Scroll (420 x 12,000 mm.), with elaborate silk brocade endpaper at beginning. [Japan]: 1880-86.
This beautifully rendered scroll of natural history paintings was executed, with one exception, by Akio (or Keigu) Yamamoto (1827-1903), Confucian scholar, doctor, botanist, and highly gifted artist. He was born in Kyoto, the son of the prominent doctor and botanist Boyo Yamamoto (1778-1859), the direct disciple of Ono Ranzan (1729-1810), the famous professor of botany who wrote a series of classic botanical books.
Keigu “continued his father’s work in his private school in Osaka and spent his time organizing meetings that were regularly attended by both honzogaku amateurs...
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Scroll (420 x 12,000 mm.), with elaborate silk brocade endpaper at beginning. [Japan]: 1880-86.
[Japan: ca. 1840-50].
Two large and fine paintings in hanging scroll format, depicting all the steps in the production of the finest Uji tea by the Kanbayashi family, to be sent to the Tokugawa shogun in Edo. These scrolls are of very great beauty and complexity and were surely painted by a master artist (see below).
The production and drinking of tea in Japan has a long and rich history, extending back to the Nara period (710-94), when tea was brought back by diplomatic missions from China. Emperor Saga was served tea in 815 and afterwards ordered the establishment of...
19 full-page & one double-page woodcuts. 25; 39; 25; 24 folding leaves (pagination continuous for the sections on tea). Four vols. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers with bright orange endpapers, new stitching. [China: Ming dynasty, ca. 1573-1620].
A rare enlarged edition of this important collection of Chinese gastronomic classics, dealing with tea, various alcohols, crabs, and vegetables.
The first volume and the first part of the second volume contains the Cha jing by Yu Lu in ten chapters and edited by Shixian Wang (active 16th-17th century), who also wrote on botany. “The first great work on tea, and the basis for most of our knowledge concerning its...
vi, 82 pp. 8vo (190 x 122 mm.), attractive green antique half-calf marbled boards, spine gilt. [Paris: Desenne, An VI or 1797].
An uncommon work by the influential art dealer and advisor to the Louvre commission. Lebrun (1748-1813), the prominent Parisian art dealer, leading connoisseur of Dutch and Flemish art, and husband of the court painter Vigée Lebrun, played an outsized role in the creation of the Louvre. He was essential in the compilation of desiderata lists for the French confiscations of art in conquered territories throughout Europe. Then, once the artworks arrived in Paris, Lebrun was charged with their cataloguing and integration.
Folio (350 x 225 mm.), all bound into Middle Hill boards (spine a little defective). Middle Hill: 1854-64.
Sir Thomas Phillipps was an insecure man; illegitimately born, with a great-grandfather who was a London carpenter and a farmer grandfather, Sir Thomas had much to prove. He was raised, without a mother, by a distant and irascible father who wanted his son to become the first gentleman of the family. His father-in-law enabled Sir Thomas to be made a baronet, and “thereafter no holder of a centuries-old title could have been more insistent on the dignity of his rank.”–Munby, Phillipps Studies, II, p....
Attractive large woodcut vignette on first title & woodcut illus. & tables in the text. Titles within ornamental borders. ;  pp. Two parts in one vol. Small 4to, late 18th-century half-calf & marbled boards. London: E. Allde, for H. Astley, 1592.
Third edition (1st ed.: 1581) of one of the great rarities in the entire literature of navigation, electricity, and magnetism, and one of the first truly scientific books published in England. All four of the 16th-century editions are rare. “The publication of The Newe Attractive undoubtedly had an immediate and beneficial effect upon English navigation.”–Waters, The Art of Navigation in England in Elizabethan and...
Title within double-ruled border. 12 p.l. (the first a blank), 148 pp., two leaves (the final a blank). Small 8vo, cont. mottled calf (minor wear & light browning), unlettered spine. London: Printed for G. Downs, 1682.
First edition in English and the first separate edition of one of the earliest monographs in English on children’s diseases, translated by Richard Gower from the fourth book of Sylvius’s Praxeos Medicae (1674). Gower studied medicine under Sylvius at Leiden, and after graduating returned to England, where he settled at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Le Boë (1614-72), better known as Sylvius, was, if not the founder, certainly the outstanding proponent...
1 p.l., 120 pp.; 21 p. & 19 leaves of author index in a contemporary hand. Two parts in one vol. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: G. Martin, 1752.
One in a series of the very rare later auction catalogues issued by Gabriel Martin (the Paris de Meyzieu of 1761 being his last). This library was formed by Gravelle (1699-1752), a magistrate in the court of inquiry of the Paris Parliament who is today best remembered for his Recueil de pierres gravées antiques, published between 1732 and 1739, and for his parody L’Amant déguisé, which...
Ten engraved plates (six folding) & two folding letterpress tables (numbered 1-4 on two sheets). Five parts in three, all bound in one vol. 8vo, cont. tree-calf (well-rebacked, corners a little worn, minor browning & offsetting). Bristol: Printed by Bulgin and Rosser, for J. Johnson…London. 1796-[95-96].
Third edition of Parts I & II, first editions of Parts III-V, a complete set of all the published parts (collations as in ESTC). Beddoes was the first to suggest that the inhalation of certain gases would relieve pain, and in 1798 he founded the Pneumatic Institute in Bristol, a research institution for the...
Fine lithographed port. of the collector & 18 fine plates (eight lithographed & ten engraved). 2 p.l., 47,  pp., one leaf of errata. Folio, orig. printed limp boards (minor foxing, spine worn). [Leipzig?]: 1826.
—. Zweites Verzeichniss der Gemälde-Sammlung sowie der vorzüglichsten Handzeichnungen, Kupferstiche, Kupferstichwerke und plastischen Gegenstände des Freiherrn v. Speck-Sternburg…Heraugegeben und mit historisch-biographischen Bemerkungen und Erklärungen begleitet vom Besitzer derselben. Finely engraved front. port. of the collector & 19 plates (six are lithographed & 13 engraved, some with foxing). 3 p.l., 186 pp. Large 4to, orig. half-calf & printed boards, spine nicely gilt, red leather lettering piece on spine. Leipzig: K. Tauchnitz, 1837.
Commentary by Shibin Chen (or Wuyizi). 20 full-page illus. in Vol. I. 100 parts in 24 vols. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. [China]: Jie zi yuan, Preface dated 1696.
A rare Qing dynasty edition published by Jie zi yuan of this famous book, one of the “Four Great Classical Novels of China,” and one of the world’s longest and oldest novels. First published in the late 16th century, it is a mythological novel based on the true journey taken in the 7th century by the monk Xuanzang (“Tripitaka”), to retrieve Buddhist scriptures from India and bring them back to China. Along the way...
Six double-page & two full-page woodcut illus. (all color-printed), most heightened with gold & silver pigment. 27 folding leaves. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (extremities a trifle worn), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan]: 1831.
First edition of this scarce and richly illustrated collection of kyoka poetry, which translates to “crazy verses,” a comic genre filled with wordplay and figurative language. The woodcuts have been skillfully embellished with pigments and embossing to accentuate the patterns within.
Suikei (1780-1833), renowned for his figurative painting, provided the illustrations for a number of books in the late Edo period. One of the editors of...
Scroll (292 x 1890 mm.), with silver endpapers & borders, beginning of scroll backed in brocade silk with a gold label, roller with gold caps. Edo: 1816.
A remarkable survival and important documentation for Noh theater. Our luxury scroll is concerned with the Kanjin Noh performances of 1816, which took place at Saiwaibashi and were organized by the Kanze ryu (school) of Noh. This school was founded in the 14th century and was known for its emphasis on beauty and elegance. Kanjin Noh (“benefit Noh”) were originally subscription Noh performances held to raise money for worthy causes, such as construction or repair of temples...
49 fine double-page illustrations, of which 25 are in rich color. 34; , 24 folding leaves. Large 8vo (270 x 190 mm.) in orihon (accordion) format, orig. decorated boards. [Japan]: ca. 1800.
Picture scrolls featuring artisan poetry competitions, called shokunin utaawase-e, are part of the picture scroll (utaawase-e) tradition. The competing poets are depicted with the clothing and tools of various occupations and, in the 13th-15th centuries, any member of the urban population could be included. It is an imaginary competition conceived by a single author, and the attribution to persons of various occupations is merely a device to allow artists to explore genre themes.
This manuscript, created to resemble a scroll but in accordion format, is particularly interesting because it comprises two versions of the same competition, using the same poems. The first series of pictures is illustrated in black sumi ink, and the second series is finely colored. The depictions of the same professions in the two series have very different images. The imaginary competition took place on a particular autumn evening in the year 1214 at Tohokuin in Kyoto. The participants included artisans and commoners, instead of aristocrats, and both men and women.
Black & white illus. (some full-page). 47 pp. Large 4to (277 x 205 mm.), pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Toronto: 1977].
A rare and early catalogue issued by Art Metropole, the first large-scale distributors of artists’ books and publications in North America. This catalogue offers dozens of works by European artists such as Abramovic, Beuys, Boltanski, Broodthaers, Buren, Darboven, Dibbets, Ehrenberg, Filliou, Fulton, Graham, Rebecca Horn, Hansjörg Mayer, Merz, Nannucci, Polke, Maria Reiche, Rot, Schwitters, Spoerri, Lea Vergine, Vostell, etc. Publications from Art Metropole, periodicals, records, and videos are also listed for sale, with prices. The graphic cover art comes from Rudolf Schwarzkogler’s Portfolio of the 3rd...
46 pp. Large 4to (270 x 210 mm.), orig. printed wrappers, staple-bound. [Toronto: 1979].
A very rare and early catalogue published by Art Metropole; unrecorded on WorldCat. On the inside of the upper wrapper, Art Metropole’s archivist Tim Guest lays out a definition of the artist’s book: “Since the early 1960‘ [sic] artists have been producing bookworks as a completely autonomous artform. Different in that they exist outside the traditions of either the ‘literary text’ or the ‘illustrated book’, they are instead books as works of art in themselves. They belong to that movement in art history which seeks to de-emphasize form and aesthetics...
viii, 32 pp. 8vo (215 x 137 mm.), stitched as issued, uncut. Paris: Félix & Regnault-Delalande, 1815.
The rare first edition of this sale catalogue; according to the Getty Provenance Index, much of the sale’s contents belonged to Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet (1761-1834), French ambassador to the United States and author. Scheduled for March 1815, this auction was postponed and held the following year, when a second edition of the present catalogue was prepared (Lugt 8854).
This catalogue describes 146 lots of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and clocks. There are pictures by Fra Angelico, Guercino, Boilly, An. Carracci, Fragonard, O. Gentileschi, Miel, Guido Reni, Steen...
239 pp. Small 8vo (155 x 98 mm.), later sheep-backed marbled boards (spine rubbed). Paris: Mme Hérissant Le Doux, 1816.
(—). [Drop-title]: Notice des Tableaux de diverses Ecoles exposés dans le Grand Salon du Musée Royal et dans la Salle d’Entrée. 11 pp. Small 8vo. [Paris: Mme Hérissant Le Doux, 1817].
72 pp. Small 8vo (200 x 125 mm.), cont. pink paper wrappers bound in late 19th-cent. aubergine calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Constantin, Paillet, Chariot, 1814.
A scarce auction catalogue, fully annotated with prices and with many buyers’ names, that marks the ultimate liquidation of Lebrun’s rich personal collection and probably unsold remnants from his stock. Lebrun (1748-1813) was one of the leading art dealers of his time and erstwhile husband of the painter Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun. This copy contains contemporary marginal annotations, as well as late 19th-century additions filling in the gaps.
Alexandre Joseph Paillet, Lebrun’s principal rival, initially compiled this catalogue, and after his death, his son Charles undertook this catalogue’s final publication in collaboration with Guillaume Jean Constantin. At the beginning of this volume, there is a valuable biography of Lebrun, with details of his fascinating life and many accomplishments.
38 pp. 8vo (195 x 128 mm.), late 19th-cent. brown morocco-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Paillet, Boileau & La Fontaine, An VI .
The scarce auction catalogue of a collection of paintings assembled by the artist and dealer Lafontaine (1758-1835). In a recent study, Carole Blumenfeld writes: “As early as 1796, Lafontaine organized two initial sales without catalog at the Hôtel de Bullion…during the course of 1798, he effected a clear change in his commercial strategy, appreciably reducing the proportion of French artists between his two sales, in January and December, and investing the profits from the first sale in Holland over the ensuing...
63 full-page color illus., 26 double-page color illus., 8 full-page black & white illus., & several maps including a finely colored world map that continues for three pages. 16 parts in nine vols. Large 8vo (236 x 168 mm.), later brown wrappers, new stitching. [Japan]: from the last page of the final volume, in trans.: “copied 1815.”
An early copy of this famous and sensational text, which circulated in manuscript in Japan throughout the 19th century. Its account of travels outside of Japan remained effectively a “clandestine” work until it was ultimately published in 1899. The earliest surviving manuscript is dated 1807.
This beautiful calligraphic manuscript, which is richly illustrated, chronicles the extraordinary experiences of a group of 16 Japanese seamen who were carried by a storm in November 1793 to the Aleutians, where they were shipwrecked. After being rescued, they were summoned to St. Petersburg by Tsar Alexander I. There they remained until 1803, when five of them were sent on Krusenstern’s famous voyage into the Pacific — the first Russian circumnavigation. One of the principal objectives of Krusenstern’s voyage was to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Japan. The five seamen, the first Japanese to circumnavigate the globe, finally arrived back in Japan in September 1804.
Many fine woodcuts, both full-page & double-page. 20; 26 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (a little worn & rubbed), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Kyoto: Nakamura Matabei, 1661.
First edition of the best record of the great Tokyo fire of 1657, which destroyed 60-70% of the capital city; it was one of the greatest disasters in Japanese history. “The greatest of the fires was probably that of 1657, the Meireki era fire, which ranks with the 1923 earthquake and the 1945 B-29 firebomb raids as pivotal in the city’s history…When it was over more than 100,000 had died...
97 phototype plates after photographs (all 330 x 430 mm.), each with the orig. blind-stamp of “HW.” Oblong folio binding of orig. blue cloth, with three flaps (a little worn), upper cover lettered in gilt. Moscow: each plate with the legend of the photographic company: Scherer, Nabholz & Co., ca. 1882.
A very rare photographic record of the 1882 All-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition, the 15th and penultimate such fair held in 19th-century Russia. The first fair took place in Saint Petersburg in 1829.
The fine plates depict the various magnificent buildings that comprised the fairgrounds, the train station, and the elaborate exhibitions of cannons and other...