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  • Account book. by [ONLEY, Thomas]. [ONLEY, Thomas]. ~ Account book. [London: W. Clowes] 1839-52.
    A regimental account book of one Thomas Olney of Northamptionshire serving with the 1st Batallion Rifle Brigade (soldier 1718) successively at Corfu and the Cape… (more)

    A regimental account book of one Thomas Olney of Northamptionshire serving with the 1st Batallion Rifle Brigade (soldier 1718) successively at Corfu and the Cape of Good Hope and lastly garrisoned at Walmer (Kent). Issued to all serving soldiers, the officia account book records enlistment, next of kin (in this case a mother), distinguishing features, kit issue and payments, which are written into printed columns prefaced by rules and regulations for engagement and conduct. Enlisted for a bounty of £3 17 shilling and sixpence Olney (of the village of Weedon) was issued with a knapsack, towels, shirts, stockings, a holdall, cutlery, shaving kit, a forage cap and strap, webbing, a shell jacket and a clothes brush. After service abroad he seems to have been furloughed in 1851, and the last record here is from Walmer in 1852.

    Though fairly lightly completed the book evidently travelled everywhere with its owner, folded into a canvas roll case, the lower parchment cover sometime removed by him. An evocative item.

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

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

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

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

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  • Lettres du prince roÿal de Prusse aujourd’huy Roÿ, ecrittes de Remusberg à Mr de Voltaire à Cireÿ en Champagne, avec les reponses. by VOLTAIRE. [François-Marie Arouet de]. VOLTAIRE. [François-Marie Arouet de]. ~ Lettres du prince roÿal de Prusse aujourd’huy Roÿ, ecrittes de Remusberg à Mr de Voltaire à Cireÿ en Champagne, avec les reponses. [France], 1740 [or soon after].
    A contemporary manuscript copy of thirteen early letters from Voltaire’s famous correspondence with Prussian Crown Prince Frederick (later ‘the Great’): a copy derived from a… (more)

    A contemporary manuscript copy of thirteen early letters from Voltaire’s famous correspondence with Prussian Crown Prince Frederick (later ‘the Great’): a copy derived from a text circulated in manuscript by Voltaire himself, probably given to the Rault de Ramsault family, with whom he was acquainted. While the letters here are not in Voltaire’s hand, despite the wording of the title-page (‘donné par Mr. de Voltaire...’) they were presumably copied by the family from an authorial version now lost or unidentified. They date originally from June 1736 to June 1739, so covering the beginning of Voltaire’s and Frederick’s exchange — opening with Frederick’s first letter of 8 June 1736; Voltaire’s response of 1 September and followed by 10 further letters to 8 June 1739. After this, from page 59, there are copies of two further Voltaire texts: De l’Usage de la vie (written in 1736 in defence of his widely-criticised philosophical poem Le Mondain), and Ode sur l’ingratitude (also 1736) and the following texts by Frederick: Considérations du prince royal de Prusse sur le trône, aujourd’huÿ juin 1740 (a response to Voltaire’s enquiries about Russia, and not published in print until 1791) and ‘...Une Lettre du roy de Prusse à Mr le Marechal Comte de Saxe du 21 aoust 1749, au retour d’une visitte que luÿ fit ce ma[rech]al...’
    The title-page bears the statement, ‘Ce manuscrit fut donné par Mr de Voltaire à Mde de Ramsault ma mère chez qui il fit un long séjour. 1740’ and is signed ‘Ramsault de Tortonval’. Charles Antoine de Rault de Ramsault (1687 - 1774, French military engineer army officer and director of fortifications at Lille) had corresponded with Voltaire shortly before 1740 and had evidently taken one of his relations into his service. Voltaire had a copy of the Henriade sent to the Ramsaults in January 1738 (Letters, 20 January 1738) and also gave a personally annotated copy of the 1740 Amsterdam edition of his Oeuvres to Mme de Ramsault, which bore a similar inscription to the one found in our manuscript: ‘Cette édition fut donnée à ma mère par M. de « Voltaire qui l’a enrichie de ses notes. Ramsault de Tortenval. »’ (Voy. Catalogue de livres rares, etc. dont la vente aura lieu le lundi 6 décembre 1880. Paris: Labitte, 1880, n° 65, p. 20, cited by Bengesco 2122).

    The letters are as follows:

    1. Lettre du P[rin]ce royal de Prusse à Mr de V à Berlin le 8 Juin [recorded elsewhere as 8 August] 1736. (Mr, quoi que je n’aie pas la satisfaction de vous connaître personnellement...);

    2. Reponse de M. de Voltaire à S. A. R. Mgr. Le Pr. R. de Prusse. [undated, c. 1 September 1736]. (Il faudrait être insensible, pour n’être pas infiniment touché de la lettre dont votre a. r. a daigné m’honorer...);

    3. 2e. Lettre de P. R. de Prusse à M. de Voltaire du 9. 9re. 1736. (Monsieur, c’est une épreuve bien difficile, pour un écolier en philosophie, que de recevoir des louanges d’un homme de votre mérite...);

    4. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire au prince roÿal de Prusse [c. December 1736]. (’Monseigneur, j’ai versé des larmes de joÿe en lisant la lettre du 9 septembre...’);

    5. 3eme. Lettre du P. R. de Prusse à Mr. de Voltaire à Remusberg du 7. 9re... [7 November 1736]. (’Je suis infiniment sensible à l’honneur que vous me faites de placer mon nom à la tête du bel ouvrage...);

    6. 4eme. Lettre du meme prince [3 December 1736]. (’Monsieur j’ai été agréablement surpris en recevant aujourd'hui votre lettre avec les pièces, dont vous avez bien voulu l’accompagner...);

    7. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire d’Amsterdam [?March 1737]. (’Mgr. je ne scai pas on commences, je suis engoué de plaisir de surprise et de reconnoissance...’);

    8. Reponse de Mr. de Voltaire à Cireÿ le 1er janvier 1739. (’Jeune héros, esprit sublime,
    Quels vœux pour vous pui-je former?...’);

    9. De S. A. R. de Remusberg 22. 9vre 1738. [22 November 1738]. (’Mon cher ami, il faut avouer que vous êtes un débiteur admirable...’);

    10. Lettre de M. de V. à Cireÿ le 15 fev. 1739. (’J’ai reçu les étrennes...’);

    11. Lettre de M. de V. à S. A. R. à Cireÿ le 25 avril 1739. (’J’ai l’honneur d’envoyer à votre A. R. la lie de mon vin...’);

    12. D. S. A. R. de Berlin le 8 Juin [elswhere given as 8 January] 1739. (’Mon cher ami, je m’étais bien flatté que l’Epître sur l’humanité pourrais mériter votre approbation...’).

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  • A Collection of Votes and other Proceedings of the hon[oura]ble the House of Commons in the yeare 1688/[9]. by (BILL OF RIGHTS). (BILL OF RIGHTS). ~ A Collection of Votes and other Proceedings of the hon[oura]ble the House of Commons in the yeare 1688/[9]. [London, end of the seventeenth century].
    A contemporary or early manuscript copy of the ‘The Votes and other Proceeedings of the honourable House of Commons’ for the first year of the… (more)

    A contemporary or early manuscript copy of the ‘The Votes and other Proceeedings of the honourable House of Commons’ for the first year of the reign of William and Mary, 1688/9, recording the dramatic political background to the Glorious Revolution and with a complete copy of the Declaration of Rights (commonly called the ‘Bill of Rights’) and the more comprehensive ‘Heads of Grievances’ from which it was distilled. Along with Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights is one of the landmarks in the development of constitutional law of England (and by extension, America) setting out basic civil rights which would shape the structure of government into our own era. It set firm limits on the powers of the crown while confirming the place of parliament in legislation and the right to free speech within it. It also guaranteed the right to bear arms, but limiting it to Protestant subjects in defence against the perceived Catholic tyranny of the deposed James II. The Bill of Rights directly reflected the philosophy of John Locke and stands as one of the landmark documents in the development of civil liberties in the United Kingdom and a model for later, more general, statements of rights including the United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    It is included here, with much other parliamentary business, in a yearly manuscript volume of ‘The Votes of the House of Commons’. A distinct class of the record, the ’Votes’ were kept by a clerk of the House and recorded business transacted on each day's sittings, including the bills read, orders and resolutions passed, divisions, licences, and the like. Like the better known manuscript ‘Journals’ of the House of Commons the ‘Votes’ are primarily concerned with deeds, not words, and do not typically record the text of speeches or the acts themselves, though certain important determinations such as the Declaration of Rights are given in full. Copies of the Clerk’s originals could be made for members of parliament and there was a limited circulation of the texts in folio volumes such as this one, but they were not published in print until much later.

    The fine calligraphic title here originally read ‘1680’, and error corrected, with the final ‘0’ deleted and substituted with an ‘8’. The front free endpaper is inscribed with a note to the binder: ‘Titled Votes 1688 & Marbled on the Leaves’. Included is a note from 1948 from the Commons Librarian to a former owner. While it is impossible to be certain of the date of this manuscript version, both the hand and the binding would place it within a decade or so of 1688. Frankle, Robert J. ‘The Formulation of the Declaration of Rights’. The Historical Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, 1974, pp. 265–279. cf. D. Menhennet, The Journal of the House of Commons: A Bibliographical and Historical Guide, 1971; M.F. Bond, Guide to the Records of Parliament (1971).

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

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  • En Temps voulu. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ En Temps voulu. Marliac and Paris, 2019.
    A unique artist’s book. Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each… (more)

    A unique artist’s book. Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations. Collectors have found the books to speak for themselves, and the artist writes of her work simply as:

    ‘Poésie sans paroles.
    Il s’agit bien de ça.
    Mettre en images le monde et l’arrière monde,
    Comme un poète mais sans mot dire’.

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  • [The Game of ‘Bis-bis’ or ‘48’]. by (GAME). (GAME). ~ [The Game of ‘Bis-bis’ or ‘48’]. [?Basque region, Saint Sébastien, c. 1865].
    Manuscript and watercolour maquettes for an apparently unpublished game, including a portion of a folding game mat (on linen), a sheet of counters (uncut, on… (more)

    Manuscript and watercolour maquettes for an apparently unpublished game, including a portion of a folding game mat (on linen), a sheet of counters (uncut, on parchment), numerous drawings and sketches as trials for the game positions (on paper and tracing paper, some coloured) and several sheets of manuscript instructions in French and Spanish. The game seems to have been a type of lotto, with parchment counters (corresponding to game positions) which were to be placed in a spherical wooden ‘bank’ for shuffling, before being drawn by the players.
    The game’s origin in a French household at Saint Sébastien is indicated by the use of numerous scraps of waste paper from the French Consul’s office there ― perhaps it was made by a member of his own family or staff. The sketches are highly accomplished and carefully rendered, often with several preliminary sketches before reduction in gouache to the size of the parchment game counters.

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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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  • ... Ecoûte beaucoup, parle peu...
    Maximes du sage. by (PRINTING ON VELLUM). (PRINTING ON VELLUM). ~ Maximes du sage. [France, c. 1700].
    A large and striking broadside printed on vellum by an unknown press, presumably in France around the year 1700. The text is of 20 ‘Maximes… (more)

    A large and striking broadside printed on vellum by an unknown press, presumably in France around the year 1700. The text is of 20 ‘Maximes du sage’ ― wise and stoic counsels for the government of the mind, spirit and body. The typography is competent but occasionally irregular, reflecting the difficulty of handling such a large sheet of vellum in the press, but also suggesting the possibility of a private press. The floral borders are stylised, with decorative swags and ribbons at the head, but with recognisable lilies, roses, carnations and iris on either side, and blue china bowl with tulips, fritillaries and other flowers at the foot.
    No other example of the broadside has been located, though the text is almost identical to that of a fine manuscript on vellum probably made at the behest of Louis XIV (1638-1715) for the philosophical education of his son Louis, the Grand Dauphin (1661-1711) (sold at Sotheby’s Paris, 6 July 2017, collection of Mme Djahanguir Riahi, lot 28). A quotation of a fragment of the text appears in the Clef du cabinet des princes de l’Europe, 21, October 1714, p. 237, appearing also as advice to princes, but we have not found any other printed version of the text.

    ‘Adore le Createur de l’Univers, & l’aïme de toute ton Ame: Honore ceux qui t’ont mis au monde; obeïs aux loix; revere les Puissances: Faits à autruy comme tu voudrois qu’on te fît à ton mesme. Sois humain, civil & bien faisant à tous les hommes. Aïme tes proches, aïme tes amis; mais plus que tour aime ta Patrie, & procure le bien public. Respecte les gens de bien, fuy les méchans, & ne hante que ceux à qui tu veux ressembler, Reconnois les biensfairs, n’attire pas les injures, Connois-toy toy-mesme, mesure tes desseins à tes forces, ta dépense à ton bien, & l’un & l’autre à la raison. Exerce moderement ton corps, applique fortement ton esprit: Ecoûte beaucoup, parle peu, regle tes pensées & pese tes paroles. Abhorre le menteur & le mensonage, mais souviens-toy que toutes vertitez ne sont pas toûjours bonnes à dire, Pardonne beucoup aux autres, rien à toy, & sois plûtost ennemy de tes vices. Que censeur de ceux d’autruy, Songe que le repentir suit de pres la faute, & que le premier fruit des bonnes actions est la plaisir qu’il y a de les faire. Ne prens jamais de mauvaises voyes pour arriver a une bonne fin. Tiens les flateurs pour tes plus grands ennemis, pour tes meilleurs amis ceux qui te voyent plutost à cause de toy qu’à cause d’eux-mesmes. Prens conseil, mais forme tes resolutions toy-mesme. Sois ferme non pas opiniâtre, & si tu as à changer d’avis, que ce soit par raison, non par legereté. Desire ce que t’est propre, supporte ce qui t’arrive. Sois le maître non pas l’esclave de tes passions, qu’elles servent à t’avancer, non pas à t’égarer. Modere tes desirs, tu augmenteras tes biens, il est assés riche qui est content, & il est content qui est sage’.

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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’étudiant … Vignettes de MM. Trimolet et Maurisset. by HUART, Louis. HUART, Louis. ~ Physiologie de l’étudiant … Vignettes de MM. Trimolet et Maurisset. Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne … [1841].
    A satire on contemporary student life, addressing the traditional pursuits of the young denizens of the rue Saint Jacques — drinking, smoking, gaming, dancing and… (more)

    A satire on contemporary student life, addressing the traditional pursuits of the young denizens of the rue Saint Jacques — drinking, smoking, gaming, dancing and womanizing.

    This is one of the many such little Physiologies 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). Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • Commonplace book. by HILLIARD, Lettice Elizabeth (née HALLETT). HILLIARD, Lettice Elizabeth (née HALLETT). ~ Commonplace book. England, early 19th century.
    Lettice Hallett (1787–1859) was the eldest daughter of the Radical reformer William Hallett of Denford Park, near Kintbury, in Berkshire. She married solicitor Nash Crosier… (more)

    Lettice Hallett (1787–1859) was the eldest daughter of the Radical reformer William Hallett of Denford Park, near Kintbury, in Berkshire. She married solicitor Nash Crosier Hilliard (1789–1844), of Grey’s Inn, in 1819. The three-page section of writing here, dated 20 November 1825, records ‘A list of the several person of the respective Families of Nash Crosier Hilliard and of Lettice Elizabeth Hilliard living at this Period’: Hilliards, Halletts, Nelsons, and Fowles. The first section, for which the book has been turned on its side, in oblong format, contains poetry: a 24-line poem ‘On Science’ (‘E’er yet the Morn of Science rose on Earth …’) by ‘W. D.’; ‘Lines found deeply engraved on the Bark of a large Tree in the Neighbourhood of Mentz [i.e. Mainz] in Germany’; ‘Music’ by William Strode (1598–1645; ‘When whispering strains do softly steal …’); ‘To a Friend in Distress’ (‘Shrink not to meet with adverse fate or part, / When black the scene, then bravely arm your heart …’); ‘The Morning before the Ball’, ‘The Morning after the Ball’, and extracts from ‘The Traveller’ and ‘The Deserted Village’ by Goldsmith.

    The other end of the book (for which the book has been flipped over to write) is taken up by a history of England, seemingly paraphrased, and expanded, by Lettice from Trusler’s Compendium of Useful Knowledge (1784 and later editions), from the Ancient Britons up to William the Conqueror and his sons.

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  • My Darling and I. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ My Darling and I. [Paris, c. 1940s].
    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen… (more)

    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen in Paris after 1945.

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  • Adieu Vat. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Adieu Vat. Marliac (Corrèze, Limousin), 2016.
    A unique artist’s book. A powerful fusion of the Dance of Death with the creatures of a Medieval bestiary in De Bournazel’s extraordinary style. Tumbling… (more)

    A unique artist’s book. A powerful fusion of the Dance of Death with the creatures of a Medieval bestiary in De Bournazel’s extraordinary style. Tumbling figures, furtive forest creatures, and a grinning death’s head, combine in this meditation on human mortality, made as a visual diary of the artist’s own personal bereavement. Adieu Vat (an archaic French term of farewell) expresses the sense of incomprehension (a lone figure holds a placard reading ‘NON’, the only word in an otherwise wordless book), of anger, despair, ultimate acceptance and, occasionally humour and consolation. Made in 2016 the book has been retained by the artist until now.

    Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations. Collectors have found the books to speak for themselves, and the artist writes of her work simply as:

    ‘Poésie sans paroles.
    Il s’agit bien de ça.
    Mettre en images le monde et l’arrière monde,
    Comme un poète mais sans mot dire’.

    Her work is represented in private and public collections in France (including the Bibliothèque nationale), the United Kingdom and in the United States (Boston Athenaeum, San Francisco Center for the Book etc).

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  • Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. by (MILITARY). (MILITARY). ~ Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. [France, mid eighteenth century, but after. 1759].
    A pocket treatise on the art of war, probably compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War. This anonymous manuscript comprises six chapters: [1]… (more)

    A pocket treatise on the art of war, probably compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War. This anonymous manuscript comprises six chapters: [1] Maximes générales; [2] Des Camps de Rassemblement; [3]. La Guerre de Campagne, comprend l’objet, le plan général, le plan particulier, la conduite, re résultat et la fin des operations; [4] Campagnes de deffensive; [5] Campagnes d’hiver; [6] des Capitulations. Written from the point of view of a prospective military commander or general, it introduces the principles and objectives of campaign warfare of the sort that dominated European history in the eighteenth century. It makes occasional references to historical persons (Turenne and the Duc de Broglie) as well as to more recent events, such as the winter campaigns of 1757-9).

    Provenance: Early ownership inscription: Antonio Lopez; Marquis d'Astorga, sale 1870 (described as from the library of the Dukes of Sessa); Bookplate of Ricardo Heredia, comte de Benahavis, sold as lot 551, Paul, Huard & Guillemin, Drouot (Paris), May, 1891.

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  • Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’Angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... by WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. ~ Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’Angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... France, c. 1830s.
    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as… (more)

    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as the first book in English to claim that America had been discovered by the Norse before the voyage of Columbus.

    The translator Emma Chuppin de Germigny was the daughter of a noble emigré settled in Normandy after the Revolution. A long biographical entry in the Mémoires of the Caen Académie recounts her life: her family’s reduced circumstances necessitated her work as a schoolmistress in Caen, during which time she produced a series of scholarly works (including the Wheaton translation). She published a history of music in Normandy from the ninth century to her own day (1836) and an account of the Bayeux Tapestry (1846). Her translation of Wheaton’s work was not published, though the form of this manuscript, and Emma’s circumstances, strongly suggests it was intended to be. It is almost certainly in her autograph, with occasional corrections. In the event, a French edition by Paul Guillot, with numerous additional apparatus, appeared at Paris in 1844.

    Wheaton, a native of Providence, Rhode Island and an alumnus of Brown University was prominent as a lawyer, diplomat and antiquarian. His research into Scandinavian history began with his appointment to Denmark as chargé d’affaires in 1827.

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  • Recueil de chansons. by (CHANSONS). (CHANSONS). ~ Recueil de chansons. [France, c. 1860s].
    A very neat collection of popular songs, most from the 1850s, of the sort circulated in ephemeral printed and manuscript song sheets. Highlights include: Est-ce… (more)

    A very neat collection of popular songs, most from the 1850s, of the sort circulated in ephemeral printed and manuscript song sheets. Highlights include: Est-ce le hatchich qui t’a mis comme ça: an uncommon reference to hashish in this context, and a song (in common with several others in the manuscript) for which we can find no printed source. Sung to the tune of ‘Aÿ chiquita’, this is a woman’s complaint to her suitor, with the chorus:

    ‘Est-ce l’absinthe, ou bien encore,
    Le hatchich qui t’as mis, dis-moi,
    Dans cet état que j’aborre,
    Et tu veux m’aimer! Ah! Tais-toi.’

    This is hardly Baudelaire, but a pleasing contemporary parallel to Les Paradis artificiels.

    Others include Les Cris de Paris, Les Chemins de fer and Les Anges de la charité ou les inondés de 1856 and there are songs attributable to Pierre Dupont and Charles Durand, both popular in the 1850s and 60s. Some are in dialect and typically, the subjects tend towards love, drink and gastronomy, but there are also a couple alluding to the language of flowers. The compilation is scrupulously neat—and is presumably, in part, an exercise in penmanship.

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  • Livre de compte des chaptels & amodiations des métayers Jean Rateau, François le Beuf, Philibert Baudon, & Isac le Beuf avec le dénombrement des bestiaux qu’ils avoient où que leurs ay remit dans le tems du compte que j’ay fait avec eux le 9eme de Novembre 1733 by (FARMING). [Account book]. (FARMING). [Account book]. ~ Livre de compte des chaptels & amodiations des métayers Jean Rateau, François le Beuf, Philibert Baudon, & Isac le Beuf avec le dénombrement des bestiaux qu’ils avoient où que leurs ay remit dans le tems du compte que j’ay fait avec eux le 9eme de Novembre 1733 [Burgundy, 1733-1758].
    Some twenty years’ accounts kept on behalf of a Burgundian landlord, of 5 métayer tenant farmers, who farmed on his land, with his resources, in… (more)

    Some twenty years’ accounts kept on behalf of a Burgundian landlord, of 5 métayer tenant farmers, who farmed on his land, with his resources, in exchange for a share (notionally a half) of the profit. These were principally livestock farmers raising cattle and sheep, so the accounts provide interesting first-hand details of the economics of the French meat and wool industries of the period. All the farmers are named on the title-page, but Isac Lebeuf’s farm was run after his death by his widow, Marie, so the account for 1736 is in her name. Prices are given for animals bought as stock and then sold to butchers or sheared and the fleeces sold. The accounts give a very clear and intelligible picture of the initial capital of each farm, of introduced stock, of running costs and of the shares of yearly profits.

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