December 2017

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Aldrovandi’s Natural History of Monsters. The First Treatise on Teratology. Bound in Contemporary Pigskin With Clasps

Aldrovandi, Ulisse (1522-1605); Ambrosini, Bartolomeo (1588-1657)
Monstrorum historia cum Paralipomenis historiae omnium animalium.

Bologna: Typis Nicolai Tebaldini, 1642

Large Folio: 35 x 24.5 cm. Two volumes in one: I. †4 (including engraved t.p.), A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Ppp6, Qqq8, Rrr6, Sss8; II. A-O6 (final signature O has 5 leaves, as in all copies examined. See note at end of description.)


Aldrovandi’s “Monstrorum historia” was the first treatise on teratology, the study of deformities and monsters. The subjects are drawn from across the spectrum of living creatures: animal (humans, other mammals, fishes, insects) and botanical. Aldrovandi also considers celestial monstra, including such portents as comets. There are also descriptions and images of Native Americans “from the island of Florida” and West Indian “cannibals”, as well as the mythical blemmyae or “headless men”, rumored to live in Africa, the West Indies, and other remote parts of the world.


NISSEN ZBI 74.R. As regards the 5-leaf final signature O in the “Paralipomena”, I have left the quire as “O6” in my collation since it is unclear if there was a cancelland leaf O5, or if final O6 was a blank. Either way, the final quire is consistent with all copies examined.

Printed on the English Secret Press at Birchley Hall, Lancashire

Anderton, James [pseud. John Brereley] (1557-1613)
The lyturgie of the Masse: wherein are treated three principal pointes of faith. 1. That in the Sacrament of the Eucharist are truly and really contained the body and bloud of Christ. 2. That the Masse is a true and proper sacrifice of the body and bloud of Christ, offered to God by preistes. 3. That Communion of the Eucharist to the laity vnder one kind is lawful. The ceremonies also of the Masse now vsed in the Catholicke Church, are al of them deriued from the primitiue Church. By Iohn Brereley preis [sic].

"Printed at Colen": [i.e. Birchley Hall Press, Lancashire: Roger Anderton?], 1620

Quarto: [6], 9-463, 462-468 Collation: [par.]⁴(-[par.]3) A-V⁴ W⁴ X-2V⁴ 2W⁴ 2X-3K⁴ [3L]² (Complete with blank leaves G1 and [3L]².)


A good, complete specimen of a book printed on a secret Catholic press. The press was located at the Anderton family’s own Birchley Hall in Lancashire and was likely operated by James Anderton’s brother, Roger Anderton, after the former’s death. The press produced books, including three by James Anderton himself, from 1613 to 1621, when the press was seized by the English authorities.


Allison & Rogers, Catholic Books, #137; Allison & Rogers, Counter-Reformation, #22; Milward, Religious Controversies, no. 676; STC 3607

Two "distinctly theatrical texts" by the most celebrated actress of the commedia dell'arte

Andreini Isabella (1562-1604)
Lettere della signora Isabella Andreini. Aggiuntoui di nuouo li ragionamenti piaceuoli dell'istessa. Di nuouo ristampate, & con ogni diligenza ricorrette [With:] Fragmenti di alcune scritture della signora Isabella Andreini, raccolti da Francesco Andreini, e dati in luce da Flamminio Scala.

Venice: Appresso Gio. Battista Combi, 1620

Octavo: 15.5 x 10.5 cm. Two parts in 1 volume: I. [24], 268 pp., 2 blank lvs.; II. 180 pp.


The first edition of Isabella Andreini's collection of letters appeared in 1607, four years after the author's death, edited by her husband, Francesco. In 1617, with the assistance of Flaminio Scala, Francesco published the "Fragmenti". For a discussion of both works, see below.

"Born in Padua to Venetian parents in 1562, Isabella Andreini (née Canali) would become the most celebrated commedia dell'arte actress of her century by the time of her death in 1604.


Graesse I, 121; Piantanida 3319

One of the Most Beautiful Emblem Books. The Landwehr Copy

Arias Montanus, Benedictus [Benito Arias Montano] (1527-1598)
Humanae Salutis Monumenta

Antwerp: Christophe Plantin, 1571

Octavo: Collation: A-I8, K4, A-B8.


Engraved title, engraved portrait medallion of Christ, and 70 engraved emblematic plates. Later calf binding, rebacked, spine renewed, wear to corners. Fine impressions of the plates. Provenance: J.C. Landwehr

A series of beautifully rendered emblems, engraved by Abraham de Bruyn (ca. 1539-1587), Pieter Huys (1520-1577), Jan Wierix (ca. 1549-1615) and his brother Hieronymus Wierix (ca.


Landwehr 44; cf. Sorgeloos 111; Voet 588

Archery, “an Imitation of most Ernest Things to be done in Manhood.” A Work of Great Importance for the Development of English Prose in the Age of Latin

Ascham, Roger (1514/15-1568)
Toxophilus: The Schoole, or partitions of Shooting contayned in two bookes . now newly perused . Pleasaunt for all Gentlemen and Yomen of England for their pastime to reade, and profitable for their use to follow both in warre and peace.

London: Published by Printed by Abell Ieffes by the consent of H. Marsh, 1589

Quarto: 19 x 13.5 cm. [vi], 63, [1] ff. Collation: ¶¶4, ¶¶¶2, A-H8 ff.


The Cambridge-educated Ascham, one of the best known of the English humanists, produced two works that had a great influence on the use of English as a literary language as well as on the education of children and the conduct of English gentlemen. The first of these was his “Toxophilus” (1545), dedicated to Henry VIII, in which he set forth both the dictum that physical exercise is an indispensable part of a gentleman’s education, and set a new model for English prose style.


ESTC S100281; Cockle 9; Pforzheimer 18

Astronomy and Meteorology; Flora and Fauna: The Natural World in the Middle Ages. With 15th c. Provenance. Bound at the Monastery of St Zeno

Berenger of Landorra, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (circa 1262-1330), and Gregory of Vorau (ed. Matthias Farinator)
Lumen Animae. Incipit: Liber moralitatum elegantissimus magnarum reru[m] naturalium lumen anime dict[us]: cu[m] septe[m] apparitorib[us] necno[n] sanctoru[m] doctoru[m] orthodoxe fidei p[ro]fessorum Poetaru[m] etia[m] ac oratoru[m] auctoritatib[us] p[er] modum pharatre s[e]c[un]d[u]m ordine[m] alphabeti collectis feliciter incipit.

Strasbourg: Printer of the 1481 Legenda aurea, 22 March 1482

Folio: 29.2 x 21.8 cm. 274 unsigned leaves. [A-C]8, [D]10; [a-m]8, [n]6,[o-z]8, [aa-ff]8, [gg]10. Complete with the initial and final blanks.


The arrival of printed books is so often regarded as one of the inaugural moments of the renaissance that it is sometimes forgotten that the first years of print also represented the last great flowering of the Middle Ages. The “Lumen Anime” (Light of the Soul), is testament to that. Formerly attributed to the Carmelite friar Mathias Farinator of Vienna (who compiled the index), the “Lumen Anime” is now known to be Berenger of Landorra, General of the Dominican order and archbishop of Campostella from 1317 to 1325.


BMC I, 97; Hain-Copinger 10333*; Goff L-396; Proctor 413; Polain 1468; Wellcome I, 2175; Klebs 631.3; Thorndyke III, 546ff. Sources: Mary A. and Richard H. Rouse, ‘The Texts called Lumen Anime,’ Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, 41 (Rome, 1971), 5-113; N.R. Ker, Records of All Soul’s College Library. 1437-1600 (Oxford, 1971), 27.

Rome & The Papal States. The Very Rare “Theatrum Italiae”. With 118 Folding & Full page Engraved Illustrations

Blaeu, Joan (1596-1673)
Theatrvm civitatvm et admirandorvm Italiae / ad aevi veteris & praesentis temporis faciem expressum a Ioanne Blaeu, G.F.

Amsterdam: Typis Joannis Blaeu, 1663

Two Large Folio Volumes: 56 x 38 cm. Vol I: 2 ff. (General printed title conjugate with dedication), 2 ff. ("Ad lectorem"), 1 f. (Dedication), 2 ff. (Printed section title, half title), 1-253 pp., 1 f. (Index leaf). Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece and 74 plates.


A fine set of one of Joan Blaeu’s most magnificent productions. This set is very rare, owing probably to the fire that ravaged Blaeu’s workshop in 1672, the year before the publication of these “town books”. This copy has an additional plate, not recorded by Koeman, of the Obeliscus Pamphilius, in volume 2.

The two volumes are profusely illustrated with town views, architectural plans, ancient, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture (including many villas); and sculpture.


Koeman, C. Atlantes Neerlandici; Bl 72.; Koeman, C. Atlantes Neerlandici; Bl 73; Philippsa, 4039; Cremonini, 39

“Nudi, Recti, Venusti” -Cicero

Caesar, Gaius Iulius (100-44 B.C.)
C. Iulii Caesaris Rerum ab se gestarum commentarii. De bello Gallico libri VIII. De bello civili Pompeiano libri III. De bello Alexandrino liber I. De bello Africo liber I. De bello Hispaniensi liber I. Ex vetustiss. scriptis codicibus emendatiores. [Bound with:] Eutropius: Epitome belli Gallici ex Suetonii Tranqulli monumentis.

Paris: ex officina Rob. Stephani, 1544

Octavo: 17 x 11 cm. (32), 523, (1, blank), (108) pp. Collation: I. *8, **8 (**4 and 5 are conjugates that form the folded map of Spain), a-z8, A-Q8, R4. II. 134, (16) pp. Collation: A-I8, K4


This edition of Caesar includes the texts of the “Gallic Wars” and “Civil War”, together with the "De bello Alexandrino", "De bello Africano", and "De bello Hispaniense", ascribed to Aulus Hirtius. This edition also includes Raimundo Marliano’s useful index of the topography of Gaul in Roman times.

Admired for their style (most famously by Cicero) and read by both his supporters and detractors alike in antiquity, Caesar’s Commentarii fell into obscurity in the Middle Ages.


Schreiber, The Estiennes, no. 72 and 73; Renouard 61.15; Adams C-38 and E 1133

Describing Seven Private Collections of Paintings & Sculpture

Carboni, Giovanni Battista (1725-1790)
Le pitture e sculture di Brescia che sono esposte al pubblico : con un'appendice di alcune private gallerie.

Brescia: Dalle stampe di Giambatista Bossini, 1760

Large octavo: Engraved frontis., xxiv-196 p., [1] f Collation: a8, A-M10


An important guide to the art of Brescia, written by G.B. Carboni, son of the sculptor and engraver Rizzado Carboni. The guide remains a fundamental work for reconstructing the history of Brescian public and private art collections.

Carboni describes all of the churches in the city as well as the artworks in the grand public buildings such as the municipal palazzo and the Biblioteca Queriniana.


Cardano’s Great Encyclopedia of Science & Nature. \"The most advanced representation of physical knowledge up to his time.” (Dibner)

Cardano, Girolamo (1501-1576)
De subtilitate libri XXI. nunc demum recogniti atque perfecti.

Basel: L. Lucius, 1554

Folio: 32 x 21.5 cm. [24], 561 pp. Collation: [alpha]-[gamma]4, a-z4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa5. Last leaf blank and lacking.


Cardano’s “De Subtilitate” "Represents the most advanced representation of physical knowledge up to his time and the idea that all creation is in progressive development" (Dibner). This is the second folio edition. It includes Cardano's famous statement 'Igitur his arbitrio victoriae relictis' (p. 354), which caused Cardano's denouncement for heresy (see below) and which was therefore edited out of subsequent editions.


VD 16, C 932; IA 132.064; Adams C 670; Riccardi I/1, 252, 6.3; Durling 847; Alden-L. 554/10; See Dibner 139, Sinkankas 1145 & DSB III, 66.

The Most Beautiful Astronomical Atlas of the 17th Century. A Fine Copy in Contemporary Color

Cellarius, Andreas (ca. 1596-1665)
Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus, totius universi creati Cosmographiam Generalem, et Novam exhibens.

Amsterdam: Jan Jansson, 1661

53 x 33 cm. 364 pages. Collation: π1 (engraved t.p.), [?]7, (a)-(z)2, (aa)-(hh)2, (ii)1; A-Z2, Aa-Zz2, Aaa-Iii2. Complete with the additional engraved title page, printed title page, and 29 double-page engraved plates.

Call for Price

The first 21 plates constitute a historical survey of cosmological theories, illustrating the motions of the sun and planets according to Ptolemy, Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. The last eight plates are celestial hemispheres and planispheres depicting the constellations. Ten of the plates (9-11, 13, 15, 16, 18-21) are the work of Johannes van Loon (d. 1686). The allegorical title page is the work of Frederik Hendrik van den Hove (1628/29-1698).


Bibliographical references: Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici, I:801B; Ashworth Jr., William B., “Allegorical Astronomy: Baroque Scientists encoded their most Dangerous Opinions in Art”, The Sciences, 25, (1985), nr. 5, 34-37

The Scandalous Life of Elizabeth Chudleigh

Chudleigh, Elizabeth (c. 1720-1788)
An Authentic Detail of Particulars relative to the Late Duchess of Kingston.

London: Printed for G. Kearsley, at Johnson’s Head, No. 46, Fleet-Street, 1788

Octavo: 21 x 13 cm. pp. [ii], ii, 178, [18]. Collation: [A]2, B-Z4, A1. With an added engraved frontispiece of the Duchess, with breasts exposed "as she appeared at the Venetian Ambassador


Duchess of Kingston, granddaughter of the poet Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710), from whom “she seemed to have inherited no notable literary tastes or talents”(Rizzo) Elizabeth was notorious for her sexual escapades, daring, and profligacy. She studiously cultivated this image, referring to herself (in the third person) thus: “She was both wasteful and penurious; the most enormous sums were expended to gratify her love of display, at the same time that she refused to incur some trifling necessary expense in her household….


ESTC T92902

The Rare Church Calendar, Use of Rome. For the Leap Year 1684

Church Calendar: Ordo Officii Divini Recitandi.
Ordo Officii Divini Recitandi juxta Ritum Breviarii Romani pro Anno Bissextili M.DC.LXXXIV. Cum annotatione colorum, quibus Eminentiss. et Reverendiss. Domini Cardinales Romae degentes in vestibus, et Cappis Pontificalibus utuntur; Ac etiam Cappellarum, quae infra annum celebrantur.

Rome: ex Typographia Rever. Cam. Apost., 1684

Octavo: 16 x 10.6 cm. A-D8, A8, a8


This is an extremely rare Vatican “Directorium”, the yearly calendar of the Church of Rome, published for the leap year 1684, during the reign of Pope Innocent XI (1611-1689), whose woodcut arms appear on the title page. It consists of a calendar for the year, in which there are printed against each day concise directions concerning the Office and Mass to be said on that day. There are also indications of fast days, special indulgences, days of devotion, etc.


Cortés Relates the Final Conquest and Destruction of Tenochtitlán - Sir Thomas Phillipps' Copy

Cortés, Hernán (1485-1547)
Tertia Ferdinandi Cortesii … in nova maris oceani Hyspania generalis praefecti praeclara Narratio

Nuremberg: Friedrich Peypus, 1524

Folio: 28.6 x 19.4 cm. 56 leaves: ff. [4] LI, [1].


Title translation:

"The Third Narration of Fernando Cortés… Captain-General of New Spain, Containing the conquest of the celebrated city of Temixtitan, and the recovery of other provinces which had been lost; in the conquest and recovery of which the Governor and Spaniards gained victories worthy of being remembered; besides which is related how Cortés discovered the South Sea, which we consider the Southern Indian Ocean, and innumerable other provinces abounding in gold mines, pearls, and various kinds of precious stones, and whereby it was made known that they also contain spices.


Sabin, A Dictionary of Books relating to America, no. 16948. – Harrisse, Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, 1866, no. 126; Alden/Landis, European Americana, no. 524/8; Church Catalogue no. 54; The World Encompassed no. 232; Nebenzahl, Atlas of Columbus and the Great Discoveries, p. 76; Streeter sale I, no. 190; A. Delgado-Gomez, Spanish Historical Writing about the New World 1493-1700, exh. cat. JCB Library, Providence 1992, no. 7a; Howgego I, pp. 268-70

First Edition of Coryate’s Bizarre Travelogue. A Fascinating Account of An Adventurer in Europe

Coryate, Thomas (1577-1617)
Coryats crudities; hastily gobled vp in five moneths trauells in France, Sauoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons country, Heluetia aliàs Switzerland, some parts of high Germany, and the Netherlands; newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the county of Somerset, & now dispersed to the nourishment of the trauelling members of this kingdome

London: printed by William Stansby for the author, 1611

Quarto: 20.5 x 15.5 cm. π1 (engraved title page), π1 (printed title), a3, b4, π1(woodcut arms), a4-8, b8, c-g8, h-l4, B-C8, D1, (+D1-3), D2-8, E-Z8; Aa-Zz8; Aaa-Ccc8, Ddd4, [Eee]1, signed “Eee3”, [Fff]1 (unsigned).


First edition of one of the earliest travelogues in English, written by Thomas Coryate (1577-1617), one of the great English eccentrics and travellers.

“Coryate joined the household of Henry, Prince of Wales. Driven by curiosity he sailed from Dover in 1608 and arrived soon in Paris, 'which he found even filthier and smellier than London. At Fontainebleau he was befriended by members of Henri IV's garde écossaise and saw more of the royal household than would normally have been permitted to chance visitors.


ESTC S108716; Pforzheimer, 218

The Protestant Martyrs. With the Ballad of John Careless, Later adapted by Shakespeare in King Lear

Coverdale, Miles (1488-1568)
Certain most godly, fruitful, and comfortable letters of such true saintes and holy martyrs of God, as in the late bloodye persecution here within this realme, gaue their lyues for the defence of Christes holy gospel: written in the tyme of theyr affliction and cruell imprysonment.

London: By Iohn Day, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, beneath Saint Martines, 1564

Quarto: 18 x 13.5 cm. [8], 46, 49-689, [5] p. Collation: A4, B-C8, D8(-D8), E-I8, K8(-K6), L-Y8 2A-2X8, 2Y8 + [hand]Y4 (Leaves D8 and K6 are canceled, as intended.)


An important collection of writings by English Protestants, many of whom had been martyred, compiled and with a preface by Miles Coverdale. There are letters by Lady Jane Gray (1536/7-1554) (a letter written “to her syster the Ladye Katheryne, immediately before she suffered”), John Bradford (1510?-1555) (including a partial reprint of \"An exhortacion to the carienge of Chrystes crosse\", STC 3480.


STC 5886

The First Aldine Dante

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Le terze rime di Dante.

Venice: Aldus Manutius, August 1502

Octavo: 15 x 9.1 cm. 244 unnumbered leaves. Collation: a-z8, A-G8, H4. Leaf l2 is a blank.


This is the issue with the Aldine anchor and dolphin device on the final leaf. Quires a-c were also completely re-set, the present copy having the headline 'INFERNO' on a2r, and 'INF' in all the other leaves of these quires.

The edition – titled here simply “Le terze rime” – signals a linguistic restoration of the work and an important advance in the recovery of the original text.


De Batines, I, pp. 60-62; Mambelli, 17; Renouard, p. 34, no. 5; Ahmanson-Murphy, 59; Dionisotti-Orlandi, “Aldo Manuzio editore”, no. XXX; Adams, D-83; Gamba, 385

With the Engraved Portrait of Donne

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Poems, by J.D. VVith elegies on the authors death

London: Printed by M[iles]. F[lesher]. for John Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard in Fleet-street, 1639

Octavo: 13.5 x 9.1 cm. [8], 300, [4], 301-388, [32] pp. A-Z8, Aa-Dd8. With the engraved frontispiece portrait.


“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Much Elizabethan verse is decorative and flowery in its quality. Its images adorn; its meter is mellifluous. Image harmonizes with image, and line swells almost predictably into line. Donne’s poetry, on the other hand, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images that involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty.


STC 7047; Keynes 80; Pforzheimer 297

“No man is an Island”

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Devotions vpon emergent occasions, and seuerall steps in my sicknes: digested into 1. Meditations vpon our humane condition. 2. Expostulations, and debatements with God. 3. Prayers, vpon the seuerall occasions, to him. By Iohn Donne, Deane of S. Pauls, London. The third edition.

London: Printed [by Augustine Mathewes] for Thomas Iones, and are to be sold at the signe of the Black Rauen in the Strand, 1627

Duodecimo: 13.8 x 8.4 cm. [8], 589, [1] p. A-Z12 (lacks blank A1); Aa-Bb12


“[The ‘Devotions’] present a more vivid and intimate picture of Donne than anything else written by himself or others.” –Sparrow

“Donne’s ‘Devotions’ is the source of the author’s famous meditation on the interconnectedness of all human lives: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.


Keynes, G. Donne (4th ed.), 38; STC 7035a; ESTC S114971; Grolier/Donne 20 (this copy)

The longest and most detailed of Erasmus’ anti-Lutheran writings. The Rare First Edition

Erasmus, Desiderius (ca. 1466-1536)
Hyperaspistae liber secundus, adversus librum Martini Lutheri, cui titulum fecit, Servum arbitrium.

Basel: Joannes Froben, 1527

Octavo: 17 x 11.6 cm. 575 pp. Collation: A-Z8, a-n8


This is the extremely rare first edition of Erasmus’ second response to Luther’s “De Servo Arbitrio” (On the Enslaved Will):

In December 1525 Erasmus had published “De Libero Arbitrio” (On Free Will), setting of a debate with Martin Luther, who responded to Erasmus with his own “De Servo Arbitrio” (On the Enslaved Will). Erasmus responded in turn with his “Hyperaspistes I” and, a year later, the present work, “Hyperaspistes II.


VD 16, E 3033; Bezzel 1122; Vander Haeghen I, 110

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