30 pp. Small 4to (185 x 130 mm.), attractive antique marbled boards, label on spine. Paris: Lebrun, 1789.
The very rare auction catalogue, with most prices and many buyers’ names written in a contemporary hand, of the Baron Holbach’s little-known but choice art collection. The sale’s expert, Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun, provides an exceptionally long and informative biography of Holbach (1723-89), enriched with several amusing anecdotes.
This catalogue describes 93 lots of paintings (by Teniers, Wouwerman, Berchem, Mengs, Le Nain, N. Poussin, S. Bourdon, Oudry, Vernet, etc.), prints, and various curiosities, such as Japanese and Chinese porcelain, shells, and miniature sculptures. The...
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30 pp. Small 4to (185 x 130 mm.), attractive antique marbled boards, label on spine. Paris: Lebrun, 1789.
By J.E. Esq; S.R.S. 8 p.l., 120 pp. 8vo, early 18th-century vellum-backed marbled boards (spine a little defective). London: J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667.
First edition, first issue, written in response to George Mackenzie’s A Moral Essay, preferring Solitude to Publick Employment, And all it’s Appanages… (1665). Mackenzie, a distinguished Scottish advocate, became known as “Bloody Mackenzie” for his harsh treatment of the Covenanters. His book betrayed the character of a bigot.
“Perhaps it was his sense of this that incited Evelyn to compose in 1667 his reply [the present book]…Evelyn’s advocacy of an active life might...
Woodcut printer's device on title & one engraved plate with a port. of Epicurus. 4 leaves, 5-236,  pp. 4to, cont. French sheep (head & foot of spine neatly repaired, several signatures lightly browned), single gilt fillet round sides, spine richly gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Lyons: G. Barbier, 1647.
First edition of an important book; this life of Epicurus, which emphasized his philosophy of physics, was the foundation of Gassendi's Epicurean atomism. His atomic theory was applied to chemistry by Boyle and adopted by Newton in his new mechanical philosophy.
"Before Galileo and Descartes had succeeded in combining mathematics with mechanics, the chief refuge of hard-headed opponents of scholastic verbalism and Renaissance Platonism was the tradition of Greek atomism...Its chief representative during the period of Cartesian domination was Gassendi, who stands both as the climax of Epicurean atomism of the Renaissance in its accommodation to a mathematical science of nature, and as the first of the explorers of the implications of that science for the traditional empirical philosophy of knowledge. Gassendi is thus with Hobbes one of the fathers of 'scientific' empiricism...Gassendi indeed fancied himself the creator of the great rival scientific system to that of Descartes, the system founded on sound experience. History has reserved that distinction for Hobbes; yet it probable that Gassendi contributed far more to the actual advance of scientific ideas than his more consistent and gifted British fellow-worker."J.H. Randall, The Career of Philosophy, Vol. I, pp. 521-23.
1 p.l., 333 pp. 8vo, cont. marbled half-calf & marbled boards (corners slightly rounded), spine ornately gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Berlin: H. Frölich, 1801.
First edition and an attractive copy of this important conservative analysis of the French Revolution and the resulting disruptions throughout Europe. Gentz (1764-1832), a prolific author and zealous critic of the Revolution and Napoleon, studied under Kant in Königsberg. During his years as a lower-level government official in Berlin, he wrote several essays and books to great acclaim, including a very successful translation of Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. Aware of his significant influence...
2 p.l., 44 pp. Small 4to, cont. limp vellum, arms in gilt of Cardinal Francesco Barberini on covers, panelled in gilt with round gilt flower devices in each corner, silk ties gone, a.e.g. [Heidelberg]: G. Vögelin, 1622.
First edition, a gift from Cardinal Francesco Barberini to Galileo’s assistant and co-author Mario Guiducci, inscribed on the title-page “Ex dono Illustrissime Cardinalis Barberini — Marij Guiduccij liber est.” This is a very rare book; I can locate only six other copies (see below).
This copy represents the intersection of some of the most important dynamics of Baroque Rome. Written by Giulio...
8 p.l., 361,  pp. Small 8vo, cont. flexible vellum, ties gone. Paris: Martin le Jeune, 1580.
First edition, and a splendid pure copy in its first binding, of a rare and important book in the history of chemistry, hydrology, geology, agriculture, etc., etc. Palissy (ca. 1509-89), who is best known for his discovery of the secret of enamelling pottery, was far in advance of his time in scientific ideas.
The “Discours admirables, probably incorporates Palissy’s Paris lectures. It…deals with an impressive array of subjects: agriculture, alchemy, botany, ceramics, embalming, engineering, geology, hydrology, medicine, metallurgy, meteorology, mineralogy, paleontology, philosophy, physics, toxicology, and zoology...
Numerous woodcut illus. & diagrams in the text. 4 p.l. (the last a blank), 334 (i.e., 332) pp. Folio, cont. limp vellum (title a bit soiled, last two leaves with some light dampstaining), ties gone. Pesaro: H. Concordia, 1588.
First edition and a very fine and fresh copy of this uncommon book; this edition, providing the complete extant text, was the final work to be edited by Commandino and completes his life's work of reviving Renaissance mathematics by making available the best mathematical writings of antiquity.
"In the silver age of Greek mathematics Pappus stands out as an accomplished and versatile geometer. His...
Title within typographical border & a full-page woodcut of the author, aged 47, on verso of A4. 4 p.l., 247,  pp. Small 4to, attractive antique mottled calf by Aquarius (final leaf with some skillful marginal repairs), spine gilt, green morocco lettering piece on spine. Cologne: A. Byrckman, 1567.
First edition of this important collection of writings; it is the chief collection of Paracelsus's works on natural philosophy, translated here into German. The texts are: "De Vera Influentia rerum"; "De Inventione Artium"; "De Sensu & Instrumentis"; "De Tempore Laboris & Requiei"; "De Bona & Mala Fortuna"; "De Sanguine ultra Mortem"; "De Obsessis a Malis Spiritibus";...
Finely engraved frontis. port. of the author in Vol. I., one folding engraved map, and numerous engraved or woodcut illus. in the text including vortices & anatomical depictions. Titles printed in red & black. 20 p.l., 480,  pp.; 7 p.l., 648,  pp., one leaf of errata; 8 p.l., 544,  pp., one leaf of errata. Three vols. Large 4to, cont. red morocco, panelled in gilt with gilt fleurons in each corner, with the arms of Chancellor Louis Boucherat (1616-1699), stamped in gilt in the center of each cover, spines richly gilt, a.e.g. Paris: d’Anisson, Posuel, & Rigaud, 1690.
First edition and a fine set bound in contemporary red morocco with the arms of Louis Boucherat (1616-99), Chancellor of France from 1685-99, succeeding Le Tellier and serving under Louis XIV.
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.
Engraved allegorical frontis. by Daniel Chodowiecki. Woodcut illus. & printed music in the text, including several folding leaves of printed music in the pagination. xii, 568 pp.; 2 p.l., -1287,  pp. Two vols. Large 4to, fine cont. marbled polished sheep (minor browning), flat spines richly gilt, red & green morocco lettering pieces on spines. Leipzig: Heirs of M.G. Weidemann & Reich, 1771-74.
First edition, and a lovely set, of this encyclopedia of the fine arts, “one of the most widely consulted and frequently cited works on aesthetics of the German Enlightenment…Aimed at a popular market of art-loving amateurs (Leibhaber) who lacked specialist knowledge...
One folding engraved plate. Title printed in red & black. 8 p.l., 448,  pp., one leaf of errata. Small 4to, cont. sheep (several scuff marks), spine gilt. Frankfurt & Leipzig: Renger, 1731.
First edition of one of the author’s most important books. Wolff (1679-1754), was a famous mathematician and philosopher at the University of Halle and an ardent exponent of the philosophical ideas of his friend Leibniz.
Wolff’s cosmological principles “emphasize the rational connections between things, given as sequences or coexistences; these formal themes were later directly echoed in Kant’s writings. The visible world is a machine, operating in accordance with the laws...
Many fine brush & color and black & white paintings in the text. Two illus. with movable flaps (one is a volvelle). Finely written in a superb calligraphic hand on mica-coated (kirabiki) textured paper. 31; 34; 36; 35; 35; 30; 45; 33 leaves (not including blanks). Eight vols. 8vo (252 x 180 mm.), orig. dark blue wrappers bound in tetsuyoso style, each cover finely illustrated by hand in gold with depictions of landscapes with plants. [Japan]: Preface dated 1656; this manuscript was written sometime afterwards, probably in the 17th century.
Yamaga (1622-85), military strategist and Confucian philosopher, set forth the first systematic exposition of the missions and obligations of the samurai (warrior) class...
Numerous woodcuts in the text. 80; 68 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, stitched as issued. [China]: Xishan wen chang gong, 1844.
The teachings of the Taoist deity Wenchang, sometimes known as the “God of Literature,” as given in his Tract of the Quiet Way, is a guide to the conduct of life and ethical behavior. This ancient text is one of the three most important Taoist Holy Scriptures for advising the good, along with Lao-Tzu’s Treatise on the Response of the Tao and Holy Emperor Guan’s True Scripture to Awaken the World. The commentaries by Zheng Yan (15th century) and Zhenguan...
4 p.l., 182,  pp., one leaf of ads. 8vo, attractive modern calf, Greek key motif in gilt round sides, spine nicely gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Bury St. Edmund’s: J. Rackham for W. Richardson, 1793.
Second edition, enlarged. The first edition was published earlier in the same year; this work quickly ran to four editions and was translated into French, German, and Italian. Young’s earlier Travels to France (1792), though acknowledged as a first-rate work, had been considered rather too uncritical of the French Revolution to gain much readership in England.
“Young’s experiences in France brought about a permanent change in his political views. From being a liberal and a reformer, by 1792 he had become an opponent of the revolution and a conservative in English matters. He was highly critical of the ancien régime but, equally, he attacked the excesses of the revolution, and now he was fearful of the consequences of reform in England, necessary though it was. In France he had seen destitute aristocrats sheltering in inns from the destruction of their châteaux, and he now received the dreadful news of the murder of his friend the duc de la Rochefoucauld, while another friend, the duc de Liaincourt, had taken refuge as an emigré in Bury St Edmunds. What was perhaps his most influential pamphlet, The Example of France a Warning to Britain, appeared in 1793 and reflected his changed views.”–ODNB.