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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 types, being a....
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.
Numerous woodcuts in the text. 35 parts in 16 vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. [China]: Xue ku shan fang, 1890.
Second edition (1st ed.: 1880) of the compiler Gu’s collection of writings by Zewei Bu and Bingzhong Liu (both Tang dynasty, 618-907) on feng shui, divination, geomancy, and Chinese astrology. Both the 1880 edition and our edition are very rare. The texts, which first appeared in the 17th century, have remained very popular, and there is also a 1970 (quite wretched) reprint.
Our edition was edited by Zhimo Xu, who lived in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The texts include Bu’s Xue xin fu, which...
Six vols. Small 4to (135 x 123 mm.), orig. boards, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers. [Japan]: mid-Edo.
A collection of six volumes, gathered by the Buddhist monk and shomyo master named Kenshin (d. 1683?), containing printed Japanese Buddhist ceremonial music notation for chanting, beautifully printed on mica paper. “The generic name for Japanese Buddhist chant is ‘shomyo,’ from a Chinese translation of Sanskrit sabdavidya, the science of words of sounds (i.e. grammar and phonology), which was one of the panca-vidya, the five subjects of traditional Brahmanic study…For a thousand years, shomyo has connoted above all Tendai and Shingon chant…Tendai and...
[China: 18th-19th cent.].
A fine example of a woodblock executed in China, with images on both sides, of the Chinese god Guanyin or Guanshiyin, the Buddhist Bodhisattva associated with compassion, and Cong shen, a Chinese mythological figure.
Minor wear to borders on one side, but in fine condition.
Title within woodcut border & woodcut on verso of final leaf. 54,  pp. Small 4to, modern binding reusing an early MS. leaf over boards (verso of final leaf a little soiled). [Basel: J. Froben, 1518].
First separate edition of these two famous texts, “In Praise of Marriage” and “In Praise of Medicine.” The first work created a cause célèbre; written many years earlier in honor of the marriage of his friend Lord Mountjoy, when finally published it was seen by the Louvain and Paris theologians as an implicit condemnation of clerical celibacy.
The second work is Erasmus’s expression of his views of the medical arts. It “presents a view of medical ethics that identifies competence, beneficence and diligence as the physician’s primary moral obligations. The activity of the physician, when directed toward the patient in accordance with these obligations, gives rise to reciprocal obligations on the part of the patient: gratitude and reward. The activity of the patient in accordance with these obligations returns honour and payment to the physician.”–Albury & Weisz, “The Medical Ethics of Erasmus and the Physician-Patient Relationship” (online resource). It is dedicated to the distinguished physician Henricus Afinius, the chief physician of Antwerp.
Wood engraved vignette on title. 19 pp. Small 8vo (185 x 110 mm.), self-bound, uncut. Altdorf: Fr. X. Z’graggen, 1828.
First and only edition of this very rare pamphlet on freedom of the press by Geiger (1755-1843), a Catholic priest and professor of theology in Lucerne. In 1788, he conspired with the Marquis de Vérac to restore Louis XVI to the throne. After being dismissed from his professorship, Geiger became a journalist and wrote numerous polemical pieces on church history, Catholicism, and contemporary political issues, including free speech. He founded the Schweizerische Kirchenzeitung, a Catholic theological periodical, which began publication in 1832 and...
4 p.l., 223,  pp. 8vo, cont. polished mottled calf, spine nicely gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Bern: “In Verlag der neuen Buchhandlung,” 1772.
First edition of one of Haller’s works, written late in life as he became more and more conservative, defending religion against the ideas of the Enlightenment.
A very fine copy.
14 parts in 13 vols. Large 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers (rubbed), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (rubbed), new stitching. [Japan: 1648-52].
An early and rare edition of this highly influential commentary on the Tsurezuregusa [Notes from Leisure Hours] of Kenko Yoshida (ca. 1282-1350). Yoshida’s greatest masterpiece, it is a nonfictional prose work — zuihitsu — containing miscellaneous reflections and observations that continues to be read and loved today. “It can be said that Kenko discovered a couple of centuries before Montaigne that prose was the natural medium for conveying the motions of an inquiring, particularly a self-inquiring, mind. It is...
1 p.l., x, 169 pp.; 2 p.l., 184 pp. Two vols. in one. Small 8vo, cont. mottled calf (foot of spine a little chipped, lower edge of upper cover a little defective), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. “Londres” (but probably Amsterdam): 1768.
First edition of one Holbach’s most important assaults on religion, in which he attacked Christianity and other religions as the source of all human evils. Holbach (1723-89), French philosopher, kept a salon in Paris for Helvetius, d’Alembert, Diderot, Condillac, Turgot, Buffon, Grimm, Hume, Garrick, Wilkes, Sterne, Rousseau and other free-thinkers. He was a major contributor to the Encyclopédie...
vi, , 602 pp., one leaf of errata. 4to, fine cont. tree calf (very slightly worn at head), gilt borders on sides, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: R. Faulder, 1797.
First edition and a lovely copy. This book was written at a pivotal point in the history of geology, after the publication of Hutton’s Theory of the Earth (1795) but before Playfair’s Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802). It was a time when no theory had been generally accepted and Biblical theories were still widely current. Howard’s substantial book is a review of some...
Ten columns per page, 20 characters per column. 52 folding leaves. Large 8vo (280 x 203 mm.), later wrappers, new stitching. [Japan]: colophon dated “1564.”
The earliest surviving edition of one of the “two priceless records of the earlier stages of the Chinese language.”–Edwin G. Pulleyblank, “Qieyun and Yunjing: The Essential Foundation for Chinese Historical Linguistics“ in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 118, No. 2 (April-June 1998), p. 213. The Yunjing, along with its predecessor, the Qieyun, were the standard pronunciation guides of the Early Middle Chinese and Middle Chinese periods.
This is a very rare book, with only three (or, perhaps, two) other known copies.
11 columns per page, 20 characters per column. Written in Chinese with manuscript Japanese reading marks. 52 folding leaves. Large 8vo (290 x 205 mm.), orig. wrappers (wrappers somewhat worn & rubbed), manuscript title-label on upper cover, new stitching. From the colophon: “Kyoto: Kotetsu shoin, 1608.”
A very rare movable type edition — not in WorldCat or NIJL — of one of the “two priceless records of the earlier stages of the Chinese language.”–Edwin G. Pulleyblank, “Qieyun and Yunjing: The Essential Foundation for Chinese Historical Linguistics“ in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 118, No. 2 (April-June 1998), p. 213. The Yunjing, along with its predecessor...
Ten columns per page, 20 characters per column. The first leaf in Japanese, the remainder in Chinese. 1 p.l., 52 folding leaves. 8vo (275 x 173 mm.), orig. wrappers (wrappers quite rubbed & and somewhat worn), old stitching. From the colophon: “Kyoto: Tahara Ninzaemon, 1641.”
A very rare early edition — not in WorldCat or NIJL — of one of the “two priceless records of the earlier stages of the Chinese language.”–Edwin G. Pulleyblank, “Qieyun and Yunjing: The Essential Foundation for Chinese Historical Linguistics“ in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 118, No. 2 (April-June 1998), p. 213. The Yunjing, along with its predecessor, the...
Several fine woodcuts in Vol. I. Ten columns, 20 characters per column. 86; 95; 76 folding leaves. Six parts in three vols. Large 8vo (280 x 200 mm.), orig. brown wrappers, orig. manuscript title labels on upper covers, new stitching. From the final leaf of Vol. III: “Koya san Ojoin…Kan’ei 12” [“printed at Mount Koya in Ojoin, 1635“].
First edition of this very rare (not in WorldCat) and handsome movable type book, printed on Mount Koya, south of Osaka, the center of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. This is a most unusual example of fukun shokuban, a technique that enabled typesetters to also add (shoku...
Eight columns, 17 characters per column. 19 folding leaves. 8vo (268 x 190 mm.), orig. wrappers bound in somewhat later brown wrappers (wrappers rather rubbed), title label in manuscript on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan]: “mid-Kan’ei” (ca. 1634).
An extremely rare movable type edition: it was unknown to Kawase, and there is no copy listed in the Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books or in WorldCat.
Jokei (1155-1213), was an early Kamakura period monk of the Hosso school, the most influential of the six Nara schools of Buddhism up until that time. One of the prominent clerics of his age and a member of...
12; 27; 16 folding leaves with erratic foliation. Three parts in one vol. Small 8vo (142 x 193 mm.), orig. decorated covers embellished with mica, new stitching. [Japan]: after 1808; after 1817; & after 1818.
A remarkable discovery, the mock-up for an unpublished illustrated work by Kitao (1739-1820), a master of book illustration, with 16 pages of his exquisite drawings. From this manuscript, we learn a great deal about the creative process leading up to the publication of illustrated books in the mid-Edo period. This work’s religious contents also would have been a departure for Kitao, who was celebrated for his bijin-ga and yakusha-e. We have found no other...
N.p. [Japan]: n.d. [but 17th century].
These texts give an account of the life and times of Shingen Takeda (1521-73), and his son Katsuyori Takeda (1546-82), the greatest warriors of a prominent military house active from 1185 to about 1600, a period of considerable chaos in Japan. The Takeda clan had a profound influence on the development of the concept of bushido, the warrior class ethical system, which in turn can be said to permeate much of modern Japanese culture. Our manuscript includes “accounts of the Takeda clan’s rise and fall; their unique military tactics; the army’s constitution;...
Two full-page woodcuts serving as frontispieces & a full-page woodcut on final leaf. 1 p.l., 38, 38, 29 folding leaves. Three parts in one vol. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers, manuscript title label on upper cover, new stitching. [Guangzhou]: Yao Shi, .
A very rare illustrated printing of the translation by Kumarajiva of the Vimalakirti Sutra, one of the fundamental texts of Chinese Buddhism. Kumarajiva (344-413), Buddhist monk, scholar, missionary, and translator, who came from the Silk Road kingdom of Kucha, was famous for his encyclopaedic knowledge of Indian and Vendantic learning. He was the greatest translator of Buddhist scripture from Sanskrit into Chinese, and it...
vi, 218 pp. 8vo, cont. marbled half-sheep & marbled boards (title & final leaf rather foxed), flat spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine, arms in gilt on upper cover of Max, Graf von Preysing-Lichtenegg-Moos (1810-81). Nuremberg: Riegel & Wiessner, 1819.
First edition of this detailed history of the Jesuits in Bavaria. Lang (1764-1835), was a Bavarian government official, the archivist of Munich, and the author of many histories of Bavaria. The Jesuits in Bavaria exerted considerable influence in the region due to their enormous wealth; they were suppressed in 1773.
Apart from the foxing, a fine copy. Bookplate of Philipp Pfister, secretary to King Ludwig
Title within ornate woodcut architectural border. Woodcut printer’s device on title. 26 unnumbered leaves. Small folio, cont. pigskin-backed wooden boards, spine & boards stamped in blind, orig. brass catches on upper cover, one (of two) orig. clasps. Paris: N. de La Barre for E. Le Fevre, 6 October 1515.
—. Arithmetica Speculativa…duodecim libris demonstrata. Title within ornate woodcut architectural border which is printed in red & black. Woodcut printer’s device on title. Several woodcuts in the text. 100 unnumbered leaves. Small folio (some foxing). Paris: N. de La Barre for E. Le Fevre, 18 December 1515.
Forty parts in 12 vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. At the beginning of each part: Cixi: Prefaces dates 1776 & 1788.
A valuable and influential dictionary of synonyms and antonyms in the Chinese language. Li, a native of Cixi, served as a magistrate in Wangjiang County. Originally published in 39 parts, this edition has the valuable supplement — the 40th part — by Huai Guan, painter and librarian, who lived in Hangzhou, near Cixi.
This is an encyclopedic work, encompassing synonyms and antonyms in all disciplines, including science, politics, history, gastronomy, costumes, technology, books and bibliography, transportation, weaving, military history, agriculture, antiquities, music, religious texts, pharmacology...
Large woodcut on title of an astronomer studying an armillary sphere in front of a starry sky by Hans Burgkmair & nine woodcuts in the text. 40 unnumbered leaves. Small 4to, cont. limp vellum, title written in a contemporary hand on upper cover, with the orig. nine-link chain attached to the lower cover with the orig. chain swivel & ring at other end, orig. deerskin ties. Augsburg: V. Otmar, 1548.
A fine copy of the “first German encyclopedia” of general knowledge, here bound in a very remarkable chained binding. Most surviving chained bindings are substantial folios; our example is a smaller format book with...