152 pp. Small 8vo (159 x 100 mm.), cont. paste-paper wrappers (spine partly perished), stitched as issued. Paris: L. P. Dubray, 1810.
First edition of this uncommon exhibition guide and catalogue. Customarily, the French school would appear last in such guides; however, here, the school is placed first. This catalogue lists 1233 paintings, which were displayed in the portion of the Louvre renamed to celebrate Napoleon. This exhibition constituted a magnificent display of Old Masters.
Very good copy.
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152 pp. Small 8vo (159 x 100 mm.), cont. paste-paper wrappers (spine partly perished), stitched as issued. Paris: L. P. Dubray, 1810.
1 p.l., ii, 224 pp. 12mo (162 x 104 mm.), cont. calf-backed paste-paper boards (head of spine worn), red morocco label on spine. [Paris: L’Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, 1804/5].
A rare and often misdated issue of this exhibition guide. Marquet de Vasselot shows that this issue incorporates the Supplement of 1804 (no. 123), making it impossible for this to have been printed in 1801, as some cataloguers have concluded. The present catalogue describes 1243 works in total, which were shown during two momentous exhibitions at the Louvre in 1799 and in 1801.
Very good copy; a few gatherings lightly browned.
3 p.l., 155 pp. 8vo (171 x 102 mm.), cont. mottled calf (joints a little rubbed and cracked at head & tail, but strong), spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. The Hague: J. Neaulme, 1747.
First edition of this groundbreaking work on the arts in France, composed by the “father of modern art criticism” (Oxford Art online, by A. McClellan). La Font (1688-1771) was employed at Versailles as Gentilhomme de la Reine to Marie Leczinska, and befriended the painter F. Lemoyne. He anonymously wrote several other well-regarded books on the arts.
The present work, in addition to his Sentimens (1754), another Salon review, “fuelled an explosion in Salon criticism, much of it anonymous, in the second half of the 18th century and marked a turning-point not just in the history of art criticism but in the relationship between art and politics as well.”–Oxford Art online.
20,  unnumbered pages. 8vo (200 x 130 mm.), printed thick paper wrappers. Madrid: Estampa Ediciones, 1991.
One of Carrión’s rare bookworks, posthumously published by the Other Books and So Archive; from a numbered edition of 300. This work, printed offset, contains a collection of text-based poems by Carrión employing the first three or four letters of the alphabet.
As new. WorldCat records only three copies in North America.
Many illus in the text. Four unnumbered leaves. Small folio (298 x 210), orig. printed wrappers, staple-bound. Amsterdam: U. Carrión, 1981.
Very rare lecture notes serving as the explanation for a piece of performance art created by Carrión to examine informal modes of communication. The artist, with the help of friends, spread gossip about himself around Amsterdam. This piece also entailed a lecture and a video recapitulating the results of this experiment-cum-artwork. The text of this work is printed in parallel Dutch and English texts. Each step of the performance is explained, and definitions, accompanied by diagrams, of gossip, scandal, rumor, etc....
The autograph manuscript of one of Sand’s earliest novellas. It contains nearly 300 ink deletions and corrections and vividly reveals the author’s writing process. Cora appeared in print for the first time on 9 February 1833 in the fifth volume of the collection of tales Le Salmigondis. Sand (1804-76) wrote it shortly after her split with the novelist Jules Sandeau (1811-83). Sand’s works from 1832 to 1834 are particularly revealing concerning her turbulent personal life and her total adoption of the bohemian and androgynous persona of “George Sand,” for which she applied and received a permission de travestissement. Her early...
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...
[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...
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...
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...
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].
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.
Portfolio of original photographs (mainly from 210 x 300 mm. to 240 x 330 mm.) depicting artillery, field guns, howitzers, cannons, ammunition wagons, etc., produced by Friedrich Krupp. 53 mounted photographs (some partly faded) on 51 stiff boards (640 x 480 mm.), all boards signed “Photogr. Atelier des Krupp’schen Etablissements.” Large oblong folio (645 x 500 mm.), orig. red cloth folder (a little rubbed & soiled) with title printed in gilt on cover, metal protectors at corners. [Essen]: dated 1869-76.
A very rare portfolio issued by the Krupp Steel Works with 53 original albumen photographs. A sort of trade catalogue showing the different cannons, other weapons, and military equipment manufactured...
Complete set of 20 original albumen photographs (image sizes: 170 x 250 mm. & 230 x 190 mm.) by Charles David Winter mounted on card boards (440 x 350 mm.). Folio, orig. portfolio with large printed title pasted on upper cover (cloth spine a little worn, some rubbing to boards), orig. cloth ties. Strasbourg: Winter Fassoli, 1870.
A fine set of this extremely rare portfolio of 20 albumen photographs by the Strasbourg photographer Charles David Winter (1821-1904). These photographs reveal the devastation that took place during the siege of Strasbourg in August and September 1870 by Germany in the Franco-Prussian War. This siege was the first example of “total...
26 (of 30?) albumen photographs (all ca. 215 x 160 mm.), mounted on boards within frames printed in red, all images with printed titles on the boards (410 x 320 mm.). Numbered 501 to 530 but lacking (?) nos. 506, 507, 511, & 525, signed: “Photographie des H. Gruson’schen Ateliers.“ Oblong folio, orig. green leather portfolio, panelled in gilt with leather wreath, with metal crest in center of upper cover. Buckau, near Magdeburg: n.d. [but 1872-76].
From the collection of Otto von Bismarck, the German statesman and unifier of Germany. This deluxe portfolio of original photographs was presented by the Grusonwerk, a leading member of Germany’s defense industry, to Bismarck and comes...
Six folding engraved plates. Title in red & black. 1 p.l., 308 pp. 8vo, cont. mottled sheep, flat spine nicely gilt, contrasting leather lettering piece on spine. Lausanne & Geneva: M.M. Bousquet, 1744.
First edition of this important book in which Cheseaux (1718-51), grandson of Crouzas and a fellow the Royal Society of London, first stated what was to become known as “the paradox of Cheseaux”: “With an infinite and uniform distribution of stars throughout space, the night sky should shine with a brightness corresponding to their average surface brightness.” A number of notable astronomers have struggled with this problem, including Halley, Olbers...