Arabian astrology, printed in 1482: the art of foretelling the destinies of newborns

Al-Qabisi, Abu Al Saqr 'Abd Al-'Aziz Ibn 'Uthman Ibn 'Ali (Alchabitius). Libellus ysagogicus. Venice, Erhard Ratdolt, 16. I. 1482. Venice, Erhard Ratdolt, 16. I. 1482. 4to. 32 ff. Title page printed in red and black. With 2 woodcut diagrams and 8 tables in the text; white-vine initials in two sizes, lombardic initials (many coloured in red). Rubricated. Recent full vellum.

£ 32,000.-

Second edition of the author's principal work, originally published at Mantua in 1473. Al-Qabisi (also known as "Alchabitus" in the Latin tradition) flourished in Aleppo, Syria, in the middle of the 10th century. Although his education was primarily in geometry and astronomy, his principal surviving treatise, "Madkhal" (here in the Latin translation of Joanis Hispalensis prepared in 1144), is an introductory exposition of some of the fundamental principles of genethlialogy (the astrological science of casting nativities, or divination as to the destinies of newborns). The "Madkhal" in its Latin version was published many times in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. - Bookplate of joint collectors Rudolf Hugo Driessen (1873-1957) and Caroline E. F. Kleyn (1883-1933). Outer margin of first leaf slightly frayed; marginal annotation in red ink on its verso (slightly trimmed by binder's knife). Very rare; last sold at an international auction in 1996.


First illustrated edition

Al-Shidyaq, Ahmad Faris. Kitab al-Kanz al-muhtar fi kasf al-aradi wa-l-bihar ("The... Select Treasures in the Discovery of Lands and Seas"). Malta, Church Missionary Society, 1836. Malta, Church Missionary Society, 1836. 8vo. 130 pp. With 12 engr. plates (some with 3 images per plate), including views of Mecca and Medina. Contemp. half roan calf; marbled boards; gilt printed Arabic title on spine.

Very rare first illustrated edition of this famous Arabic geography, here edited by one of the most prominent Arab intellectuals of his day, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq. A famous and key title in the dissemination of printed Arabic through the Church Missionary Society of Malta. Al-Shidyaq sought to adapt a decidedly Eurocentric geography by James Mitchell (1822) to his Middle Eastern audience, and focuses to a larger part on the Ottoman world. Enjoying several editions and printings in Malta and Cairo, the "Kitab al-Kanz al-muhtar" became an important work in the history of Arabic intellectual and economic thought in the 19th century, giving a modern and well-informed view of world geography otherwise accessible only through European texts. After the 1833 Malta first printing the title was taken up by the Artillery School Press of Tura, Cairo who printed an improved edition by al-Tahtawi in 1834. Roper describes this 1836 printing, the first illustrated one, as "embellished with nicely engraved plates showing views of some of the cities mentioned [...] it incorporates most of the stylistic improvements of Tahtawi's edition [...] however it is clear that another hand has been at work [... The editor] is not named but it was almost certainly Faris al-Shidyaq, who had returned to Malta and re-entered the service of the CMS at the end of 1835" (Roper). - Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1804-87) was born in Lebanon to an Arab Maronite family. He converted to Protestantism around 1825, and the present work is one of several he produced for the Church Missionary Society in Malta. Al-Shidyaq was invited to Cambridge, England, in 1848, where he stayed for 7 years before moving to Paris for 2 years. In 1860 he converted to Islam, and spent much of his later life in Istanbul as the editor of an Arab language newspaper. In recent years, scholars seem to have taken a renewed interest in Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq and his role in the "nahda", or Arab renaissance of the 19th century. Several biographies have been published recognizing his struggle to modernize the Arabic language and educational system, as well as his defence of Arabic culture and language against the Turkization movement across the 19th century Ottoman Empire. As such he is considered one of the founders of modern Arabic literature and journalism. - Hinges and extremities professionally repaired. Stamp of the Löwy Jewish Library (London) on title page. Slight foxing throughout due to paper; a pleasant copy of a very rare imprint: an important and influential teaching aid which made a significant contribution to the study of geography in the 19th century Arabic world.


One of the first Arabic books ever printed in England

Al-Tugrai, Hassan ibn ´Ali. Lamiato 'l Ajam. Carmen Tograi. Una cum versione... Latina, & notis, opera E. Pocockii. Oxford, Henry Hall for Richard Davis, 1661. Oxford, Henry Hall for Richard Davis, 1661. 8vo. 2 parts in 1 vol. (22), 233, (89) pp. (4), 170, (2) pp. With full-page engraving. Modern vellum.

£ 3,250.-

The first Arabic-Latin edition of the great poem "Lamiyat al-´Agam" by Hassan ibn ´Ali al-Tugra'i (c. 1061-1121), and one of the first Arabic books ever printed in England: "a complaint over the unfortunate circumstances of his times and over his own lot" (cf. GAL). Contains not only the text with an extensive commentary, but also a complete index of the words appearing in the poem and the apparatus, as well as a second part, an Arabic prosody by Samuel Clarke entitled "Scientia metrica & rhythmica, seu Tractatus de prosodia Arabica" (also issued separately, but here forming part of the Tugrai edition). Edward Pococke (1604-91) was the first scholar of Arabic at Oxford; the Oxford oriental scholar Samuel Clarke (1624-69) also served his University as printer. - Variously browned due to paper. An untrimmed copy.


the first European illustration of the coffee plant

Alpini, Prosper. De plantis Aegypti liber. [...] Accessit etiam liber... de Balsamo alias editus. Venice, Francesco de Franceschi, 1592. Venice, Francesco de Franceschi, 1592. 4to. 2 consecutively paginated parts. (4), 80 (but: 84), (8) ff. (Pt. 2 has separate title page). With woodcut printer's device to t. p. and 50 large woodcut plant illustrations (many page-sized). 18th century marbled wooden boards. All edges sprinkled in red.

£ 6,000.-

First edition of the earliest treatise on the native Egyptian flora, the author's most important scientific work. The Italian physician and botanist Alpini (1553-1617) spent three years in Egypt studying botany and hygiene as a companion to the Venetian Consul Giorgio Emi. He was "among the first of the Italian physician-botanists of the 16th century of examine plants outside the context of their therapeutic uses. Today this work is best known for containing the first European illustration of the coffee plant" (Hünersdorff). Alpini writes: "I saw in the garden of Halybey the Turk a tree [...] which is the source of those seeds, very common there, which are called Ban or Bon; from them everyone, Egyptians and Arabs alike, prepare a decoction which they drink instead of wine and which is sold in public bars just as is wine here and they call it 'Caova'. These seeds are imported from the Arabian peninsula [...]" (f. 26r, transl.). The coffee plant is pictured on f. 26v, captioned "Bon". - Binding rather rubbed and bumped (especially the spine); trimmed somewhat closely at upper edge; occasional brownstaining throughout with the odd waterstain; slight defect to title page repaired by a former owner. A good copy from the library of Karl Martin and Siri Hilda Karolina Norrman (1900-95) with their joint bookplate on front pastedown.



Alpini, Prosper & Bontius, Jacob. De medicina Aegyptiorum, libri quatuor. Et Iacobi Bontii... In Indiis archiatri, De medicina Indorum. Editio ultima. Paris, Nicolaus Redelichuysen, 1645. Paris, Nicolaus Redelichuysen, 1645. Small 4to (225 x 175 mm). 2 parts in one vol. (11), 150, (25) ff. 39, (1) ff. Title page printed in red and black; woodcut chapter initial and head-tail pieces, 2 text illustrations and 3 full-page woodcuts. Full vellum, title gilt on spine red label.

£ 2,900.-

Somewhat later edition. - Alpini (1553-1617) was an Italian physician and botanist. This work was the first important work on the history of Egyptian medicine. Jacobus Bontius (Jacques de Bondt, 1592-1631) was a Dutch physician and botanist. He travelled to Persia and Indonesia to study the botany of the area. He was the first to study cholera on the island of Batavia in 1689, before it was known in Europe, and died on Java. His botanic and medical works were published after his death by Pisonius. Alpini "was probably the first to regard tropical medicine as an independent branch of medical science. He spent the last four years of his life in the Dutch East Indies, and his book incorporates the experience he gained there. It is the first Dutch work on tropical medicine and includes the first modern descriptions of beri-beri and cholera" (Garrison/M. 2263, citing the 1642 first edition). Alpini spent three years in Egypt studying botany and hygiene as a companion to the Venetian Consul Giorgio Emo. This work is considered "one of the earliest European studies of non-western medicine. Alpini’s work dealt primarily with contemporary (i.e. Arabic) practices observed during his sojourn in Egypt. These included moxibustion - the production of counter-irritation by placing burning or heated material on the skin - which Alpini introduced into European medicine [...] Alpini also mentioned coffee for the first time in this work" (Norman). - Binding slightly brownstained in places. Small tear to 3rd leaf, not affecting text; occasional browning.


The sea route to Mecca

Andrade, Jacinto Freire de. The Life of Dom John de Castro, The... Fourth Vice-Roy of India. London, Herringman, 1664. London, Herringman, 1664. Folio (202 x 290 mm). (20), 272, (20) pp. With engr. portrait frontispiece. Half calf. Spine on five raised bands. Gilt title to spine.

£ 6,000.-

First English edition of what is considered one of the classics of Portuguese literature (cf. Brunet). Includes an account of the battles at Ormuz between the Turks and the Arabs. Dom João de Castro (1500-48) was a naval officer and later Viceroy of Portuguese India. In 1538 he embarked on his first voyage to India, arriving at Goa and immediately proceeding to the defense of Diu. Castro was responsible for the overthrow of Mahmud, King of Gujarat whose interests threatened Portuguese control of the Goan coast. His voyages frequently took him to the coasts of Arabia, and his present biography contains many details about the Peninsula, especially about Aden and the sea route to Mecca. Castro died in Goa in 1548 and was initially buried there, but his remains were later exhumed and transferred to Portugal. With the bookplate of Emilio Monteiro on front pastedown. - Extremities rubbed and bumped, otherwise in excellent condition. Provenance: 19th century engr. bookplate of D. K[imand] ("Sine Phoebo Lux") on pastedown; 20th c. bookplates of Emilio Monteiro on flyleaf.


The first books printed in Germany from Arabic type, a contemporary sammelband of seven separate publications

Avicenna (Ibn Sina). [Kitab 'al-Thani min Qanun 'al-Qanun li-'Ibn Sina] id... est liber secund[us] de Canone Canonis a filio Sina. Studio sumptibus ac typis arabicis Petri Kirsteni. Breslau, Peter Kirsten, (1609). Breslau, Peter Kirsten, (1609). Folio (210 x 317 mm). 7 works in one volume. I: Engr. t. p., (28), 132 pp. (Bound with) II: Kirsten, Peter. Tria specimina characterum arabicorum. Breslau, Baumann, (1608). 10, (2). (Bound with) III: The same. Grammatices arabicae. Ibid., (1608-1610). 3 parts. Engr. t. p., 18, (2), 19-105, (3), 41, (3), 38, (16) pp. (Bound with) IV: The same. Vitae evangelistarum quatuor. Ibid., (1608). Engr. t. p., (2), 56, (4) pp. (Bound with) V: The same. Notae in evangelium S. Matthaei. Breslau, Baumann, (1611). (8), 140 pp. (without engr. t. p.). (Bound with) VI: The same. Epistola S. Judae apostoli. Ibid., (1611). (2), 17, (1) pp. (without engr. t. p.). (Bound with) VII: The same. Iudicia e multis quaedam virorum reverendorum [...]. Leipzig, Laurentius Cober, 1611. (12) pp. Contemp. vellum with ms. spine title. In custom cloth slipcase.

£ 46,000.-

First editions. - Outstanding sammelband of works by the pioneering Arabist and physician Peter Kirsten (1577-1640), who started a private press in Breslau (Wroclaw) in 1607 (cf. Reske 130). His Arabic type, which shows the influence of the Medicean types, was cut by Peter von Selau. Foremost among his works is his edition of the second book of Avicenna's "Qanun at-Tibb" ("Canon of Medicine") in the original Arabic. "Kirsten studied Arabic mainly because he hoped it would prove useful for reading Avicenna and other physicians in their original language, rather than in the faulty translations available, for he had been taught at medical school that a good practicioner would need to be a good Avicennist, and could more readily do without Latin than without Arabic" (cf. Fück). The entire press run was financed by the translator himself. - The "Qanun", the principal writing of the Persian polymath Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina (c. 980-1037), was widely translated throughout the Middle Ages and remained the basis of medical training in the West until the mid-17th century. It continues in use to this day in parts of the Arab world. Through this encyclopedic work, the author exerted "perhaps a wider influence in the eastern and western hemispheres than any other Islamic thinker" (PMM). "The 'Qanun' [...] contains some of the most illuminating thoughts pertaining to distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy; contagious nature of phthisis; distribution of diseases by water and soil; careful description of skin troubles; of sexual diseases and perversions; of nervous ailments" (Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science). - The "Qanun" and Kirsten's "Tria specimina characterum arabicorum" (Bible excerpts and the first sura of the Quran in Arabic and Latin parallel text) are followed by a three-part Arabic grammar rarely encountered complete and several Biblical studies with an Arabist slant. These were the first books printed in Germany from Arabic type. Roper notes that Kirsten “created a superior type-face, with some calligraphic qualities, which he not only used for his own letter specimens and Arabic grammar [...] but later took to Sweden, where he inaugurated Arabic typography under royal patronage.” Individual titles by Kirsten are quite uncommon in institutional holdings and the few that have appeared at auction have often been rebound. A sound, contemporary copy of his major works such as this is a genuine rarity. - Removed from the Philadelphia Divinity School; additional bookplate of the Rev. Joseph Jaquett ("presented by Edwin Jaquett Sellers, 1902"). The engraved title of Avicenna is bound before the type specimen. Some browning, marginal worming in six leaves, else a fine, complete and unsophisticated copy of these exceedingly rare works.


Album of the Imperial blanket maker J. F. Hörmannsperger

Baroque pattern book and album of the blanket maker Johann Franz Hörmannsperger. Vienna, 1736. Vienna, 1736. Oblong folio (390 x 252 mm). 118 numbered ff. (but 115: ff. 96, 106, and 112 skipped). Calligraphic preface by Hörmannsperger, 58 full-page textile designs by the same, mostly in red, blue, green, and gilt (including one folded, double-page sized specimen and 4 ff. with 2 designs each), 7 splendid gouache washes raised in gilt and silver; bound in between these are a total of 52 engravings on 48 plates, all in splendid contemporary colour raised in gilt and silver. Contemp. marbled boards.

£ 60,000.-

Unique, museum-quality document of late Baroque craftsmanship among the urban Third Estate: apart from 58 meticulously executed textile designs, the album contains seven large-format gouaches showing the self-assured author practising his trade in his workshop, advertising and selling his wares to customers, as well as playing music and even bowling, but also attending the general meeting of the Viennese blanket makers. The engravings which Hörmannsperger inserted between his own works all show mundane subjects (dwarves, soldiers, caricatures, etc.): thus, his autograph textile designs and gouaches are interleaved with some of the rarest and most charming pieces produced by the 1720's Augsburg school of engraving. - The album is introduced by a self-portrait of the 26-year-old Hörmannsperger in his workshop (with his compass and one of the later-included textile designs lying on the table); on the opposite page he offers a brief preface to the volume: "for true art speaks for the master: here is a book, all mine, with many drawings, as they will be seen, all drawn by me, though I say so myself, with much time, labour, and trouble [...] I, Johann Frantz Hörmansperger" (transl.). The captions to the splendid gouaches prove the author's humour (sometimes bawdy) as well as a trait of surprising self-confidence. Pitching his self-plaited blanket to a female customer, he addresses her: "My dear lady, here's a fine blanket for you - you may well stretch yourself under this: one and a half ells wide and two in length; perfect for flipping over with your husband underneath" (transl., f. 84). Another image shows him selling saddlecloths to military officers ("we'll have these and take them into battle", f. 86); yet another shows him bowling in a Baroque garden at the weekend ("All gay and jolly, for we are journeymen of the trade: and so the virgins may be; they will not be bored - here is red wine and white, so well we may make merry", f. 94) and dancing ("Be merry all. Musicians play! Thus do the blanket makers frolic and dance with pretty girls until their shoes may fall to pieces", f. 104). The final leaf shows an apprentice received into the society of blanket makers at their quarterly general assembly ("The blanket makers convene today to discuss what concerns the society: the young man must have learned his trade; he is not too tall nor too small. But he must put in his time, until he is made a journeyman", f. 118). Some of Hörmannsperger's ornamental designs, created with the use of a compass, include centerpieces showing armorial or figural motifs; one design (f. 113) is apparently a commission for Emperor Charles VI (bearing his monogram and Imperial insignia); according to the later caption, it was indeed executed for him. - Between his own works Hörmannsperger bound engravings by the great Augsburg masters of his age, all splendidly coloured and raised in gilt and silver: eight engravings from Elias Bäck's dwarf series (fencing school, drinking, gluttony, and tobacco addiction), a complete cycle of the seasons and the life stages of man by Martin Engelbrecht ("Der Menschen Jahr Veränderung"), a total of 19 of the famous engravings by Pfeffel, Schmidt, and Engelbrecht showing a soldier's life (two with movable parts), as well as a fine broadsheet by Albrecht Schmidt showing the seven Honest Swabians, and finally an untitled eight-page cycle showing the female tempers. - The Austrian and especially the Viennese bedclothes were known for their high quality throughout the continent. During their golden age in the 18th century they were exported to all European courts, as well as to Greece, Turkey, and many oriental countries. At the time this album was drawn up, there were ten masters of the profession in Vienna alone creating blankets and mattresses as well as backpacks and cuirasses. - Provenance: acquired in 1893 "from Mr Josef Lang's son-in-law" by the bedclothes merchant Josef Pauly, supplier to the Royal and Imperial court, and passed on by him to Mr. Junghofer, chairman of the bedclothes makers' cooperative, in 1896 (cf. Pauly's autograph dedication note on the flyleaf); last in an Austrian private collection. Boards imperceptibly restored at lower spine end; interior slightly fingerstained; slight tears to two leaves, but in excellent state of preservation altogether.


On timekeeping, with a world map

Beda Venerabilis. Opuscula complura de temporum ratione diligenter castigata. Cologne, Johannes Prael for Peter Quentel, May 1537. Cologne, Johannes Prael for Peter Quentel, May 1537. Folio (215 x 310 mm). (14), 18, (6), CXXVI, (4) ff. With 35 woodcuts in the text, initials, and printer's device on recto of final leaf. Contemp. vellum.

£ 6,000.-

First edition of Beda's collected writings on historical and astronomical chronology. The section "On the Reckoning of Time" (De temporum ratione) includes an introduction to the traditional ancient and medieval view of the cosmos, including an explanation of how the spherical earth influenced the changing length of daylight, of how the seasonal motion of the sun and moon influenced the changing appearance of the new moon at evening twilight, and a quantitative relation between the changes of the tides at a given place and the daily motion of the moon. "Ce volume contient les principaux traités de l'auteur sur le calendrier" (Houzeau/L.). The woodcut world map on d1, evidently redrawn from those of Petrus de Alliaco and Ambrosius Macrobius (Shirley 12 & 13), shows the four continents of the old world surrounded by water, the southern hemisphere labeled as "nobis incognita frigida". - Very slightly browned; title page shows insignificant fingerstaining; otherwise an excellent copy with a very few contemporary marginalia.



[Benedict XIV, Pope]. Memoriale responsivo alla animadversioni di Monsignor Segretario della... S. Congregazione de Propaganda Fide sopra la nuova erezione de' Vescovadi nell' Indie Orientali. [Rome, Congregazione de Propaganda Fide, c. 1745]. [Rome, Congregazione de Propaganda Fide, c. 1745]. Folio (220 x 312 mm). 1 blank f., (2), 48, (4), 143, (1) pp. With 2 folding maps in contemp. hand colour. Contemp. presentation binding for Pope Benedict XIV and King of John V of Portugal, full vellum with giltstamped arms to both covers, corner piece and framed with fillets. Edges sprinkled in red.

£ 20,000.-

First and only edition: an exceedingly rare memorial addressed to Pope Benedict XIV, in defense of the Propaganda Fide and their missions in South East Asia. The occasion is the erection of patronage dioceses in Siam, Tonkin and Cochinchina, territories which had a considerable presence of Portuguese settlements and trading ports - which explains the presentation to the King of Portugal, simultaneously with Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58), the civil and ecclesiastical authorities with interests in the Propaganda Fide activities in the region. The work is illustrated with two folding maps in contemporary color: "Prima tavola limiti delle Diocesi in terra ferma" and "Seconda tavola limiti delle Diocesi in terra ferma", both showing the same region, extending from Africa to South East Asia, including Central Asia and Arabia, the territory granted for missionary activities to the Propaganda Fide. - Excellent example printed on large paper for presentation. Rare, no copy at auction since 1913. Not recorded in library catalogues internationally.



Berggren, Jakob. Guide Francais-Arabe Vulgaire des voyageurs et des Francs... en Syrie et en Egypte. Uppsala, Leffler et Sebell, 1844. Uppsala, Leffler et Sebell, 1844. 4to. 884 columns, 885-924 pp. 2 folding maps. Contemporary boards.

£ 2,500.-

First edition of this "Guide" by J. Berggren (1790-1868), minister at Soenderkoeping. The work includes a summarized dictionary as well as a "droguier arabe" (first appendix) printed in two columns and grammatical notes on the Arabic vernacular. - Uncut copy.



Bernstein, Georg Heinrich (ed.). De initiis et originibus religionum in oriente dispersarum... quae differunt a religione christiana liber. E codice manu scripto arabico bibliothecae universitatis litterarum regiae Gottingensis. Berlin, Maurer, 1817. Berlin, Maurer, 1817. 4to. VIII, 71, 57 pp. Giltstamped red boards.

£ 3,200.-

First edition of this treatise on the origins of the non-Christian religions of the Orient, written by Notaras Chrysantis (c. 1670-1735) and here edited in the original Arabic text with Latin translation and critical apparatus after a ms. in the Göttingen University Library. G. H. Bernstein (1787-1860) taught oriental languages at the universities of Berlin and Breslau. He is chiefly famous for his preliminary studies for the "Thesaurus Syriacus", a dictionary of Syriac produced after his death by Robert Payne Smith. - Contemporary autograph ownership and review note of the Marburg oriental scholar Johann Melchior Hartmann (1764-1827), among whose work is a "Commentatio de geographia Africae Edrisiana", published in 1792. Later stamp of the Basel chemist Dr. Remy Cantieni (1940s). Last in the Ottoman collection of the Swiss industrialist Herry W. Schaefer. - Rare.



Breton [de la Martinière, Jean-Baptiste Joseph]. L'Égypte et la Syrie, ou moeurs, usages, costumes... et monumens des Égyptiens, des Arabes et des Syriens. Précédé d'un Précis historique. Paris, A. Nepveu, 1814. Paris, A. Nepveu, 1814. 12mo. 6 vols. With 84 engraved plates, mostly aquatints, in contemporary hand colour, several folding. Contemp. red grained morocco, blindstamped and giltstamped, spine gilt, leading edges and inner dentelle gilt. All edges gilt.

£ 6,800.-

First edition, the rare coloured issue in contemporary French master bindings. - Contains a large number of very pretty views and charming genre scenes, also showing costumes, arms, tools, etc. Accompanied by notes by Jean Joseph Marcel (1776-1854), director of the French imperial printshop at Cairo. Immaculate, sumptuously bound copy from the library of Mary Lecomte du Noüy with her gilt morocco bookplate on all pastedowns. Uncommonly well preserved; most copies in the great travel collections were incomparably the worse for wear: the Atabey copy was described as "rubbed, upper joint of vol. VI wormed" and was uncoloured, as were most of the press run and all recent copies showing up in trade or at auction.



Brunetti, Gaetano, violin virtuoso (1744-1798). Sonata seconda / di Violino e Basso. Autograph... musical manuscript signed. [Madrid, before 1782]. [Madrid, before 1782]. Oblong folio. Title page, 10 pp. Sewn.

£ 12,900.-

The lost original manuscript of Brunetti's second violin sonata for his student, Carlos Prince of Asturias (later King Charles IV of Spain): three movements "Largo cantabile", "Andantino con grazia", and "Allegretto e non troppo". Dedication after the title: "Fatta esspresamente per l'uso del Sig.r Principe di Asturias (e non altro) / Composta / Da Gaetano Brunetti"; the date "nell' anno ..." has been deleted with water (the first two words legible under ultraviolet light). A copy was known at the Archivio General del Palacio Real in Madrid (collective ms. of the Princely sonatas, shelfmark Leg. 1617, Cat. 1606). - "The King's interest in art (as Goya's patron), his accomplishments as a violinist and his insatiable appetite for new works provided a stimulating cultural atmosphere in which Brunetti flourished [...] Brunetti's music has remained virtually unknown since the 18th century; very little was published during his lifetime, and only a few pieces are available in modern editions [...] Brunetti's consistently graceful melodic lines are built from a single small motif, providing the cohesive structural element of the whole movement" (New Grove). - Brownstained throughout due to moisture (stronger near beginning), otherwise clean and well-preserved. Very rare: since 1950 a single musical manuscript in Brunetti's hand has appeared on the market ("Introito a 4", 7 pp., unfinished, sold to Otto Haas at Christie's in 1981).



Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig (John Lewis). Arabic Proverbs, or the Manners and Customs of... the Modern Egyptians. London, John Murray, 1830. London, John Murray, 1830. Small folio (223 x 280 mm). VII, (1), 232 pp. With folding engr. map. Contemp. half calf with marbled covers, gilt spine bands and giltstamped green morocco spine label. All edges marbled.

£ 5,750.-

First edition of this groundbreaking trove of 782 Arabic proverbs in the original Arabic, including English translations and (sometimes extensive) explanations of their meaning. They are in part drawn from a coleection assembled by the Egyptian scholar Shered ad-Din Ibn Assad, as well as from Burckhardt's own observation "as he heard them quoted in general society or in the bázár [...] These sayings are useful, as they serve to show us how the Arabs judge of men and things, and in this respect it must be acknowledged that many are dictated by wisdom and sagacity. Several Scriptural sayings and maxims of ancient sages will be found here naturalized among Arabs; as well as some Proverbs which have generally been supposed of European origin" (preface). - The Swiss explorer Burckhardt (1784-1817) travelled through Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Nubia, and the Arabian Peninsula. Disguised as an Arab, he crossed the Red Sea to Jeddah under the name "Sheikh Ibrahim", passed an examination on Muslim law, and participated in the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. All his notes werde made clandestinely. He died in Cairo and is buried there in the Muslim cemetery. He left his 350-volume library to Cambridge University; his diaries were acquired by the Royal Geographical Society. - Published under the authority of the "Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior of Africa". From the library of the British Conservative politician Arthur Thomas Loyd with his bookplate and pencil ownership on front pastedown. - Calf somewhat rubbed at extremeties, folding map slightly browned, otherwise well preserved.


In defence of Catholicism, ten years before the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre

Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France, wife of King Henry II of France (1519-1589). Autograph letter signed ("Caterine"). Paris, 16. IV. 1562. Paris, 16. IV. 1562. Folio. 2 pp. Small blue collector's stamp at lower edge of verso.

£ 25,000.-

Fine, long letter to Sébastien de L'Aubespine (1518-1582), bishop of Limoges, her ambassador to the Spanish court (though actually written for the benefit of her son-in-law, King Philip II, and his wife, her daughter Elisabeth de Valois), defending herself against the accusation of having converted to Protestantism. She asserts that she will stay what she has been the first 43 years of her life - a Catholic, not a liar or hypocrite: "Monsieur de Limoge je byen voleu que tous ses signeurs aycripse au Roy despagne de la fason que je souis pour respet de la religion non pour temoignage se que je veulle ni devant dieu ni les hommes de ma fouys ni bonnes heuvres mes pour reguart de manterie que lons ha distes de moy et le calonnie que lon ma donnees. car set lons ha mande auparavent aultre chause que set que lon fayst asteure lons ha manti car je nay change ni en nefayst ni en volante ni en fason de vivre ma religion qui lya quarante et troys hans anuit que je tiens et hye aysté batisee et nourie et je ne se si tout le monde en peult dire aultent et set je an suis marrye ne san fault aybayr car set mansonge deure trop lontemps pour ne san facher a la fin et prinsipalement quant lon se sent la consiense neste y fayst byen mal que seus qui ne lon pas tent en parler et hardiment. monstre sete letre au duc dalbe et au Roy monsieur mon fils car ie ne voldres qui pansaset que jeuse mandie heun temoynage pour nestre alaye toutte ma vye le droyt chemin mes je lay fayst pour ne povoyr plus endeurer que lon me preste de cherite et que sela ferme la bouche a seus que disi ennavent san voldrest encore ayder et metre tousiour pouine de me aylongner de la bonne grase du Roy monsieur mon fils que je tien plus chere que ma propre vie. pourse aseure me sybien avent que partyes que neul naye puisanse de my demineuer et diste alla Royne ma fille que sele veult fayre chause pour me fayre vivray contente quellay mi y entertyene et lui fase tousiour bon pour moy que je ne sere jeames que set que je ayste jeuques ysi qui est cretiene catolyque et poynt manterese ni desimeuleuse et qui le truvere tous iour ynsin [...]." The notion that Catherine had supposedly rejected Catholicism may be due to the two edicts she issued for her under-age son Henry III in July 1561 and January 1562, probably under the influence of the moderate chancellor Michel de l'Hopital. The former repealed the death sentence for heresy; the latter - the Edict of Saint-Germain - granted Huguenots private worship outside of towns. Meanwhile, Francis, Duke of Guise, butchered some 80 Huguenot worshippers in the Massacre of Vassy, prompting the first of the French Wars of Religion. The politically talented and ruthless Catherine first attempted to maneuver a middle course between Protestants and Catholics in order to strengthen royal dominion. Only after the so-called "Surprise de Meaux" (1567), during which Louis de Bourbon tried to arrest Charles IX and the royal family, did she entirely abandon compromise for repression. Her pragmatic approach is underlined by the fact that the offered the Huguenot Henri de Navarre her daughter's hand in marriage. While today some historians argue that the order for the 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre did not come from her, there is no reason to believe she was not party to the decision when on 23 August Charles IX ordered, "Then kill them all!" - Note of receipt by L'Aubespine at the bottom: "Lettre de de la Royne a Mr de lymoges du 16 davril 1562. Je la monstra au Roy et au duc dalve [...]". - Left edge remargined (slight clipping; no loss to text); traces of mounting. From the Geneva collection of J. P. Barbier-Mueller.


Spectacular atlas of hieroglyphs

Champollion, Jean François. Monuments de l'Egypte et de la Nubie. Paris, Firmin Didot Freres, 1835-1845. Paris, Firmin Didot Freres, 1835-1845. 4 volumes, broadside folio (c. 715 x 555 mm). Half-titles in volumes 2-4. Chromolithographic additional title and 502 lithographic plates (of c. 512; 4 of the missing plates known in other copies, and the other four listed in the table of contents but possibly not issued) of which 26 hand-coloured, 19 chromolithographs, and one folding. Modern calf-backed boards.

£ 68,000.-

First edition of Champollion's spectacular atlas of hieroglyphs. A tall copy with deckle edges, comprising more plates than both the Blackmer and Brunet copies. Champollion had succeeded in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs using museum collections, and planned the journey that produced the present book in order to confirm his findings in situ with a broader range of source material. He travelled along the Nile from Alexandria to Aswan, gathering and reproducing hieroglyphic material along the way - much of which had not been published before, as is the case with most of the material from the Nubian temples. Because of a complex publication history, bibliographies do not agree on the number of plates in a complete set, but De Ricci describes 'un exemplaire bien complet' which includes 507 plates (located at the University of Paris Art and Archaeology Library). - Minor wear to boards. Some spotting to interior, some leaves browned, a few marginal tears, of which a very few with old repairs, occasional small marginal dampstain. Small shelf mark ('8066'/'8069') in the foot of the plate list in each volume.


First illustrated edition

Dante Alighieri. La Comedia di Dante Aligieri [!] con la... nova espositione di Alessandro Vellutello. Venice, Francesco Marcolini f. Alessandro Vellutello, 1544. Venice, Francesco Marcolini f. Alessandro Vellutello, 1544. 4to. (442) ff. (including final blank). With 87 woodcuts in the text. Contemp. calf; remains of a ms. spine label.

£ 4,500.-

First edition with Alessandro Vellutello's commentary. The fine woodcuts, probably by Marcolini himself, are hailed as the first modern illustrations of the "Divine Comedy". - Binding rubbed, corners bumped; slight worming and defects to spine-ends and spine. Binding loosened; occasional slight brownstaining; a few old underlinings and marginalia. 17th century inscription on front flyleaf.



Domenicus Germanus. Fabrica overo Dittionario della lingua volgare arabica, et... italiana. Rome, Sac. Congreg. de Propaganda Fide, 1636. Rome, Sac. Congreg. de Propaganda Fide, 1636. 4to. (10), 102 pp. With woodcut title vignette to title page. Later half vellum (c. 1850).

£ 2,500.-

First edition. "Inscriptio fallax; Dictionarii haud quidpiam exhibet liber; Grammatica est, et quasi prolusio et praecursio Dictionarii, brevi post editi" (Schnurrer). First issue with Arabic letters from the printing office of the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Not actually a dictionary, as the title suggests, but rather an introduction to vernacular Arabic. Three years later, the Franciscan Dominicus (1588-1670), known as Germanus (from Silesia), would publish an Arabic-Italian dictionary, entited "Fabrica linguae Arabicae" - which has no connection with the present work, in spite of the similar title. - Old shelfmark on reverse of title page. Rare.



(Dominicus Germanus de Silesia, OFM). Antitheses fidei, ventilabuntur in conventu S. Petri Montis... Aurei fratrum Minorum S.P. Francisci reformat[orum]. Rome, Congreg. de Propaganda Fide, 1638. Rome, Congreg. de Propaganda Fide, 1638. 4to (227 x 163 mm). 1 bl. f., 66 pp. (counted as 43; numerous errors in pagination; some parts included in two variants). With woodcut title vignette. Contemp. limp vellum with ms. title to spine.

£ 4,700.-

Very rare polemical work, printed throughout in Arabic and Latin, that aims to compare and contrast Christian and Muslim scripture and doctrines. Dedicated to Cardinal Barberini. The editor Dominicus (1585-1670) taught Arabic at the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide since 1636 and collaborated on their Bible project. His magnum opus, one of the first literal Quran translations, was not rediscovered and published until 1883. In 1636 he published a Arabic grammar (the first publication of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide press to use Arabic type); in 1639 he would produce a dictionary of vernacular Arabic. Four years in the Middle East had convinced him that a missionary must before everything else know the vernacular language (cf. Fück, p. 78). The present work was considered lost quite recently by Antonio García Masegosa in his study "Germán de Silesia, Interpretatio Alcorani Litteralis, Parte I: La traducción latina" (Madrid, 2009): "Por la misma época, publicó un tratado religioso en árabe y en latín titulado Antitheses fidei, que se encuentra perdido en la actualidad, o que al menos no ha podido ser localizado para este trabajo" (p. 14). - Marked brownstaining throughout with waterstain to upper corner. Still an appealing copy.



Eichhorn, Johann Gottfried / Schultens, Albert (eds.). Monumenta antiquissimae historiae Arabum. Post Albertum Schultensium collegit... ediditque cum latina versione et animadversionibus. Gotha, (Fickelscherr for) Karl Wilhelm Ettinger, 1775. Gotha, (Fickelscherr for) Karl Wilhelm Ettinger, 1775. 8vo. (8), 216 pp. With 13 genealogical tables printed on 12 folding plates. Contemp. marbled boards.

£ 3,200.-

Rare first edition of this corpus of sources on ancient Arabic history. With extensive passages in Arabic, largely presenting excerpts from the historical works of Ibn Qutaybah, the renowned Islamic scholar of Persian origin (cf. GAL I, 120ff.). He served as a judge during the Abbasid Caliphate, but was best known for his contributions to Arabic literature. - Binding rubbed and bumped at extremeties. Some brownstaining throughout (more pronounced in title page). From the collection of the Lower Saxon educator and rector Friedrich Hülsemann (1771-1835) with his ownership to front pastedown (dated 31 July 1799); later in the library of the Badenian rabbi Levi Bodenheimer (1807-67; his ownership on flyleaf; Hebrew pencil note on rear pastedown). Last in the collection of the German zoologists Barbara and Ragnar Kinzelbach (their bookplate).



Einstein, Albert, German-born physicist and Nobel laureate (1879-1955). Autograph manuscript signed ‘A. Einstein’. No place or date (1938 or earlier). No place or date (1938 or earlier). Folio (277:225 mm). 1 p. on fine thin paper ("Pendrift Bond").

£ 54,000.-

An important working manuscript apparently representing Einstein’s notes for a paper entitled “On a Generalization of Kaluza’s Theory of Electricity” which he wrote jointly with Peter Bergmann, and which was published in the Annals of Mathematics, vol. 39, no. 3, July 1938, pp. 683-701. Although the manuscript differs in many details from the published article (written in English), there are enough correspondences in wording, and also with respect to the equations to the section of the article headed "The Space Structure" to suggest very strongly a link between it and the 1938 paper. In sum, the manuscript details part of Einstein’s attempt to construct a unified theory of electromagnetism, gravitation and quantum mechanics based on a curved five dimensional spacetime with five spacetime coordinates x1, x2, x3, x4, x0 and four spatial coordinates, one of which, x0, is periodic. Through every point it is assumed that there passes a closed geodesic given by x1, x2, x3, x4 constant. This particular approach is sometimes referred to as "Projective Relativity" and is a type of unified theory pioneered by T. Kaluza and later by O. Klein in the 1920s. Kaluza's and Klein’s ideas play a key part of modern Super String theory and are currently being extensively pursued by theoretical physicists. - After obtaining his doctorate at the German University in Prague in 1936 under the direction of Philipp Frank, Peter Bergmann (1915-2002) collaborated with Einstein, as his research assistant, at the Institute for Advanced Study between 1936 and 1941. In 1942, Bergmann published a textbook on General Relativity, Introduction to the Theory of Relativity, which contained a foreword by Einstein. We understand that Einstein presented this manuscript to the daughter of Luther P. Eisenhart, Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Princeton University. - Remains of mount on verso, light browning towards edges.


The first English-printed book in Arabic

Eutychius Said ibn Al-Batriq, Patriarch of Alexandria. Ecclesiae suae origines. Ex ejusdem Arabico nunc primum... typis edidit ac versione & commentario auxit J. Seldenus. London, Bishop, 1642. London, Bishop, 1642. 4to. (2), XXXVIII, 184 pp. Title page printed in red and black. With a woodcut in the text. (Bound with) II: Hottinger, Johann Heinrich. Exercitationes Anti-Morinianae: De pentateucho Samaritano. Zurich, Bodmer, 1644. (20), 116 pp. Contemp. vellum.

£ 4,150.-

The first book in Arabic ever printed in England, some parts set in Arabic and Latin parallel text. "Partial edition of the Annals of the Melkite patriarch Said ibn Batriq as a polemic on the origin of the Alexandrian Church and the distinction between priests and bishops, to which Ecchellensis was to reply in extenso" (Smitskamp). - II: First edition of Hottinger's study on the Samaritan pentateuch, directed against the findings of the Oratorian Jean Morin. - Insignificant browning due to paper; altogether a fine copy.


The Middle East in early photographs: the biggest unenlarged prints ever published, and the most valuable collection of its kind ever produced

Frith, Francis. Egypt, Sinai, and Jerusalem. A Series of Twenty... Photographic Views. Text by Sophia Poole and Reginald Stuart Poole. London, Glasgow & Edinburgh, William Mackenzie, [1858-1860]. London, Glasgow & Edinburgh, William Mackenzie, [1858-1860]. Royal folio (740 x 530 mm). 20 albumen prints (485 x 390 mm, or the reverse), 7 of these signed and dated 1858 in the negative, mounted on card with printed captions. 20th-century green half morocco bound to style. All edges gilt.

£ 320,000.-

First edition of Frith's mammoth masterpiece, now hailed as "one of the most renowned nineteenth-century photobooks" (The Photobook). Of the artist's various publications it is unquestionably the finest, constituting "the largest book with the biggest unenlarged prints ever published" (Gernsheim). The enormous negatives (measuring 16 x 20 inches) were developed on site in the soaring temperatures of the desert, and the large panels of glass had to be transported through the desert by camels. As the prints were made directly from the negatives, they are unmatched both for their detail and their finely toned gradation. This landmark travel publication also served as a showcase for the relatively new technology of photography, demonstrating its ability to capture far-off foreign lands for a domestic audience: thereafter, the camera became an essential part of every explorer's equipment. - Of all the photographs Frith produced, the 20 presented here include a panorama of Jerusalem and 19 views of Egypt, accompanied by descriptions composed by the mother and son duo, Sophia and Reginald Stuart Poole. The publication brought the Middle East, ancient and modern, to an eager Victorian audience, and Frith's images helped shape perceptions of the area for decades to come. "The large-view prints in the book have justly become famous [...] as much for their technical as for their artistic achievement, demonstrating photography's astonishing capacity to render the form and texture of the actual" (The Photobook). Indeed, the work may be considered "the epitome of Victorian grandiosity. Few publications in the history of the medium are its equal in either presentation or ambition [...] Frith's views of the Pyramids, in particular, are groundbreaking and became the works for which he is now best known" (Foster et al.). - One plate lightly faded, another showing shallow creasing. Occasional waterstaining to backing paper (not affecting images), but remarkably clean altogether. A short repaired tear in the foremargin of some leaves, marginal repairs to a few guards or text leaves. Usually, only single plates appear at auction, but one complete copy commanded £337,250 at Bonhams in 2012, while another (showing scattered spotting, in a restored binding) fetched £289,250 at Sotheby's the following year. - Provenance: From the library of Alexander (Alistair) Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 9th Marquess of Londonderry (1937-2012).


From Urbino to Constantinople and back

Gianni, Vittorio. Notizie, ed aventure veridiche di un viaggio intrapreso... da una persona di condizione privata [...] di Urbino [...], sino a Costantinopoli; e del ritorno suo [...]. Middle East, 1769-1770. Middle East, 1769-1770. Folio (235 x 170 mm). Italian manuscript in two parts with 29 original pen and ink drawings (15 and 14), written in black ink in a neat, legible hand, 28 lines to a page. (1), 95, (1) pp. (including illustrations numbered in pencil, upper right, but recto only). Collation, including illustrations: [1 f., 1 p.], [21 ff., 35 pp.], [6 pp.], [17 ff., 26 pp.], [5 pp.] (several sheets cut so that a tab only remains of the second page, and all illustrations tipped in). Contemp. half vellum over marbled paper boards. Generally written on both recto and verso, except for the two title-pages and the illustrations (recto only); all but first and last page enclosed with a single line border, in pencil for text pages and in ink for illustrations.

£ 60,000.-

Unpublished manuscript giving a vivid and eventful first-person account of a journey from Urbino to Constantinople, legible and beautifully presented with 29 equally unique pen-and-ink illustrations. - A unique account of a journey from Urbino to Constantinople and back, in 1769-70, hand-written and accompanied by 29 original drawings, which offer views of islands rarely if ever depicted in contemporary travel accounts or series. No counterpart has been found for the illustrations, which appear therefore to have been made from eye-witness records. That the artist may have been the author himself is suggested by the fact that he makes no mention of a separate artist, and by the manner in which he introduces the first illustration: 'Il Paise è piccolo come vedrassi della figura, che di curiosita, ed intelligenza di lettori porro a piedi di questo capitolo' (p. 5v). The story of his adventure is equally idiosyncratic, incorporating both a record of foreign places, people and customs common to other such literature, and also an account of a personal tragedy and a dangerous sea-voyage. The manuscript falls within a tradition of cultural exchange and travel writing between Europeans and the Orient; but unlike Luigi Mayer, for example, employed to make drawings of the historical buildings of Constantinople by the English ambassador Sir Robert Ainslie shortly afterwards, or J. B. Hilair, whose paintings made on a trip throughout the Empire with the French ambassador Count Choiseul-Gouffier in 1776, and engraved and published in Gouffier's "Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce" (1778-82), Gianni appears to be an entirely independent figure. Though the manuscript is set out like a printed book and was presumably destined for wider distribution in that form as a money-making enterprise, Gianni does not seem to have been commissioned, nor to have hoped for patronage. His stated aim is simply to give a true account to his readers, in case they might wish to undertake a similar journey. His route takes him through great cities such as Venice, Athens, Smyrna and Gallipoli, ancient sites such as Troy and Heraklia, through the Peloponnesus and islands such as Mykonos, Corfu, Maitos and Skios, all of which he describes and depicts in detail. Meanwhile, although he says that he is not writing in order to leave "una viva ricordanza di me, come di soggetto qualificato", that is precisely what he does: the second part of the book recounts his search for his son from whom he had heard nothing but that he had married a Greek girl. Reunited with him through a doctor who has been helping the boy through an illness, he tries to persuade the young couple to return with him to Urbino, but this plan is thwarted by the machinations of the doctor. His journey home, alone, is enlivened by an encounter with corsairs, a near shipwreck, a boy falling overboard and a violent storm. The value of this book lies not only in the unique, unpublished text and illustrations, and legible and attractive presentation, but also in the combination of commonly-found themes such as dress and customs, with an entirely personal and richly-told narrative of one man's search for his son. - One illustration (Smirne) has been trimmed along the right edge after having been bound in. Etched armorial bookplate of an unidentified noble bishop on front pastedown.


poesy ... I am cruelly bombarded with it

Gluck, Christoph Willibald, composer (1714-1787). Autograph letter signed ("Gluck"). Vienna, 29. XI. 1776. Vienna, 29. XI. 1776. 4to. 1 p. on bifolium.

£ 68,000.-

To his friend Franz Kruthoffer (1740-1815?), secretary at the Imperial Embassy in Paris and Gluck's de facto private secretary: a fine document of Gluck's shrewd business sense as well as of the high demand among librettists for music by the foremost composer of his age. For Kruthoffer's sake, Gluck promises to accomodate his publisher Peters with regard to royalties, but he makes it clear that in turn he will be asking extra voucher copies and will not let this one-off concession establish a precedent for future negotiations. Also, Gluck complains of the unsolicited opera librettos with which he is swamped by poets, and he forbids Kruthoffer to accept such submissions for him: "Wertester Freyndt / Ihren brief von 17 october habe rechtens Erhalten, in dem letzten Ersehe das begehren des Mr. [Johann Anton de] Peters, welches, weilen Er Ihr gutter freyndt ist, ich vor dieses mahl annehmen wiel, aber Etliche partitionen werde mir vor behalten, wie auch, das auß diesen wenigen, was Er geben wiel, keine consequentz vor zukünfftige opern gemacht wer den soll; der Courrier wiel abgehen, ich kan ihnen nichts mehr schreiben als Unser Compliments tres sinceres de la part de ma femme et de moi a vous, et a Mr. [Franz] de Blumendorff. Ich bitte ihnen auch kein pacquet an mich an zu nehmen Wo man mir wiel poesie schicken umb opern zu machen, dan ich werde grausamb desentwegen bombardirt [...]". - Folded horizontally, without an address: as mentioned in the text, the thrifty Gluck sent this letter - as most of his communications with Kruthoffer - by way of the diplomatic courier service just leaving Vienna for Paris. Kruthoffer has noted his response in the upper margin: "Beant. Paris am 18ten Dezember 1776". Extremely rare, especially when signed (as Gluck, using the diplomatic mail, usually omitted his signature from his letters to Kruthoffer). Kinsky's 1927 edition of Gluck's correspondence with Kruthoffer noted the loss of a letter of this date; it was not published until 1932. - Provenance: in the "autograph collection of Mrs E[milie] Sch[aup] in Vienna" (cf. Komorn, p. 674) in 1932; in an unidentified "private collection" (cf. Badura-Skoda) in 1963. Includes old collection folder.



Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Zur Farbenlehre. Nebst einem Hefte mit sechzehn Kupfertafeln. Tübingen, J. G. Cotta, 1810. Tübingen, J. G. Cotta, 1810. 8vo and 4to. 2 vols. and volume of plates. XLVIII, 654 SS. XXVIII, 757 SS. With 17 plates (12 in colour; with the extra plate after no. II). Contemp. half calf with giltstamped Saxon arms on covers. Edges marbled.

£ 20,000.-

First edition of Goethe's principal scientific work, the "Farbenlehre", including the quarto-sized "Erklärung der zur Goethe’s Farbenlehre gehörigen Tafeln". "Goethe's first publication on optics culminated in his 'Zur Farbenlehre', his longest and, in his own view, best work, today known principally as a fierce and unsuccessful attack on Newton's demonstration that white light is composite" (DSB V, 445). The plates are of various sizes, showing this to be the earliest impression of the 17-plate set, but do not have the manuscript corrections present in some copies (cf. Hagen, p. 170). - Bindings somewhat rubbed; occasional brownstaining due to paper. A fine, complete copy in its first binding, originally in the library of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: gilt Saxon arms on the marbled covers; armorial stamps to all titles. Most famously, Duke Karl August was Goethe's friend, lord, and benefactor.



Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, German poet (1749-1832). Autograph letter signed. Weimar, 2. II. 1830. Weimar, 2. II. 1830. Folio. 2 pp. on bifolium.

£ 12,500.-

To Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, writing that he will be unable to attend a masque due to his poor health: "Gar öfters komme ich im Laufe des Jahrs in den Fall sehr unangenehm zu empfinden daß meine körperlichen Zustände mir nicht erlauben an manchem Guten, Schönen und Vergnüglichen Theil zu nehmen; niemals aber ist mir solches bedauernswürdiger als wenn ich mich gehindert sehe meinen Höchsten verehrten Gönnern, zu rechter Zeit und Stunde, schuldigst aufzuwarten und, zugleich mit soviel andern anhänglichst verehrenden, wenige aber treu gemeinte Worte vorzutragen. Daß mich ein gleiches Gefühl in diesem Augenblicke ergreift werden Ew. Königliche Hoheit mir zutrauen, und gnädigst vergönnen mit diesem Blat[t], wenn auch nur kurzgefaßt, alles dasjenige auszusprechen und zu wiederholen was Gutes, Freundliches u. Glückliches, um diesen Tag zu feyern aus soviel tausend Herzen sehnsüchtig hervorgeht. Hiemit nun, mich und die Meinigen zu ferneren Hulden und Gnaden angelegentlichst empfehlend, erbitte mir das Glück mich so fort an, lebenswierig unterzeichnen zu dürfen: Ew. Königlichen Hoheit Unterthänigst treugehorsamster Diener / JWvGoethe". - Strongly browned due to paper; with slight edge defects and minor tears to the folds; professionally restored.



Gorecki, Leonhard. Descriptio belli Ivoniae, Voivodae Valachiae, quod anno MDLXXIIII,... cum Selymo II, Turcarum imperatore, gessit. Huic accessit Io. Lasicii historia de ingressu Polonorum in Valachiam cum Bogdano, & caede Turcarum. Frankfurt, Wechel, 1578. Frankfurt, Wechel, 1578. 8vo. 156, (2) pp. With woodcut printer's device to title page. Modern vellum.

£ 6,000.-

Joint printing of these two works by Leonhard Gorecki and Johann Lasicius about the Romanian struggle against Turkish rule. A German version in quarto was published simultaneously. The account includes the insurgencies of the Valachian governors Bogdan and Ivonia in 1572 and 1574. With the support of Polish troops the Romanians achieved an early victory against the Ottomans, but their luck changed with the assassination of Ivonia. - A clean copy, formerly in the Ottoman collection of the Swiss industrialist Herry W. Schaefer.


The "founder of modern international law" (PMM) to a 17th-century warlord

Grotius, Hugo, philosopher and jurist (1583-1645). Autograph letter signed ("H. de Groot"). Paris, 28 March 1642. Paris, 28 March 1642. 4to. ½ p. on folded double leaf. With autogr. address and traces of a seal.

£ 10,000.-

To the Swabian military leader Christoph Martin von Degenfeld (1599-1653), under whom Grotius's son had served in the Swedish army and to whom Grotius pledges his allegiance: "Nous touts qui sommes icy, moi, les Dames, le filz et la fille remercions vostre Illustrete de la souvenance qu'elle a de nous: et la prions de croire que ce qui a manque au traittement deu a ses qualitez est supple par l'affection qui a este, est, et sera toujours tres sincere [...]". - Degenfeld, who had distinguished himself in Wallenstein's force, later fought for the Swedish side; after the Emperor's victory in 1634, he had to flee to Strasbourg. He became High General of foreign cavalry in French services, but fell out with Cardinal Richelieu in the year of this letter and entered Venetian service as Governor-General of Dalmatia and Albania. This is probably Degenfeld's new "lieu de repos" to which Grotius refers in his present letter. Grotius himself was at the time serving as Swedish ambassador in Paris; his principal work, "De jure belli ac pacis" (1625), laid the foundations for international law. - Letters from Grotius's hand are of the utmost rarity; the present one is the only one established at German auctions since 1950 (Robert Amman collection, Stargardt, 16 Nov. 1961, no. 353).