106 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Le Brun, 1785.
The uncommon sale catalogue of the collection of a famous patron of the arts. Bailli de Breteuil (1725?-85), an influential diplomat who was ambassador to Malta, collected paintings, sculptures, curiosities, and objets d’art. He lived in Rome for about two decades and he owned a magnificent Roman villa decorated by Lavallée-Poussin. Upon returning to Paris in 1787, he frequented Grimod de La Reynière’s salon. Rumors abounded that Bailli was engaged in an affair with Madame Grimod.
The present catalogue fully...
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106 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Le Brun, 1785.
Finely engraved frontis. with profile of Le Bas (drawn by Cochin & engraved by C.E. Gaucher) & finely engraved tailpiece at the end of the biographical sketch (by same). xlix, 92, 19 pp. catalogue list. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff boards (head of spine a little split), leaves uncut. Paris: Clousier & Joullain, 1783.
The very rare sale catalogue of the engraver to the Cabinet du Roi; with a valuable list of 133 catalogues produced by Joullain since 1763. Le Bas (1707-83), studied under Antoine Hérisset and is famous for his skilled imitations of works by Teniers, Wouwerman, Falens, Coypel, Watteau, Oudry...
2 p.l., 66,  pp. Small 8vo (180 x 105 mm.), late 19th-century cloth-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: P. Remy & Musier, 1773.
([BENARD, —]). Catalogue des Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines, Meubles, & autres objets de curiosité. Provenant du Cabinet de M.*** Dont la Vente se fera…le Jeudi 26 Mai 1774, & jour suivans… 9 pp. Small 8vo. Paris: Chariot, 1774.
I. The very rare auction catalogue of Morand’s important cabinet of anatomical curiosities, natural history specimens, art, and antiquities (see below). Morand (1697-1773), the esteemed surgeon and contributor to the Encylopédie, possessed an eclectic collection, but focused principally...
1 p.l., xxiv, 74 pp. 8vo, self-wrappers, stitched as issued (stitching loose), leaves uncut. Paris: Regnault-Lalande, 1811.
The rare catalogue of this joint sale of the collections of Ozanne (1728-1811) and Coïny (1761-1809), which took place 2-11 December 1811. The former, a distinguished marine artist and engineer, collaborated with Duhamel du Monceau on several illustrated works and taught naval architecture and navigation to the sons of the royal family. Le Tellier de Courtanvaux used one of Ozanne’s ships as a platform to test Pierre Le Roy’s marine chronometer.
A student of Suvée and J.P. Lebas, Coïny exhibited at the Salon...
15 pp. 8vo, late 19th-century red cloth, title on spine. Paris: Folliot & Delalande, 1785.
A rare sale catalogue, of which we find no copy in North America. It describes a choice collection of 15 lots, with paintings by Poussin, Albani, Bril, Teniers, N. Berghem, etc. The experts write that normally with such a small collection they would not have issued a catalogue, but with the quality of these paintings, they thought it prudent to publish one. The Comte de Sauveterre was a high-level representative of the French king in Germany; however, we do not know his first name.
viii, 175 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Bénard, 1806.
The uncommon sale catalogue of an exceptional print collection formed in Belgium. Wolfgang Guillaume, the third duc d’Ursel (?1730-1804), a Belgian general and husband of Flore d’Arenberg, focused his collecting on prints of paintings engraved by the painters themselves. The catalogue is arranged by school and within that by painter. We find engravings by Albani, Carracci, Maratti, Titian, Dürer, Hollar, Berghem, van Leyden, Rembrandt, Callot, Coypel, etc.
The catalogue thoroughly describes 948 lots of prints and drawings, many of which are...
22 pp., 1 leaf of “Approbation.” Small 8vo (160 x 95 mm.), 19th-century calf-backed marbled boards (joints a little rubbed), red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Prault & Barrois, 1748.
A rare sale catalogue of the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Gallic antiquities amassed by Valois (1671-1747), an early connoisseur of ancient objects, who was named antiquaire du roi. This was one of Gersaint’s final sales.
“Valois was the son and nephew of great 17th-century scholars, Adrien and Henri de Valois; antiquary of the king and pensionnaire de l’Académie des inscriptions, he accumulated sculptures, ancient bronze and more than 6000 medals...
2 p.l., 72 pp. Small 8vo, cont. red sheep-backed marbled boards (extremities slightly rubbed), spine gilt, green morocco lettering piece on spine. Amsterdam: P. Yver, .
(—). Catalogue d’un precieux Cabinet de Desseins, Coloriés & Non-Coloriés des plus célebres Maîtres Hollandois & Flamands, &c. De même, que d’une tres belle Collection d’Estampes, de Choix. Parmi lesquelles il y a quelques Petits Oeuvres & des Ouvrages d’Estampes Reliées & non-Reliées presque Toutes Premieres Epreuves & des mieux conservées…La Vente s’en fera le Lundi 16 de Janvier 1775 & les Jours suivants…Par les Courtiers… 2 p.l., 235, , 78...
36 pp. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Musier, 1774.
The uncommon sale catalogue of a distinguished collection belonging to Antoine Antonin, duc de Gramont (1722-1801), who inherited the title in 1745. 106 lots thoroughly described, including works by Albani, Guerchin, Wouwermans, Jordaens, Watteau, etc.
Nice copy, despite inoffensive marginal worming to first five leaves.
❧ Lugt 2348.
126 pp. 8vo (195 x 130 mm.), late 19th-cent. blue sheep-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Lebrun, 1788.
A rare auction catalogue, priced throughout in a contemporary hand, of a formidable collection of paintings. Although Lugt attributes this to Montesquiou (1739-98), it seems that most of the lots did not belong to him. Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun (1748-1813), this sale’s expert, was known to add his inventory and lesser consignments to prestigious sales for which he was responsible. Montesquiou, member of the Académie Française and a general, was close to many of the physiocrats.
The present catalogue describes 276 lots...
Engraved allegorical frontis. 1 p.l., vi, 93 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. N.p.: 1751.
First edition. Bachaumont (1690-1771) was an influential noble who grew up at the court of Versailles during the height of its significance as the political and cultural nucleus of France. He frequented the salons of Paris and was entangled in several controversies, one in particular regarding a journal filled with gossip ascertained at the salon of Madame Doublet de Persan, for which he may have been partially responsible. By the end of his life, he was...
36 folding leaves, of which four are blank. 8vo (240 x 170 mm.), orig. blue semi-stiff wrappers (wrappers somewhat worn), orig. label, heightened in gold, with manuscript title, new stitching. [Japan]: n.d.
During the Edo period, there were 12 Korean delegations to Japan, whose purposes were mostly to congratulate a new Tokugawa shogun. The missions, which normally included 300-500 Koreans, accompanied by roughly 1500 Japanese escorts, symbolized the amicable relationship between the two nations and, in the early years, served to legitimize the Tokugawa shogunate.
These delegations, which usually took nine or ten months round-trip, were enormously expensive undertakings for...
12 p.l., 374,  pp., one leaf of errata. 4to, cont. English dark blue morocco (unimportant scuffing to extremities), covers panelled in gilt & blind, spine finely gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine, a.e.g. Amsterdam: J. Claus & others, 1676.
First edition, rare, and a splendid copy bound in contemporary English dark blue morocco, most probably for presentation, of the classic exposition of the Quaker philosophy. The Society of Friends, as Quakers are more formally known, has historically had an outsized influence through the mere force of passive resistance. Their form of Christianity is “widely divergent from the prevalent...
Four vols. 8vo, orig. polished mottled green calf (a little rubbed), single gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt, orange leather lettering piece on spine, crown stamped in gilt at head of spine [Vol. I], orig. fine brown sheep maroquiné, single gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt, orange leather lettering piece on spine, crowns stamped in gilt at head & foot of spine, a.e.g. [Vol III], orig. boards [ Vols. II & IV]. Munich: 1832-33-48-72.
The first catalogue issued, with its three supplements, of the maps and plans in the Bavarian Army Library, founded in 1822. This was one...
Engraved frontis. port. & one engraved plate. 32 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: “Aux dépens de l’Académie Royale de Peinture & de Sculpture,” 1783.
First edition of this little-known work by Beffroy (1757-1811). A man of letters, he authored several dramas and comedic works, often under the pseudonym “Cousin Jacques.” He quickly fell out of favor during the Revolutionary period once it was discovered that he intended to publish a harsh critique of what he considered a deeply flawed demagogic movement. Subsequently, he and his works were largely forgotten.
Expertly backed with later thick paper, gold speckles on back of scroll, decorative wrappers with gold-pigmented manuscript label: “Uraga joriku no ezu” [“Landing at Uraga Illustrated”]. Fine paintings executed with brush & ink, many colors of wash, and metal pigment, with manuscript captions. Japan: after “Kaei 6” .
A remarkable example of a “Black Ship Scroll,”a rare contemporary illustrated Japanese account of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s incursions into Japanese territory in July 1853 and February 1854. Ours is a composite scroll of drawings of varying dimensions by at least three artists; most of the images concern Perry’s first expedition, but...
99,  p. Small 8vo (160 x 107), cont. calf (joints a little worn), red morocco lettering-piece on spine, spine gilt. Paris: C.A. Jombert, 1754.
First edition of this uncommon book, which contains an essential lecture given by Blondel at the opening session of the fifth Cours Publique in his independent Ecole des Arts. This school was founded in 1743, and was able to provide an exhaustive curriculum to a larger and more diverse audience than the Académie. Leading figures of the neo-classical such as Chambers, Patte, Wailly, Desprez, Boullée, and Ledoux all took classes at the school.
Eight engraved plates & one folding engraved map. xix, 247 pp.; 2 p.l., 285 pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. mottled calf (extremities a bit rubbed), flat spines gilt. Geneva: J.P. Bonnant, 1781 [an early owner has added two I’s the Roman numeral date making it “1783”].
First edition and rather scarce. Bourrit (1735-1815), the son of a watchmaker in Geneva, was one of the first to systematically explore and record the Alps and their geological features. In the years 1784-85 he was the first to attempt the ascent of Mont Blanc (not conquered until 1786). In 1787 he reopened the...
Numerous woodcuts in the text. 28 unnumbered leaves (incl. the first leaf, a blank). Small 4to, early 20th-cent. calf (final leaf with short tear in blank section, carefully repaired). London: W. Stansby for J. Grismand, 1626.
A very rare book that describes the English bread-pricing regulations established in 1266, which remained in force, with modifications, for more than six centuries. As Britain’s early modern economy developed and the price of wheat fluctuated, these regulations were periodically revised and reissued by authority of the Privy Council. ESTC locates only one copy of our edition in North America.
“Bread was one of...
Lithographed frontis. xvi, 276 pp. 8vo, orig. printed wrappers, uncut. Freiberg: Craz & Gerlach, 1825.
First edition of this rare account of the great mining city Freiberg in Saxony which owes its origin to the discovery of silver mines ca. 1163. Freiberg has traditionally been the seat of the general administration of the mines throughout Saxony and is the home of the famous mining academy, which produced so many famous geologists and mineralogists.
Breithaupt (1791-1873), a leading mineralogist and professor of mineralogy at the mining academy at Freiberg (succeeding Mohs in 1826), has provided an extremely detailed account of the...
56 pp. Large 4to, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Leipzig: J.G.I. Breitkopf, 1779.
First edition. Breitkopf’s projected history of printing, of which the author completed the first part (and which remained in manuscript) and left material for the second part, was never published.
❧ Bigmore & Wyman, I, p. 81.
 pp. Single folded sheet (520 x 520 mm. unfolded), laid-in printed folder as issued. Cologne: Walther König, 1999.
“1x1 royal cubit, royal cubit: ancient egyptian, measure of lenght ± 2500 b.c.” In fine condition. Edition of 500 copies.
❧ Harry Ruhé, ed., stanley brouwn: a chronology (2nd ed.: 2005).
59 leaves, enumerating the names of grapes, cereal crops, and oils and their prices for nearly two centuries. Small folio (273 x 178 mm.), 18th-cent. vellum over boards (tail of spine defective), two (of four) ties lacking. Burgundy: 1622-1792.
A fascinating and rare survival, which details the precipitous rise in the prices of Burgundian wine and the emergence of a hierarchy among regions and vintages over a 170-year period. This document, consisting of three gatherings (28; 28; 3 leaves), bound together and written in several legible hands, provides a wealth of information on grain harvests in the region, which varied...
Engraved vignette on title & one large folding engraved plate (a little frayed at inner margin). xxxx, 78 pp. 8vo, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards (two corners a little worn, a little worming to covers), spine gilt. Moscow: “bey der Typographischen Gesellschafft,” 1785.
First edition of this translation, printed in Moscow, and edited anonymously. Cebes of Thebes (ca. 430-350 B.C.E.) was a member of Socrates’ inner circle. One of the speakers in the Phaedo of Plato, he was represented as an earnest seeker after virtue and truth, keen in argument and cautious in decision. One of the dialogues that has...