicated to Children in all Places of Her Imperial Majesty’s Dominions’. (more)

    First edition of this diminutive near-miniature tribute to Queen Victoria ‘Dedicated to Children in all Places of Her Imperial Majesty’s Dominions’.

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  • [Embroidered sampler. by FULTON, Anna. FULTON, Anna. ~ [Embroidered sampler. British Isles. [ 1827].
    Alphabet (upper and lower case), several decorative lines and two verses: ‘Is there ambition in my heart / search gracious God and see...’ [Isaac Watts]… (more)

    Alphabet (upper and lower case), several decorative lines and two verses: ‘Is there ambition in my heart / search gracious God and see...’ [Isaac Watts] and ‘Teach me to live / that I may dread/ the grave as little / as my bed // Teach me to die ‘ that so I may / with joy behold /the judgement day’ [Thomas Ken, and later sued by Thomas Hardy in Jude the Obscure]. Needlework samplers remain one of the most widespread manifestations of the teaching and learning of basic literacy among girls and young women and, as here, reflect a strongly moralistic background.

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  • for the Year 1386. Transcribed, verbatim, from the original antique illuminated Manuscript in the Black Letter. Omitting only the monthly Calendars and some of the Tables. Containing many curious Particulars, illustrative of the Astronomy, Astrology, Chronology, History, religious Tenets, and Theory and Practice of Medicine of that Age. by ALMANAC ALMANAC ~ for the Year 1386. Transcribed, verbatim, from the original antique illuminated Manuscript in the Black Letter. Omitting only the monthly Calendars and some of the Tables. Containing many curious Particulars, illustrative of the Astronomy, Astrology, Chronology, History, religious Tenets, and Theory and Practice of Medicine of that Age. ‘Printed for the Proprietor, by C. Stower Hackney, 1812.
    First edition, apparently transcribed from a genuine Middle English original. The title-page notes: ‘The Manuscript to be disposed of. – Apply to the Printer’. pp.… (more)

    First edition, apparently transcribed from a genuine Middle English original. The title-page notes: ‘The Manuscript to be disposed of. – Apply to the Printer’. pp. 61-70 is an ‘Astronomical and Astrological Appendix’ from a work published in 1647. Caleb Stower (d. 1816) was an interesting and prolific printer with Unitarian connections.

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  • Historical Sketch of the Parish of Davington in the County of Kent and of the Priory there dedicated to S. Mary Magdalene. With appendices and plates. by WILLEMENT, Thomas. WILLEMENT, Thomas. ~ Historical Sketch of the Parish of Davington in the County of Kent and of the Priory there dedicated to S. Mary Magdalene. With appendices and plates. London: Basil Montagu Pickering, 1862.
    First edition, one of 250 copies (of a total edition of 280). Thomas Willement was one of the pioneers of the nineteenth-century gothic revival. He… (more)

    First edition, one of 250 copies (of a total edition of 280). Thomas Willement was one of the pioneers of the nineteenth-century gothic revival. He worked alongside his better-known contemporary Pugin on several projects, but never very happily: Pugin later (unfairly) accused Willement of being only interested in money. Willement is perhaps best known for his stained glass in the medieval style (St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Hampton Court, Barbados cathedral). Davington priory (acquired by him in 1845) was an exercise in the complete medieval revival of a much altered priory house and church, involving polychromatic painted decoration, stained glass, and designs for encaustic tiles, together with purchases of furniture and fittings. Much of the work described in the Historical Sketch remains intact. 250 copies of this descriptive publication were printed on ‘foolscap quarto’ paper, with a further 30 copies on tinted ‘crown quarto’.

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  • Recueil des Combats de Duguay-Trouin [Les campagnes de Duguay-Trouin]. by DU GUAY-TROUIN, René. DU GUAY-TROUIN, René. ~ Recueil des Combats de Duguay-Trouin [Les campagnes de Duguay-Trouin]. Paris: sold by ‘le Sieur le Gouaz Graveur rue des Noyers, la seconde porte cochere à droit, en entrant par la rue St. Jacques, [n.d., c. 1760-70].
    First edition of this graphic companion to the life of the great French corsair captain Du Guay-Trouin, and specifically to the Memoires (Amsterdam, 1740), for… (more)

    First edition of this graphic companion to the life of the great French corsair captain Du Guay-Trouin, and specifically to the Memoires (Amsterdam, 1740), for the use of young mariners who are urged to examine and draw copies of the detailed engravings. The work includes a précis of his exploits (the text also engraved) a glossary of marine terms.

    Besides the two maps, the engraving is the work of the remarkable Ozanne family: Nicolas (or Nicolas-Marie) and his sister, Jeanne Françoise, whose names appear as artist and engraver respectively at the foot of the title plate. Hailing from Brest, the young Nicolas (1728-1811) had begun a career as a naval artist when his father died, leaving him responsible for three siblings (a brother and two sisters) all of whom he enlisted as contributors to his business. He rose to some prominence and was named as a royal ‘dessinateur de la marine’ in 1757, still assisted by his siblings. Jeanne François (1735-95) seems to have been the most active of these, and is named as engraver in several other collections and single plates besides this one, usually marine prints.

    Duguay-Trouin is remembered as one of the greatest French naval commanders. In 1704-1705 he commanded the ship Jason and captured the British ships of the line HMS Elizabeth and HMS Coventry; then on 21 October 1707, together with Claude de Forbin, he achieved his greatest victory against a British squadron, in the Battle at the Lizard (part of the War of the Spanish Succession); in 1709 he captured the British ship of the line HMS Bristol, while the triumph of his career came on 21 September 1711, in an 11-day battle, where he captured Rio de Janeiro, then believed impregnable. The two double-page maps (both signed ‘Drouet’) depict his battles around the French and British Coasts and his capture of Rio. Une famille d’artistes brestois au XVIIIe siècle: les Ozanne, Charles Auffret (Rennes, 1891). Borba de Moraes, p. 273; Bosch 244; Polak 7235; Rodrigues 908; not in Sabin.

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  • A Desert - Imitation of modern Fashion! by [HEATH, William]. [HEATH, William]. ~ A Desert - Imitation of modern Fashion! London: Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, [c.1825-30].
    A wonderful satire on contemporary women’s fashion. The 1820s had seen considerable change in women’s fashions, with neoclassical straight lines and sparse adornments giving way… (more)

    A wonderful satire on contemporary women’s fashion. The 1820s had seen considerable change in women’s fashions, with neoclassical straight lines and sparse adornments giving way to a more exhuberant and romantic style with more emphasis on curvaceous shapes, cheekily satirised here with wine glass and fruit. BM Satires 15611.

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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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  • Réglement militaire pour le maniement des armes et pour les evolutions de l’Infanterie de S.M. le Roi de Sardaigne, dans le quel se trouvent inserées les dernières Rémarques qu’on a envoïé aux Régimens le 21. Avril 1753. Première partie pour l’exercice, et autres manoeuvres [Seconde partie qui contient Evolutions et autres manoeuvres]. by (MILITARY). BOGIN, comte. (MILITARY). BOGIN, comte. ~ Réglement militaire pour le maniement des armes et pour les evolutions de l’Infanterie de S.M. le Roi de Sardaigne, dans le quel se trouvent inserées les dernières Rémarques qu’on a envoïé aux Régimens le 21. Avril 1753. Première partie pour l’exercice, et autres manoeuvres [Seconde partie qui contient Evolutions et autres manoeuvres]. [?Savoy, 1753 or soon after].
    An extensive military manuscript, unpublished in print, consisting of order issues by the Savoyard minister of war, comte Bogin in 1752-3, setting out detailed procedures… (more)

    An extensive military manuscript, unpublished in print, consisting of order issues by the Savoyard minister of war, comte Bogin in 1752-3, setting out detailed procedures for ordering, drilling and manoeuvring in the infantry regiments of the armies of the King of Sardinia, Charles Emmanuel III. Presumably a contemporary copy of orders sent out to the regiments themselves, each part ends with the dated subscription (in copy) of Bogin at Turin. The manuscript is highly detailed, with 43 chapters across the two parts, covering rifle exercise (including bayonets), flag bearing, drilling, marching, battle formations and the conduct of firing in battle. The mid-eighteenth century Savoyard/Sardinian armies counted over 30 infantry regiments among their forces.

    The island of Sardinia had been ceded in 1720 by the Habsburg and Bourbon claimants of the Spanish throne to the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus II. The Savoyards united it with their historical possessions on the Italian mainland, while the monarchs of the House of Savoy ruled from their mainland capital of Turin, but styled themselves primarily with the royal title of Sardinia, ‘rois de Sardaigne’, as superior to their original lesser dignity as Dukes of Savoy.

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  • Physiologie de l’homme marié … Illustrations de Marckl. by [PHYSIOLOGIES]. KOCK, Paul de. [PHYSIOLOGIES]. KOCK, Paul de. ~ Physiologie de l’homme marié … Illustrations de Marckl. Paris: Jules Laisné … Aubert et Cie … Lavigne … 1842.
    A nice collection of eleven physiologies, one of the many such little books illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for… (more)

    A nice collection of eleven physiologies, one of the many such little books illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a series of small illustrated volumes marketed under the general title of physiologies [looking back, perhaps, to Brillat-Savarin’s bestselling Physiologie du goût (1826) and Balzac’s Physiologie du marriage (1830)]. Some 120 different physiologies were issued by various Parisian publishers between 1840 and 1842 (ranging alphabetically from the Physiologie de l’amant to the Physiologie du voyageur), and it is estimated that approximately half a million copies of these pocket-sized books were printed during the same two-year span’ (Sieburth, p. 163).

    Designed for mass consumption, these satirical guides to particular social types were based on ‘the witty interaction of image and text, drawing and caption, seeing and reading … Byproducts of the recent technological advances in printing and paper manufacturing which had made illustrated books more commercially feasible and analogous to the various dioramas and panoramas which enjoyed a considerable popularity during the period, these illustrated anthologies of urban sites and mores catered to the public’s desire to see its social space as a stage or gallery whose intelligibility was guaranteed both by its visibility as image and its legibility as text …

    ‘Quickly produced and marketed, consumed and discarded, … the physiologies (like the sensational tabloids or canards hawked on Paris streetcorners of the period) are early instances of the cheap, throwaway “instant book” whose appeal lies in its very topicality and ephemerality’ (op. cit., pp. 165–7).

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