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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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  • Monsieur Bille dans le tourmente. by VILLETARD, Pierre. Pierre Falké, illustrator. VILLETARD, Pierre. Pierre Falké, illustrator. ~ Monsieur Bille dans le tourmente. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [ 1925].
    Number 2 of 15 copies. (more)

    Number 2 of 15 copies.

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  • Une Honnête Femme. by BOURDEAUX, Henry. Paul BAUDIER, illustrator. BOURDEAUX, Henry. Paul BAUDIER, illustrator. ~ Une Honnête Femme. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [ 1925].
    Number 2 of 15 copies with the additional suite on chine. (more)

    Number 2 of 15 copies with the additional suite on chine.

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  • L’Inconstante. by HOUVILLE, Gérard d’. Gérard COCHET, illustrator. HOUVILLE, Gérard d’. Gérard COCHET, illustrator. ~ L’Inconstante. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [ 1925].
    Number 2 of 11 copies. (more)

    Number 2 of 11 copies.

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  • Tractatus de Epitaphiis auctore R. P. Francisco Proficio è Societate Iesu. by PROFICIO, Francisco. PROFICIO, Francisco. ~ Tractatus de Epitaphiis auctore R. P. Francisco Proficio è Societate Iesu. [Northern Italy, c 1600].
    A treatise onclassical Latin epitaphs by an Italian Jesuit. Its chapters include a key to common abbreviations (HSE: Hic sepultus est, here is buried; STTL:… (more)

    A treatise onclassical Latin epitaphs by an Italian Jesuit. Its chapters include a key to common abbreviations (HSE: Hic sepultus est, here is buried; STTL: Sit Tibi Terra Levis, May the earth rest lightly upon you; HFC: heres faciendum curavit, their heir had [the tombstone] made, etc) and there follow a series of accounts of epitaphs for particular contexts: parents, children, men, women, mothers, spouses and even animals. Another considers satirical epitaphs: ‘salsis et ridiculis’. Of Proficio we have been unable to discover anything more; Tractatus de Epitaphiis was apparently not published in print but another manuscript copy is held by the Biblioteca nazionale Braidense in Milan (dateable to before 1625).

    Our copy is almost certainly the Baldassare Boncampagni copy (item 454 in his 1892 catalogue, and 409 in the 1862 edition), described as ‘legato in pergamena ornata di dorature e stemma d. C. de G’. That catalogue gives 55 leaves (rather than 66) an error found also in the old pencil manuscript foliation of the last leaf of the manuscript marked ‘55’ recte 66, but the dimensions given in the catalogue also correspond precisely. Prince Baldassarre Boncompagni-Ludovisi (10 May 1821 – 13 April 1894), was an Italian historian of mathematics and aristocrat. His library contained some 650 manuscripts and 20,000 printed works and was sold in Rome in 1898. Parts of the manuscript collection are now held by the Universitetsbibliotek (Stockholm), Trinity College Library (Dublin), Cornell, as well as the Vatican library, Columbia (NY) and the Biblioteca Comunale in Treviso. Catalogo di manoscritti ora posseduti da D. Baldassare Boncompagni, Rome 1892.

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  • Cantique des Cantiques. by (SONG OF SONGS). [FAVRE, Jean-François]. (SONG OF SONGS). [FAVRE, Jean-François]. ~ Cantique des Cantiques. [Auvernier]: Atelier du Noir de vigne, 1956.
    First edition, one of 55 copies of a unique production, with the French text of the Song of Songs entirely in manuscript and 30 superb… (more)

    First edition, one of 55 copies of a unique production, with the French text of the Song of Songs entirely in manuscript and 30 superb eroticised plates by Jean-François Favre. The entire edition was evidently produced over several years — the Neuchatel copy (which also contains a duplicated explanation not present in our copy) is dated 1954, where ours is 1956. Swiss artist Favre was born in 1940, studied in Paris and spent several years in Polynesia and Guyana. His figures certainly owe something to Gaugin. Worldcat locates a 2 copies (Neuchatel Bibliotheque publique and an unspecified location).

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  • Ellen. by LORRAIN, Jean. LORRAIN, Jean. ~ Ellen. Paris: Pierre Douville, 1906.
    First edition. Ellen, one of Lorrain’s last substantial works tells the story of the final tragic months of a young English aristocrat, Ellen Horneby, sent… (more)

    First edition. Ellen, one of Lorrain’s last substantial works tells the story of the final tragic months of a young English aristocrat, Ellen Horneby, sent to the Riviera with her mother to recuperate from a mysterious illness. A love triangle ensues, in which Ellen is cruelly misunderstood. She presents the manuscript of an allegorical tale she has written to one of her suitors (her cousin) who fails to understand it and dismisses her with a kiss on the forehead. Devastated, Ellen throws herself to her death from her balcony. It is one of Lorrain’s least outlandish and most stylish creations, surely worthy of revival.

    Appended to the edition are three further short stories: Trains de Luxe, Monte-Carlo, Choses de Là-Bas et La Conquête de Paris

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  • Nicolas Nickleby... traduit de l’anglais par E. de La Bédollierre. by DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles. ~ Nicolas Nickleby... traduit de l’anglais par E. de La Bédollierre. [Paris: Fournier and Cosson for] G[ustave] B[arba], [ 1840].
    First edition in French of Nicholas Nickleby (1839) translated with an introduction by Émile de La Bédollierre. The four-and-a-half page Preface describes Dickens’s success in… (more)

    First edition in French of Nicholas Nickleby (1839) translated with an introduction by Émile de La Bédollierre. The four-and-a-half page Preface describes Dickens’s success in England and the undoubted success of Nickleby ‘un panorama de toutes les classes de la société anglaise, une critique fine et piquante de touts les ridicules, une vaste composition à la manière de Gil Blas, où mille personnages divers se meuvent et posent devant le lecteur’. It also explains, for a French audience, the character of schoolmaster Squeers as the representative of an entire class, not just himself.

    The copy retains the adverts (16 pages at the end of volume 3) giving a valuable context, with other English works from Scott and Marryat. It is also interesting as a ‘cabinet de lecture’ copy, from a public reading room in the rue Pigal[le], Paris, run by a M. Laporte, according to the contemporary pencil additions to the printed labels pasted over the imprints in each volume. The library wrappers are probably pasted over at least some of the original yellow wrappers. Rare: Worldcat locates copies at the British Library and Vassar College only. There is also a copy in the Bibliothèque nationale.

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  • Now we are Six... with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard. by MILNE, A. A. MILNE, A. A. ~ Now we are Six... with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard. London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1927].
    First edition, deluxe leather issue, signed by Milne on the title-page. Signed copies of any deluxe issues of the Pooh books are most uncommon, particularly… (more)

    First edition, deluxe leather issue, signed by Milne on the title-page. Signed copies of any deluxe issues of the Pooh books are most uncommon, particularly so in such neat and presentable condition as this. They are ironically much rarer than the signed limited editions. Provenance: from an English family collection, purchased before 1970.

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  • Aventures de Robinson Crusoé by (DEFOE). SAUVAGEOT. (DEFOE). SAUVAGEOT. ~ Aventures de Robinson Crusoé Paris: [text by Varigault, plates by Génix for] Arnauld de Vresse, [n.d. c. 1850].
    First edition. A rare unacknowledged Defoe adaptation for a juvenile audience, with Sauvageot’s abridged and moralised text in French and a superb series of brightly-coloured… (more)

    First edition. A rare unacknowledged Defoe adaptation for a juvenile audience, with Sauvageot’s abridged and moralised text in French and a superb series of brightly-coloured lithographs probably by Gustave Ricard (1823-1873). Worldcat locates a handful of copies in France, one in Berlin, but none further afield.

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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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  • [Embroidered sampler by PROCTOR, Emma Angelina. PROCTOR, Emma Angelina. ~ [Embroidered sampler British Isles] February 27 1878.
    A delightful woolwork sampler made by Emma Angelina Proctor at the the age of 11, with a single alphabet and numerous decorative animals, birds, flowers… (more)

    A delightful woolwork sampler made by Emma Angelina Proctor at the the age of 11, with a single alphabet and numerous decorative animals, birds, flowers and ornaments. Needlework samplers remain one of the most widespread manifestations of the teaching and learning of basic literacy among girls and young women

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  • The Story of Little Red Riding Hood’s Christmas]. by [GREENAWAY, Kate [GREENAWAY, Kate ~ The Story of Little Red Riding Hood’s Christmas]. [London:] Marcus Ward & Co, [before 1868].
    One of two versions of this early set, this one apparently issued as Christmas cards. Schuster & Engen, Kate Greenaway, 291. (more)

    One of two versions of this early set, this one apparently issued as Christmas cards. Schuster & Engen, Kate Greenaway, 291.

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  • Our Mutual Friend... with Illustrations by Marcus Stone. by DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles. ~ Our Mutual Friend... with Illustrations by Marcus Stone. London: [William Clowes and Sons for] Chapman and Hall, 1865.
    First edition, bound from the original parts. Our Mutual Friend originally appeared in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly parts, the last part forming a… (more)

    First edition, bound from the original parts. Our Mutual Friend originally appeared in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly parts, the last part forming a double number, from May 1864 - November 1865. The first volume was published in book form on January 20, 1865; the second on October 21, 1865. This copy contains all the original wrappers and adverts (some on different coloured papers). Hatton and Cleaver p.345-370; cf. Smith, Charles Dickens, I. 15.

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  • Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation. by DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles. ~ Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.
    First edition, bound from the parts, which had appeared from October 1846 to April 1848. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 227-250; cf. Smith, Charles Dickens, I,… (more)

    First edition, bound from the parts, which had appeared from October 1846 to April 1848. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 227-250; cf. Smith, Charles Dickens, I, 8.

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  • Bleak House... with illustrations by H.K. Browne. by DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles. ~ Bleak House... with illustrations by H.K. Browne. London: Bradbury and Evans, [ 1852-] 1853.
    First edition, bound from the original parts, the plates by Hablot Knight Browne including the ten ‘dark’ plates, merging meticulous engraved lines made by an… (more)

    First edition, bound from the original parts, the plates by Hablot Knight Browne including the ten ‘dark’ plates, merging meticulous engraved lines made by an engraving- or ruling-machine with the hand drawn lines of the etching needle to create an atmospheric mezzotint-like effect.

    Bleak House was Dickens’ ninth novel, published in monthly parts from March 1852 to September 1853. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 275-304; cf. Smith, Charles Dickens, I, 10.

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  • Shunjō Awase Kagami. by ‘IKKA-DO’ or ‘HENKADO INJINN’ [pseud.] ‘IKKA-DO’ or ‘HENKADO INJINN’ [pseud.] ~ Shunjō Awase Kagami. Ōsaka: [publisher not identifed], ca. late Edo to early Meiji period [ 1840-70s].
    An exceptionally rare near-miniature Japanese erotic book, clandestine and issued under a pseudonym, of which this is probably only the second recorded copy (the other… (more)

    An exceptionally rare near-miniature Japanese erotic book, clandestine and issued under a pseudonym, of which this is probably only the second recorded copy (the other apparently in the Wellcome Colection, but unlocated by us in their online cataogue). The thirteen erotic tales are describe the sexual encounters as though depicted in ‘infinity mirrors’, represented graphically in many of the illustrations here. Japanese books of this diminutive size and type rarely survive complete and intact. ‘The only copy known is in the library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London’, Peter Kornicki, The Book in Japan: A Cultural History (1998), p. 233n. We have been unable to locate any copy, including the Wellcome copy noted by Kornicki.

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  • Voyage autour de sa chambre... Illustrations de Henri Caruchet, gravées à l’eau-forte par Frédéric Massé... by UZANNE, Octave. Henri, CARUCHET, illustrator. UZANNE, Octave. Henri, CARUCHET, illustrator. ~ Voyage autour de sa chambre... Illustrations de Henri Caruchet, gravées à l’eau-forte par Frédéric Massé... Paris: H. Floury, pour les Bibliophiles indépéndants, ‘1896’ [but wrapper dated 1897 as called for].
    First edition, subscriber’s copy, number 77 of 210 copies, complete with a suite of cancelled plates in monochrome. A delicious bibliophilic production and one of… (more)

    First edition, subscriber’s copy, number 77 of 210 copies, complete with a suite of cancelled plates in monochrome. A delicious bibliophilic production and one of Octave Uzanne’s rarest books: the limitation noting: ‘Après tirage les cuivres ont été lacérés.’ The additional suite consists of the cancelled plates, in which central portions left blank for the overprinting of the text from other plates have been filled in with etched croquis, often humorous, of: fashionable women, a devil, a bat, a rat and so on. The two sets of original wrappers are preserved, one with the design by Henry Thiriet. Uzanne’s productions are the zenith of a certain strand of 1890s Parisian bibliophilia: with precision and exactitude of the latest printing techniques harnessed to produce a series of works of rare beauty.

    Caruchet’s illuminated borders are perfect examples of art nouveau’s decadent themes, though lightened throughout with delicate and elegant botanical forms.

    Uzannes’s text had first appeared in Le Calendrier de Vénus (page 127 à 150). Not in Carteret. Outside continental Europe, OCLC lists copies at the British Library (with one additional suite, as here) and Texas (with two additional suites). Uzanne is extensively discussed in Silverman’s excellent The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914 (Studies in Book and Print Culture, 2013).

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  • (BRONTE, Charlotte). ~ Jane Eyre ou les mémoires d'une gouvernante de Currer-Bell imité par Old-Nick. Paris: [Lahure for] Haceteete et c[ompan]ie, 1855.
    First edition of this rare early abridgement. A full translation by Mme Lesbazeilles-Souvestreunder the title Jeanne Eyre, ou les Memoires d'une institutrice had been printed… (more)

    First edition of this rare early abridgement. A full translation by Mme Lesbazeilles-Souvestreunder the title Jeanne Eyre, ou les Memoires d'une institutrice had been printed by Giraud in 1854 (2 vols), but this version by ‘Old Nick’, issued as part of the Bibliothèque des chemins de fer demonstrates the popularity of the work. Both versions are rare. Worldcat: Harvard and Princeton only in US.

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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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