Category Archives: Acquisitions

All acquisitions, recent and archived

Strongest anti-Christian work

OROBIO (DE CASTRO), I. (B.) Israel Vengé, ou Exposition naturelle des Prophéties Hébraïques que les Chrétiens appliquent à Jésus, leur prétendu Messie. Par Isaac Orobio. Londres, 1770. (4), iv, [5]-243, (1) pp. Small 8vo. Contemporary half calf, spine gilt in compartments, red label with gilt lettering, paper covered boards.

                                                                                                                                                 € 850

Ira O. Wade, The clandestine organization and diffusion of philosophic ideas in France from 1700 to 1750, chapter viii; not in L’Illuminismo francese alla Fondazione Feltrinelli; not in Schosler; not in Peignot.

Very rare first edition of this work which contains portions of Orobio’s strongest anti-Christian work, the Prevenciones divinas contra la vana idolatria de las gentas and which was used as important ammunition by French atheists against Christianity.

Isaac Orobio de Castro was born in Braganza, Portugal and became an important Spanish doctor and a professor of metaphysics. He was arrested by the Inquisition for secretly practicing Judaism. After three years in prison he escaped to France and became professor of pharmacy at Toulouse. Finally, deciding to abandon living as a Christian, he moved to Holland where he became one of the leading intellectual figures in the Spanish-Portugese Jewish community. His most famous works are an extremely rationalistic and scholastic answer to Spinoza in geometrical form, Certamen Philosophicum Propugnatum Veritatis Divinae ac Naturalis (1684) and his own defense of Judaism in a famous debate with Philip van Limborch. Limborch was troubled by Orobio’s anti-Christian views and debated with him (in the presence of van Limborgh’s friend, John Locke): the debate was published shortly after Orobio died and one of Locke’s first publications was a long review of this debate. Throughout his works, Orobio de Castro showed an extreme acute understanding of metaphysics, using his knowledge of Spanish Scholasticism to buttress his religion against freethinkers and liberal and orthodox Christians. Some of his arguments against the doctrine of the Trinity are close to Spinoza’s arguments against the plurality of substance. Many of Orobio’s writings circulated in manuscript, which were sometimes copied at the instigation of leading representatives of the Sephardi social elite in Western Europe, mainly in the first third of the eighteenth century. At the same time, deists such as Anthony Collins and Jean Lévesque de Burigny began to show interest in his anti-Christian writings and to buy copies of his works in Amsterdam. Some of these works were translated into French and circulated in manuscript, becoming major assets of clandestine French literature. His critiques of Christianity were praised by Voltaire and Holbach published a translation of some of Orobio’s polemical writings against Christianity under the title Israel Vengé (see: Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. v, pp. 552-553 and The Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers, vol. ii, pp. 756-761). The book was probably printed in Amsterdam by Marc-Michel Rey.

First edition of this important account of a voyage to Central America and Cuba

MORELET, A. Voyage dans l’Amérique centrale, l’ile de Cuba et le Yucatan ….. Tome Premier [- Tome Second.] Paris, Gide et J. Baudry, 1857. With 2 pages of music, a very large folding lithographed map of Yucatan, Guatemala and Cuba, coloured in outline, each chapter headed by a nice wood-engraved illustration. Two volumes in one. [4], 337, [3, blank, table, blank] pp.; [4] 323, [3, Note sur la Carte du Voyage, table, blank] pp. Large 8vo. Contemporary half hard-grained morocco, spine with raised bands, all edges gilt.

                                                                                                                                                 € 2250

Chadenat 2706 (“Ouvrage recherché et devenu rare”); Sabin 50591; Howgego, 1800-1850, M56; not in Leclerc; not in Muller.

First edition of this important account of a voyage to Central America and Cuba by the French naturalist and traveller Pierre-Marie-Arthur Morelet (1809-1892).

“In 1846 Morelet visited isolated regions of Guatemala and Yucatan which had not been described for many years” (Howgego). He was the first to explore the vast territory of Guatemala, which was inhabited by the Itzas and the Locadons, describing his observations and experiences extensively.

Morelet begins with the description of his voyage from France to Central America and his first expeditions into the tropics, other chapters are devoted to Cuba, Havana and the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Pines), Guatemala, the indigenous populations, ancient ruins (Palenque), forests, mountains, lagoons, as well as other extensive geographical, ethnological and archeological observations. At the end of volume two, pages 316-319, in his report to the Paris Académie des Sciences (February 1850), Morelet indicated he had deposited at the museum 90 plants, 150 species of molluscs which were described for the first time, 32 unknown fish species, 104 reptiles, 70 birds and 57 mammals. – A very nice copy of this scarce work.

Very rare first French edition and one of the earliest available, of De Soto’s exploration of the Southern United States.

(CITRI DE LA GUETTE, S, TRANSLATOR.) Histoire de la Conqueste de la Floride, par les Espagnols, sous Ferdinand de Soto. Ecrite en Portugais par un Gentil-homme de la ville d’Elvas. Par M.D.C. A Paris, Chez Denys Thierry, 1685. [24], 300 pp. 12mo in 8s and 4s. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with raised bands, label with gilt lettering, a nice copy.

€ 2000

Sabin 24864; European Americana 685/90; JFBL H186; Chadenat 2828 (“Édition originale française, très rare”); Leclerc, ii, 907 “L’édition originale est excessivement rare, la traduction française, peu commune, devient de ce fait assez précieuse”); not in Echeverria & Wilkie; not in Conlon, Prélude; not in Howes; not in Streeter sale.

Very rare first French edition and one of the earliest available, of De Soto’s exploration of the Southern United States. It is a translation of Relaçam verdadeira dos trabalhos que o governador dom Fernando de Souto, first published in Evora, 1557, and of which apperently only a few copies are known.

“The first French edition, the source for the English translation issued the following year. The preface indicates it was published as the means to inform Frenchmen about Florida and as an example in the conduct of such expeditions” (JFBL).

Hernando de Soto  (c. 1500 – May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula, and played an important role in Pizarro’s conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is best known for leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States (through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and most likely Arkansas). He is the first European documented as having crossed the Mississippi River.

De Soto’s North American expedition was a vast undertaking. It ranged throughout what is now the southeastern United States, both searching for gold, which had been reported by various Native American tribes and earlier coastal explorers, and for a passage to China or the Pacific coast. De Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River; different sources disagree on the exact location, whether it was what is now Lake Village, Arkansas, or Ferriday, Louisiana. This is a rare book consisting of the anonymous eyewitness account of De Soto’s expedition into Florida and the Southern United States. It also includes the dramatic history of Juan Ortiz, a member of the Narvaez expedition who was captured by the Indians and rescued by De Soto. As Ortiz had learned a number of the Indian languages, he served for years as interpreter for De Soto. – Some scribbling onto recto of front blank, same leaf with some stains, a good copy in its original binding.

First edition, covering the French period of Louisiana history up to 1769

GAYARRE, CH. Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarré. Premier volume [-Second volume.] Nouvelle-Orléans, Imprimé par Magne & Weisse, 1846-1847. Two volumes bound in one. [4], xi, [1], 377, [3, blank] pp.; vii, [1], 427, [1] pp. Large 8vo. Nineteenth-century red half hard-grained morocco, marbled boards, spine richly gilt with raised bands and gilt lettering, marbled egdes.

                                                                                                                                                 € 1250

Leclerc 629; Sabin 26792; Howes G85.

“Une des bonnes histoires de notre ancienne colonie, composée sur des documents extraits des cartons du ministère de la marine” (Leclerc.)

Excellent history of Lousiana from the discovery of America and the first European settlements up to the departure of d’Aubry and d’Oreilly, discussing among others the expeditions of De Soto, Marquette and Joliet, the exploration of the Mississippi by De La Salle, etc. etc.

Charles-Étienne Arthur Gayarré (January 9, 1805 – February 11, 1895) was an American historian, attorney, slave owner and politician, born to a Spanish and French Creole planter family in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up on a plantation before attending law school in Pennsylvania, he was a Confederate sympathizer and lost his fortune by supporting them, later earning his money by writing and as a court reporter. He was president of the Louisiana Historical Society for nearly thirty years. As a writer of plays, essays, and novels, Gayarré is chiefly remembered for his histories of Louisiana, a state he served in various capacities during his life. He is considered one of New Orleans’s first great historians.

– The first twenty quires are browned (160 pages). Copy with signed dedication to the Comte de Maupassant, dated Paris, August 1, 1874, by Edmond Bermudez: Edmond or Edouard Bermudez (January 19, 1832 – August 22, 1892) was a Louisiana attorney who served as Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court from April 5, 1880 to April 5, 1892. He married Elizabeth Amanda Maupassant with whom he had nine children, five of whom died young. Amanda de Maupassant belonged to a family of great renown in France and was related to the comte de Maupassant.

Very rare only edition and suppressed by the Cour des Aides in February 1779

(AUGER.) Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire du droit public de la France en matière d’impôts, ou Recueil de ce qui s’est passé de plus intéressant à la Cour des Aides, depuis 1756 jusqu’au mois de Juin 1775; Avec une Table générale des Matières. A Bruxelles, 1779. xiv, 776, (2, errata, blank), 10 pp. 4to. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with raised bands, red label with gilt lettering, marbled edges, some minor blemishes to binding.

                                                                                                                                                 € 1850

Kress B.175; Goldsmiths 11860; Einaudi 207; INED 137; Quérard, La France Littéraire, i, p. 126; Dupin/Camus 954bis, pointing to the fact that this work is only complete with the 10 pages supplement, as is the case here; Le Bucher bibliographique, 114.

Very rare only edition and suppressed by the Cour des Aides in February 1779 because it was considered contrary to the authority of the Court, it lacked respect for its decisions and it violated the confidentiality of the decisions.

This precious and scarce volume, which was not available on the market and which was suppressed in 1779, contains the work of Malesherbes during his tenure in office at the Cour des Aides, that is, the work of 25 years: the reports of the sessions of the Cour des Aides and the remonstrances. It was published with tacit permission and did not contain, in the first instance, those pleas in which Malerherbes addressed the king in quite frank language. These withheld texts were shortly thereafter nevertheless printed and inserted and they form the indispensible 10 page supplement at the end of the volume.

The Court des Aides was suppressed, together with the Parliaments, by Maupeou in his attempt at reform; it played, under Malesherbes, a significient role of opposition to what the Court considered to be “royal arbitrariness” and basically shared the “constitutionalist” ideology common to most members of the Grande Robe. The Court was suppressed in 1771 and re-instated in 1774: Malesherbes was recalled to Paris with the reconstituted Cour des Aides on the accession of Louis XVI; it was at this point that he spearheaded the famous 1775 Remontrances of the cour des aides, which detailed the problems facing the regime and envisioned a total overhaul of fiscal policy. Louis XVI was so impressed with the plan -and fearful for the future of his government- that Malesherbes was appointed minister of the maison du roi in 1775. He held office as a royal minister only nine months; the Court proved intransigent in its opposition to his proposals for fiscal restraint and other reforms, including curtailing the arbitrary issuance of lettres de cachet, and he soon found himself bereft of political support. He resigned together with Turgot in 1776.

– Pages 71-72 bound between pages 66-67, and with the pages 71-72 bis present, 457-8 omitted in numbering, numbers 465-66 used twice, but text complete.

Edition “de Luxe”

MENARD, L. Rêveries d’un Païen Mystique. Préface de Maurice Barrès ….. Portrait gravé à l’eau-forte par G. Noyon. Paris, A. Durel, 1909. With engraved portrait. [6, portrait included], xxxv, [1], 182, [2] pp. 8vo (15,5 x 22,5 cm). Brown jansenist style morocco, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, all edges gilt, gilt inside dentelles, original covers and spine preserved, binding signed “David.”

€ 750

Maitron, DBMOF, iii, pp. 78-79; Sandra W. Dolbow, Dictionary of Modern French Literature, p. 203; Carteret, Trésor du Bibliophile, vol. ii, p. 127 for the 1876 and 1895 edition but not listing this one; Talvart & Place, Bibliographie des Auteurs modernes, xiv, 172. Rare edition “de luxe”, with a nice engraved portrait and a nice preface by Maurice Barrès. This is number 74 of 200 copies printed, “petit in 8vo, numérotés à la presse (1 à 200) sur beau papier velin d’Arches, fabriqué spécialement pour cette édition.” “Ecrivain d’un talent universel”, Ménard was a poet, inventor, philosopher and historian of religions, political pamphleteer and painter. He was a student with Baudelaire at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and active supporter of the 1848 revolution: his Prologue d’une Révolution is very rare and an important work dealing with this revolution and its causes. It was published in Proudhon’s Le Peuple in 1848-1849 and earned him 15 months in prison. On his release he went into exile in London and Brussels where he found his friends Louis Blanc and Blanqui again and where he befriended Marx and Engels. After the amnesty of 1859 he returned to Paris and from then on devoted himself primarily to the arts. He found in polytheism a social and moral guide, a union of order and liberty in which reason, imagination, art, religion, and politics could flourish. His best known work is the present work: a mixture of mystical poetry, philosophical dialogues and a number of much admired tales. The work exercised a profound influence on among others Barrès, R. de Montesquiou, Anatole France, Leconte de Lisle, etc. – Exlibris Georges Vandaele on free front end paper, a beautiful copy with its original covers and spine preserved, printed on beautiful paper with large margins.

Mechanical production as means to improve the condition of labourers

(CELNARD, ELIZABETH.) Des Machines, de leur influence sur la prosperité de la nation et le bien-être des ouvriers. Paris, de l’Imprimerie de David, 1831. – (Followed by:) (TURCK, L.) Dialogue entre plusieurs ouvriers, sur les avantages des machines. Paris, de l’Imprimerie de David, 1831. – (Followed by:) (BERENGER.) De l’influence des mécaniques sur le prix des salaires et le bien-être du peuple. Paris, Imprimerie de David, 1831. Three works bound in one volume. [4], 67, [1] pp.; 32 pp.; 76 pp. 12mo. Original blind paper wrappers, partly loose and damaged, kept in a half morocco slipcase with marbled boards and gilt lettering to spine (Atelier Laurenchet).

€ 725

Kress C.2780; Goldsmiths’ 26948; not in Einaudi. Here collected are three prize winning essays offered to the Société d’Instruction Elémentaire and dealing with the advantages (or disadvantages) of machines in the production processes. The preface to the first work mentions these three works as the winners. All three works argue in favour of industrialization and the advantages of the introduction of mechanical production as means to improve the condition of labourers, combat mendicity and poverty and as having a positive effect on workers income. The Society for Elementary Instruction was founded in 1815 and encouraged free, nondenominational elementary schools. The society was founded by Lazare Carnot during his brief tenure as minister of the interior in the Hundred Days. Under the Restoration, it attracted the support of such prominent liberals as Benjamin Constant, François Guizot, and Alphonse de Lamartine and served as a moderate and respectable lobby for secular primary education. It was declared a public utility in 1831, which permitted it to raise and disburse funds and to establish independent schools. Publishing a review (Journal de l’éducation populaire), the society concerned itself with new methods of teaching, obtaining decent pay and working conditions for elementary school teachers, and awarding medals to outstanding instructors (see: Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restoration to the Second Empire, vol. ii, pp. 994-995). – A bit loose but cords and stitching intact, uncut.

Lithographed and done in some 100 copies only

(BIGOT) DE MOROGUES, (P.M.S.) Recherche des causes de la richesse et de la misère des peuples civilisés. Application des principes de l’économie politique et des calculs de la statistique au gouvernement de l’Etat, dans le but de trouver les moyens d’assurer sa stabilité et sa force, en assurant le bonheur du peuple et sa tranquillité. Par le Bon. de Morogues ……. (Paris), Lith. Th. Delarue, (1834). [6], 649, [1] pp. 4to. Modern half blue morocco, marbled boards, gilt lettering to spine, (Atelier Laurenchet), original front cover preserved.

€ 1250

Kress C.3672; Goldsmiths 28401; Coquelin & Guillaumin, p. 177; Granier, Bibliographie Charitable, 1412; not in Dada (listing three other works but not this one); Blanqui, ii, p. 406; not in Einaudi; not in Mattioli; Catalogue de la Bibliothèque de la Compagnie d’Assurances sur la Vie “Utrecht”, ii, p. 1083. The only edition, lithographed from the manuscript and done in 100 copies only, this work is extremely rare. Bigot considered luxury and the inequality of wealth as necessary causes and by-products of modern civilization, but he also recognized the negative effects of industrial capitalism and pleaded for redistribution of the most extreme wealth, poor relief and the foundation of agricultural colonies. His economic views were based on his moral and religious beliefs of which the improvement of the conditions of the most depraved formed an essential part. The work is an important source for the study of poverty and mendicity in France. Includes quite some statistical information on the conditions of the rural population and labourers, and contains important chapters on the negative effects of industrialization. Pierre-Marie-Sebastien, Baron de Bigot de Morogues (1776-1840), agronomist, philantropist, political writer, and member of the Chamber of Peers. Destined for a career in the Navy, a family-tradition, Bigot’s future was first altered through the coming of the Revolution, and then through his marriage with Claudinne de Montaudouin. His wife held one of the largest domains in Sologne, the Chateau de la Source, and Bigot became an agronomist. For the next forty years he wrote numerous articles and pamphlets on specific agricultural improvements. Both on his own estates and in local agricultural societies he encouraged the use of new techniques to better the lot of the local peasantry. More broadly, Bigot was interested in the social, economic, and moral conditions of the poor. He emphasized the need for society to educate the young in basic skills so that they could function better in the modern world …. Bigot saw luxery and the inequality of wealth as necessary causes and by-products of modern civilization, but he also recognized the negative effects of industrial capitalism. Economic progress might raise the level of civilization in both the arts and morality, but something had to be done to help the poorer classes who frequently suffered under such progress (Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restauration tot the Second Empire, vol. i, pp. 106-108.) Bigot’s works were part of a wider movement represented by authors such as Villermé, Villeneuve Bargemont, and Buret, informing an ever-increasing public about what was happening in the big industrial towns. (…..) But all recognized that poverty was keeping step with capitalist concentration, and that it was poverty of an entirely new character, utterly different from that of previous periods; all condemned the idea of unbridled liberalism and drew attention to the need for social legislation (Jacques Droz, Europe between Revolutions, 1815-1848, p. 63). – The original front cover laid down, with some spots and a bit dirty, small repair causing loss of a few letter in the dedication (see below), title-page not quite clean and with some small loss in blank upper margin, a bit stained in gutter towards the end. Copy with a three-line handwritten dedication on the front cover by the author to Louis-René Villermé.

Armchair traveller ?

(DURRET.) Voyage de Marseille à Lima, et dans les autres lieux des Indes Occidentales. Avec une exacte Description de ce qu’il y de plus remarquable tant pour la Geographie, que pour les Moeurs, les Coûtumes, le Commerce, le Gouvernement & la Religion des peuples; avec des notes & des figures en taille-douce. Par le Sieur D*** A Paris, Chez Jean-Baptiste Coignard, 1720. With 6 engraved plates, four of which are folding and including a plan of Lima. Two parts in one volume. xxxv, [1, blank], 282, 244, [2] pp. 12mo. Nineteenth-century half morocco, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, marbled boards.

€ 950

European Americana 720/78; Sabin 21437; James Ford Bell Library D354; Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, p. 233; Conlon 20:394; not in Echeverria & Wilkie; Goldsmiths’ 5610; not in Kress or Einaudi.
First edition of this scarce book which, although suggesting to be an account of a voyage to South America, is actually a work of fiction. Durret himself claims that it was based on an account by the “Sieur Bachelier” to which he only added notes and of which improved the style. This however is not correct, the work is by Durret.
“Chapter 17 of the first part and chapter 19 contain descriptions of Santa Catharina and Brazil in general. The letter is signed “Durret,” but the account is by Bachelier, a surgeon. Father Labat believes this was an imaginary voyage” (Borba de Moreas, i, p. 281).
“Récit, selon Barbier, plein de bévues et de contradictions, car D. l’aurait fait sans sortir de chez lui. Détails sur les moeurs, et sur les coutumes nuptiales de Malte, du Maroc, des Canaries, du Brézil, du Chili, du Pérou, de Madagascar, etc.” (INED 1678.)
“Contains useful information on the products of the South American coast” (James Ford Bell Library). – Title page cut short at foot.

Historical Palestine

RELANDUS, H. (OR RELAND, OR REELANT, H.) Palaestine, Ex Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata, in tres libros distributa, ……. Norimbergae (Nürnberg), apud Petrum Conradum Monathus, 1716. Title printed in red and black, engraved vignette, with engraved frontispiece, engraved title, 6 engraved folding maps and plates, including the large engraved map of the Holy Land, 8 engraved plates, and illustrations in the text. Three volumes in one, continuously paginated: [14], 788, [82] pp. 4to. Contemporary vellum.

€ 950

Brunet iv, 1203-4: “Ouvrage très estimé”; Graesse, Trésor de Livres Rares & Précieux, vi, 75; Blackmer 1406; Chadenat 4935: Hage Chahine 3950; Tobler, p. 213.
Second and revised edition, first published in 1714. A Dutch translation appeared in 1719.
Reland, the celebrated Dutch orientalist, was professor of oriental languages and ecclesiastical antiquities at the University of Utrecht. His description of Palestine is a remarkable work for its time, a significant, long-lasting contribution to research into the history and geography of early Palestine. Reland was eminently qualified to conduct this exhaustive survey: he was a geographer, cartographer and polylinguist possessing, in addition to the European languages, full command of Hebrew, Arabic and classical Greek. The work enumerates and describes 2500 sites mentioned in the Bible, Mishna and Talmud and is probably the most important work published by Reland. – Ancient annotations on front paste-down and recto first fly leaf, small stamp in blank portion of the title-page, a bit age-toned but a good copy. The illustrations in good impressions and showing, besides the Holy Land, among others a folding genealogical table of the Herods and a folding table comparing ancient measurements of distances.