A large engraved copper plate depicting a mechanical model of the Buddhist solar system, executed by the famous artist Shiba Kokan (1747-1818), “the first Japanese artist to create European-style copperplate etchings.”–Oxford Art online. Kokan, Hiraga Gennai, and Gentaku Otsuki were the earliest exponents of Western-style art and science and travelled to Nagasaki to learn from the Dutch. Kokan wrote and illustrated books introducing Western astronomy to Japan.
The present plate shows the cosmic system taught by Fumon Entsu (1755-1834), a Japanese Buddhist monk of the Tendai (or Tiantai) school. In his Bukkoku rekishohen [Astronomical Works for...
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Numerous woodcut illustrations in the text.  folding leaves. 8vo, orig. wrappers (wrappers a little rubbed), orig. block printed title label on upper cover (label a little defective), new stitching. Kyoto & Tokyo: 1864.
First edition and rare. Imamura (1814-90), a leading doctor and historian of Japanese medicine, was physician to the future Emperor Taisho when he was a youth. Imamura, professor of medicine at Tokyo University, found that many of the contemporary Japanese works on acupuncture had strayed from the classic teachings of the Chinese physicians. In this work, Imamura makes a series of highly detailed and organized corrections to refine the...
Numerous full-page & double-page color-printed woodblock illus. Two vols. in four. Large 8vo, orig. yellow semi-stiff wrappers (wrappers a little dusty & stained), orig. woodblock title slips on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka: Maekawa Zenbe, [after 1836].
A fine copy of this famous book; this is the first edition to contain color illustrations (the first edition, which had only black-and-white woodcuts, appeared in 1836). Kawahara (1786-1860), was a late Edo painter who was given permission to document local life for the Dutch trading house in Dejima. He was, in fact, one of the few Japanese permitted to enter the Nagasaki island when it...
8 pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. marbled boards (joints restored), spine gilt. Paris: Poultier & Constantin, 1807.
The rare sale catalogue, fully priced in a contemporary hand, of Louis François Prault (1734-1806), ancien Imprimeur du Roi and son of the great publisher and bookseller Laurent François (1712-80). Prault’s firm printed many auction catalogues in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Because of the Constantins relationship with the Prault family, who printed almost all of their sale catalogues, either Guillaume Jean Constantin or his son, Amédée, was the expert for this sale.
The present catalogue describes Prault’s choice collection of paintings (by Greuze, Lancret, Teniers, Wijnants, van Goyen, etc.), drawings (by Titian, Caravaggio, Panini, Le Sueur, Cochin, etc.), as well as sculpture and ceramics. There is a total of 63 lots, all priced.
24 pp. 8vo, modern cloth boards. Paris: Regnault & Pauquereau, 1806.
A very rare catalogue of the stock of Nicolas (d. 1806), the Parisian gilder and print dealer. He owned a number of paintings and drawings by French artists such as Boucher, Chardin, Galloche, Vallayer-Coster, etc. A total of 202 lots are described. Regnault makes clear in the Avertissement that the items listed all come from Nicolas’s stock.
A very good copy. We locate no copy in North America.
Seven folding leaves. 8vo (248 x 171 mm.), orig. self-wrappers (minor worming), stitched as issued. “January 1858 in Sugamo onkagocho [Edo] by Naojiro.”
Odaiba are defensive artificial or floating islands constructed for defensive purposes. Following Perry’s first arrival in Edo Bay, the Tokugawa shogunate was thrown into great confusion. Not having a navy, the shogunate decided to build a series of odaiba (artificial islands with cannon batteries) to defend the bay. Engineers also conceived of floating odaiba that could be maneuvered.
This manuscript is an application addressed to the bugyo (senior government commissioners) requesting to construct such floating odaiba. In the beginning...
[Japan]: preface dated “1801” & first published in 1864.
A rare text woodblock that contains the complete preface of this famous book of waka poetry, which was published posthumously in 1864. Aruga (1662-1737), a student of Choga Hirama, member of the Nijo ha school of poetry, wrote seven important works of poetry. This woodblock contains three pages of text and one blank page. Both sides have marks indicating the pagination of the preface.
Fine condition. With wooden handles on each side to maintain the proper registration during the printing process.
4 p.l., 27,  pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf (title soiled & a little waterstained), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: W. du Gard for F. Coles, 1654.
“Third Edition Corrected and Enlarged.” Weston (1591-1652), canal builder and agriculturalist, while already having had considerable successful experience in farming in Surrey, made a series of observations on the agricultural methods of the Low Countries during his exile in Belgium in 1644-45, which changed English agriculture.
“Sir Richard’s account of Flemish husbandry was written about 1645, and addressed to his sons from abroad. This was circulated in manuscript, and there is no...
1 p.l., 7, , 6 pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed by T.F., sold by W. Ley, 1657.
First edition and rather scarce. Following Shaw’s essay on the dung roller, which he invented, the remainder of the book consists of two texts, the first starting “How to Order any Land, so as it may reteyne all the moysture that falleth thereon: and to Improve it thereby,” and the second starting “An Easie and Profitable Order in Tilling of Ground to improve it and make it Fertile.”
“The main points of interest about this work are its mention of the use of a manuring ‘Rowler’ or ‘Barrow,’ which seems to anticipate the modern manuring drill, and the advice it contains to plough in wide lands so that the following season the spaces between may be ploughed into lands, thus resting some part of the field each year and getting continuous heavy crops, which sounds rather similar to, although not precisely the same, as Tull’s Horse-Houghing Husbandry. It is a pity the book contains no description or drawing of the manuring rowler or barrow. The system of cultivation of barren lands Shaw recommends is curious.”–Fussell, The Old English Farming Books from Fitzherbert to Tull 1523 to 1730, p. 53.
Title within ruled border. 1 p.l., 20 pp., one blank leaf. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: S. & B. G[riffin] for N. Brooke, 1674.
Second edition. This work has been attributed by many to Sir John Pettus (ca. 1613-85), natural philosopher and politician, but this is probably erroneous. Sainfoin is a highly nutritious plant, which served as an important forage for livestock.
“A most interesting little book…whoever wrote it knew what he was talking about, and had evidently made himself thoroughly acquainted with the peculiarities and value of the plant as a farmer’s...
1 p.l., 20 pp. Small 4to, attractive half-calf & marbled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine, several lower edges uncut. London: S. & B. G[riffin] for N. Brooke, 1671.
First edition and a nice copy. This work has been attributed by many to Sir John Pettus (ca. 1613-85), natural philosopher and politician, but this is probably erroneous. Sainfoin is a highly nutritious plant, which served as an important forage for livestock.
“A most interesting little book…whoever wrote it knew what he was talking about, and had evidently made himself thoroughly acquainted with the peculiarities and value of the plant as...
One folding engraved plate. 22 pp. 4to, attractive antique half-calf & paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Venice: G. Lironcurti, 1770.
First edition of this extremely rare work on the seed drill, an improvement on Jethro Tull’s invention. This seed drill, whose component parts are depicted on nine figures on the plate, was designed to efficiently plant corn seeds.
Fine copy. Stamp of the Rothamsted Experimental Station on blank portion of title.
Seven folding engraved plates. xv, , 138,  pp. 8vo, cont. vellum over boards (head & foot of spine a little worn, vellum a little warped), spine lettered in gilt. Casale: G.A. Meardi, 1764.
RATTI, Alfonso. Nuova Giunta…cioé Descrizione de’ cambiamenti fatti al Seminatore con i quali esso si è reso più semplice. One folding engraved plate, numbered “8.” 45,  pp. 8vo. Casale: G.A. Meardi, 1766.
Engraved title-page & five engraved plates. xvi, 294 pp. 8vo, cont. vellum over boards, spine lettered in gilt. [Florence: G. Cambiagi], 1776.
First edition of this scarce treatise on the cultivation, processing and use of madder (rubia tinctorum), a herbaceous climbing plant with small yellow flowers, the root of which is used medically, and — more importantly — as the primary source of dye (usually crimson). Madder was the principal source of various brilliant red pigments until artificial production of alizirin, the pigment chemical in madder, by Graebe and Liebermann in 1868.
The finely engraved plates depict the plant and its processing for red dyes.
Title within typographical border. 8 p.l., 303 pp. Small 4to, 18th-cent. mottled calf (carefully rebacked by Trevor Lloyd, some occasional browning & soiling), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: J.M. for R. Wodnothe, 1655.
Third edition, greatly enlarged (1st ed.: 1651), of one of Hartlib’s most substantial works, consisting chiefly of letters to Hartlib by Cressy Dymock and Robert Child. “The Legacie deals with a large variety of subjects, among which are Saint Foine; Ploughs and Carriages; Digging, Setting and Howing; Smut and Mildew; Orchards; Hemp and Flax; Manuring; Bees; Silke-worms; the general ignorance, and various experiments, etc. The...
4 p.l., 24 pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed for R. Wodenothe, [1652 or 53?]
First edition of this notable book on fruit culture, part of the growing movement during the Commonwealth towards the improvement of orchards. “The preface is by Samuel Hartlib who here states that the writer of the work was not known to him and that moreover he was unable to discover his name. However, it was said that he was ‘an aged minister of the Gospel’ of Loving-land near Yarmouth, who spent his leisure over a period of many...
Title within typographical border (shaved at foot). 2 p.l., 14 pp., one blank leaf. Small 4to, attractive antique panelled calf (some shaving to bottom line or catchwords on several pages), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed by J.C., 1651.
First edition. “The Reformed Husbandman…is sometimes attributed to Speed, although it was probably written by Cressy Dymock…It is a pamphlet of some 16 pages and full of moral reflections, a melodious exhortation to industry.”–Fussell, I, p. 45.
“The most visible impact of Hartlib’s circle lay in the numerous pamphlets that he published…They comprised letters and treatises solicited...
Seven folding engraved plates. 1 p.l., iv, , 103 pp. 8vo, cont. mottled sheep (head & foot of spine a little defective), spine gilt. Paris: Saugrain le jeune, 1770.
First edition in French of the great economist’s Della Perfetta conservazione del Grano. Discorso (Naples: 1754). Like the first edition, ours was published under the name of Bartolommeo Intieri (1676-1757), economist, engineer, and mathematician, who had furnished his friend Galiani with the ideas on methods to prevent grain from being contaminated by insects. Intieri proposed that grain be dried in a heated kiln. This process would dissipate bad odors, eliminate humidity, kill most insects, and...
Engraved vignette on title, seven folding engraved plates, & one engraved headpiece. 6 p.l., 84 pp. Large 4to, cont. vellum over boards (a little warped). Naples: G. Raimondi, 1754.
First edition of the great economist’s work on the conservation and preservation of grains. This edition was published under the name of Bartolommeo Intieri (1676-1757), economist, engineer, and mathematician, who had furnished his friend Galiani with the ideas on methods to prevent grain from being contaminated by insects. Intieri proposed that grain be dried in a heated kiln. This process would dissipate bad odors, eliminate humidity, kill most insects, and check the tendency of...
Two folding woodcut plates, each with printed explanatory text. 3 p.l., 33 pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: R. Wodenothe, 1653.
First edition of Dymock’s work on the layout of the ideal farm, edited and published by Samuel Hartlib. This book “comments upon Plattes’s suggestion that the uninclosed lands are ‘not now yielding the one-fourth part of that profit either to private or publique.’ It contains two plans, one setting out 2,000 acres into sixteen farms of 100 acres and sixteen farms of 25 acres on a rectangular plan; the other showing the...
Title within typographical border (border cropped at foot and catchword on A2 shaved). 3 p.l., 17 pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed H. Hills, 1651.
First edition of one of the first suggestions of the need to establish a school of agriculture in Britain. While various scholars have attributed this work to Samuel Hartlib (favored by McDonald), or Gabriel Plattes (favored by Fussell), it is now generally presumed that Cressy Dymock (fl. 1629-60), is the author. Hartlib, who served as the editor, has signed the four-page “To the Reader.”
“The book was inspired by the highest moral sentiments, as might be expected in that Puritan age. All misery, it declares, is due to the narrowness of our spirit and because our hearts are not enlarged above ourselves… it was nearly three hundred years before men were moved to action and to the founding of a University Chair in Agriculture and the Royal College of Agriculture.”–Fussell, I, pp. 44-45.
Engraved allegorical frontis. & seven large folding engraved plates. 8 p.l. (incl. frontis. & half-title), 80, , 56 pp., one leaf of errata. Large 4to, cont. vellum over boards. Milan: per M.A. Pandolfo Malatesta, 1718.
First edition of this rare and finely illustrated work on a new type of plough developed by the Marchese Borro (1672-1760), mathematician, mechanician, soldier, and poet, who lived in Tuscany. The author provides a detailed account of the various trials he performed while the plough was in development.
The fine plates, executed by the renowned Milanese artist Gaetano Bianchi, depict the various parts of the plough and the plough being...
20 pp. 8vo, 19th-century brown half-cloth & marbled boards (spine a trifle rubbed), title on spine, spine gilt. [S.l.: 1737].
One of the very rare contemporary manuscript sale catalogues of the painting collection of the comtesse de Verrue (1670-1736), one of history’s greatest collectors of art as well as books. It is annotated with nearly all prices and a few buyers’ names. According to Lugt, there are no known printed catalogues of this sale of paintings — most likely never printed — and the Getty Provenance Index records 14 extant manuscript copies, all in institutional libraries, except this example.
“Verrue, may be best known today as Alexandre Dumas’s fictive dame volupté, a sobriquet she reputedly created and one that has too easily obscured her crucial role in the art world of early eighteenth-century Paris. She had the social confidence to renounce the traditional pattern of collecting that Crozat had eagerly embraced and turned from ‘serious’ Italian paintings to ‘petits sujets,’ bucolic landscapes, and amorous mythologies, primarily by painters of the Northern and French schools. Like Crozat, she shaped a remarkable and widely admired dwelling that was central to her identity and famous during her lifetime. The importance of each house was enhanced by the way it functioned. Each became a key site of artistic discourse, a place where art lovers and artists assembled, and a locus for assessing competing systems of value, where distinctive outlooks were forged, defined, and absorbed.”–Rochelle Ziskin, Sheltering Art (2012), p. 2.
Seven double-page color-printed woodcut plates & one color-printed woodcut vignette on page of Preface. Large 8vo, accordion format (orihon), 14 panels, orig. patterned semi-stiff dark blue wrappers (a little rubbed & minor wear), decorated with gold, orig. blue-gray block-printed title label on upper cover. Edo: Eijudo, 1787.
First edition of this extremely rare and beautiful ehon; it is “Kiyonaga’s one great non-erotic album.”–Hillier, The Art of the Japanese Book, p. 382. Kiyonaga (1752-1815), most famous as a designer of color prints depicting the life and customs of the “Floating World” in and around Edo, was for many years considered “the supreme master designer of...