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

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

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

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    A substantial unpublished manuscript practical treatise on obstetrics and midwifery. 39 headings (most with numerous subheadings) plus several further sections towards the end where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

    A substantial unpublished manuscript practical treatise on obstetrics and midwifery. 39 headings (most with numerous subheadings) plus several further sections towards the end where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

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

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

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  • 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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  • [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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  • 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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  • [Chansons], by ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ~ [Chansons], Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain [Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes], 1898-9.
    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du… (more)

    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du Bataillon d’Afrique, L’Africaine, Départ pour Madagascar, La Pucelle de Bellville, Les Prisonniers morts pour la liberté.

    These notebooks are a fascinating example of a popular method of collecting popular French cabaret songs, all neatly copied up with headings and illustrations (usually suitably suggestive) copied from contemporary song sheets (an example of one of these loose sheets is loosely inserted). We have seen several similar examples, in which the illustrations are apparently traced using carbon paper from printed (or other manuscripts) exemplars. Their context is usually military or naval and they represent a significant form of popular or naive art.

    The decorative title, with elaborate borders describes Arbez Carme as ‘employé au Magasin des Vivres de Réserve du 23me Reg[im]ent d’Inf[anter]ie a Bourg, Ain’. Military records record his birth in 1876 in Jura, his occupation as a perruquier (wigmaker) and his recruitment in 1896.

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  • Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. by DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. ~ Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. [France, later-seventeenth century].
    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein...… (more)

    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein... première partie, first published in 1642. Evidently well-used, rebound in the nineteenth-century, and to judge from the binding, still handled and used thereafter, this is a large illustrated fragment consisting of parts 1, 2 and most of 3 (of 7) of the text. The original title-page and front matter, was replaced by a simple manuscript title, probably at the time of rebinding.

    La Perspective Pratique, by Jean Dubreuil ‘the Jesuit’ (1602–1670) was popular among artists, architects and designers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was still being used by artists well into the nineteenth century as a practical introduction to perspective drawing. As the original title indicates it was intended for the use of painters, engravers, sculptors, goldsmiths, embroiderers and tapestry workers and had a very wide circulation, reprinted in numerous editions, including several in English. It proceeds from the principles of drawing simple shapes and solids in perspective, to specific objects such as chairs, tables, opening chests and shelving, then to buildings and townscapes. Each set of instructions is accompanied by detailed illustrations, which were widely copied. In the printed editions, these were presented as engraved plates opposite the letterpress text, but in this manuscript they are carefully incorporated into the text for ease of use. It seems to have been a practical handbook, extensively, but carefully handled (but not marked or annotated) over a long period of time.

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  • Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. by [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. ~ Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. Londres: [G. Schutzer, 13 Poland St] imprimé pour l’éditeur. Se trouve chez Treuttel et Wurtz... 1819 [-1821].
    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of… (more)

    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of battles and truces. A printed book, with a London imprint, with portions (including title) in manuscript copy, and plates dissected, partly copied in manuscript and re-arranged. It is difficult to interpret the unusual hybrid form here, but it would appear to be a contemporary collector or curator’s production allowing the illustrations to be consulted alongside their descriptions in the text. The plates in the printed edition presented the coins and medals in a different order to the text, with corresponding numbers linking the illustrations, but turning from text to plate may have been a tiresome business. The fact that the titles, preliminary text and indexes are given as manuscript copies is less easy to explain, though at least one of the manuscripts indexes is more comprehensive than that of the printed edition. Many of the illustrations are marked with a small flower shaped inkstamp, perhaps also a collector’s demarcation.

    Millin de Grandmaison (1759-1818) had been curator of the Cabinet des médailles et antiques of the former French royal library but died before this survey could be published. The manuscript was passed to the British-born James Millingen, formerly of the French mint, later an antiquary and dealer, who collated it and published it in London in both French and English versions. The imprints are faithfully copied in manuscript in our version, but it is likely a French rather than a British production.

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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), are 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 tantalising.

    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.

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  • The Iron Man [Iron John]. by (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. ~ The Iron Man [Iron John]. [?London, ‘In the Year of the Lord’, 1931.
    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria… (more)

    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria Elizabeth Passini. The style is medievalist, paying homage to the chivalric manuscripts of an earlier age, but is unmistakably of the 1930s. We have been unable to find any other examples of manuscripts by Passini, and it is likely to have been a student project. Her later works were figurative drawing and paintings, often portraits and graphic designs for commercial clients.

    Elizabeth Passini was born in Innsbruck in 1911 into a family of notable Austrian painters and emigrated to England in the late 1920s where she studied at the Slade School. She also studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, the Central School and St Martins. She was a member of the Pastel Society, Contemporary Portrait Society and a founder member of the Hampstead Artists Council. She was a key member of the Hampstead art scene and regularly took part in the Open Air Exhibitions in Heath Street there from the late 1940s and, later on, the Royal Free Hospital Exhibitions. She taught at the Camden Arts Centre for many years. She died in 1995. Burgh House & Hampstead Museum holds a number of her works.

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  • et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. by CAHIER D’ECRITURE CAHIER D’ECRITURE ~ et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. Ornans: 18 July 1857.
    A set of blank ornamental borders designed for use by the convent girls of the monastery of the order of the Visitation at Ornans in… (more)

    A set of blank ornamental borders designed for use by the convent girls of the monastery of the order of the Visitation at Ornans in Eastern France. Probably destined for use as models for notecards and letters, as suggested by the contemporary tracings. A wonderful example of contemporary decorative arts in a convent environment these watercolours are elegantly ornate, incorporating foliage, flowers, vines, swags and birds. The convent at Ornans had been founded in the early seventeenth century and, after the Revolution, refounded as a religious school in 1839 for girls. The Ordre de la Visitation de Sainte-Marie, or ‘Visitandines’ had existed also from the early seventeenth century, founded as an active order for the visitation of the sick.

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