Superspace and Supergravity - signed by Hawking

Hawking, Stephen / Rocek, Martin (eds.). Superspace and Supergravity: Proceedings of the Nuffield Workshop,... Cambridge June 16-July 12, 1980. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981. 8vo (226 x 152 mm). Publisher's maroon cloth, lettered in silver on spine, original pictorial dustjacket.

£ 39,500.-

Author's presentation copy, inscribed on the title page in Hawking's own hand. This is a collection of densely mathematical papers given at a workshop on supergravity organized by Hawking. The dustjacket reproduces a blackboard covered with doodles by Martin Rocek and other attendees at the Nuffield Workshop, including a caricature of Hawking himself: the blackboard itself remained in Hawking's office in Cambridge until his death. A fine copy of the first edition. - Provenance: authorial inscription on title "Love from Stephen x x x"; Judy Fella (Hawking's first secretary and later PA and nursing co-ordinator: Fella typed up some of the manuscript for the work, and is depicted, as "one of the Fella's", in the cover artwork).


Jewish immigration displacing the Arab population

Hope Simpson, Sir John. Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development. [Cmd.... 3686.] - Appendix Containing Maps [Cmd. 3687.] London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1930. London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1930. Large 8vo (245 x 155 mm). 2 vols., comprising text volume and appendix of maps: 5 folding maps, all but one colour-printed, folding graph at end of text volume. Original blue-green wrappers.

£ 12,500.-

Complete with the very rare appendix of maps. In reaction to the 1929 violent unrest in Palestine, the British government in 1930 sent the Shaw Commission ("Palestine. Statement with regard to British policy", Cmd. 3582) to report on the situation in the Mandate. This concluded that Jewish immigration pressurized and displaced the Arab population, and rejected the view that the Jewish National Home was the principal feature of the Mandate. The Shaw Commission recommended an investigation into Palestine's economic absorptive capacity of Jewish immigration, and the present publication, Sir John Hope Simpson's report, concluded that the increasing number of Jewish land purchases was leading to a growing population of landless Arabs. Hope Simpson's recommendations of reduced Jewish immigration and restrictions on land transfers were adopted by the Passfield White Paper ("Palestine. Statement of policy by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom", Cmd. 3692) that same year. - Maps 1 and 6 with very small holes at some creasefolds and a few very short marginal tears and nicks, maps and accompanying text in appendix with light dog-earing. Map 3 apparently never issued. Wrappers to text volume faintly creased, appendix unevenly faded and extremities lightly rubbed. Extremely rare.
¶ Khalidi & Khadduri 1658. Cf. Bryars & Harper, A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps (2014), p. 79.


The Social Structures and Tribes of Yemen

Hunter, F[rederick] M[ercer] / Sealy, C. W. H. / Mosse, A. H. E. An Account of the Arab Tribes in the... Vicinity of Aden. Bombay, Government Central Press, 1909. Bombay, Government Central Press, 1909. Large 8vo. 2 vols. (6), II, 356 pp. 14 genealogical tables (9 folding) & 3 hand-coloured folding maps. Original green cloth gilt.

£ 11,000.-

First and only edition of this excessively rare manual on the tribal structures in the very area where the region's biggest ongoing armed conflict started in 2011. Compiled initially in 1886, the text was brought up to date in 1907 by Captain A. E. Mosse. The authors provide a chronological breakdown of the events, relationships and hostilities of each of the 16 tribes in the Aden area. In addition, the work discusses the nature of each tribe (i.e. "a proud, warlike and independent race"), their income and their organisation, with notes on sub-tribes and their reigning families. The appendix includes copies of the treaties and agreements signed between local tribes and the British, many of which led to the establishment of the British Protectorate. - Aden was ruled as a part of British India from 1839 until 1937, when it became a Crown Colony. Its proximity to Zanzibar, the Suez canal and Mumbai made it an important strategic possession in the British Empire. Hunter wrote the first account of some of the tribes surrounding Aden in his work "An Account of the British Settlement of Aden in Arabia" (1877). - Slightly rubbed and spotted. Old library shelfmarks to upper covers; some contemporary underlinings in coloured pencil. The tables are at the end of the text volume, while the maps are stored loosely in a pocket in a separate volume. - Rare. Only two copies traced at auction within the last 50 years, of which was lacking the maps showing the tribes of Yemen and the boundaries of the Aden protectorate.
¶ Not in Macro.


Alhazen’s optics: the exceedingly rare first edition of a milestone in Arabic science

Ibn al-Haytham, Abu 'Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen). [Kitab al-Manazir, latine]. Opticae thesaurus. Alhazeni Arabis libri... septem, nunc primum editi. Eiusdem liber de crepusculis & Nubium ascensionibus. Item Vitellonis Thuringopoloni libri X [...]. (Ed. F. Risner). Basel, Eusebius Episcopius & heirs of Nicolaus Episcopius, (August) 1572. Basel, Eusebius Episcopius & heirs of Nicolaus Episcopius, (August) 1572. Folio (248 x 350 mm). 2 parts in 1 vol. 1st blank f., (6), 288 pp. (8), 474, (2) pp. With 2 different woodcut printer's devices on t. p. and colophon, half-page woodcut on reverse of t. p. (repeated on half-title of pt. 2), and numerous diagrams in the text. Near-contemporary full vellum binding with giltstamped red spine label. All edges sprinkled in red.

£ 110,000.-

First edition of "the most important work of its kind in Arabic literature" (cf. Poggendorf). Ibn al-Haytham (965-c. 1040), known as Alhazen in the Latin tradition, has been hailed as "the greatest Muslim physicist and one of the greatest students of optics of all times [...] The Latin translation [...] exerted a great influence upon Western science. It showed a great progress in experimental method. [Alhazen's book contains] research in catoptrics, [a] study of atmospheric refraction, [a] better description of the eye, and better understanding of vision [as well as an] attempt to explain binocular vision [and the] earliest use of the camera obscura" (Sarton). "This combined edition served as the standard reference work on optics well into the 17th century, influencing scientists such as Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Descartes" (Norman). "The Arab physicist Alhazen preserved for us all that was known by the ancients in the field of optics and added some contributions of his own. His book remained a standard authority thru the 1600s. He understood that light emanated spherically from a point and greatly improved on Ptolemy's uncertain rule for refraction which, he showed, held true only for small angles. He covered many cases of reflection and refraction and his explanation of the structure and function of the eye was followed for 600 years" (Dibner). "Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics is now a thousand years old. It revolutionized optics and had great impact on science in Europe, being cited by Roger Bacon and Johannes Kepler, among others" (AR, p. 99). "It is remarkable that in the Islamic world the 'Optics' practically disappeared from view soon after its appearance in the 11th century until, in the beginning of the 14th century, the Persian scholar Kamal al-Din composed his great critical commentary on it [...] By this time the 'Optics' had embarked on a new career in the West where it was already widely and avidly studied in a Latin translation of the late 12th or early 13th century, entitled 'Perspectiva' or 'De aspectibus' [...] The Latin translation was published by Frederick Risner at Basel in 1572 in a volume entitled 'Opticae thesaurus', which included Witelo's 'Perspectiva' [...] Risner's Latin edition made [the 'Optics'] available to such mathematicians as Kepler, Snell, Beeckman, Fermat, Harriot, and Descartes, all of whom except the last directly referred to Alhazen", though Descartes "employed [the work] in his successful deduction of the sine law" (DSB, p. 194-197). The 'Liber de crepusculis', the work on dawn and twilight included in Risner's 'Opticae thesaurus' and attributed to Alhazen, is actually the work of his contemporary Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad ibn Mu'adh al-Jayyani (cf. Norman; DSB, p. 208). The optical study by the Polish scholar Witelo, likewise here included, is "a massive work that relies extensively on Alhazen [and] offers an analysis of reflection that was not surpassed until the 17th century" (Norman). - Variously browned due to paper, but altogether quite a crisp, wide-margined copy, with an apparently contemporary handwritten ownership to the title page (deleted some time in the 17th or 18th century), a very few inconspicuous repairs to the edges, a faint waterstain to the lower margin and some slight worming to the lower gutter. Binding tight and well-preserved, with 17th or early 18th century library shelfmarks to front pastedown. An unusually fine specimen of a principal work of Arabic science as received in the West.
¶ VD 16, H 693 (H 692, V 1761). Adams A 745. BM-STC 383. Dibner 138. Norman 1027. Honeyman I, 73. DSB VI, 205. GAL I, 470. Poggendorf I, 31. Duncan 113. Sarton I, 721. Carmody p. 140. Thorndike/Kibre 803, 1208. Vagnetti D62. BNHCat A 241. IA 103.705. Brunet I, 180. Arabick Roots Doha AR79.


Manuscript of the first treatment of post-Copernican astronomy by a Muslim scholar

Ibrâhim Haqqi, Erzurumlu. Marifetname [The Book of Knowledge and Skills]. [Ottoman Empire], 1235 AH [1819/20 AD]. [Ottoman Empire], 1235 AH [1819/20 AD]. 4to (ca 180 x 270 mm). 333, (1) numbered ff. Ottoman Turkish on thin, polished, cream-coloured paper. With 12 full-page colour illustrations of scientific diagrams, 2 full-page coloured world maps, 8 full-page coloured tables, 2 full-page coloured illustrations of Mekka and Jerusalem, 5 half-page coloured diagrams, as well as a half-page red and black ink diagram on leaf 19r. Later 19th century half calf with giltstamped spine; cloth covers blindstamped and gilt.

£ 25,000.-

An uncommonly fine, early 19th century manuscript of the famous scholarly encyclopedia, predating by more than a decade the first printed edition, which appeared in Bulaq in 1835. The "Marifetname", or "Book of Gnosis" is a compilation of astronomical, astrological, mathematical, anatomical, psychological, philosophical as well as mystical religious texts. It is famous for containing the first treatment of post-Copernican astronomy by a Muslim scholar. - Ibrahim Haqqi Erzurumi (1703-80) is considered an outstanding figure of 18th century Ottoman Turkey. Based on an immense knowledge of the Sufi branch of Islam as well as his studies in Western science, he devoted himself to the domains of both religion and science, considering both a means of approaching God. - Binding rubbed and bumped at extremeties; interior exceedingly well preserved. Altogether a very appealing copy with the numerous illustrations showing fine detail.
¶ Cf. Zenker I, 1709. F. Gülen, "Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism," p. 106, n. 69. Z. Virk, "Science and Technology in Ottoman Sultanate".


An authorization to attend the Steyr Iron Corporation committee

Kepler, Johannes, German astronomer, mathematician, and physicist (1571-1630). Autograph document signed. No place, [August/September 1628]. No place, [August/September 1628]. Bifolium (ca. 215 x 295 mm) with 8 autograph lines, signed on the second leaf ("Johan Keppler Mathematicus Mppria") with papered seal showing Kepler's arms. Watermark: a shield parted quarterly (apparently hounds and hounds' heads), with a letter K inescutcheoned.

£ 50,000.-

Kepler authorizes an unidentified bearer to attend the Steyr Iron Corporation's committee hearing scheduled for 10 September 1628: "Gewalt und Vollmacht der auff 10. Sept. diß 1628ten Jahrs zu Steir angestellten Eisenschen Geselschaffts Commissions Handlung beyzuwohnen". Kepler's signature is set next to his fine papered seal with his initials "I K". - At the hearing, headed by the Upper Austrian civil servants Johann Spindler and Konstantin Grundemann, it was disclosed to the Corporation's several hundred creditors that the Corporation had suffered substantial losses which they would have to bear, so as to prevent a municipal bankruptcy (cf. F. X. Pritz, Beschreibung und Geschichte der Stadt Steyer [Linz, 1837], p. 276). - Early 20th century pencil note in German on the first leaf ("authorization issued by the astronomer Joh. Kepler. Linz 1628"). Traces of old folds with light browning. Insignificant brownstain at the upper edge. Very finely preserved.


Exceptionally rare: the Thousand and One Nights, the first complete edition in Arabic and the first edition printed in the Arab world

[Kitab Alf layla wa-layla]. Kitab Alf layla wa-layla. Vols. I and II. Bulaq, al-Matba’ah al-kubra, 1251 AH [1835 AD]. Bulaq, al-Matba’ah al-kubra, 1251 AH [1835 AD]. Royal 8vo (262 x 194 mm). 2 vols. 710 pp. 620 pp. Printed in Arabic throughout, floral woodcut sarlawh to each volume, text within two-line frame throughout, titles in nasta'liq types. Contemporary tan goatskin, recased retaining most of the original covers, spines and the original manuscript spine-labels (transposed), envelope flaps, blind-ruled overall, "mandorla" centrepieces in blind to sides.

£ 450,000.-

First complete edition in Arabic of the Thousand and One Nights, and the first edition printed in the Arab world. Very rare, with seven copies only located in libraries worldwide (American University Beirut, British Library, Danish Royal Library, Harvard, Huntington, and Yale); none traced in auction records. The Bulaq edition was preceded by another two-volume edition printed at Calcutta between 1814 and 1818, which contained a selection of 200 "Nights" only; the German orientalist Max Habicht began his multi-volume, so-called Breslau edition in 1824, though it remained incomplete on his death in 1839, and at any rate used the Bulaq text as one of its many sources. The Bulaq edition was prepared by one ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sifti al-Sharqawi, probably from a single manuscript which is now lost. It proved "more correct than the garbled and semi-colloquial renderings given by the manuscripts used in the compilations of Calcutta I and Breslau", and was instrumental in stabilising the Thousand and One Nights corpus (Irwin, The Arabian Nights: A Companion, p. 44). It was the main source for Edward Lane’s pioneering English translation (1889-41) and for the last of the four historically important Arabic editions, published at Calcutta in 1839-42 (and known as "Calcutta II"). Bulaq and Calcutta II "superseded almost completely all other texts and formed the general notion of the Arabian Nights. For more than half a century it was neither questioned nor contested that the text of the Bulaq and Calcutta II editions was the true and authentic text" (Marzolph, The Arabian Nights Reader, p. 88). - The printing press at Bulaq, Cairo, founded in 1821 by Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha, was the first indigenous press in Egypt and one of the first anywhere in the Arab world, its literary output catering to a keen export market and increased demand among the expanding professional classes of Muhammad ‘Ali’s Egypt. For the first few years the press used types cast in Italy, then France. "In 1826 Muhammad ‘Ali sent a delegation to Europe to study printing, and by the 1830s printing had reached a good technical level at Bulaq" (Kent et al., eds., Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science, vol. 24, p. 63). The present edition exhibits the high standards of Bulaq printing, with the main text composed in authentic and legible naskh-style types, interspersed with attractive headings in nasta’liq. - Sides lightly scuffed and marked, inner hinges reinforced, endpapers slightly marked from adhesive, vol. 1 with mild sporadic spotting to first 50 pages or so, pale tide-mark along top edge of vol. 2, stronger damp-staining to bottom edge of sigs. 12-14 and 91-93, a few occasional marks, rear free endpaper repaired along top edge. A very good copy, the paper notably crisp and strong, with rich impressions of the types.
¶ Chauvin IV, 18, 20K. Brunet III, 1715. Graesse IV, 523. Fawzi M. Tadrus, Printing in the Arab World with emphasis on Bulaq Press (Doha: University of Qatar, 1982), p. 64. Middle Eastern Languages and the Print Revolution. A Cross-Cultural Encounter, Westhofen 2002, p. 184. Heinz Grotzfeld. Neglected Conclusions of the "Arabian Nights": Gleanings in Forgotten and Overlooked Recensions. In: Journal of Arabic Literature, Vol. 16, (1985), pp. 73-87. Ulrich Marzolph (ed.). The Arabian nights in transnational perspective, Wayne State University Press 2007, p. 51.


''Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as:''
Lepsius's unpublished autograph manuscript

Lepsius, Karl Richard, German linguist and Egyptologist (1810-1884). (De armatura). Arma Graecorum, Romanorum, gentiumque Barbarorum. Recensuit... et ordine digessit Ric. Lepsius juvenis admodum dum Parisiis studia archeologica prosequeretur suadente ac opibus adjuvante H. de Albertis de Luynes. Paris, ca. 1833-1835. Paris, ca. 1833-1835. Greek, Latin and French autograph manuscript on paper. 3 vols.: 4to (214 x 228 mm), large 4to (224 x 273 mm), and 8vo (132 x 180 mm). Regular cursive script in dark brown ink. (1), 538 ff. 25 pp. 85 ff. Bound in uniform green half mororcco over marbled boards with giltstamped red label to gilt spine.

£ 15,000.-

An encompassing study of the weapons of classical antiquity, commissioned by the Duc de Luynes and prepared by the great classical scholar Lepsius, who was to head the Prussian expedition to Egypt in 1842-45. The antiquary and numismatist Honoré d'Albert de Luynes (1802-67) was an important patron of scholarship and the arts. During his sojourn in Paris in the years 1833-35 Lepsius compiled this survey from the Greek and Latin sources to form the basis for an archaeological and philological work of the Duke's that did not materialize. - The hefty first volume, entitled "Arma Graecorum, Romanorum, gentiumque Barbarorum", contains a Greek repertorium with notes in French (f. 128r: "C'est donc une couverture de tous le bras, non pas seulement de la main ce qu'on serait porté à croire d'après l'explication de Pollux [...]"; f. 165r: "sur la fabrication des glaives"; ff. 262-264: extensive discussion of bows and archers), with an alphabetical index beginning on f. 515. A larger, slimmer volume is dedicated to Homer exclusively: Greek text and French notes in two columns with several illustrations, treating shields, helmets, armour, swords etc., also discussing the Durand collection ("Parmi les vases de Monsieur Durand il y a une amphore à fig., représentant le combat d'Hercule contre les Amazones [...]"), the armour of Agamemnon and of Alexander, the skin of the Nemean Lion, as worn by Hercules ("n'est devenue un vêtement de ce héros que depuis Pindare") etc. The octavo volume contains quotations from Greek writings (again with French notes) on helmets, armour, etc. ("Et en effet je crois qu'Homère lui même par ces différents noms d'armures [...] a voulu désigner différentes espèces qu'il semble aujourd'hui [...] je n'hésite nullement de croire que ces noms désignaient autrefois des espèces de casques"). - Bindings insignificantly rubbed; very occasional slight browning or edge flaws. A splendid, unique, unpublished manuscript by the great scholar, bound for the sponsor.


Complete run of this series of illustrated news sheets issued during the Great Turkish War: of the utmost rarity

[Lorck, Melchior (artist) / Happel, Eberhard Werner (ed.)]. Der Türckische Schau-Platz. Eröffnet und fürgestelt in sehr... vielen nach dem Leben gezeichneten Figuren [...]. Hamburg, Thomas von Wiering, (1683-)1685. Hamburg, Thomas von Wiering, (1683-)1685. Folio (210 x 340 mm). (12), 136 (instead of 138) ff. With one engraved folded map, one engraved folded view and 138 woodcut illustrations in the text (including 15 views). Contemp. full vellum with ms. spine title.

£ 65,000.-

A very rare and extraordinarily interesting volume published as a series of bi-weekly news sheets in the wake of the 1683 siege of Vienna, consisting of single sheets, each with a title ("Türckis. Estats- und Krieges-Bericht") and number, a woodcut on the recto, and from no. 76 onward a date (26 May through 22 Dec. 1684). This series of more than 130 large woodcuts by Melchior Lorck, the Danish draughtsman who only recently was hailed as "one of the sixteenth century's most original artists" and to whose life and work the publication of a five-volume monograph by E. Fischer (cf. below) paid ample tribute, provides us with the hitherto most extensive western-commissioned visual record of Ottoman society and Islamic culture in general. It is here published for the first time with the accompanying text written by the artist himself during two extended stays in Constantinople. Only two copies recorded at auction, the last one being incomplete, with three leaves missing, and heavily restored with the title-page and map partly supplied in facsimile (Christie's London, 13 July 2016, lot 188, £74,500). - The editor is suggested to have been E. W. Happel, an active miscellaneous writer of the period best known for his "Thesaurus exoticorum". In the introduction he states that the aim of the publication was to present a report on Turkish society, customs, beliefs, manners, as well as fortifications and recent battles. The work is prefaced by an account of the Battle of Vienna, including an engraved map showing the territories between Vienna and Constantinople and an engraved view depicting the siege. Lorck's illustrations fall into several groups: first, those of people and things, consisting of pictures of natives of different parts of the Ottoman Empire, different grades of person and trades, with a few plates of horses or things (no. 87: a Tartar covered wagon; no. 92: reproductions of Turkish coins). Then comes a group of views of towns, Damascus, Smyrna (93-98), portraits of lady sultans (99-104), followed by some more individual types (including a dervish), then views of the great mosques of Contantinople, including the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (113-122), then more pictures of animals (horses, including an Arab horse, camels), individuals and things such as Turkish standards (123-136). The accompanying text describes each image in some detail and is printed across the page. It is followed (printed in a smaller type and in two columns) by contemporary news dated from 2 September to 24 December 1684. - A complete, continuous run of the first 136 issues of these news sheets as issued from 1683 onwards and jointly re-issued with a general title-page and prefatory matter in 1685; the final, double page issue (no. 137, titled "Das Türkische Kirchen-Gemählde") was obviously never bound with this set. Variously browned; slight worming to pastedown, flyleaf and title-page. Old ownership of Friedrich Engl of Wagrain on title-page; later ownership "Seiffenburg" to flyleaf. Latterly in the library of the Viennese collector Werner Habel (1939-2015) with his ownership stamp. An excellent, genuine copy in its original binding, especially in comparison with the few copies traceable in libraries and the two recorded at auction.
¶ Erik Fischer, Melchior Lorck (2009), vol. III, passim. Atabey (Sotheby's cat.) 1594. Sturminger 2635. VD 17, 23:231261H. Not in Blackmer, Kábdebo, or Koc.


A truly outstanding Cedid: the only one in its original binding and with verified Western provenance ever offered

Mahmoud Ra'if. Cedid Atlas Tercümesi [= New Atlas, Translated]. Üsküdar/Istanbul, Tab'hane-yi Hümayunda / Mühenduishâne Press, 1218 H (April 1803-March 1804). Üsküdar/Istanbul, Tab'hane-yi Hümayunda / Mühenduishâne Press, 1218 H (April 1803-March 1804). Folio (538 x 363 mm). Engraved, illustrated title-page, 79 pp. and 25 engraved maps (2 on 2 sheets joined), after William Faden, in contemporary hand colour. Contemporary blindstamped limp morocco, richly gilt. Stored in custom-made half morocco case.

£ 220,000.-

The first European-style atlas printed in the Islamic world: an exceedingly rare, handsome, and complete example in its original first binding of "the rare Cedid Atlas, the first world atlas printed by Muslims, of which only fifty copies were printed" (Library of Congress, An illustrated guide ). Several copies were reserved for high ranking officials and important institutions. The remainder was partially destroyed in a warehouse fire during the Janissary Revolt of 1808. "Based on several estimates and accounting for the single maps (torn-out from bound volumes of the atlas) sold or being offered worldwide, it is believed that a maximum of 20 complete examples could be present in libraries or in private collections, whereas some sources suggest that there exist only 10 complete and intact copies in the world. As such, it's one of the rarest printed atlases of historical value" (Wikipedia, s. v.). - This work, a prestigious project for the Ottoman Palace with the seal of approval of the Sultan Selim III, was one of the avantgardistic enterprises promoted by Mahmoud Ra'if to introduce Western technical and scientific knowledge to the Ottoman state. Composed of 25 maps based upon William Faden's 'General Atlas', it is the first Muslim-published world atlas to make use of European geographic knowledge. On each of the maps the place-names are transliterated in Arabic. The Atlas includes Raif's 79-page geographical treatise "Ucalet ül-Cografiye" and the, usually missing folding celestial map on blue paper. - An excellent copy, only a few minor stains, some offsetting of a sea chart onto verso of map of England, the beautiful binding expertly rebacked. A severely defective copy recently commanded an auction price of USD 118,750 (Swann Galleries NY, 26 May 2016, lot 199). - Provenance: 1) Hussein Dey, 1765-1838, the last Ottoman ruler of the Regency of Algiers, who governed from 1818 until the French takeover in 1830; 2) Zisska & Kistner sale 8 (Munich, 24 Oct. 1986), lot 3325; sold to 3) Michael S. Hollander, California, from whom we were able to acquire the present volume in 2019.
¶ OCLC 54966656. Not in Philipps/Le Gear. Not in Atabey or Blackmer collections.


''to build a new world of peace and democracy''

Mao Zedong, Chinese statesman (1893-1976). Autograph inscription signed in: Mao Zedong, "Hsin min-chu-chu-i... lun" ("On New Democracy"). No place, 1942. No place, 1942. 8vo. (4), 54, (2) pp. Original printed wrappers. Stored in custom-made half morocco case with gilt spine.

£ 850,000.-

Of the utmost rarity: Mao's important work "On New Democracy" with an autograph inscription by Mao to a French aristocrat fleeing the invading Japanese. On the front cover and its inside, Mao dedicated the book in Chinese characters with a calligraphic brush, writing: "Let us unite with all democratic countries to conquer the Japanese-Italian-German fascism and to build a new world of peace and democracy. Mao Tse-Tung for Mr. d'Anjou". The "New Democracy" to which Mao refers in the title of this work, written in 1940, was fundamental to his political thought: it denotes the democracy brought about by the proletarian revolution, in contrast to the bourgeois revolution's "old democracy". The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 is considered the consummation of New Democracy. - Comte Rene-Charles d'Anjou (b. 1914), a descendant from French royalty, had fled westward from Japanese-occupied Beijing in 1942. During his eight-month flight, he met the forces of General Lin-Piao and soon became acquainted with Mao at the communists' headquarters in Yanan, where Mao invited the French journalist and his companion to dinner. D'Anjou wrote an account of his encounter with Mao which was published in several newspapers, and we include the photocopy of one such article ("Un déjeuner de campagne avec Mao") which appeared in the weekend edition of Le Figaro, 18/19 Sept. 1976, p. 2, further corroborating the authenticity of the inscribed book. - The present piece was originally sold at Stargardt in 1977 (sale 612, lot 1435), and we further include an original copy of the Stargardt catalogue. It was subsequently sold at Christie's in 1983 (16 Dec., lot 502) before being offered by the respected American autograph dealer Paul Richards (1939-93) in 1993. Since its sale by Richards, this piece has remained in a private European collection. Mao's signature is exceptionally rare, and as an example of this length and quality of content, it must be considered unique.


Mediaeval poem on corals and gemstones, attributed to an Arab king

[Marbod of Rennes]. Evax, King of Arabia / Heinrich von Rantzau (ed.). De gemmis, scriptum Evacis regis Arabum. Leipzig, Georg Deffner, 1585. Leipzig, Georg Deffner, 1585. 4to. (108) pp. With woodcut title vignette and 7 woodcuts in the text (one full-page). Modern calf using the remains of a 16th century binding with blindstamped rules and roll-tools. Edges red.

£ 3,960.-

Rare 16th century edition of this poem on gemstones, ascribed to the legendary Evax, king of Arabia, and sometimes entered in bibliographies accordingly (cf. BM-STC or Thorndike I, 776), though in fact written by Marbod, the bishop of Rennes, in the late 11th century. The book, which survives in more than sixty manuscripts, was first printed in Vienna in 1511 as "Libellus de lapidibus pretiosis"; the present Leipzig edition is only the third to attribute authorship to King Evax on the title-page. Sources include Pliny, Isidore of Seville, Origines, Orpheus, and Solinus. "In short, Marbod's work briefly describes 60 gemstones, which number includes several that are not now considered to be in that category, and gives for each their magical and medicinal virtues" (Sinkankas, p. 665). They include mythical stones, mineral species such as emeralds, onyx, magnets, carbuncles, hematite, asbestos, etc., with numerous varieties of quartz, stones coming from the body of an animal, and several other hard substances that are not really minerals at all, among which is coral, described as "a stone that lives in the ocean, forming branches like wicker" (E3v). - "One of the questions connected with this work is whether it is by Marbodus or by an Arab called Evax. It has arisen because the poem opens with an allusion to a person of that name. Lessing does not see why Evax should not have written a work on precious stones, or why Marbod should have said that his poem was extracted from Evax's work, if it were not so. Reinesius thinks Marbodus made himself the interpreter of Evax" (Ferguson). Today, all scholars "agree that Marbod was the true author and Evax an invention" (Sinkankas). The present editor, the German humanist Henrik Rantzau (1526-98), was an associate of Tycho Brahe. At the end of the book he includes an illustrated genealogy of his own family. He "states that the poems of Marbod are here issued completely for the first time 'as far as he knows', although this is not the case" (ibid.). - Rather severely browned throughout; several 17th century underlinings and marginal annotations. Gutter repaired and completely rebound in the 20th century with modern endpapers but using old material for the covers.
¶ VD 16, M 935 (R 878). BM-STC German 291. Sinkankas 4179. Ferguson II, 74. Not in Adams.


Inscribed by the author in Syriac

Marcus, Nestorius. A Persian in Scotland. Being the Story of... the Life of Nestorius Marcus of Urumia, Persia, Student of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, printed for the author by Morrison & Gibb Ltd., (1898). Edinburgh, printed for the author by Morrison & Gibb Ltd., (1898). 8vo. (8), 88 pp. Photographic frontispiece of the author and 7 other photographic plates. Original blue-grey cloth lettered in black.

£ 2,200.-

Only edition: one of the few Persian accounts of late 19th century England and Scotland. Not found in most of the usual bibliographies, Marcus's memoir is an unusual and moving narrative - that of a young man following his late father to Great Britain, in order to train as a Minister. Presentation copy, inscribed on front free endpaper: "To His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, with the author's Complts. Nestorius Marcus", with a beautifully handwritten note in Syriac below. - Spine slightly darkened, a few small stains to covers, otherwise very good. Sporadic light foxing to some interior pages (usually those facing plates). Very rare in commerce, with no copies found in auction records. WorldCat locates eight institutional holdings..
¶ Diba 172. Not in Ghani or Wilson.


Gothic binding

Martinus Polonus. Sermones de tempore et de sanctis cum promptuario... exemplorum. Strasbourg, [Georg Husner], 1484. Strasbourg, [Georg Husner], 1484. Folio (224 x 318 mm). 255 unnumbered ff. (last blank). Gothic type, 2 cols., 46 lines. Rubricated throughout. With title border painted in red and orange, large initial "S" in several colours with pretty flower and tenril designs, red colophone border and numerous red and blue initials. Contemp. blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards with 2 metal clasps (wants fittings). Ms. spine label.

£ 18,000.-

Probably the editio princeps of this collection of homiletic samples by Martin von Troppau (d. after 22 June 1278), rubricated and with pretty initials throughout. The alleged earlier edition cited by Hain, supposedly printed in Strasbourg in 1480 (H 10853), appears to be a ghost. - Martinus Polonus (also known as Martin von Troppau or Martinus Oppaviensis) is regarded as one of the most respected chroniclers of the Middle Ages. - Some 6 ff. remargined at bottom, 2 more leaves show loss to corners. Somewhat browned and brownstained; several contemporary marginalia. Worming to beginning and end (touching text in final third). Binding rubbed and bumped; defect to back cover and numerous wormholes. The pretty Gothic blindstamping shows hunting scenes, floral designs, and the Agnus Dei (not recorded in Schunke, Schwenke collection). Splendid hand-painted armorial bookplate of Wolfgang Crener von Sulzbach (fl. c. 1510), a scholar of canon law; several later ownership entries, stamps, bookplate.
¶ Hain 10854. Goff M-329. GW M 21433. ISTC im00329000. Pellechet 7628. IGI 6245. Proctor 591. BMC I, 132. Walsh 221. CIBN M-184. BSB M-238. Wierzbowski III, 2013. Estreicher XXII, 201.


One of the few known works of Marx inscribed by the author to a woman

Marx, Karl. Misère de la philosophie. Réponse à la Philosophie... de la misère de M. Proudhon. Paris & Brussels, A. Frank & C. G. Vogler, 1847. Paris & Brussels, A. Frank & C. G. Vogler, 1847. 8vo. (VIII), 178 pp. (without the errata leaf). (Bound after) II: The same. Der Achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte. Zweite Ausgabe. Hamburg, Otto Meißner, 1869. VI, 98 pp. Contemporary half calf with marbled covers. Stored in custom-made red half calf solander case with giltstamped spine.

£ 350,000.-

Very rare first edition of Marx's famous text, directed against Pierre Joseph Proudhon and the utopian socialists, which led to a long and bitter feud between the authoritarian and the libertarian-anarchist wing. The half title bears Marx's autograph inscription to Anna Vivanti, née Lindau: "Madame Vivanti / Hommage de l'auteur. / Londres, 2 Marx 1872" (the final digit is slightly trimmed by the binder). Anna Vivanti (1828-80), a sister of the well-known German critic, writer and democrat Paul Lindau, had in 1853 married the wealthy silk merchant Anselmo Vivanti, an Italian revolutionary exiled in Britain. The families had known each other for a while: on Christmas Eve 1868 Jenny Marx had described Madame Vivanti in a letter to her sister Laura as "a strange little lady, ugly, deformed, but full of life and spirits [...] She is married to an Italian and is an ardent admirer of Dante, whose poetry she knows by heart. She reminded me so much of the woman Balzac depicts in his Recherche de l'Absolu" (Moscow Russian State Archive for Social and Political History, fond 7, opis 1, delo 11/3). In March 1870 Marx's daughter Jenny had been invited to Norwood to attend a function given by Madame Vivanti, and the 25-year old had a great success with a Shakespearean recitation; later that same year, in October, Anselmo, Anna and their little daughter Luisa had stayed with the Marxes in Hampstead. In 1872 Anna repeatedly tried to solicit from Marx articles for her brother's journal "Die Gegenwart". On 21 March 1872 she thanked Marx for his gift of the book: "[...] I would like to write you a few words about this exceptional book 'Misère de la Philosophie', which I am not a little proud to own, but I have a dreadful cold which makes my head heavy and dumb; also, I would fear to monopolize your valuable time with my silly writing [...]" (translated from German, IISG, D VIII 40 [12073]). - Bound first is the first independent printing of Marx's "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon", originally published in the May 1852 issue of "Die Revolution". That both works were thus bound together for Anna Vivanti is evident from the binder's pencilled instructions on the final page of the "Misère": "Vivanti / ½ pelle". After Anna's death in 1880 the volume must have ended up in Milan with her widower Anselmo, who died there in 1890 soon after returning to his native country (previously, the widely admired hero of the Risorgimento had long served as President of the New York Chamber of Commerce). Four years later, the philosopher and socialist Antonio Labriola (1843-1904), one of the first propagandists of Marxism in Italy, acquired the volume for 25 lire at a Milan auction, as he reported to Engels in a letter of 3 August 1894: "Ho qui un volume legato, comprato a Milano auzione £25. Contiene oltre al 18 Brumaio, Misère d. l. Ph. originale, esemplare con dedica di Marx a Madame Vivanti (?) 2 (o 4) marzo 1873 (o 72, non chiaro)". It is this letter that led the editors of the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe falsely to assume that it was a copy of the "Eighteenth Brumaire" which Marx had inscribed to Madame Vivanti (cf. MEGA I, 11, p. 705). - Corners slightly bumped, but very finely preserved altogether. Both works somewhat browned, the first work more so, with some brownstaining to the title page and traces of an erased ownership stamp (possibly that of Labriola or a previous owner?). Contemporary pencil underlinings in the "Misère", perhaps reading notes by Anna Vivanti. One of the few copies of a Marx work known to have been inscribed by the author to a woman; among other female recipients of inscriptions by Marx are Luise Weydemeyer and Caroline Schoeler ("Das Kapital") as well as Natalja Utina (also the "Misère", with the author's corrections).
¶ Marx-Engels Erstdrucke 11 & 22. Rubel 55 & 215. Goldsmiths' 35456.


To his friend Collet, signed in full

Marx, Karl, philosopher and economist (1818-1883). Autograph letter signed ("Karl Marx"). 41 Maitland Park Road, London, 1. X. 1879. 41 Maitland Park Road, London, 1. X. 1879. 8vo. ½ page on laid paper, torn from a notebook, watermark "Joyn[son] Super[fine]". Measures 181:114 mm.

£ 95,000.-

Unpublished letter to the Chartist and radical freethinker Collet Dobson Collet (1812-98), in English: "My dear Sir, On my return from the seaside I found your letter d.d. 23 September. You will much oblige me by being so kind as to forward me some of the copies of the 'Revelations', as I have none left. Yours very truly [...]". - In very good condition, with intersecting folds, moderate wrinkling and a few creases; the sheet is bright, the writing dark, precise, and easily legible in spite of Marx's distinctively minute hand. - Marx was a close friend of the Collet family, which included the pioneering feminist activist Sophia Dobson Collet, social reformer Clara Collet, and the recipient of this letter, the editor of "The Free Press: A Diplomatic Review", to which Marx contributed a number of articles. The men became good friends and soon held weekly meetings at each other's houses to recite Shakespeare. The assembled group, which was formally coined as the Dogberry Club, included Marx's daughter Eleanor and Collet's daughter Clara, as well as Edward Rose, Dollie Radford, Sir Henry Juta, and Friedrich Engels. The publication to which Marx alludes, "Revelations of the Diplomatic History of the 18th Century", was originally serialized in the "Free Press" from August 1856 to April 1857.
¶ Not in MEW 34 (1966).


Upon her return to Scotland

Mary of Guise, Queen of Scots (1515-1560). Autograph letter signed ("Marie de Lorrainne"). Dieppe, 18. X. [1551]. Dieppe, 18. X. [1551]. Folio. 2 pages.

£ 22,500.-

A beautiful and rare letter to her mother, Antoinette de Bourbon. After a year spent in France, she returned to Scotland with her daughter Marie to take over the Regency of the kingdom, entrusted to the count of Arran. Through her brother, the cardinal Charles de Lorraine, she had received a letter of great consolation which her mother had written to him: "[...] presantement je fais mon anbarquement. Je croy on me metera en terre à la Rie [Rye, sur les côtes du Sussex] ung por d'Angleterre. Les navires de Flandre sont dehors a se que j'entens quy me fera prandre plustost terre. Le voyage sera de grande despanse et tou l'iver mais non sy dangereux sy ne laisse aprocher mes voisins de ma poupe [...]. Quant à mes afair Mons. le Cardinal et moy an navons devizé anplement j'ai tout remis à vous et à luy [...]". - Some damage to edges; stained.


First edition of an important early modern treatise on auctions

Matthaeus, Anton. De auctionibus libri duo. Quorum prior venditiones, posterior... locationes quae sub hasta fiunt exequitur. Adjecto passim voluntariarum auctionum jure. Utrecht, Johannes van Waesberge, 1653. Utrecht, Johannes van Waesberge, 1653. 4to. (8), 465, (32) pp. With woodcut printer's device on title-page. Bound in contemporary calf, spine gilt.

£ 2,200.-

Scarce first edition, and a handsome copy, of this comprehensive early modern discussion of auctions, including laws governing public contracts and the sale of confiscated property. Although further editions were published posthumously, the only copy of this first edition we have traced at auction was sold in the Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana, Part III (2005). To quote their description, this is the "[f]irst edition of one of the earliest and most extensive works on auction sales in the 17th century from a legal point of view; the rules governing them, their location, the sale of confiscated merchandise, etc. Anton Matthaeus was an eminent Dutch professor of jurisprudence and criminal law at Utrecht and according to Pollard and Ehrman 'produced the most elaborate of all these treatises' on auctions'." - Matthaeus commences by defining the requisites for auctions as being: advertisement, admission to the public, and a system of bidding. In the case of stolen or confiscated property, for example, Matthaeus deals with the prickly question of whether the owner or the creditors have the upper hand and first rights to the goods on sale. He also addresses the question of under what circumstances an auction can be cancelled. - Head of spine chipped; extremities a little rubbed; otherwise a clean, fresh, and fine copy.
¶ Dekkers, Bibliotheca Belgica Juridica 111.


Very early manuscript of this mystical work by St Mechtilda

[Mechthild de Hackeborn]. Liber specialis gratiae (extracts, with other works). Northern Germany or Netherlands, second half of the 15th century. 12mo (110 x 147 mm). Latin manuscript on paper (watermark: anchor device, unidentified). 36 ff. (collation undeterminable due to rebinding, but complete). Average leaf size ca. 100 x 142 mm, written space ca. 65 x 95 mm. Gothic text, 21 lines per extensum, traces of lead pencil rules. Rubricated; a few red Lombardic initials; some lines written in red for emphasis. Splendid modern red morocco binding, spine and covers tastefully gilt, leading edges gilt, gilt inner dentelle, marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Stored in custom-made marbled slipcase.

£ 15,800.-

A fine, early Renaissance Latin manuscript containing excerpts from the third and fourth books of the "Liber specialis gratiae" of St Mechthild de Hackeborn (fols. 1r-5r, incipit: "Hec scripta sunt extracta ex visionibus beate machtildis virginis. Legitur in eisdem (etc.): Qui hec famula Dei oravit pro quadam persona que conquesta fuerat sui cordis merorem (etc)". The Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts lists only five other manuscripts of this work; the only similarly early example, now in the British Library (Egerton MS 2006), was owned by King Richard III of England (1452-85). The book of visionary bridal mysticism by the 13th century nun Mechtilde of Hackeborn was widely read in early modern times; nine editions were printed in the 16th century alone. She is sometimes identified with the "Matelda" mentioned in Dante's Purgatory (28, 40 ff.). - The remaining texts in this collection include the Meditations of St Bernard (5v-8v) and the "Hortulus Rosarum" of Thomas à Kempis (8v-36v). - Perfectly preserved in a flawless, outstanding deep red morocco binding by the eminent Belgian bookbinder Charles De Samblanx (1855-1943).


''a Performance of my Oratories at Manchester''

Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix, composer (1809-1847). Autograph letter signed. London, 17. IV. 1847. London, 17. IV. 1847. 8vo. 1 p. on bifolium.

£ 3,500.-

Letter of excuse to the geologist and philanthropist Leonard Horner (1785-1864) in response to an invitation: "Accept my sincerest thanks for your obliging Note, and at the same time my regrets for not being able to avail myself of your kind invitation. I have to leave Town for a Performance of my Oratories at Manchester, but soon after my return, end of next week, I shall give myself the pleasure of calling at your house. [...]". - The culmination of Mendelssohn's last visit to Britain only months before his death on 4 November 1847 was a performance of his "Scottish Symphony", "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and, as the soloist, Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 April in the presence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. - Aside from the contributions to his field and his devotion to the "Geological Society of London", Leonard Horner is best known for improving the working conditions of women and children in North England as a commissioner and inspector of the "Royal Commission on the Employment of Children in Factories" from 1833 to 1859. Karl Marx recognized Horner's services to the English working class (cf. Capital [London 1887], p. 208). Leonard Horner, who had lived in Bonn for two years, was acquainted with Georg Benjamin Mendelssohn (1794-1874), professor of geology there. It is very likely that Georg Benjamin established the contact between his cousin Felix and Leonard Horner. - With slight traces of former mounting and a minor scuff-mark.


With the portrait of Abdullah ibn Saud in hand colour and the earliest map showing Riyadh

Mengin, Felix. Histoire de l'Égypte sous le gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly,... ou recit des Evenemens Politiques et Militaires qui ont eu lieu depuis le Depart des Francais jusqu’en 1823. Paris, A. Bertrand, 1823. Paris, A. Bertrand, 1823. 2 text vols. in 8vo and atlas in folio. 464 pp. 644 pp. (8), 12 lithogr. plates (6 of them hand-coloured), including a folding hand-coloured plan and the folding, double-page map of the Nejd. Contemp. full calf with giltstamped spine labels (text) and original green cardboard portfolio with printed title label to cover (atlas); maps and plates loosely inserted within.

£ 20,000.-

First edition, the extremely rare coloured issue. Mengin's history of Egypt from the end of the French expedition to Khedive Muhammad Ali's dramatic reforms of Egyptian society and culture is mainly sought for its extensive appendix containing an early chronicle of the Wahhabis, with an account of the sack of Derrieh. "This chronicle is ascribed to a grandson of the Shaykh named 'le cheykh Abderrahman el-Oguyeh', presumably this is Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan (d. 1869)", who travelled from Basra to Mecca and Medina (M. Cook, below). The folio-sized atlas contains the celebrated portrait of Abdullah ibn Saud, leader of the first Saudi state, who was executed by the Turks for sedition, and the famous, large map of the Nejd country with an inset of the environs of "El-Derreth" near Riyadh by E. F. Jombard. His commentary on the map is of particular note, being a synthesis of Arab and western knowledge, with many place names added for the first time. This "notice géographique" (vol. II, pp. 549-613) also includes a "nomenclature du pays de Nedjid", mentioning - among other places - Dubai and Qatar both in the original Arabic and in French transliteration. - Some waterstaining throughout, but confined to margins. The work is rarely found complete with both text volumes and the atlas as present; even the map has separately commanded several thousand pounds at auctions (cf. Sotheby's London, 6 May 2010, lot 147). Copies in contemporary hand colour are highly uncommon.
¶ Macro, Bibliography of the Arabian Peninsula, 1577. Atabey 802 (without the Atlas). Ibrahim-Hilmy II, 30. Michael Cook. On the Origins of Wahhabism. In: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 2, No. 2 (July 1992), pp. 191-202, at 192.


One of the earliest Chinese texts to be printed in Europe, a landmark in Iithographic printing

[Mengzi]. Mencius (Chinese). [Paris, Societatis Asiaticae] & C. de Lasteyrie, [1829-1830]. [Paris, Societatis Asiaticae] & C. de Lasteyrie, [1829-1830]. 4to. 2 parts in one volume. (2), 122, 161, (1) pp. Lithographically printed Chinese text, one leaf apparently bound out of sequence, some pages incorrectly numbered or not numbered. In total, the title-page, 283 pp. and 2 blanks (the last page and the verso of the title page). Bound in a sturdy green half calf, ca. 1900.

£ 5,750.-

The doctrines of the Chinese philosopher Mengzi (fl. 300 BC), the principal successor to Confucius. This is one of the earliest Chinese texts to be printed in Europe and a landmark in Iithographic printing. The Chinese text here is complete in two parts. Lasteyrie had produced a Latin translation by Stanislas Julien (1797-1893) in 1824-26 ("Meng tseu, vel, Mencium inter Sinenses philosophos ingenio, doctrina, nominisque claritate Confucio proximum"), and while the Latin text is not particularly rare, the lithographed set (which was to serve as a supplement) is very much so. The plates were lithographed by the Comte de Lasteyrie, Charles Philibert Lasteyrie du Saillant (1759-1849), an innovator in lithographic printing in France. He carried out the work at his own cost.- Title-page browned and laid down, pp. 150ff. have a stain affecting several leaves, p. 162 patched. Much of the text is remarkably fresh and the binding is entirely solid. Incorrectly stamped 'Confucius' on the spine. Provenance: bookplate of George May Elwood (1844-1906) on rear pastedown (designed by Harold M. Ellis, dated 1898), his label on the front pastedown.
¶ Not in OCLC.


One of the earliest editions of the Cosmographia

Münster, Sebastian. Cosmographiae universalis lib. VI. Basel, Heinrich Petri, (March 1559). Basel, Heinrich Petri, (March 1559). Folio (220 x 328 mm). (24), 474, (4), 475-476 pp, 477-480 ff., 481-608 pp., 609-612 ff., 613-1162, (2) pp. (complete thus). With woodcut title border, Münster's portrait on the verso, printer’s device on the final page by Urs Graf, 14 maps (11 double-page and 3 triple-page) as well as 37 double-page views and approximately 970 woodcuts in the text (including repeats). Contemporary full calf on six raised double bands with gilt central oval ornaments and corner fleurons to both covers; spine sparsely gilt.

£ 25,000.-

An early edition of Münster’s monumental work. The Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster (1488-1552), the German cartographer and cosmographer, was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century. The most highly valued of all cosmographies, it passed through 24 editions within 100 years and was of principal importance for reviving the interest in geography in 16th century Europe. In spite of its numerous maps, Münster's Cosmography is largely a work of historical geography and history, and it was thus that it soon became the most popular work of its kind throughout Europe - not only in Germany, but also in France (where it saw several editions), Italy, and Bohemia. "The Latin edition, more scientific in many respects, was intended for the scholars in all of Europe" (cf. Burmeister, p. 14). - In good condition, with some frequent but slight waterstaining. A few near-contemporary underlinings and annotations, some in red ink. Binding rubbed, chafed and bumped. Provenance: handwritten ownership of Carl Isaak Rothovius, dated 1649 (possibly related to Isaacus Rothovius [1572-1652], the bishop of Turku, who oversaw the first complete translation of the Bible into Finnish). Late 18th century engraved armorial bookplate of the naturalist and Swedish civil servant Mathias Benzelstierna (1713-91), who studied with Carl Linné and became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1786.
¶ VD 16, M 6718. Burmeister 90. Hantzsch 77.33. Adams M 1911. Sabin 51382. Graesse IV, 622. Cf. Borba de Moraes II, 90f. Not in BM-STC German.


An early letter, announcing an autumn visit to Belgium

Nabokov, Vladimir, writer (1899-1977). Autograph postcard signed ("V. Nabokoff"). [Berlin, 5 August 1936]. [Berlin, 5 August 1936]. Oblong 8vo. 1 p. With autogr. address and return address.

£ 10,500.-

To the Belgian writer Robert Mélot (ps. Mélot du Dy, 1891-1956), thanking for sending Mélot's book "Signes de vie" (Paris, Denoël et Steele, 1936) in which he added an autograph note to Nabokov. Nabokov lists his favourite poems of the book and announces a journey to Belgium in autumn: "Cher monsieur et ami, je vous remercie beaucoup pour vos 'Signes de Vie' (un titre plein d'esprit poétique!) et les gentils mots, que vous y avez mis. Vous avez bien raison de dire 'en goûter la rondeur plûtot que le travers' - car je crois que sans ce gout de la vie que vous avez (gout de 'pommes vertes') il serait impossible de faire de beaux vers. J'ai spécialement aimé 'la vielle son miroir', puis le magnifique 'je pense aux tiroirs des poètes' et le 'jeune homme preux'. Merci encore une fois pour ce charmant cadeau. J'ai bien l'intention de venir en Belgique cet automne - et ce sera un grand plaisir que de vous revoir [...]". - In "Nestorstr. 22", as Nabokov writes in the return address, he and his family were living from 1932 to 1937. - Early Nabokov letters such as the present example are exceedingly rare.


A compendium of Islam and the Ottoman Empire, owned by a surgeon in Napoleon's Army

[Ottoman Empire]. Recueil Précis de l'Empire Ottoman où l'on trouve... tout ce qui concerne la Religion, la Milice, le Gouvernement Civil des Turcs, et les grandes Charges et dignités de l'Empire. Likely France, ca 1750. Likely France, ca 1750. Folio (245 x 350 mm). French manuscript on Papier. (2), 76, (2) pp. A single cursive hand in light-brown ink, chapter headings in larger black ink, title party written in Arabic script in red and gold. Contemporary full calf with oriental-style red and gilt cover ornaments.

£ 7,500.-

Unpublished compendious account of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. In the introduction, the unidentified writer justifies his project: "We tend to regard the Turks as a barbarian, poorly disciplined nation, for which reason we are so little curious to learn of their history and the form of their government. The purpose of this work is to give an accurate idea of them [...]". The book is divided into four sections: religion, armed forces, civil administration, as well as offices and diginities in the Ottoman Empire. Chapters include: "Du Ramazan", "Du pélerinage de la Méque" (an extensive discussion); "De la Police"; "Description du Serail de Constantinople"; "Du Mahometisme ou De la vie de la Religion et de la Politique"; but also "La prise de Constantinople" and "De l'Alcoran et de Mahomet". With a two-page table of contents at the end and an engraving captioned "Le Beg d'Egypte" in ink glued to the lower paste-down (rubbed, with some worming). - Closely written; marginalia and annotations by the same hand; black-ink catchwords in Arabic script in the margins throughout. - From the collection of the French military surgeon Pierre Gorsse (1767-1840) with his autograph ownership "Ouvrage appartenant à Mr. Gorse, Chirurgien major du deuxième Régiment de Dragons de la Garde impériale, membre de la Légion d'honneur, ancien chirurgien en chef en Hollande" on first blank (ca 1820). Lower flyleaf has additional ownership by Gorsse as well as a note by one "Monsieur Neugragiensky..." (?), dated 10 Sept. 1807. - Binding rubbed and professionally repaired; spine rebacked. Occasional light brownstaining; second half shows a waterstain as well worming with some loss to text.


A highly important illustrated account of a visit to Muscat and the Sultan of Oman, hitherto unpublished

Page, Théogène François, captain of the frigate La Favorit (1807-1867). Campagne de la Favorite - Journal. In the Gulf and elsewhere at sea, 3 June 1841 - 5 January 1844. In the Gulf and elsewhere at sea, 3 June 1841 - 5 January 1844. Autograph ship's journal in French. Folio (335 x 220 mm). 2 vols. with a total of 192 unnumbered pages (of which 30 are blank). In black ink, with more than 40 small pen or pencil drawings in the text, ranging from simple coastal profiles to detailed and skilfully executed views of cities and fortifications. With 11 inserted items, including a 27 July 1842 letter from Admiral Guy-Victor Duperré (Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies) to Captain Page, and a slip with neatly drawn Chinese characters. Contemporary plain-paper wrappers, with manuscript title on both front wrappers. Stored in custom-made half morocco case with gilt title to spine.

£ 310,000.-

Primary source for the very first French diplomatic mission to the Arabian Gulf, the trucial Sheikhdoms, Oman and Bahrein, which was published only in extracts (Billecoq 2001, cf. below) and of which to this day no critical edition exists. The Captain's meticulous, illustrated account of the voyage of the French corvette La Favorite, departing under his command from Brest on 3 June 1841, sailing around Africa and along Madagascar to India and the Gulf (extensively exploring both the Arabian and the Persian coasts as far as present-day Kuwait), around the Arabian Peninsula into the Red Sea, then around the southern tip of India to the East Indies, the South China Sea and up the Chinese coast as far as Zhejiang province. "Its journey across the eastern seas, especially to the Gulf, was a landmark event. For the first time, a French government was dispatching a ship on a mission to the Gulf, specifically to the Sovereign of the States of the Bahrain Islands" (Billecocq). - While Page often records brief pieces of information about the weather and coordinates, he includes much more descriptive text than most ships' journals, and often illustrates the account with drawings of fortifications (often quite detailed), natural landmarks, tornados and locals, as well as clothes, utensils and other objects. The journal also gives much detail of the return voyage through the seas around the East Indies, but only brief reports for the further voyage home, ending on 5 January 1844. - The first volume closes on 17 October 1841, when Page visited the Kailasanatha temple (Ellora, India). The next volume starts nearly a month later, on 16 November, when the ship was near Bombay. They sailed, via Karachi (Pakistan), to Muscat, where they arrived on 4 December. There Page was received by the "second son" of Said bin Sultan al Said (1791-1856), the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, who himself was staying at Zanzibar. Sayyid Thuwaini bin Said al-Said (1821-71), actually the Sultan's third son, would succeed his father in 1856. Page describes Thuwaini and his residence, and on the following days describes the city's harbour and fortifications, the market (where one could buy pearls, rhinoceros skin and coconut oil from Africa, Indian ghee and much more) and some surrounding villages. He also includes a small drawing of a veiled woman. The ship left the city on 9 December, sailing north through the strait of Hormuz (16 December) and continuing along the Persian coast. On 25 December it reached "Cangoun" (Bandar-e Kangan, Persia), where Page visited Sheikh Diégara (or Diegarah) at his house near the sea for two days. He gives a description of the Sheikh's house and its surroundings, again including a drawing of a veiled woman and a small drawing of a "machine singalière" that watered the gardens (a well with a pump?). On 31 December, back at sea again, Page had a conversation with his Arabic guide about Abdullah bin Saud, who ruled the first Saudi State from 1814 to 1818, and his imprisonment by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt (1789-1848). They also discussed the infamous pirate "Rah'm Ben Jaber": Rahmah ibn Jabir Al Jalhami (ca. 1760-1826), his father Jabir bin Adhbi and their relation to Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Kalifa, the ruling family of Bahrain. On 2 January 1842 La Favorite anchored at Bushehr, where Page met a certain "Monsieur Malcolm" who invited him to visit Sheikh Nasr (Nasser) in the house that was built by Nasr's father, Sheikh Abdur Rassoul. Page stayed there for several days, going horse-back riding with the Sheikh, describing the region and provisioning his ship before leaving on 7 January. The following day Page visited a fortress, shown in some small drawings in the present journal. On 14 January La Favorite sailed for Bahrein, arriving on the 18th. "This was a truly singular historic event, being the first time that diplomatic relations were established between France and the renowned Gulf islands, so influential in the history of the Middle East and of world civilizations" (Billecocq). He went ashore at Muharraq, where he was welcomed by the ruler, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmad al Khalifa. It has recently been suggested that Abdullah was a much greater and more important figure in Bahrain's history than has been previously recognised (cf. Abdulaziz Mohamed Hasan Ali al Khalifa, Relentless warrior and shrewd tactician: Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmad of Bahrain 1795-1849, PhD thesis, University of Exeter, 2013). According to Page, the Sheikh was very interested in France and its "sultan", asking many questions and saying: "You are the first of the French sultan's captains I have seen here. Your ship is the first to come here, welcome!" (vol. 2, p. 19). Later that day Page visited the Sheikh's son Hassan and Ali, where he dined. The next day Page was given some "splendid" Arab horses to explore the island with. He gives a description of Muharraq, the mosques, the bazaar, and some surroundings. On 20 January Page writes he wants to visit the "île du pirate Rah'm ben Jimber" (island of the pirate Rahm bin Jabir), but was unable to do so and visited Manama instead. He gives a vivid picture of the bazaar, mentioning dates from the south, woolen cloth from Lassa, fabric from Bombay, pearls, etc. He also briefly touches on the Portuguese influence in the region. On 21 January Sheikh Hassan came aboard La Favorite, and Page enjoyed the festivities in the city. The ship left Bahrein on 22 January and arrived at the isle of "Kichmie" (probably Qishm, Iran, since Page mentioned he could see Ormuz) on 27 January, where he met Sheikh Abderaman. Included here are some relatively large architectural drawings of the Sheikh's house, the harbour, a view with some ruins and a ground plan of a fortress. Page gives lengthy description of each day up to the first of February, when the ship left for Muscat. La Favorite anchored at Muscat from 6 to 21 February to reprovision for the long journey to the East Indies. "While waiting for the ship to be prepared for the journey, Page left to explore the area around the Omani capital and discovered the charming valley of Al-Bustan" (Billecocq). - Page's decision to keep within this journal the letter by Admiral Duperre, Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies, adressed to him from Paris, 27 July 1842, makes perfect sense, as the Admiral congratulates Page extensively on his very interesting report on the Gulf: "Vous me rendiez compte, qu’après avoir exploré le golfe Persique, la corvette la Favorite avait mouillé pour la seconde fois sur la rade de Mascate [...] La lecture de ces rapports m’a vivement intéressé et les détails qu’ils renferment sur les différents points que vous avez successivement visités [...] ont particulierèment fixé mon attention". Obviously Page was well aware of the importance and unique value of his observations made during a journey still characterized in the 21st century as a "landmark event" (Billecoq), all of which finally comes to light through the present journal. - Provenance: Chateau de Vincennes, Paris, deaccessioned and sold to the Swedish Bookseller and collector Björn Löwendahl, bought from his heirs.
¶ Xavier Beguin Billecocq, Un vasseau français à Bahreïn, 1842: une première diplomatique / A French ship's journey to Bahrain, 1842: a diplomatic first (Paris 2001). Bequin Billecocq, Oman, pp. 190f. J. Peterson, Historical Muscat, p. 129 ("unpublished manuscript, cited in Billecocq").


Two years without food or water

Porzio (Portius), Simone. De puella Germanica, quae fere biennium vixerat sine... cibo, potuque. Ad Paulum III. Pontificem Maximum [...] disputatio. Florenz, Lorenzo Torrentino, 1551. Florenz, Lorenzo Torrentino, 1551. 16 SS. Mit figürlicher Holzschnitt-Initiale. Marmorbroschur. 4to.

£ 750.-

Seltene erste Ausgabe dieser Papst Paul III. gewidmeten Abhandlung, angeregt vom Fall eines deutschen Mädchens namens Margarete Weiss, das zwei Jahre lang ohne Essen und Trinken auskam. Über denselben Gegenstand hatte bereits 1542 Gerard Bucold in Paris eine Schrift veröffentlicht. - Der auch als Verfasser medizinischer Schriften in Erscheinung getretene Philosoph Simone Porzio (1497-1554), ein Schüler Pietro Pompanazzis, wirkte als Lehrer der Philosophie in Pisa und Neapel. Er vertrat gegen die Widerstände des Klerus die Sterblichkeit der individuellen Seele (vgl. Ziegenfuß II, 304). - Schöner, eleganter Antiquadruck, teils leicht braunfleckig. Aus der Bibliothek des Medizinhistorikers Walter Pagel (1898-1983).
¶ Edit 16, CNCE 34589. BM-STC Italian 537. Durling 3746. Wellcome I, 5222. Bird 1990. Brunet IV, 830. Graesse V, 419. Hirsch/H. V, 660. Osler 3726. Vgl. Adams P 1963. Nicht bei Eales (Cole Library), Ebert, Lesky oder Waller; nicht in Wolfenbüttel.


The Hamburg Quran, the first Arabic printed Quran available

[Quran]. Al-Coranus s. lex islamitica Muhammedis, filii Abdallae pseudoprophetae [...]. Hamburg, Gottfried Schultze & Benjamin Schiller, 1694. Hamburg, Gottfried Schultze & Benjamin Schiller, 1694. 4to. (88), 560, (10) pp. Latin title printed in red and black; Arabic (woodcut) and Latin half-titles, "Sententia Muhammedis" after title page. Preface in Latin, text in vocalized Arabic throughout. Contemp. vellum sewn on 3 vellum tapes through the joints, with ms. title to spine.

£ 22,000.-

First and only edition of Hinckelmann’s Arabic text of the Qur’an, the second edition of the Arabic Qur’an, the first actually available to readers and the only convenient edition before 1834, with a 36-page Latin introduction by the editor making extensive reference to the earlier literature. The first complete Arabic edition of the Qur’an was printed at Venice ca. 1537/38, intended for distribution in the Middle East, but the entire edition was thought to have been destroyed until one copy turned up in the 1980s. Hinckelmann’s edition was therefore the first edition available to European scholars, missionaries or Islamic readers. It was followed by Ludovico Marracci’s Arabic and Latin edition published at Padua in 1698, whose two folio volumes and extensive (anti-Islamic) commentary made it both expensive and inconvenient to use. The editions published at St Petersburg (from 1789) and Kazan (from 1803) for the use of Islamic groups in the Russian Empire were almost unknown in Europe, so the present edition remained the primary source for European knowledge of the Qur’an for 140 years, until Flügel’s 1834 Leipzig edition. - Binding slightly rubbed and stained, but well preserved. Interior in excellent condition, with the occasional minor spot, a near-imperceptible marginal water stain in 10 leaves near the end and the paper very slightly browned, and only slightly trimmed, preserving an occasional deckle edge. With two roughly contemporary owner’s inscriptions: "R. de S." on title page and "H. [?] C. Maraccii" on flyleaf (possibly a mid-18th century member of the family of the other great 17th-century Quran translator, cardinal Ludovico Marracci).
¶ Schnurrer 376. Smitskamp, PO 360. Fück 94. Le Livre et le Liban 135f. Woolworth 279. Brunet III, 1306. H. Bobzin, From Venice to Cairo, in: Middle Eastern Languages and the Print Revolution (2002), p. 151-176, at p.160f., with 2 illustrations (figs. VI and 74).


The earliest complete translation of the Qur'an into a European vernacular

[Quran]. Ryer, André du. L'Alcoran de Mahomet. Translaté d'Arabe en François. Paris, Antoine de Sommaville, 1647. Paris, Antoine de Sommaville, 1647. 4to. (10), 648 [but: 598], (4) pp. Contemp. half calf with giltstamped spine.

£ 4,800.-

Rare first edition of "the oldest complete translation of the Qur'an into a European vernacular" (Encylopedia of the Qur'an). Du Ryer's work served as the basis for further translations of the Qur'an into English, German, Dutch, and Russian, and was instrumental in introducing Europeans to the tenets of the Muslim faith. Du Ryer was a celebrated linguist and had lived in Egypt and Turkey, where he studied classical Arabic. His introduction briefly summarizes the Muslim religion for Christian readers, noting customs such as Ramadan, circumcision, the practice of having up to four wives, the significance of Mecca and Medina, Sufi brotherhoods and wandering ascetics, and finally the Islamic recognition of Jesus as a prophet but not the son of God. A prayer printed in Arabic is included on the verso of leaf e2. - "Du Ryer's translation of the Qur'an [...] became an unparalleled literary success [...] The easy availability of the Qur'an accompanied a newfound interest in the Orient; additionally, du Ryer's translation lacked the polemical tone of previous editions, an orientation which arose mainly in ecclesiastical contexts. Du Ryer used Islamic commentaries such as al-Bayawi'sAnwar al-tanzil, the Tafsir al-Jalalayan by al-Mahalli (d. 864/1459) and al-Suyu i (d. 911/1505), or an excerpt from al-Razi's (d. 606/1210) great commentary made by l-Raghi l-Tunisi (d. 715/1315) entitled al-Tanwir fi l-tafsir, quite casually in his translation, merely noting them in the margins. The deprecatory tone present in the introductory chapter, 'Sommaire de la religion des Turcs,' can be understood as an attempt at camouflage (cf. Hamilton and Richard, André du Ryer, 94f)" (Encyclopedia of the Qur'an). - Some waterstaining throughout; occasional worming; more pronounced edge damage near end. Provenance: 1714 ms. ownership (partly stricken out) of the Castelnaudary Capuchins, dissolved in 1789; acquired by the notary J. L. E. Bauzit of Castelnaudary (his ownership on title and flyleaf).
¶ Chauvin X, p. 126. Schnurrer 427. Fück 74. Brunet III, 1309. Encyclopedia of the Qur'an V, 347.


Sympathetic ink, practical jokes, bonsai flowers, cryptography

[Recipes, Helpful Hints, and Practical Jokes]. Kunst-Museum oder Sammlung auserlesner Kunststücke aus dem Gebiete... der Öconomie, Physik, Botanik, Chemie, Optik, Mathematik, Mechanik u. Magie ("Museum or Collection of Exquisite Tricks From Economy, Physics, Botany, Chemistry, Optics, Mathematics, Mechanics, and Magic"). Likely Germany, early 19th century. 8vo (106 x 162 mm). German ms. on paper. 36 ff. German cursive in dark brown ink. Sewn.

An intriguing German manuscript containing recipes for ink in various colours (including sympathetic ink), paint, surgical glue, plaster for making casts of coins, fragrant "Pot Pourris", boot polish, and stain removers, as well as instructions on "how to repair old paintings" and "how to print an engraving". Other sections contain "chemical, mechanical, optical, mathematical and other tricks", including how to grow Bonsai flowers in walnut shells, how to push an egg through a bottleneck whole, how to "skeletonize leaves", how to "cut an apple without damaging the skin", how to "spit fire from the mouth", "the death-lamp", "how to convert milk into blood", "how to make fire leap forth from water", how to grow dwarfed dogs by feeding them brandy and ground corals, "how to raise a great ruckus at night with a cat", and numerous pranks and practical jokes to play on friends, as well as riddles, card tricks, and mathematical entertainments. An appendix provides methods for quickly copying letters without the use of a copying press and numerous methods of cryptography. - Some browning. Thoroughly revised in red and black ink, apparently for an intended publication, with numerous underlinings, corrections, and dispositions regarding chapters and item numbers. Sketches for a table of contents and a title on the final page. A very curious survival.