A nice group of fore-edge paintings that came in recently – from top to bottom:
An 1816 Book of Common Prayer in purple morocco with a fore-edge painting of San Francisco Bay (interestingly, the directions are reversed, probably from the artist copying an engraving. The Marin Headlands are shown in the south).
A double fore-edge painting (if you bend the pages in one direction one painting appears, bend them in the other direction and you get the other – pretty cool.) on a Winton College prize binding of Drury’s Arundines Cami.
And a remarkable copy of Brunck’s Sophoclis Tragoediae Septem in 4 volumes. Each volume with a fore-edge painting of a Greek ruin: volume I – The Acropolis, II – Greek Theater of Segesta, III – The Temple of Zeus, IV – The Parthenon. Usually fore-edge paintings appear on seemingly random books (like the two above or a fore-edge of a scene from France on a 5th edition of a minor Sir Walter Scott book, an 11th edition of Macaulay with a view of St. Petersburg, etc.) but this is actually an appropriate pairing on a nice scholarly edition of Sophocles in Greek.
11/30/2013 Leave a comment
Was reading something about the historiated initials that were used in the 1611 King James Bibles and how a number of them had classical pagan elements and people were like “hey, why is Poseidon in my bible? I am up in arms about this.”. Obviously you wouldn’t be focused in on that sort of detail when you were undertaking such a monstrous job – you would be happy just to have enough historiated initials to typeset the thing. I’m always a little in love with this sort of publishing minutiae.
Found a pretty good one in a copy of Isaiah that I picked up the other day (just Isaiah, but pretty cool anyway).
10/22/2013 Leave a comment
I was trying to take a picture of this monstrous folio collection of Counter-Reformation theology called Critici Sacri: sive Annotata Doctissimorum Virorum in Vetus ac Novum Testamentum when it shifted slightly and knocked into my monitor, causing it to take a disastrous looking header off the counter. It was laying there, separated into its constituent parts, cheap guts spilled all over my carpet (I was too horrified to think to take a picture). But a couple of circuit boards snapped back into place, crappy plastic pieces squeezed back together and boom, it works fine – a triumph of lousy manufacturing. The Critic Sacri hardly noticed, having seen it all over the years. It includes a series of lovely plates, many folding, including maps of the holy land, views, floor plans, and a great impression of a Montanus double hemisphere map originally executed ca. 1571 for a Plantin Polyglot bible.
8/24/2013 Leave a comment
A few lovely photos by a local photographer, each available for purchase for a very modest $10 – the decomposing ice snake on Jamaica Pond is framed and is $25.
8/22/2013 Leave a comment
A selection of summer arrivals – including a handful of the books rescued from a sweltering Philadelphia a few weeks ago.
8/2/2013 Leave a comment
First published in 1831 and sparking a wave of rail themed colored plate books, Bury’s Coloured Views on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was a sensation. This remarkable plate with the posh couples riding the topless train (not shown with the accompanying folding plate of the topless couples riding the posh train) is from the 1833 edition which added a few plates. Below, the famous scene of the train passing through the tunnel originally and erroneously pictured the train under full steam but was edited in later impressions as trains were not permitted to steam underground.
6/22/2013 Leave a comment
Confession: I got a C+ in second year Latin in high school – I skipped a lot of classes (my teacher was pretty old – we used to joke that she spoke it growing up) so this post title is not guaranteed. In fact, I think dictionary is wrong in number and maybe declension as well, but it sounds good like that, and it has that certain nescio quid, so I’m leaving it.
Confession(2): I used google to translate je ne sais quoi into Latin.
This large collection of dictionaries that came in (just a selection is shown above) includes a trio of early Estienne titles, Robert Estienne’s Dictionarium Latinogallicum, the first real attempt at a Latin-French dictionary, a later Oxford edition of Charles’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum (a precursor of the French tendency towards encyclopedia) and a first (1556) of his Thesaurus M. Tullii Ciceronis (itself a sort of rip off of Robert’s Linguae Latinae Thesaurus – both are from the everything important in Latin was said by Cicero at some point school of thought).
A pocket Italian-English, a list of Latin names used in Scottish history, a copy of Shelton’s Tachygraphy (not a dictionary, but pretty great – it’s the shorthand system that Pepys used in his diary), Comenius’s Janua Linguarum Reserata (The Door of Languages Unlocked – it presents parallel texts in Latin, French, Italian, Spanish and German and sparked waves of change in Renaissance language learning), Pelletier’s giant French-Breton lexicon, and a trio of polyglot dictionaries by Helfrich Emmel all bound up together.
6/21/2013 Leave a comment
From: Paul Bourget, Garcia Benito (ill.): Le Testament Nouvelle en prose, 1919.
5/21/2013 3 Comments
Though it didn’t get quite the play that the Declaration of Independence received, there was a quasi-official British response in the form of a 132pp pamphlet by Jonathan Lind published in 1776. It went through at least five editions in that first year and then was seemingly forgotten. It goes article by article and makes some extremely cogent points (alongside the funny, pompous ones) about slavery vs. all men created equal, as well as the stated vs. real reasons for the revolution in general. He also goes full on John McCain and puts words like facts, theory, and maxims in a-hole italics while heaping disdain on the principles embodies in the Declaration. Pretty bracing stuff. You could do a lot worse than teaching this along side the Declaration of Independence in elementary school. I’m going to tweet the high points if I can squeeze it into my busy day…
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
“Among reasons to justify a national revolt, to find it gravely alleged, that the members of an assembly happened, once upon a time, to be straitened in their apartments, and compelled to sit on strange seats, and to sleep in strange beds – is, I believe, unexampled in the history of mankind.”
5/17/2013 Leave a comment
Just in: A three volume work on art and design in Pisa (Pisa Illustrata Nelle Arti del Disegno, 2nd expanded ed., 1812) contains, along with various depictions of Pisa, two re-impressions of much earlier engravings. The two plates, both from the late 15th century, are by Baccio Baldini and depict St. Jerome (who I always think of as that guy that the Wife of Bath took down) and hell. The hell plate is Baldini’s version of the Camposanto fresco in Pisa. The frescos were damaged during World War II (the current state of the hell fresco is shown below). Amongst other horrors, The devil (or just a giant demon? Either way, a two fisted eater of humans) is shown eating people and then, possibly throwing them up out of his stomache/mouth. Or eating from two directions at once? It’s unclear, but what is interesting is that the Devil’s lower mouth has Simon Magus in it. Or, at least, a plaque with his name on it – the Simon Magus memorial nether mouth.
5/16/2013 Leave a comment
The new Pazzo illustration by the great Rick Pinchera is done and looks terrific. You’re going to start seeing this all over – postcards, t-shirts, the sides of buses, pulled behind airplanes, in your dreams – so enjoy it now while it’s just a picture on your computer screen.
5/14/2013 2 Comments
In the lovely 1846 edition of Goethe’s Reynard the Fox (Reineke Fuchs, J. G. Cotta, Stuttgart and Tubingen; folio), illustrated by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, there is a plate showing Reynard running up a monk’s habit much to the consternation of a group of bystanders (the final plate, below). It was not especially quickly suppressed (as many copies, at least, seem to have it as not have it) and you can make up your mind about precisely how dirty it really is…
5/14/2013 1 Comment
3/28/2013 Leave a comment
From William Emerson’s 1754 work, Principles of Mechanics, and still not in my driveway.
2/7/2013 Leave a comment
Below are two plates picturing distillation equipment and an explanatory (or obfuscatory, depending on your French) section from Annales de Chimie, January 1792.
Gadolin was a prominent Finnish chemist and discovered Yttrium which, allegedly, is an element that looks like this:
1/26/2013 Leave a comment
A charming turn of the century book for recording ones impressions of chaps, the previous owner has filled out 13 pages, representing over 50 chaps. I suspect she transferred some chaps from a previous record, as the dates run from 1899 to 1906 and I don’t think this was published until around 1904ish. In any case, early on she is having the most luck on the Jersey Shore, though later on, Peggy’s house is the hot spot.
Only five of the twelve notable chaps spots have been filled (most hopeless, anyone?) including Robert Breck Steele (best name).
William Hayward comes out alright, but what of the mysterious Arno Bruhun who was last seen at Grand Central Station in February 1905?
James Dawson is very cute and Irish, but is he in love with Fritzie Mehl? Charlies Baeder, once deemed very cute, has been downgraded to nervey. I wouldn’t want to speculate as to what you’ve have to do to precipitate a tumble like that.
Conceited or something. Ha!
Harold Hesse, the one I love the best of all…but married (in pencil).
Completely charming and just a little heart breaking, all at once.
1/11/2013 3 Comments
A nice group new to the shop including a number of Rackhams, Dulac’s Sleeping Beauty, Grandville’s Les Fleurs Animées, a lovely illustrated edition of Baudelaire’s translation of Poe, a charming fine press edition of La Belle Au Bois Dormant, and a few other illustrated tid-bits. The Sleeping Beauty carries a warning that English language editions of French fairy tales may not be sold in French speaking countries. Naturally, this admonition is in French.
12/22/2012 Leave a comment
Including a manuscript David Garrick letter in an extra-illustrated set.
12/8/2012 Leave a comment