Woodcut printer’s device on title. 55 pp. Small 8vo, attractive modern decorated paper boards. Rome: 1773.
This is the seventh and most complete edition of the list of the books issued by the printing office of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, responsible for the spread of Catholicism. The first catalogue was issued in 1639. Amaduzzi (1740-92), Italian Hellenist, has provided a most useful foreword with a history of the printing house. The titles are arranged according to languages, starting with the alphabets in various types and ending with the published decrees and orders of the papal administration concerning the missionary...
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....
4 p.l., CXII leaves (the first a blank) [lacking at end, as is often the case, eight leaves which is a separate work]. Gothic type, 34 lines, rubricated in red throughout with chapter initials, capitals, paragraph-marks, & initial strokes. Small 4to (216 x 155 mm.), cont. blue-dyed goat- or sheep-skin over wooden boards (some rubbing & fading), sides ruled with intersecting blind fillets forming lozenges, later clasp & catch. Nuremberg: C. Zeninger, 13 June 1482.
A lovely and large copy from the Benedictine monastery at Lambach in Upper Austria, with their ownership inscription on the lower paste-down endpaper. Blue-dyed bindings of this period are extremely uncommon; woad was...
Five engraved frontis. & five engraved plates (of which one is large & folding). Five parts in two vols. Small 8vo, cont. marbled calf (a bit of wear to extremities), spines gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: Duchesne, 1754.
Best and largest edition (1st ed.: 1710), of this waggish imaginary narrative by Bordelon (1653-1730), a theologian and author. An early example of paranormal fiction, it was translated into four languages and reprinted several times.
The present work functions as a critique of popular credulity in Bordelon’s time. Bordelon creates the superstitious Monsieur Oufle (anagram of “Le Fou”), a gullible merchant. The members...
A fascinating and important series of government documents which fall into the general category of shumon aratame cho (“register of religious investigations”) which were kept, listing the names, ages, and relationship to the heads of households for individuals in villages and towns throughout Japan. Christianity was outlawed in Japan in 1612 but continued secretly, mostly in southwestern Japan, near Nagasaki. Following the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637-38, there were renewed efforts to exterminate Christianity on the Japanese mainland.
Registers, such as these, began to be compiled in the 1660s, which required all subjects to officially register with a Buddhist temple, and also...
4 p.l., -200 pp.; 2 p.l., -376 pp. Small 8vo, cont. cat’s paw sheep, contrasting leather lettering pieces on spine, spine gilt; Vol. II has a contrasting green leather lettering piece on spine, spine gilt. Berlin & Stettin: F. Nicolai, 1781-83.
[FRIEDLÄNDER, David]. Lesebuch für jüdische Kinder. One folding engraved plate. 1 p.l., 46 pp. Small 8vo. Prague: J.F. Edlen von Schönfeld, 1781.
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.
Fine added engraved title, title with engraved vignette, a large engraved headpiece, engraved text illus., & 20 engraved plates, Titles printed in red & black. 6 p.l., 256,  pp.; 4 p.l., 430,  pp. Two vols. Folio, cont. mottled sheep (minor rubbing), spines gilt, green & brown leather lettering pieces on spines. Frankfurt & Leipzig: J.G. Lochner, 1733.
—. Codex Diplomaticus Antiquitatum Nordgaviensium, Ordine chronologico digestus…cum Praefixa Veteris Nordgaviae Mappa geographica. Accedunt Hodoeporicum Willibaldinum et Vitae Willibaldinae scriptor anonymus… Added engraved allegorical frontis. & one large folding hand-colored engraved map. 4 p.l., 468, 124,  pp. Folio, cont. mottled sheep (minor rubbing), spine gilt, contrasting leather lettering...
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...
Japan: mid-Edo to early Meiji.
A uncommonly large woodblock board, depicting the Inari Shinto shrine at Konuma in Akita Prefecture with surrounding text concerning the benefits of visiting the shrine (good harvest, avoid the evil spirits, longevity and fertility) and the shrine’s history. The shrine master’s name is “Fukuhisa Fujiwara.” This block was probably used at the shrine to print off talismans for visiting pilgrims.
In fine condition.
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;...
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.
Three text leaves with Chinese characters, final conjugate leaf a full-page woodcut with about 65 Chinese characters, & a large folding engraved plate printing in Chinese characters the Kangxi Emperor’s edict of 1716. 58,  pp. Large 4to, orig. decorative wrappers, uncut. Nuremberg & Altdorf: Monath & Kussler, 1802.
First and only edition of an extremely uncommon book. Murr (1733-1811), a resident of Nuremberg, was a scholar with polymathic interests. He edited several intellectual journals, published on libraries and art museums, etc.
This work is, in large part, concerned with the Chinese Rites Controversy and the famous “Red Decree.” The Jesuit missionaries who came to China in...
Two folding engraved floor plans. xl, 303 pp.; 1 p.l., 304 pp., one leaf of errata. Two vols. 8vo, cont. marbled sheep, spines richly gilt, red & green leather lettering pieces on spines. Nuremberg: Felssecker, 1787-88.
First edition of this valuable history of the suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal, based on original documents. The suppression was overseen by the Marquis of Pombal; Murr gives here a highly detailed chronological account, year-by-year from 1750 through 1761. In Vol. II Murr provides a list of all the foreign missions of the Portuguese Jesuits, including Angola, India, Japan, Cambodia, China, Brazil, etc.
Murr (1733-1811), a resident of Nuremberg, was a scholar with wide interests. He edited several intellectual journals, published on libraries and art museums, etc.
2 p.l., 32 pp. Large 4to, cont. red morocco (three corners a tiny bit worn), sides richly gilt, spine gilt, “bunt-papier” endpapers, a.e.g. London: C. Ackers for R. Knaplock, 1727.
First edition, large and thick paper copy, handsomely bound in contemporary red morocco, sides and spine richly gilt. Potter (1673 or 1674-1747), was later Archbishop of Canterbury. His “whig principles, which expressed themselves…in his firm commitment to the Hanoverian succession and the new administration, ensured that he became a regular preacher at court and at Westminster. He was later to preach at the coronation of George II and Queen Caroline...
62 unnumbered leaves (the final leaf, a blank, is present). Small folio, cont. blind-stamped pigskin-backed wooden boards, orig. clasps & catches. Tübingen: T. Anshelm, 1514.
—. De Arte Cabalistica Libri Tres Leoni X. dicati. Large woodcut coat-of-arms of Reuchlin on title. Much printing in Hebrew. 4 p.l., LXXIX leaves, one leaf. Small folio. Hagenau: T. Anshelm, 1517.
Large Habsburg woodcut coat-of-arms on title; portrait of Archduke Ferdinand II on verso & Habsburg family tree with small portraits on verso of fifth preliminary leaf, both finely engraved & full-page; & 48 woodcut coat-of-arms on preliminary leaves 11-16. 16 p.l., 477, , 28 pp. Small folio, fine cont. limp vellum, covers panelled in gilt with gilt fleurons in corners, gilt coats-of-arms in center of covers, yapp edges, ties gone, a.e.g. Innsbruck: J. Agricola, 1592.
First edition and a lovely copy of this essential official history of the Habsburg princes written by the librarian and keeper of art to Ferdinand II; complete with the finely executed...
Two parts in one vol. 36 folding leaves. Large 8vo, orig. yellow wrappers (somewhat soiled), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover, new stitching. Shiga: Hieizan Jodoin, 1821.
First edition of this early bibliography of Buddhist texts. Saicho (767-822), the founder of the Tendai school of Buddhism in Japan, was commissioned by the emperor to go to China to further study in the Tiantai school of Buddhism and bring back more accurate sacred texts. Saicho left for the mainland in 803 as part of a four-ship diplomatic mission. After great difficulties, he made his way to Mount Tiantai and studied with the...
18 leaves. Small 4to, attractive modern marbled boards, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Wittenberg: C. Heyden, 1619.
First edition of this rare book which is considered by A.D.B. to be the author’s most important scientific work; it is a careful record of the third of the three bright comets of 1618-19. Schmidt (1570-1637), was “one of the last of the scholars of Germany who taught the language and literature of Greece in the spirit of Melanchthon. [Schmidt] was professor, first of Greek, and next of Mathematics, at Wittenberg. His principal work was an edition of Pindar, with a Latin translation and...
Engraved allegorical frontis. xii, 239,  pp., two leaves of publisher’s ads. 8vo, orig. grey printed wrappers, uncut. Augsburg: M. Veith & M. Rieger, 1829.
First edition of Schrank’s physico-theological explanation of the six days of creation. Each day’s developments are fully described.
Fine copy from the Wittelsbach library of the dukes and kings of Bavaria.
Three full-page woodcuts. 20, 33; 27; 20; 30 folding leaves. Four parts in two vols. Large 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. [Japan]: colophon in Vol. II dated 1669.
“It was not until the seventeenth century that the first Japanese version of the Chinese Buddhist canon was printed, and it was rapidly followed by a second. Thanks to the late date, the circumstances of their production and their subsequent fates are better known than for many of the earlier continental editions. The first version was printed using movable type in 1637-48 by Tenkai (1586-1643), a monk who was in the...
Woodcut illus., borders, & printer’s mark from designs by Geoffroy Tory. One large oblong woodcut inserted plate (142 x 375 mm.), printed on a double-page & folding sheet (known as “Triomphe de la Vierge” representing her on a chariot pulled by unicorns), & 17 wood engravings by Tory. Pages with woodcuts have woodcut architectural borders. Borders of text pages composed of four different pieces by Tory, those on bottom oftentimes signed with Tory’s Lorraine cross, and among the designs are the crowned “F” of François I, the crowned “C” of queen Claude, & a blank shield and plaque to be...