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  • An album of 42 watercolours of plants and flowers. by (BOTANY). (BOTANY). ~ An album of 42 watercolours of plants and flowers. [Japan, late Edo period, i.e. mid nineteenth century].
    The naive but elegant watercolours here include ginger, eggplant, hot pepper, strawberry, mulberry, lily, carnation, marigold, vetch, hypericum and orchid. (more)

    The naive but elegant watercolours here include ginger, eggplant, hot pepper, strawberry, mulberry, lily, carnation, marigold, vetch, hypericum and orchid.

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  • ‘rollicking, risky, or more often frankly coarse’ - la vie quotidienne a paris
    Le Tourlourou. by KOCK, Charles Paul de. KOCK, Charles Paul de. ~ Le Tourlourou. Paris, 1837.
    A complete autograph manuscript of one of De Kock’s acutely observed novels of gritty Parisian life. In Le Tourlourou (1837) a young barmaid, Marie, is… (more)

    A complete autograph manuscript of one of De Kock’s acutely observed novels of gritty Parisian life. In Le Tourlourou (1837) a young barmaid, Marie, is the object of a strange case of mistaken relationship when a letter arrives from a countess seeking ‘l’objet de mes plus chères affections’. Marie assumes the letter refers to her, but when she finds out the Countess is merely asking after an item of lost property, she becomes distraught and throws herself into the Canal Saint-Martin. She is saved by a young man who has previously tried and failed to gain her affections, and the two are married.

    The Oxford Companion to French Literature describes De Kock (1794-1871) as ‘the prolific and immensely popular author of rollicking, risky, or more often frankly coarse, frequently sentimental and fundamentally good-natured novels.’ Certainly prolific, De Kock published over 100 novels, which attained worldwide celebrity in translation, especially in American and British collected editions (of which it is sometimes wryly noted that the prose was much improved by translation). This manuscript certainly gives the impression of rollicking speed; this is not a fair copy, and while there are many deletions and emendations, these do not seem to have detained the author for long.

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  • Trattato di Prospettiva Pratica di M. Giacomo Barozzi da Vgnola Con aggiunta di alcuni aut[ores] Disegnato et acqu[afort]o da Alesandro Bossi. by VIGNOLA, Giacomo Barozzi da. Alesandro BOSSI, copyist, editor and artist. VIGNOLA, Giacomo Barozzi da. Alesandro BOSSI, copyist, editor and artist. ~ Trattato di Prospettiva Pratica di M. Giacomo Barozzi da Vgnola Con aggiunta di alcuni aut[ores] Disegnato et acqu[afort]o da Alesandro Bossi. Novara. 1824.
    A handsome Romantic reinterpretation of Vignola’s classic Renaissance manual of perspective, Due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582, with many later editions). Elements of Vignola’s diagrams… (more)

    A handsome Romantic reinterpretation of Vignola’s classic Renaissance manual of perspective, Due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582, with many later editions). Elements of Vignola’s diagrams are adapted for the oblong format of the book an often updated with figures and buildings in contemporary style. Bossi, about who we have been able to discover almost nothing beyond this manuscript, also adds a fine sequence of 4 coloured illustrations depicting furniture designs in the French Empire style by Percier and 17 superb monochrome views and interiors, 13 of which are in a sequence with their own decorative title-page ‘Aggiunta di alcune prospettive ricavae da classici autori’

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  • autograph manuscript book by the author of Ourika
    Pensées de Louis XIV. by DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de. DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de. ~ Pensées de Louis XIV. Paris, 16 July 1825.
    An autograph manuscript of Claire Duras’s Pensées de Louis XIV; her first book, composed in March 1821, but not published in print until Didot’s small… (more)

    An autograph manuscript of Claire Duras’s Pensées de Louis XIV; her first book, composed in March 1821, but not published in print until Didot’s small edition of 1827 (very rare with OCLC recording the Bn copy only). Claire Duras is best known as the author of the novel Ourika (1824) famously recounting the true story of black slave girl brought up in France. Ourika, like the Pensées de Louis XIV, was first aired in her celebrated literary salon, described as ‘among the most brilliant of the Restoration period’ (Oxford Companion to French Literature). Duras was an important member of the circle around Chateaubriand who she met while in exile in England and who became a frequenter of her salon. Duras’ dedication inscription in our manuscript is to their mutual friend, Louise Angélique de Vintimille (1763-1831) another well-known salon hostess.

    Like Chateaubriand and many of their circle in Restoration Paris, Duras looked back at the reign of Louis XIV as a golden age and eagerly read his Mémoires in the two editions published respectively by Montagnac and Grouvelle in 1806. It was a fashionable preoccupation to select, collect and discuss the maxims of the Sun King, presumably as a barometer of contemporary government, but surely also as treasures of cultivated French pros. In the Pensées Duras selects 70 extracts, ranging from a couple of lines to over a page each, drawn from the 1806 edition together with a few from the seventeenth-century editions. She opens with: ‘Choisir de bons sujets et maintenir la règle, voila la science de tout bon gouvernement’, supposedly written by the King on the first leaf of a journal given him Madame de Maintenon, according to an anecdote recounted by Madame de Genlis in 1811. Others include ‘Il n’y a rien qui puisse faire en si peu de tems de si grands effets que la bonne ou la mauvaise réputation des princes’; ‘Il faut beaucoup de lumières pour savoir discerner au vrai ceux qui nous flattent d’avec ceux qui nous admirent’ [a line previously selected by Chateaubriand in his review of one of the 1806 editions of Louis XIV’s Oeuvres]; ‘Le plus sûr chemin de la gloire est toujours celui que montre la raison’; ‘L’art de connoître les hommes se peut apprendre, mais ne se peut enseigner’; ‘La décision a besoin d’un esprit de maître’.

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  • devotions of a spurned royal mistress
    Penitence de la Duchesse de la Vallière [spine title]. by LA VALLIÈRE, Louise, duchesse de. LA VALLIÈRE, Louise, duchesse de. ~ Penitence de la Duchesse de la Vallière [spine title]. [France, c. 1750].
    A collection of devotional texts by or about the first official mistress of Louis XIV, who, after her fall from favour, retired to a Carmelite… (more)

    A collection of devotional texts by or about the first official mistress of Louis XIV, who, after her fall from favour, retired to a Carmelite convent in 1674 and took the veil. Her penitence, lasting until her death in 1710 was widely discussed and generated many accounts as well as her own Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu, first published in 1680, frequently reprinted and forming the last part of our manuscript collection. The texts here all seem to have been collected from these printed sources. Contents:

    —L’Abrégé de la vie de la pénitence de Madame la duchesse de La Vallière. pp. 1-22
    —Lettres de la soeur de la Vallière à Monsieur le maréchal de Bellefond soit avant soit depuis son entrée aux Carmélites. pp. 22-107
    —Elévations de coeur à nôtre Seigneur Jesus-christ par rapport à la sainte Communion composées par la soeur Louise de la Miséricorde et tirées mot à mot de l'extrait écrit de sa main. pp. 107-118
    —Lettre circulaire des Carmélites. pp. 118-141
    —Sermon de messire Jean-Louis de Fromentières (...) pour la vêture de Madame de La Vallière. pp. 142-207
    —Sermon pour la profession de Madame Françoise de la Baume Le Blanc de la Vallière duchesse de Vaujour prononcé en présence de la Reine le 4 juin 1675 dans l'Eglise des carmélites du fauxbourg saint Jacques. pp. 207-271
    —Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu en forme de prières. pp. 271-350.

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  • Kurtze Einleitung zur Italianischen Sprach. by CHRISTALNIGG, Therese, Countess of (owner). CHRISTALNIGG, Therese, Countess of (owner). ~ Kurtze Einleitung zur Italianischen Sprach. Presumably Klagenfurt, 1757.
    An attractive beginner’s guide to learning Italian, carefully written out in a neat hand. We have been unable to trace a printed source. The Palais… (more)

    An attractive beginner’s guide to learning Italian, carefully written out in a neat hand. We have been unable to trace a printed source. The Palais Christalnig in Klagenfurt, Carinthia (about 40 miles from the Italian border), still stands.

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  • Milliardaires Americains. by ROUVEYRE, André. ROUVEYRE, André. ~ Milliardaires Americains. [Paris, c. 1910-20].
    Contemporary caricature portraits of the great American millionaires Carnegie, Pierpont-Morgan, Gordon-Bennett, Harjes, Frick and Depew.

    The drawing was probably intended for reduction and publication in an… (more)

    Contemporary caricature portraits of the great American millionaires Carnegie, Pierpont-Morgan, Gordon-Bennett, Harjes, Frick and Depew.

    The drawing was probably intended for reduction and publication in an (unidentified) journal. Rouveyre (1879-1962) was immensely prolific as a caricaturist and maintained friendships and correspondence with important figures such as Apollinaire and Matisse (having met the latter as joint students of the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau).

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  • Hoedemaekers Rekening Boeck. by (HATMAKERS, Antwerp Guild of.) (HATMAKERS, Antwerp Guild of.) ~ Hoedemaekers Rekening Boeck. [Antwerp, 1707-1776].
    An eighteenth-century account book of the guild of hatmakers in the city of Antwerp, covering nearly 70 years. The Antwerp hatmakers were an important craft… (more)

    An eighteenth-century account book of the guild of hatmakers in the city of Antwerp, covering nearly 70 years. The Antwerp hatmakers were an important craft organization with a well-regulated structure. Their accounts were overseen by aldermen, each serving for several years, who recorded income (usually in the the form of entry fines for new members) and expenditure (usually payment for the guilds officials). One of the major expenditures was the payment of the ‘proefmeesters’ who exercised quality control by examining the products of prospective entrants before admitting them to membership.

    The accounts provide a detailed record of the names of entrants to the guild and of guild officials. They also provide much incidental detail of the position of the craft within the regional economy, with frequent expenditures recording contact with the neighbouring towns of Brussels, Mechelen and Bruges.

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  • Catholisches Gebett Bichlein Worinen schöne Morgen Abend Messbeicht Comunion Gebetter wie auch schöne Litaneyen sambt andern unterschidlichen Gebettern eingezogen, geschriben worden von mir Johann... [name illegible]. by (DEVOTION). (DEVOTION). ~ Catholisches Gebett Bichlein Worinen schöne Morgen Abend Messbeicht Comunion Gebetter wie auch schöne Litaneyen sambt andern unterschidlichen Gebettern eingezogen, geschriben worden von mir Johann... [name illegible]. [Southern Germany], 1768.
    An attractive vernacular mass and prayer book, characteristic of German Catholic devotion of this period, with decorative calligraphic headings and vignettes. The title translates loosely… (more)

    An attractive vernacular mass and prayer book, characteristic of German Catholic devotion of this period, with decorative calligraphic headings and vignettes. The title translates loosely as Little Catholic Prayer Book in which the best morning, evening, mass confession [and] communion prayers as well as the best litanies have been put together with other different prayers, written by me....’

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  • Roman law and administration
    Receuil des passages extraits de différents auteurs avant Diocletian [vol II: après Diocletian]; qui traitent des magistratures et de l’administration des romains. by GIBELIN, Jacques. GIBELIN, Jacques. ~ Receuil des passages extraits de différents auteurs avant Diocletian [vol II: après Diocletian]; qui traitent des magistratures et de l’administration des romains. Aix [en Provence], 1816.
    A massive series of literary notes and extracts from printed editions of classical sources on the subject of Roman law and administration, divided into the… (more)

    A massive series of literary notes and extracts from printed editions of classical sources on the subject of Roman law and administration, divided into the periods before and after the emperor Diocletian, founder of the Tetrarchy. The notes have the character of being source material for an unpublished scholarly work on the subject of the office of Magistrate (chief priest, lawgiver, judge, and commander of the army) in ancient Rome. Compiled in the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic experiment, Gibelin’s examination of Diocletian’s suspension of republicanism in favour of autocracy is surely significant.

    The author, Jacques Gibelin (1744-1828), in whose hand the volumes are written, was librarian of the town of Aix and secretary of the town’s Société Académique. He was a prominent literary figure and had lived in Paris and England, and was responsible for introducing many English scientific ideas to a French audience; he had translated and published 14 volumes of the Abridgements of the Transactions of the British Royal Society and important Enlightenment treatises by Joseph Priestley and Richard Kirwan. He also published the French translation of Adam Ferguson’s History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic and oversaw the first publication of the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which appeared, in Gibelin’s French translation (before the original English version) in 1791 as Mémoires de la vie privée de Benjamin Franklin écrits par lui-méme. The extracts in this manuscript are drawn from Herodian, Dion, Suetonius, Tacitus, Eutropius, Justinian, Plutarch, Apuleius, Orosius, Zosimus and modern commentators such as Isaac Casaubon. The compilation is made with a librarian’s thoroughness, with precise references given to the editions consulted (usually giving the editor, and the place and year of publication). Loosely inserted is a printed and manuscript slip, with Gibelin’s printed subscription, from the Aix Société Académique, requesting the presence of a member at a meeting on the 4th July 1827 at 6 o’clock.

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