4 p.l., 281,  pp. 8vo, cont. vellum over boards (spine attractively rebacked with leather), trace of ties, spine gilt. Basel: R. Wynter, 1541.
First edition of Gesner’s very rare first book (he had two earlier appearances in books, one as editor and the other as contributor). Gesner published this work at the age of 25, and it reflects his lifelong interest in botany and classification.
This is an alphabetical list of plants’ names compiled from the works of authors on medical topics in antiquity and in the early Middle Ages. The alphabetical arrangement of plants both by their tradition Latin names and...
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4 p.l., 281,  pp. 8vo, cont. vellum over boards (spine attractively rebacked with leather), trace of ties, spine gilt. Basel: R. Wynter, 1541.
One hand-colored engraved plate. xix, 51 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards (some foxing), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: C. Dilly & J. Phillips, 1787.
“Second edition” (but see below) of this translation of Commerell’s work on the mangel wurzel, an uncommon beet developed in the 18th century as a fodder crop for livestock and, when harvested young, an excellent source of nutrition for humans. Commerell (d. 1799), chaplain to the Princess of Lowenstein in the German Lorraine and a member of the Société d’Agriculture de Paris, was interested in husbandry and wrote a monograph in French on...
Six engraved plates on five folding sheets. xii, 122 pp., 8 pp. of Debrett ads (lacking the leaf with directions to the binder). 8vo, cont. calf (joints a trifle cracked at head & tail), flat spine gilt, green morocco lettering piece on spine. London: J. Debrett, 1792.
“Second edition, with many additions,”of this work specifically on the cultivation of water meadows, first published in 1779. “Francis Forbes had recommended water meadows and had given some instruction how to make and manage them, and several other previous writers had done the same, while the actual practice had been fairly common in parts of Wiltshire and...
Seven engraved plates (several folding). viii, 177 pp. Large 4to, early 19th-cent. half-calf & marbled boards (some scuffing), flat spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed by W. Bulmer for G. Nicol et al., 1795.
First edition of the Board of Agriculture’s famous report on the potato. During the final four decades of the 18th century Britain experienced a number of corn harvest failures with a resulting rise in the price of wheat. The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the Board of Agriculture, and various private individuals advocated the adoption of the potato as a substitute...
25,  pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. red sheep-backed marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt. London: Printed for the Author, 1799.
First edition of this scarce book. Rev. Bligh, who has signed and dated (25 August 1798) the final leaf, had the living at Romaldkirk, Yorkshire. This is his account of his lawsuit against his own parishioners regarding the payment of tithes. He gives many details of land and property held by the church and the rules of tithes set out in documents known as glebe terriers. This trial was rather famous in its time.
Title dusty but a nice copy. Stamp of the Lawes Agricultural Trust on front paste-down.
Two fine engraved titles within ruled borders. 1 p.l. (engraved title), xi, 98,  (engraved title), -114 pp. Two parts in one vol. 8vo, cont. red straight-grained morocco (spine a little faded), sides decorated in gilt, flat spine nicely gilt, a.e.g. Exeter: Printed by S. Woolmer for the Author, 1796.
First edition, and very rare, of this early work on agricultural chemistry; not in ESTC or WorldCat. This is a handsomely printed provincial book, produced on thick paper and in a most attractive contemporary binding. The anonymous author, who had “all my life made the Vegetable world my study,” recommends the...
viii, 268 pp. 8vo, early 19th-cent. marbled boards (spine defective). Amsterdam: P. Yver, .
The extremely rare French edition (there was an edition in Dutch the same year) of this catalogue of an impressive sale. A contemporary annotator has supplemented it with prices, buyers’ names, and commentary on the artworks, almost all dismissive, in the margins. Van Slingelandt (1701-82), a great patron of the arts who lived in Dordrecht, amassed one of the most notable Dutch painting collections of the 18th century. This heavily annotated volume is the first and most important part of the sale, describing 701(!) paintings along with eight...
40 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf (recased with sympathetic new endpapers), spine nicely gilt. Paris: Lebrun, 1781.
A spectacular “illustrated” copy of this important sale catalogue with 21 detailed contemporary ink sketches in a similar style to Gabriel de Saint Aubin (1724-80), who frequently embellished art auction catalogues with original drawings (croquis).
Le Blanc (1707-81), man of letters, translator of David Hume, and a true taste-making collector, was an early exponent of Chardin’s paintings. In 1749, Madame de Pompadour selected Le Blanc as a guide for the future marquis de Marigny’s tour of Italy, on which they were accompanied by Jacques Germain Soufflot...
36 pp. 8vo, attractive antique marbled boards, paper label on spine. Paris: Olivier & Lebrun, 1811.
The uncommon sale catalogue, fully priced and with nearly all buyers’ names in a contemporary hand, of the art collection a celebrated portraitist and former pupil of Jacques Louis David. Laneuville (1748-1826), foremost a painter who exhibited at a number of Salons, also worked as an art dealer and expert. His painting style imitated considerably that of his master, and his subjects were often politicians. He maneuvered deftly during the Revolution and secured the patronage of leading revolutionaries, including several deputies of the Convention. Laneuville’s luck persisted...
99 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Joullain, 1778.
The uncommon sale catalogue, fully priced throughout and with buyers’ names, of a noteworthy collection devoted primarily to Italian art and sculpture. Bourlat de Montredon (d. 1777), was an influential amateur and collector who resided in Constantinople for forty years.
The catalogue thoroughly describes 695 lots, many of which are composed of numerous items. Lots 579-671 are Bourlat de Montredon’s impressive group of books of prints, mostly focused on the architecture and decorative arts of Italy, including a number of works by Piranesi. The descriptions...
71 pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. paste-paper boards (corners a little worn), blue morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Paillet & Hugues, 1786.
A rare sale catalogue, with most prices and buyers’ names written in a contemporary hand. Aubert (1736-85), jeweler to the Crown and a favorite of Marie Antoinette, as well as the Comtesse du Barry before, blended his craft with occasional forays into art dealing; however, his avid collecting took precedence. In the preface, Paillet (1743-1814), the expert for this sale, praises Aubert’s taste for Dutch and French pictures along with his impressive natural history cabinet.
This catalogue describes 293 lots: 79 lots of paintings (by Panini, J. Breughel, Rubens, van Dyck, Jordaens, Teniers, Wouwerman, Rembrandt, Metsu, Berghem, Netscher, van Ostade, A. Brouwer, P. Potter, Bourdon, Largillière, F. Boucher, Chardin, Greuze, Fragonard, Anne Valayer-Coster, etc.); 28 lots of drawings (by Bouchardon, Watteau, Lagrenée, etc.); 26 enamel miniatures; 38 lots of prints; 22 lots of sculptures; 38 lots from Aubert’s natural history cabinet; and 46 miscellaneous lots including vases with artificial flowers, bird-cages, rubies, cases of butterflies, etc.
Scroll on paper (290 x 8000 mm.), backed some time ago with paper with gold flecks (some relatively minor worming carefully repaired throughout by the backing). [Japan: mid-Edo].
The creator of these beautiful drawings of medicinal plants is not known but he was certainly an accomplished natural history artist. Each plant portrayed has accompanying notes in Chinese (and sometimes in Japanese) of the name of the plant, medical uses, references to published Japanese botanical works, details on their habitat, the optimal climate for the plants, and the seasons when they bloom or produce fruits.
The quality of the illustrations is at a very high and detailed level. The plants illustrated include several kinds of orchids, species of ginseng which came from Korea in 1727-28, thorow-wax (good for detoxifying the liver), etc. There are also notes regarding how to use the plants to make herbal medicines and the medicines’ varied uses to treat many kinds of disease.
12 leaves of differing colors (gampi paper treated with gofun) bound in two “quires” & sewn together. Small 4to (240 x 179 mm.), orig. semi-stiff pale blue wrappers with mica woodblock-printed designs of reeds, orig. printed label on upper cover. [Saga, near Kyoto: about 1607].
The series of one hundred Noh plays, each produced at the famous private press in Saga, just north of Kyoto, were sumptuous luxury editions printed for the wealthy and enlightened merchant Suminokura Soan (1571-1632), in collaboration with his calligraphy teacher Koetsu, a leading cultural figure of his day, famous as an artist, potter, lacquerer, and connoisseur. They are amongst the...
A most attractive picture scroll, containing a series of finely drawn studies, almost all finished, of various flowers, plants, and tree branches. The only evidence of the name of the accomplished artist, who has exhibited here a fine technique, is illegible.
At the beginning of the scroll, there is a mounted sheet of paper where it is written that the subjects include flowers and vegetables. The first illustrations depict a series of pine branches with short and then long pine needles, followed by a dramatic rendering of the paperplant (this has been illegibly signed by the artist). Next, we have...
Woodcut port. of the author on verso of title & several woodcuts in the text. Title within typographical border. 12 p.l. (last leaf a blank), 348,  pp. Small thick 8vo, cont. vellum over boards, stamped in blind on upper cover “M N H L” & “1613.” Wittenberg: W. Meisner at the expense of C. Berger, [date of Foreword “1612“].
MATENESIUS, Johann Friedrich. Critices Christianae Libri Duo de Ritu Bibendi super Sanitate, Pontificum, Caesarum, Principum, Ducum, Magnatum Amicorum, Amicarum, &c.… Woodcut printer’s vignette on title. 8 p.l., 189 pp., one blank leaf. Small 8vo (tear to first leaf of text in blank portion of...
Numerous full-page woodcut illus. in the text. Five parts in three vols. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (rubbed), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (labels a little defective), new stitching. N.p.: Preface dated 1829, [published 1830].
First edition. Ozeki (1781-1845), a fiefdom lord of Kurobanehan in today’s Tochigi Prefecture, was particularly interested in technology and science. He was active as an innovator in developing the agricultural and industrial activities of his region. After his retirement, he moved to Edo and wrote a series of books on technological and agricultural subjects.
This is Ozeki’s invaluable survey of sericulture and hand weaving techniques used throughout Japan before the modernization of the textile industry in the late 19th century. He describes in great detail all the stages of sericulture, the different kinds of looms used in various areas of the country, the production of linen and cotton fabrics, dyeing methods, how to produce different types of silk fabrics including luxury fabrics, etc.
An important discovery: this is the unique surviving Nara Ehon of the famous story “Ishimochi no soshi,” concerning the famous samurai warrior Shigetada Hatakeyama (1164-1205), who fought in the Genpei War (1180-85). The story describes his preparations for battle, supernatural events which took place while he was going to the battlefield, his great bravery in battle, and the death of his son in the same battle. Hatakeyama’s extraordinary valor and acts of strength and skill are famously recorded in the Heike Monogatari and other histories of the period.
Nara-e (Nara pictures) or Nara Ehon (Nara picture books) are illustrated books produced in Kyoto, not in Nara. They are manuscripts written in fine calligraphy on high-quality paper and were probably executed by under-employed monks. These monks were highly skilled artists and craftsmen who produced extremely lavish versions of otogi-zoshi (fairy tale books) and kowaka-mai (historical folk tales). “Many were produced and purchased for special occasions, and were given as dowry and New Year’s gifts. Pigments used in the paintings were often high-quality, expensive mineral products, and the paper used for the text was often beautifully decorated with designs in gold and silver. In its broadest sense, the term Nara-e refers to books and scrolls with text and illustrations which were produced by anonymous artists from the Muromachi through the mid-Edo period. Yet it is not easy to precisely define a Nara-e style. Current scholarship agrees on a number of characteristics: Nara-e is colorful, often embellished with gold foil (occasionally copper foil); its technique and style are frequently uninspired and unsophisticated, yet the works are almost always charming; and Nara-e paintings tend to be eclectic, revealing their artists’ varied backgrounds and training…
Many fine woodcuts printed in color & many with blind-embossing. Five vols. 8vo, orig. patterned mica-speckled wrappers (some worming carefully repaired), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (all the labels a little wormed), new stitching. Osaka: Uozaki Motosaburo [& four others] & Kyoto: Nishimura Kichibei, 1813.
First edition, fine and thick-paper copy with special refined coloring and blind embossing of many of the woodcuts, of this important anatomical work which collects the records of three dissections performed in Kyoto in 1783, 1798, and 1802. The author explains them based on theories of both traditional Chinese medicine as well as Western medicine.
“A Japanese treatise on anatomy and anatomical dissection in five volumes was published in 1813 by Shoshui or Boku or Koki Mitani (1774-1823) with the title Kaitai hatsumo. This was not the first original Japanese work on dissection, since priority in that respect had been established by the appearance in 1759 of the Zo-shi of Toyo Yamawaki. But that earlier work was short and its illustrative material limited to a few crude drawings of the viscera. Kaitai hatsumo appears, however, to be the first Japanese exposition on the whole system of human anatomy, based upon original observation (including dissection) and knowledge of other anatomical works. An inserted advertisement for this book [not present in this and many other copies] is translated to read as follows: ‘This book is Kaitai hatsumo, on some new Dutch theories and moreover some dissections of a real dead body to make it sure. And it has become clear that the Dutch theories are right and the traditional Japanese and Chinese theories which [have been] with us for 3000 years [are] quite wrong.’ (Somehow one gets here the impression of a persistent reluctance to relinquish the traditional anatomical beliefs in favor of the European knowledge which had come into Japan. After all, the gross inaccuracies of the traditional teachings had been firmly established by the work of Gempaku Sugita and his friends in the previous century)…
Engraved frontis. & woodcut device on title. 5 p.l. (incl. frontis.), 111 pp. 12mo, cont. mottled calf (joints repaired & a bit worn), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece. [Paris]: 1742.
First edition. The book was written in response to the Marquise du Châtelet’s request to further her studies in the sciences and Newtonian philosophy.
Maupertuis “devoted most of the book to a clear summary of the current state of knowledge about comets, including an overview of the dynamics of the Newtonian solar system and Halley’s heroic calculations of cometary orbits. It evolved into a set piece on the analytical power of...
1 p.l., xvi, 555, 16 pp. schedule of sale, & 16 pp. printed price-list laid-in. 8vo, cont. quarter calf & paste-paper boards (corners slightly worn), red morocco lettering-piece, spine gilt. Paris: Regnault-Delalande, 1810 [sale took place in 1811].
The important sale catalogue of Silvestre (1719-1809), artist, teacher to the princes of France, and art collector. Much of his collection was acquired by the Cabinet impérial.
This sizeable catalogue thoroughly describes 1352 lots of paintings, prints, books of prints, and sculpture. The numerous group lots are precisely listed with additional details on state and condition. At the end there is an index of artists, a full list...
viii, 120 pp. 4to, cont. pale blue paper wrappers (spine defective). Vienna: La Société Typographique, 1790.
The uncommon sale catalogue of the collections formed by the founder of the famous Viennese music publisher. Originally from Lucca, Mechetti (c. 1745-1811), encountered financial troubles and was forced to sell his collection of thousands of items, primarily Italian prints and paintings. In the introduction, Mechetti highlights certain pieces in his collection, which was apparently not for sale by auction but rather private contract. Pages 113-20 describe a large library rich in books on the arts and history.
Nice copy. This copy was inscribed on the inside front wrappers to the amateur geologist Baron de Beroldingen (see Zittel). From the library of His Serene Highness Prince Fürstenberg at Donaueschingen with his stamp on title.
viii, 612 pp. 12mo, orig. yellow printed paper wrappers (extremities a trifle worn), uncut. Paris: Guillaumin & Cie, 1856.
The first appearance of Juglar’s (1819-1905) seminal article on pages 555-81 regarding the theory of economic downturns and business cycles. This work served as the foundation for his 1862 prize-winning essay “Des crises commerciales et de leur retour périodique en France, en Angleterre et aux États-Unis.”
Fine copy in original state, sporadic but inoffensive foxing.
1 p.l., ii, 119 pp. 8vo, cont. semi-stiff paper wrappers (spine a little split), uncut. Ghent: F. Verhulst, .
The very rare sale catalogue of the impressive coin, shell, and mineral collections formed by d’Hane de Steenhuyse (1757-1826), Dutch nobleman and politician in Ghent. His family lived in the luxurious Hotel d’Hane-Steenhuyse, which still stands, and hosted figures such as Talleyrand, Tsar Alexander I, Louis XVIII, Chateaubriand, as well as John Quincy Adams.
This catalogue describes nearly 3500 lots. It includes a wide-ranging array of coins from ancient Greece and Rome, countries across Europe, Turkey, Morocco, India, Guadeloupe, the United...
Six illus. in the text (two full-page). 24 unnumbered pages. Folio, pink semi-stiff wrappers (extremities a trifle scuffed). London: 1989.
One of Sam Fogg’s catalogues devoted to artists’ books. It lists 281 items with concise descriptions, including works by or materials related to Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, Daniel Buren, Lucian Freud, Robert Indiana, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Yves Klein, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, George Maciunas, Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, etc. The second portion features exhibition catalogues and magazines. Catalogue compiled by Tim Cumming and Sam Fogg.
Very good copy.