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

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

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

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

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

    Becker, Practice of Letters, Hofer collection.

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

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

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

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  • Wensley-dale; or, Rural Contemplations: a Poem... The third Edition. by [MAUDE, Thomas]. [MAUDE, Thomas]. ~ Wensley-dale; or, Rural Contemplations: a Poem... The third Edition. London: Printed by James Dixwell... Published for the Benefit of the General Infirmary at Leeds; and sold by T. Davies... J. Dodsley... B. White... J. Robson... and J. Walter... 1780.
    Third edition (first 1771). Maude’s best-known work and a very popular poem, according to Aubin, who quotes from it extensively. The preface contains ‘his well… (more)

    Third edition (first 1771). Maude’s best-known work and a very popular poem, according to Aubin, who quotes from it extensively. The preface contains ‘his well considered observations on the nature of descriptive poetry... Like Crabbe, Maude fully realizes that the English bumpkin is too greatly harassed by cares to be the ideal poetic rustic.’ Jackson, p. 84. It occupies a curious place in the canon of works about Isaac Newton: apart from the plate depicting Newton’s paternal home, it represents the sole source for an oft-repeated anecdote of Newton’s rebuke to his pet dog Diamond (’Oh Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest the mischief done’) for upsetting a candle and burning his papers (Gjertsen, The Newton Handbook, p. 177). The anecdote is almost certainly apocryphal. Aubin, pp. 367; Jackson p, 84.

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  • Imposture detected, and the Dead vindicated: in a Letter to a Friend. Containing some gentle Strictures on the false and libellous Harangue, lately delivered by Mr John Wesley... by (WESLEY). HILL, Rowland. (WESLEY). HILL, Rowland. ~ Imposture detected, and the Dead vindicated: in a Letter to a Friend. Containing some gentle Strictures on the false and libellous Harangue, lately delivered by Mr John Wesley... London: for T. Vallance; sold also by G. Keith; and J. Mathews, 1777.
    First edition, rare. John Wesley had delivered a sermon at the laying of the foundation stone of the Methodist mother church in City Road in… (more)

    First edition, rare. John Wesley had delivered a sermon at the laying of the foundation stone of the Methodist mother church in City Road in April 1777. In this critical pamphlet the ‘gentle Strictures’ promised by evangelical preacher Hill on the title-page turn out to be vitriolic criticisms of Wesley laid out in 37 chapters, attacking his self-centred address. Chapter 31 takes issue with Wesley’s perfidy in his perceived encouragement of the American revolution in Free Thoughts on the Present State of Public Affairs, in which he had stated the the British government’s attitude towards the Americans’ could no longer be defended. ESTC: UK: Birmingham, BL, Congregational Library, Rylands (3 copies), US: SMU and Wesley Theological Seminary.

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  • Remarks on the Speech of M. Dupont, made in the National Convention of France, on the Subjects of Religion and public Education... by MORE, Hannah. MORE, Hannah. ~ Remarks on the Speech of M. Dupont, made in the National Convention of France, on the Subjects of Religion and public Education... London: Printed for T. Cadell... 1793.
    First edition. Jacques Dupont, a member of the French Convention, had delivered a violently anticlerical speech in December 1792, the text of which had been… (more)

    First edition. Jacques Dupont, a member of the French Convention, had delivered a violently anticlerical speech in December 1792, the text of which had been circulated in an English pamphlet. The title verso reads: ‘The Profits of this Publication are to be given to the French Emigrant Clergy...’

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  • Venus attiring the Graces. Addressed to ---- by (VENUS). (VENUS). ~ Venus attiring the Graces. Addressed to ---- London: Printed for J. Dodsley. 1777.
    First edition. An elegant anonymous satire on fashionable dress for women, directed especially against the painful pursuit of an artificial figure: ‘Come here, you two… (more)

    First edition. An elegant anonymous satire on fashionable dress for women, directed especially against the painful pursuit of an artificial figure: ‘Come here, you two girls, that look full in my face, / And you that so often are turning your back [the Graces], / Put on these cork rumps, and then tighten your stays / ‘Till your hips, and your ribs, and the strings themselves crack. / Can ye speak? can ye breathe? - Not a word - Then ‘twill do. / You have often dress’d me, and for once I’ll dress you.’ Jackson, p. 59.

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  • Goldsmith. An Almanack for the Year of our Lord God, M.DCC.XCI.... Calculated by John Goldsmith. by (ALMANAC). (ALMANAC). ~ Goldsmith. An Almanack for the Year of our Lord God, M.DCC.XCI.... Calculated by John Goldsmith. London: printed for the Company of Stationers, and sold by Robert Horsfield, at their Hall, [ 1791].
    In a handsome Georgian binding. Among the more recent ‘Remarkable Events’: ‘George III. went to St. Paul’s to return thanks for his recovery from his… (more)

    In a handsome Georgian binding. Among the more recent ‘Remarkable Events’: ‘George III. went to St. Paul’s to return thanks for his recovery from his alarming illness, April 23 1789.’ Goldsmith miniature almanacks for the years 1681-1840 are listed in Welsh 3090-3094. ESTC: BL and University of Kansas of this issue.

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  • Chronique des rois d’Angleterre, Ecrite en anglois selon le stile des anciens historiens juifs, par Nathan ben Saddi, prêtre de la même nation; et traduite en François dans le meme stile. by [DODSLEY, Robert. FOUGERET de Monbron, Louis Charles, translator.] [DODSLEY, Robert. FOUGERET de Monbron, Louis Charles, translator.] ~ Chronique des rois d’Angleterre, Ecrite en anglois selon le stile des anciens historiens juifs, par Nathan ben Saddi, prêtre de la même nation; et traduite en François dans le meme stile. ‘Londres: chez Th. Cooper au Globe, dans Pater-noster-Row’, 1743.
    Probably the first edition in French—one of several issues of the same year with the same pagination but differing title ornaments. First published in 1740… (more)

    Probably the first edition in French—one of several issues of the same year with the same pagination but differing title ornaments. First published in 1740 as The Chronicle of the Kings of England under the pseudonym of Nathan Ben Saddi, Dodsley here displayed his egalitarian leanings with this rewriting of English history in the style of the King James Version of the Old Testament Pentateuch. The imprint is false and it is unlikely that the French editions were actually printed in London. In this issue the engraved vignette on the title-page is a frame with a pedestal upon which are a spear, a shield, laurel wreaths and an owl, there are several variants, as enumerated in the ESTC. Rochedieu, p. 88 (noting issues with both Londres and Amsterdam imprints).

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  • Contes pour les Bibliophiles. by UZANNE, Octave and Albert ROBIDA. 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 contempories 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.

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  • A letter from the Reverend Mr **** **** to A**** D****, Esq. by (ROMAINE, William). (ROMAINE, William). ~ A letter from the Reverend Mr **** **** to A**** D****, Esq. [London?]: Prnited [sic] in the year, 1772.
    Sole edition. ‘And Enoch walked with God. Gen. V. 24.’ Apparently by an anonymous follower of the evangelical Church of England preacher, William Romaine —… (more)

    Sole edition. ‘And Enoch walked with God. Gen. V. 24.’ Apparently by an anonymous follower of the evangelical Church of England preacher, William Romaine — a spiritual meditation occasioned by a daily walk — a trope clearly derived from Romaine’s spiritual classic The Walk of Faith (1771), a work recommended in a postscript here: ‘Reader, if the perusal of this letter has been profitable unto you, and you desire to be further instructed how to live by Faith, and walk humbly and happily with your God, ---- I would recommend to you a Treatise of the Life of Faith, and one of the Walk of Faith; both by the Rev. Romaine Rector of St. Ann Blackfriars...’

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  • The Commercial Year Book of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce (with which is incorporated Kingstown) with classified Trade Indices in English, French, Russian, and Spanish and Trade Mark Section. [KING IRVINE, R. editor]. by (DUBLIN). (DUBLIN). ~ The Commercial Year Book of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce (with which is incorporated Kingstown) with classified Trade Indices in English, French, Russian, and Spanish and Trade Mark Section. [KING IRVINE, R. editor]. London and Derby: Bemrose & Sons Limited, 1917.
    First and only edition, issued the year after the Easter Rising, showing hundreds of Dublin businesses seeking exports all over the world. Among the many… (more)

    First and only edition, issued the year after the Easter Rising, showing hundreds of Dublin businesses seeking exports all over the world. Among the many listings and advertisements for brewers, distillers, foundries, printers, publishers, linen manufacturers, shipyards, engineers and so on, are found two one-third page adverts for the Yeats sisters’ Cuala Industries and the Dun Emer Guild. The two firms had been founded under the Dun Emer name by Elizabeth and Lily Yeats in 1902 producing Arts and Crafts printing, embroidery, rugs and tapestry, before dividing in 1904. The Cuala advert shows the Yeats’s Churchtown bungalow and reads: ‘Embroidery—Lily Yeats. Hand Press—Elizabeth C. Yeats. Editor of the Press—W.B. Yeats.’ The Dun Emer advert shows a woman working at a loom and offers ‘Hand-woven Carpets & Tapestries, Embroideries, Enamels, Bookbinding’.

    There are also historical and topographical accounts of the city. This was the first appearance of the Dublin Year Book and it was apparently not reprinted. Scarce. Worldcat lists US copies at NYPL, Illinois, Kansas, Chapel Hill and South Carolina. We also find copies at the University of Cork, UCD, LSE and BL.

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  • Bookcraft Thesis. Leather. by (BOOKBINDING). [FULLAGER, A.] (BOOKBINDING). [FULLAGER, A.] ~ Bookcraft Thesis. Leather. [England, c. 1950s].
    A very neatly presented elementary project on leather production and its use in craft bookbinding, with useful samples illustrating the different characters and textures of… (more)

    A very neatly presented elementary project on leather production and its use in craft bookbinding, with useful samples illustrating the different characters and textures of goat, sheep and calf, and the nature of morocco. There are also colour samples and some examples of elementary lettering and tooling (presumably by the author) who was probably a student at a British technical college. There are two samples of eighteenth century book covers and a nice drawing of the binding of the seventh century Stoneyhurst/St Cuthbert Gospel, the earliest intact European bookbinding.

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  • [Pedigrees of the most famous families of Belgium. by (POWELL, David, owner and compiler). (POWELL, David, owner and compiler). ~ [Pedigrees of the most famous families of Belgium. Low Countires, sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, with later additions].
    An elaborate antiquarian collection containing 19 large double-page armorials, apparently of the sixteenth century of the major families of Belgium, including Beaufort, Berghes, Egmont, Hornes,… (more)

    An elaborate antiquarian collection containing 19 large double-page armorials, apparently of the sixteenth century of the major families of Belgium, including Beaufort, Berghes, Egmont, Hornes, Lalain, Luzembourg, St. Aldegond, and including a number of members of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Each of these armorials bears detailed contemporary genealogies to their versos. These have been conserved by the British antiquary David Powell (?1772-1848) with other early genealogical material, his own notes and four large drawings of related stained glass, including a large window from the church of Notre Dame du Sablon (Brussels) and another in the hands of ‘Mr Whatson an eminent glazier Hanway Yard Oxford Street’ in 1816.

    Born in Tottenham, Powell became a Lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons; he left a manuscript account of his 1794 experiences in Cork, Flanders and Brabant. He later entered Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving a B.C.L. in June 1805. He spent much of the rest of his life making heraldic and genealogical collections, and touring England and Wales to make watercolour sketches of churches and manor houses in over forty counties. He died in 1848, and his library was sold by Puttick & Simpson over three days. Many of Powell's manuscripts are now in the British Library.

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  • [De inventoribus rerum. In English]. An Abridgeme[n]t of the notable Worke of Polidore Vergile conteygnyng the Deuisers and first Finders out aswell of Artes, Ministeries, Feactes & ciuill Ordinaunces, as of Rites, & Ceremonies, commonly vsed in the Churche: and the originall Beginnyng of the Same. Compe[n]diousely gathered by Thomas Langley. by VERGIL, Polydore. VERGIL, Polydore. ~ [De inventoribus rerum. In English]. An Abridgeme[n]t of the notable Worke of Polidore Vergile conteygnyng the Deuisers and first Finders out aswell of Artes, Ministeries, Feactes & ciuill Ordinaunces, as of Rites, & Ceremonies, commonly vsed in the Churche: and the originall Beginnyng of the Same. Compe[n]diousely gathered by Thomas Langley. ‘Imprinted at London within the precincte of the late dissolved house of the grey Friers, by Richarde Grafton printer to the Princis grace, the.xxv. daie of Ianuarie, the yere of our Lorde, M.D.XLVI’. [ 1546].
    First edition in English, very rare, of this celebrated treatise on inventions and origins, including accounts of the invention of printing, theatre, mathematics, medicine, magic,… (more)

    First edition in English, very rare, of this celebrated treatise on inventions and origins, including accounts of the invention of printing, theatre, mathematics, medicine, magic, religion, law, government (as well as prostitution and warm baths). First published in Latin in 1499 (Venice) and augmented in 1521, it digested a huge mass of classical, biblical and contemporary learning and became a Renaissance bestseller. As many as 30 Latin editions alone appeared before the author’s death in 1555. The English translation, an abridgement by Thomas Langley, did not appear until 1546, by which time the Urbino-born Polydore had been resident in England for several decades. A diplomat, scholar and historian, Vergil counted Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Cuthbert Tunstall, Thomas Linacre and Baldessare Castiglione among his acquaintances and correspondents.

    Issued no less than three times in 1546, this English edition is remarkably rare. We can find only this copy at auction in the last 50 years. The work is divided into eight books, from which Langley makes succinct abridgements, of which a selection of chapter headings gives a flavour:

    I. 9. ‘The begynnyng of Tragedies, Comedies, Satyres, and newe Comedies; 11. ‘Who founde Musyke’; 12. ‘Who found Musicall instruments’; 14. ‘Astrologie’; 15. ‘Who fonde Geometrie, Artihmetike’; 16. ‘Physike’; 17. ‘The inventours of herbes medicinable’; 18. ‘The beginnyng of Magike’; 19. ‘Two kyndes of divination’.

    II. 1. ‘The originall of lawes’; 2. ‘Who ordeyned the first gouvernaunces’; 6. ‘Who set furth books fyrst, or made a library, Printyng, paper, parchement, arte of memory’ (which includes the observation: ’Truely the com[m]odite of liberaries is right profitable & necessary, but in co[m]parison of the crafte of printyng it is nothyng, both because one ma[n] may printe more in one day, then many men in many years could wryte: And also it preserveth both Greke & Latine auctours fro the dau[n]ger of corruption. It was found in Germany at Mogunce [Mainz] by one J. Guthenbergus a knight, he found moreover the Inke by his devise that printers used...)’

    Among other entries we find treatments of: war, Olympiades, plays, metals, coins, painting, ‘wyne, oyle, honye, chese, and strange trees broughte into Italy’, labyrinths, theatres, prostitution and brothels, and Christian and Moslem origins and customs.

    Provenance: Sotheby’s, June 14th, 1965, lot 231 (Traylen, £55); Blackwell, Centenary Catalogue, 1979, item 27, £450; private collection. STC 24654. STC lists two other printings of the same year: 24655 (another edition, reset, with colophon dated 16 April) and 24656 (another issue, portions reset, with both title and colophon dated 16 April). In an article of 1888, John Ferguson suggested that these 16 April editions/issues preceded the 25 January edition, having old style dates in their imprints, but this sequence was not adopted by the editors of STC; John Ferguson, ‘Bibliographical Notes on the English Translation of Polydore Vergil’s work, De Inventoribus Rerum’, 1888, pp. 17 et seq.

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  • Avec les Alcooliques anonymes. by KESSEL, Joseph. KESSEL, Joseph. ~ Avec les Alcooliques anonymes. Paris: Gallimard, 1960.
    First edition.

    – Je m’appelle Frank T… et je suis un alcoolique.
    – Je m’appelle Elizabeth F… et je suis une alcoolique.

    The work which… (more)

    First edition.

    – Je m’appelle Frank T… et je suis un alcoolique.
    – Je m’appelle Elizabeth F… et je suis une alcoolique.

    The work which was instrumental in establishing Alcoholics Anonymous in France. A note following the title reads: ‘Les personnes quie seraient intéressées par les “Alcooliques anonymes” peuvent s’addresser aux ALCOOLIQUES ANONYMES, groupe des Paris, 65, quai d’Orsay’ [the Amercian Church in Paris, still a meeting point for the organisation].

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  • ou la Jeu à la mode. by LE DIABLE COULEUR DE ROSE LE DIABLE COULEUR DE ROSE ~ ou la Jeu à la mode. Paris: Chez Janet, [ 1812 or 1813].
    First edition of the first French book on the diabolo or devil sticks, and thus probably the first European book on the subject. The diabolo… (more)

    First edition of the first French book on the diabolo or devil sticks, and thus probably the first European book on the subject. The diabolo craze swept Paris in 1812, all the illustrations here are of young men and women at play with this juggling toy. Besides the first two chansons, on a diabolo theme the texts here are typical of other contemporary almanacs, and the last 14 pages contain an almanac for 1813. Derived from an ancient Chinese toy it was the French who first embraced it as a fashionable activity in the early nineteenth century.

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  • Librairie pour la Jeunesse. En vente ici. Superbes livres d’Etrennes illustrés. by (JUVENILE). RIGAUD, Amable, publisher. (JUVENILE). RIGAUD, Amable, publisher. ~ Librairie pour la Jeunesse. En vente ici. Superbes livres d’Etrennes illustrés. Paris: Amable Rigaud, [c. 1860]
    A very rare publisher’s advert for children’s books, issued on behalf of Amable Rigaud (a pseudonym of children’s author and publisher Charles de Ribelle), publisher… (more)

    A very rare publisher’s advert for children’s books, issued on behalf of Amable Rigaud (a pseudonym of children’s author and publisher Charles de Ribelle), publisher at 50 rue Sainte Anne, Paris. Rigaud was prolific from around 1859 to 1880 and this fine lithograph appears to date from the early part of this period. It lists 15 different title all published around 1859-61 including Histoire des siècles. Des Découvertes et inventions, Livre des jeunes personnes vertueuses, Le grand Alphabet pittoresque de la jeunesse, Le Monde et se merveilles and Histoire des animaux célèbres. Born in 1810 Ribelle had also founded a juvenile magazine Journal des enfants.

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

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

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  • [Calligraphic certificate]. by BECK, Julia, artist and calligrapher. Isabelle BOGELOT and Lady ABERDEEN. BECK, Julia, artist and calligrapher. Isabelle BOGELOT and Lady ABERDEEN. ~ [Calligraphic certificate]. Paris, 1922.
    A calligraphic certificate by Julia Beck, being the copy of a letter of 8 June 1914 sent by a leader of the women’s movement in… (more)

    A calligraphic certificate by Julia Beck, being the copy of a letter of 8 June 1914 sent by a leader of the women’s movement in France, Isabelle Bogelot to Canadian feminist, Lady Aberdeen endorsing the new book by Indiana feminist, May Wright-Sewell, entitled Genesis of the International Council of Women (1914). It was written on behalf of the Conseil National des femmes françaises.

    Calligrapher Julia Beck was born in Stockholm in 1853 and moved to Paris in 1883. She became one of the first female artists from her country to make a living through art alone. She is best-known for her landscape paintings in the Impressionist style, which were highly regarded in France and abroad, but she supported herself partly through commercial calligraphy, at which she excelled. She was a committed advocate for women artists.

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