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  • Mémoires de Léotard. by (CIRCUS). LÉOTARD, Jules. (CIRCUS). LÉOTARD, Jules. ~ Mémoires de Léotard. Paris: [Simon Raçon et comp[agnie], 1860.
    Rare first edition of the memoirs of the great circus performer Jules Léotard, pioneer of the flying trapeze who inspired the 1867 song ‘The Daring… (more)

    Rare first edition of the memoirs of the great circus performer Jules Léotard, pioneer of the flying trapeze who inspired the 1867 song ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze’. A second edition of his Mémoires appeared in the same year, with the same pagination, but giving ‘deuxième édition’ on the title — almost all library copies appear to be of this later edition. The superb comic lithograph by Durandeau shows Léotard trapezing over the city of Paris, while adoring female fans cry out to him from the rooftops (some flying heart-shaped kites). With Blondin, Léotard was one of the first great celebrities of the circus, when he visited London in 1861, Charles Dickens wrote: ‘I have been beguiled into seeing Léotard, and it is at once the most fearful and most graceful thing I have ever seen.’ (Letter to Macready, June 11, 1861).

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  • Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... by LES VAMPIRES. LES VAMPIRES. ~ Jurons !!! pas de diminutions...... Paris: H. Platel. Cheyère, [n.d. 1826].
    A very rare satirical print depicting two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’… (more)

    A very rare satirical print depicting two blood-sucking landlords expelling a bewildered tenant. In the hand of one of the ‘vampires’ a note reads ‘eviction’ [congé], ‘end of lease’ [fin de bail] and ‘increase’ [augmentation] and all the notes scattered on the ground make reference to the real estate business. The caption reads ‘We promise, no reduction’. Paris (like London) was in the throes of a vampire craze in the 1820s, following the publication of Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819. Charles Nodier’s melodrama Le Vampire was performed in Paris in June 1820, and spawned a host of spinoffs in popular culture and the press.�

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  • Les grands effets merveilleux de l’Acupuncture. by (ACUPUNCTURE). (ACUPUNCTURE). ~ Les grands effets merveilleux de l’Acupuncture. [Paris]: Cheyère [and Mantoux], [n.d., c. 1825].
    A rare and amusing satire on the practice of acupunture ― much in vogue among certain Parisian doctors in the early nineteenth century. A sickly… (more)

    A rare and amusing satire on the practice of acupunture ― much in vogue among certain Parisian doctors in the early nineteenth century. A sickly male patient is receiving a doctor’s needles, the longest of which is seemingly destined for his heart; a young woman in a bonnet seems unimpressed with her needles (one pierces her tongue); while a young man throws down a set of crutches. On the wall behind hangs a painting of the martrydom of Saint Sebastian. Though known in France since the seventeenth century, acupuncture was revived in the decades after 1800 — Doctor Louis-Joseph Berlioz (1776–1858, the composer’s father) claimed to have used it successfully in 1810 and published a paper on the subject, while Jules Cloquet published his influential Traité de l’acupuncture in 1826.
    The print was listed in the Bibliographie de France for 1825 (p. 172). It was published by Mantoux and Cheyère (cf. the Paris Musée Carnavalet copy) though in our example Mantoux’s name has been cancelled in the imprint line.

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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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  • Exposition Publique des Produits de l’Industrie Française; Catalogue des Produits IndustrielsQui ont été exposés au Champ-de-Mars pendant les trois derniers jours complémentaires de l’an VI; avec les noms, départemens et demeures des artistes et manufacturiers qui ont concouru à l’exposition; suivi du Procès-Verbal du Jury nommé par l’examen de ces produits. by (EXHIBITION CATALOGUE). (EXHIBITION CATALOGUE). ~ Exposition Publique des Produits de l’Industrie Française; Catalogue des Produits Industriels
    Qui ont été exposés au Champ-de-Mars pendant les trois derniers jours complémentaires de l’an VI; avec les noms, départemens et demeures des artistes et manufacturiers qui ont concouru à l’exposition; suivi du Procès-Verbal du Jury nommé par l’examen de ces produits.
    Paris: Imprimerie de la République; Vendémiaire an VI [October 1798].
    The very rare catalogue for the first exhibition of industrial products, held in Paris in 1798, the forerunner of the great universal exhibitions of the… (more)

    The very rare catalogue for the first exhibition of industrial products, held in Paris in 1798, the forerunner of the great universal exhibitions of the following centuries.
    Organised by the Minister of the Interior, François de Neufchâteau, with a view to ‘offering a panorama of products from the different branches of industry in order to encourage emulation’ this was the first great exhibition held in France. Its origins went back to the previous year and the initiative of the Marquis d’Aveze, who visited the factories of Sèvres, Gobelins and Savonnerie and was appalled both at the starving condition of the workers and at the superabundance of exquisite luxury goods with insufficient commercial outlet. With Neufchâteau, he arranged for an exhibition to be held at the Chateau de St Cloud but on the very day selected for the opening (18th Fructidor 1797) the Directory sent out its decree for the expulsion of the nobility — the Chateau de St Cloud was occupied by a company of dragoons and the Marquis expelled. The exhibition eventually took place the following year at the Chateau d’Orsay and on the Champ-de-Mars (on the spot where the spoils of the Italian campaign had been exhibited six weeks previously) and in a series of sixty arcades designed by David in fashionable Grecian style. Sixteen departments and 110 exhibitors were represented and as a note at the beginning of the catalogue explains, the number would have been even greater but for the speed with which the exhibition was organised, which made it impossible to get word to more distant departments of the country in time. It was a great success and the decision was taken to hold it annually.
    The pamphlet sets out the list of exhibitors and is followed by the statement of the Jury given on the 5th Vendemiare, a list of the twelve firms singled out for particular distinction by the jury, and a further list of another twelve firms meriting an ‘honourable mention’. The jury consisted of Vien, Gallois, Darcet, Chaptal, Mollard, Moitte, Gilet-Laumont, Duquesnoy, Ferd and Berthoud. It sets out its criteria clearly: the key merit of any work is the invention and its principle appeal in public terms is its utility. In the context of ongoing hostility with Britain, it is interesting to see that the jury confesses a preference for those products which rival or outshine their British counterparts. A couple of firms which did not choose to exhibit are nonetheless singled out for mention in the address: Boyer Fonfrede, a textile merchant, Didot jeune, the publisher, and Delaître, a cotton weaver. The prize winners included firms of international repute, such as Breguet, the clock maker, Lenoir, inventor and maker of mathematical instruments, and Conté, an engineer who first applied machine-ruling to engraving. Having made known its decision to hold the exhibition on an annual basis in future, the address concludes with resounding praise for the new face of France, delivered by the Revolution from subservience to its neighbours and slavery to ‘routine’, the enemy of all true art. Rare: no printed copy listed in the holdings of the Bibliothèque nationale (which has a manuscript transcription) and only 3 copies known in libraries in France. Worldcat lists copies at Yale, Northwestern, Oregon and the British Library. Sandoz and Guiffrey, Arts appliqués et industries d’art aux expositions, 1912, pp. 1-5; Douyere-Demeulenaere, Expositions publiques des produits de l’industrie francaise, Répertoire méthodique, 2008.

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  • pour l’année 1828, imprimé pour la Famille Royale et la maison de sa Majesté. by CALENDRIER DE LA COUR CALENDRIER DE LA COUR ~ pour l’année 1828, imprimé pour la Famille Royale et la maison de sa Majesté. Paris: [Carpentier Méricourt for] Le Doux-Hérissant, [1828].
    One of the last French royal Calendriers issued in the last years of the restored Bourbon monarchy (before the July Revolution of 1830). In addition… (more)

    One of the last French royal Calendriers issued in the last years of the restored Bourbon monarchy (before the July Revolution of 1830). In addition to the calendar it contains details of all the French royal households and of monarchies all over the world as well as French military commanders.

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  • Essais politiques et militaires. Enrichis de diverses maximes & remarques tirées des anciens auteurs. Par le sieur De Mouchembert. by (DALLINGTON, Robert). MOUCHEMBERG, A.-M. de. (DALLINGTON, Robert). MOUCHEMBERG, A.-M. de. ~ Essais politiques et militaires. Enrichis de diverses maximes & remarques tirées des anciens auteurs. Par le sieur De Mouchembert. Paris: Nicolas Buon, 1627.
    First edition in French of Aphorismes Civill and Militarie (London, 1613) comprising 246 political and military aphorisms selected from the Italian historian Guicciardini, designed to… (more)

    First edition in French of Aphorismes Civill and Militarie (London, 1613) comprising 246 political and military aphorisms selected from the Italian historian Guicciardini, designed to teach the lessons of history in a pithy and pragmatic form, in the spirit of Montaigne. The original Aphorismes had been dedicated by the English courtier Robert Dallington to Henry, Prince of Wales and later to Prince Charles. Mouchemberg’s free translation, retaining the structure of the original, with glosses and apparatus, was dedicated to Antoine Coiffier-Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, who had negotiated the marriage of the Prince of Wales (later Charles I) with Louis XIII’s sister, Henrietta Maria of France in 1625. Mouchemberg later published a continuation of another British work — Argenis by John Barclay.

    Dallington (1561-1636) himself is an interesting figure in European literary culture. Initially educated at Cambridge (Corpus Christi) but without taking a degree, he published translations from the Hypnerotomachia as The Strife of Love in 1592, dedicated to the memory of Sir Philip Sidney and to the Earl of Essex (into whose circle he was drawn). He made at least two grand tours, one in a party with Inigo Jones. His View of France was first published in 1604 and his Survey of … Tuscany in 1605, both written for private circulation. Rare: WorldCat lists the British Library as the only location outside continental Europe, with no North American copies.

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  • [The State of the Poor, in French]. Extrait d’un ouvrage ayant pour titre: État des pauvres, ou Histoire des classes travaillantes de la société en Angleterre, depuis la conquête jusqu’à l’époque actuelle... publié par order du Ministre de l’Intérieur. [in Recueil de Mémoires sur les établissemens d’humanité]. by EDEN, Frederick Morton, [second Baronet of Maryland]. EDEN, Frederick Morton, [second Baronet of Maryland]. ~ [The State of the Poor, in French]. Extrait d’un ouvrage ayant pour titre: État des pauvres, ou Histoire des classes travaillantes de la société en Angleterre, depuis la conquête jusqu’à l’époque actuelle... publié par order du Ministre de l’Intérieur. [in Recueil de Mémoires sur les établissemens d’humanité]. Paris: Henry Agasse, An 7 de a République, [ 1798-9].
    First edition in French of any part of Eden’s The State of the Poor. Or, an History of the Labouring Classes in England (1797) one… (more)

    First edition in French of any part of Eden’s The State of the Poor. Or, an History of the Labouring Classes in England (1797) one of the classic works in the history of economics and the foundation of the discipline of sociology. This extensive but partial translation formed numbers 21 and 24 of the rare Recueil de Mémoires sur les établissemens d’humanité, continuously paginated across the two volumes. The editors’ preface notes the timeliness of such a translation at a time of revolutionary upheaval when no system of social security for the poor existed in France. Issued anonymously the translation is attributed to A.-C. Duquesnoy by Rochedieu. It precedes the edition translated by La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt of 1800 and is very rare. Rochedieu, Bibliography of Translations of English Works 1700-1800, 95. Cf. Printing and the Mind of Man, 249 (the English edition). Besides the British library copy (incomplete, apparently the first volume only), Worldcat locates no other copies outside continental Europe.

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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’ [by Thomas Ken, later reused 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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  • Procession]. by [GREENAWAY, Kate. [GREENAWAY, Kate. ~ Procession]. [London:] Marcus Ward & Co, [ 1881].
    Greenaway’s ‘Procession’ greetings card set consisted of just two cards, but each was produced with variant verses.

    This set includes all four variants of each.

    Card 1… (more)

    Greenaway’s ‘Procession’ greetings card set consisted of just two cards, but each was produced with variant verses.

    This set includes all four variants of each.

    Card 1 (Blue border):
    (a) ‘A garland fair for Christmas day...’
    (b) ‘My Valentine in every rose discern...’
    (c) ‘Well we love our roses sweet...’
    (d) ‘Thro the Year that dawns...’

    Card 2 (Pink border):
    (a) ‘A garland fair for Christmas day...’
    (b) ‘Let’s love and live together, dear...’
    (c) ‘Well we love our roses sweet...’
    (d) ‘Thro the Year that dawns...’ Schuster & Engen, Kate Greenaway, 284.

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  • Party Girl]. by [GREENAWAY, Kate. [GREENAWAY, Kate. ~ Party Girl]. [London: Marcus Ward & Co, 1880s].
    The three greetings cards comprising the larger version of Greenaway’s Party Girl set, each present here in several variants, listed below according to Schuster &… (more)

    The three greetings cards comprising the larger version of Greenaway’s Party Girl set, each present here in several variants, listed below according to Schuster & Engen 282.

    Card 1 Girl with Badminton set
    a) recto ‘Christmas’ verso ‘I wish you all the joy that you can wish’.
    b) recto ‘Christmas’ verso ‘May the day be as happy as you could wish’.
    c) recto ‘New Year’ verso ‘Thy own wish, wish I thee in every place!’.
    d) recto ‘Valentine’ verso ‘To bear my love to you to-day’.
    e) recto ‘Greeting’ verso ‘Thy own wish, wish I thee in every place’.

    Card 2 Girl in rust coat and beaver hat
    b) recto ‘Christmas’ verso ‘Wishing you every happiness and blessing’.
    d) recto ‘New Year’ verso ‘May the day be as happy as you could wish’.
    d variant) recto ‘New Year’ verso ‘Wishing you every happiness and blessing’.
    e) recto ‘Valentine’ verso ‘From one who loves you dearly’.
    g) recto ‘Greeting’ verso ‘Thy own wish, wish I thee in every place’.
    h) recto ‘Greeting’ verso ‘May the day be as happy as you could wish’.

    Card 3 Girl in green dress
    a) recto ‘Christmas’ verso ‘Thy own wish, wish I thee in every place’.
    b) recto ‘Christmas’ verso ‘Wishing you every happiness and blessing’.
    c variant) recto ‘New Year’ verso ‘I wish you all the joy that you can wish’.
    d) recto ‘Valentine’ verso ‘I bring you some flowers from your Valentine’.
    e) recto ‘Greeting’ verso ‘Wishing you every happiness and blessing’.
    f) recto ‘Greeting’ verso ‘May the day be as happy as you could wish’. Schuster & Engen, Kate Greenaway, 282.

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  • Voyage pittoresque à travers le monde. by (JUVENILE). St. AULAIRE, [Achille]. (JUVENILE). St. AULAIRE, [Achille]. ~ Voyage pittoresque à travers le monde. Paris: [Lemercier for] Aubert & c[ompagn]ie, c. 1845.
    First edition of this juvenile guide to the manners, customs and costumes of peoples of the known world. The plates include: France, England, Russia, Spain,… (more)

    First edition of this juvenile guide to the manners, customs and costumes of peoples of the known world. The plates include: France, England, Russia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Persia, the East Indies, China, Japan, Barbary (North Africa), Egypt, Canaries, Africa, United States, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Java, Australia and New Zealand.

    This is one of Aubert’s Récréations instructives series for young people. The ownership inscription is of Amédée Girod de l’Ain, lawyer and politician who became Minister of Public Education and Religious Affairs in 1832. Gumuchian, 5038.

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  • A Desert - Imitation of modern Fashion! by (FASHION). [HEATH, William]. (FASHION). [HEATH, William]. ~ A Desert - Imitation of modern Fashion! London: Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, [c.1825-30].
    A wonderful satire on contemporary women’s fashion. The 1820s had seen considerable change in women’s fashions, with neoclassical straight lines and sparse adornments giving way… (more)

    A wonderful satire on contemporary women’s fashion. The 1820s had seen considerable change in women’s fashions, with neoclassical straight lines and sparse adornments giving way to a more exhuberant and romantic style with more emphasis on curvaceous shapes, cheekily satirised here with wine glass and fruit.�
    An inverted wine-glass (claret shape), partly fluted, represents a woman; the bowl is a bell-shaped petticoat, the stem a pinched waist and bodice; the wide base forms the brim of her plateau-hat on which stands a cork with a metal rim and upstanding ring to form the narrow jam-pot crown. On the base (or brim) are bunches of grapes from which hang trails of vine leaves. Tied symmetrically to the stem are two pears, representing inflated sleeves, the stalks serving for wrists and hands. Below the design: ‘Turn a tumbler up side down / The foot for a hat and a cork for the crown /Some grapes for trimming, will give an air / And as for Sleeves have ready a pear /When join'd to gather tis sure to tell /A picture true, of a modern belle’.

    The 'P. P.' of the signature reads: ‘what have we got here by Jove what we are all fond of a Lass & à Glass my service to you Gents tis but a frail fair after all’. BM Satires 15611.

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  • Physiologie de la femme la plus malheureuse du monde … Vignettes de Valentin. by [PHYSIOLOGIES]. LEMOINE, Édouard. [PHYSIOLOGIES]. LEMOINE, Édouard. ~ Physiologie de la femme la plus malheureuse du monde … Vignettes de Valentin. Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne … � [1841].
    A nice collection of eight 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 eight 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). Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • Physiologie du tailleur … Vignettes par Gavarni. by HUART, Louis. HUART, Louis. ~ Physiologie du tailleur … Vignettes par Gavarni. Paris, Aubert et Cie … Lavigne … [1841].
    A satire on contemporary fashion, one of the many such little books illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a… (more)

    A satire on contemporary fashion, 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).
    Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • Physiologie du bas-bleu … Vignettes de Jules Vernier. by SOULIÉ, Frédéric. SOULIÉ, Frédéric. ~ Physiologie du bas-bleu … Vignettes de Jules Vernier. Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne …, [1841].
    A satire on educated women, one of the many such little books illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a… (more)

    A satire on educated women, 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). Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis, (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • Physiologie de la lorette … Vignettes de Gavarny … by ALHOY, Maurice. ALHOY, Maurice. ~ Physiologie de la lorette … Vignettes de Gavarny … Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne …, [ 1841].
    A nice pairing of physiologies, of the courtesan and the married man, illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a… (more)

    A nice pairing of physiologies, of the courtesan and the married man, 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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  • Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. by [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. ~ Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. Paris: [Madame veuve Jeunehomme, rue Hauteville, no. 20, for] Plancher, 1815.
    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory… (more)

    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory narratives on the perils of loose women and gambling, Les Soirées contains several anecdotes of sociological interest. One involves a bragging libertine husband, who claims his wife would never cuckold him, only for the narrator to seduce her and to contrive a fitting punishment for his boasts. He arranges adjoining private rooms in a favourite Palais Royale restaurant, sending the husband to one with a complicit mistress, while he himself takes the libertine’s wife to another. As the couples make love, an opening between the two rooms allows them to see just enough of their neighbours to further inflame their desire. Only on leaving the chamber does the husband realise that it was his wife he has seen in flagrante in the other room, and with his friend. After an understandable outburst, a philosophical discussion ensues on the equivalence of female and male desire and morality (see Counter, The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France, 2016, p. 137).

    The two plates were evidently printed on the same sheet, appearing as a folding frontispiece in some copies.

    Anonymous, the book is attributed to Cuisin, who specialised in Palais Royale titillation and produced many similar works. The printer, the widow Jeunehomme is an interesting figure, one of a handful of female printers in Paris at this point and a Bonapartist who was later imprisoned for political reasons (Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France, 1470-1870). Worldcat locates copies at Bn (without half-title), BL (with half-title) and Johns Hopkins (also 1815, but ‘Second edition’, perhaps an error, confounding this work with an earlier work with a similar title)

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  • Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life. The second Edition. by [PENN, William]. [PENN, William]. ~ Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life. The second Edition. London: for Thomas Northcott, 1693.
    Second edition (appearing in the same year as the first) of one of the best-loved works of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After Penn’s departure… (more)

    Second edition (appearing in the same year as the first) of one of the best-loved works of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After Penn’s departure from Pennsylvania in 1684, he returned to England. At the time of the Glorious Revolution, and James II’s exile he faced charges of high treason and was forced to remain in seclusion for three years. During that time he wrote Some Fruits of Solitude, a collection of maxims on such subjects as marriage, family, friendship, religion, and the temptations of wealth. Licensed on May 24 1693, the aphorisms were published anonymously (to avoid the author’s reimprisonment for disloyalty) and epitomize the simple Quaker truths upon which the Republic would be based, distilling the essence of Penn’s spiritual idealism, combining it with practicality and common sense. Wing P1369; Smith, Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books, II, p. 309.

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  • Stereoskopischer gerichtsärztlicher Atlas. by LESSER, Adolf. LESSER, Adolf. ~ Stereoskopischer gerichtsärztlicher Atlas. Breslau: Schlesische Verlags-Anstalt v. S. Schottlaender, 1903-5.
    First edition of a pioneering work in the field of forensic medicine, the graphic images depict numerous conditions resulting from homicidal and suicidal injuries. The… (more)

    First edition of a pioneering work in the field of forensic medicine, the graphic images depict numerous conditions resulting from homicidal and suicidal injuries. The grisly and powerful photographs show skull and bone fractures, the impact of gunshot wounds, burns, injuries caused by stabbings, the effects of hanging and so on. Each set of 50 plates is accompanied by a booklet providing details of each image and the important features from the legal-medico cases from which the photographs have been obtained. Heidtmann, Bibliographie der Photographie: Deutschsprachige Publikationen, 14062. OCLC locates 4 US copies and no UK copies.

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