Category Archives: Recent acquisitions

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The Major Work of the Man who, at a certain point, exercised control over half the United States

LAW, J. Considérations sur le Commerce et sur l’Argent. Par Mr. Law, Controlleur Général des Finances. Traduit de l’Anglois. A La Haye, Chez Jean Neaulme, 1720. With the frontispiece portrait of the author, title printed in red and black. Frontispiece, (8), 189, (misnumbered: 1-168, 167-187), (19, publisher’s catalogue) pp. 12mo. Modern marbled wrapper, held in a cloth clamshell box, label with gilt lettering to spine, a very nice and uncut copy.

€ 7500

Kress 3235; Goldsmiths 5820; Einaudi 3274; Mattioli 1948; Carpenter, IX, (4); European Americana, 720/139.
Very rare first edition in French of Law’s major work, Money and Trade Considered …, which is extremely rare in the first English edition of 1705.
A fugitive from justice in 1694 for killing a man in a duel in England, Law travelled extensively throughout Europe, observing and gaining experience in banking, insurance and finance. He proposed a number of unsuccessful schemes to set up a national bank of issue in Paris (1702), Edinburgh (1705), and Savoy (1712), finally attaining success in France with the establishment in 1718 of the Banque Royale. His monetary strategy included the management of public debt and colonial expansion. In 1717 the French crown created the Compagnie d’Occident, well known as the Compagnie du Mississippi. By converting state notes into its shares, the Company extended its rights over the economic exploitation of Louisiana. In August 1718 it acquired the monopoly over tobacco, and in 1719 it absorbed other French trading companies, obtaining control of mint, payment of the national debt, and receipt of tax revenues. In 1720 the company was united with the Banque Royale, and Law became contrôleur-général, and they had the complete control of colonial trade, currency, banking, and the fiscal system. The Compagnie d’Occident (or Company of the West, as it was also called), owned the trading rights and concessions to half of the land mass of the United States excluding Alaska. It was a territory running from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, bounded by the Spansih held Texas on the West and the English held Carolinas on the East. The development of the company and John Law’s management made him, at a certain point, exercise control over half the United States !
The present work is his most important work, giving a detailed account of his plan to replace specie with a paper currency based on land and of his proposals for a state bank.
Law’s theories on money and banking are principally contained in Money and Trade Considered. Like other eighteenth-century writers Law adopted a disequilibrium theory of money, viewing it as a stimulant to trade. In a state of unemployment, Law maintained that an increase in the nation’s money supply would stimulate employment and output without raising prices since the demand for money would rise with the increase in output. Moreover, once full employment was attained the monetary expansion would attract factors of production from abroad, so output would continue to increase.
According to Law, a paper-money standard was preferable to one based on precious metals. Suitable candidates for the money supply included government fiat, bank notes, stocks and bonds. Since the primary function of money was as a medium of exchange, it could best be served by a commodity (paper) not subject to considerable fluctuation in value and high-resource costs. Thus Law advocated the establishment of note issuing national banks that would extend productive loans (real bills), providing sufficient currency to guarantee prosperity.
“John Law (1671-1729), I have always felt, is in a class by himself. Financial adventurers –but is it fair so to call that adminitrative genius? -often have a philosophico-economic system of sorts. (…..) But Law’s case is different. He worked out the economics of his projects with a brilliance and, yes, profundity, which places him in the front rank of monetary theorists of all times” (J.A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, p. 295).
“…..he is in the twenty-first century judged as a theorist of economics and a precursor of schemes of managed money and “Keynesian” full employment policies” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 11, p. 369).
– The last 19 unnumbered pages contain: Catalogue des livres nouveaux et autres, qui se trouvent à La Haye chez Jean Neaulme.

A French Citizen to Lord Grenville

(BARERE DE VIEUZAC, B.) Lettre d’un Citoyen Français en réponse à Lord Grenville. A Paris, chez les Marchands de Nouveautés, an VIII (1800). (2), 64 pp. 8vo. Modern boards, label with gilt lettering.

€ 400

Monglond, v, col. 45; Martin & Walter, i, 1588.
First edition of this text directed at the English Secretary of Foreign Affairs by Bertrand Barère, also called Barère de Vieuzac, born and died in Tarbes (1755-1841) and important personality from the French Revolution. There seems to be another edition of 80 pages, the Martin & Walter entry, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris has our 64 pages edition as well as a 80 page edition.
Barère published a number of violent works against the English, many of which were commissioned by Bonaparte, who needed no help with the sword, but who needed a pen for his political requirements, and of which the current one is one, an open “letter” to Lord William Wyndham Grenville (1759-1834), member of the Whig party and future Prime Minister of Great Britain. Barère here attacks the belligerent tone of a speech by Grenville, held on January 28, 1800, before the Lords in their Chamber. He answers and refutes Grenville point by point, with relevant citing if and when necessary, and attacking the apparent willingness, if not desire, of the English to continue the war with France and their willingness to accept massive debts just to get the House of Bourbon back on the French throne.
“In this work of pure patriotism, ….. the anonymous author gave his readers a lesson in international relations….” (Leo Gershoy, Bertrand Barere. A Reluctant Terrorist, p. 307).

The World Famous Ethica

(SPINOZA, B. DE). Opera Posthuma. Quorum series post Praefationem exhibitur. (Amsterdam, J. Rieuwertsz), 1677. With some illustrations and diagrams in the text, woodcut vignette on title. (40), 614, (32, index), (2), 112, (8) pp. 4to. Contemporary vellum, blind-stamped ornament in center of both sides, upper joint and endpapers expertly repaired, spine somewhat darkened.

€ 9000

PMM 153; Van der Linde 22; Kingma-Offenberg 24; Wolf Collection, 378; Knuttel 377. First edition of Spinoza’s posthumous works, including the first edition of the world-famous Ethica, which “have served, then and since, with the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, to immortalize his name” (PMM 153). These posthumous works were published by Jan Rieuwertsz, an Amsterdam bookseller and friend of Spinoza, and edited by him together with the merchant Jarig Jelles, who probably wrote the preface. It contains the first publication of the Ethics. The remainder comprises the Tractatus Politicus- his last, unfinished production, which develops a theory of law and government akin to that of Hobbes; the Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione, also unfinished; a selection of letters- restricted, owing to the dangers of publishing correspondence on questions of politics and theology; and, after an index, a Compendium Grammatices Linguae Hebraeae, paginated separately. Only one day before his death Spinoza arranged that his posthumous works should be sent to Jan Rieuwertsz in Amsterdam, who also published his Principia of Descartes and the Tractatus-theologico-politicus. In the book neither author, nor place nor editor are mentioned. This was no superfluous precaution, for in 1678, hardly one year after Spinoza’s death, the work was already prohibited by the States of Holland as being ‘prophaen, atheistisch ende blasphement’. The Opera Posthuma do not amount to all the previously unpublished works of Spinoza: the Treatise on the Rainbow is missing- it was thought lost, and not published until 1687- as is the early Tractatus de Deo et Homine Eiusque Felicitate, which prefigures the Ethics.’The most conspicuous idea of Spinoza’s philosophy is that there is only one substance, the infinite divine substance which is identified with Nature; Deus sive Natura, God or Nature. And a striking feature of this philosophy as it is presented in the Ethics is the geometrical form of its presentation. This work is divided into five parts in which the following subjects are treated in turn: God, the nature and origin of the mind, the origin and nature of the emotions, the power of the intellect or human freedom’ (Copleston, A History of Philosophy, iv, p. 206).’While he was regarded by his earlier critics as an atheist and by the romantics as a pantheist, the tendency of a number of modern writers is to represent Spinoza as a speculative forerunner of a completely scientific view of the world. For he made a sustained attempt always to give a naturalistic explanation of events without having recourse to explanations in terms either of the supernatural and transcendent or of final causes’ (op. cit., pp. 261-2.) – Name of author handwritten in upper blank margin of title, small blank corner at upper outer margin of title cut away.

“Steeped in Machiavelli, Sarpi, and Bayle”

RADICATI, A., COMTE DE PASSERAN. Recueil de Pieces curieuses sur les Matières les plus interessantes. Par Albert Radicati, Comte de Passeran. A Rotterdam, Chez la Veuve Thomas Johnson et Fils, 1736. x, 14, (2), 15-384 pp. 8vo. Contemporary half calf, spine with raised bands, gilt lettering (faded), corners, marbled boards, red sprinkled edges, spine rubbed.

€ 2000

Conlon 36:632; Graesse, Trésor des Livres Rares, vi, p. 16; Brunet 4, col. 1086; L’Illuminismo Italiano alla Fondazione Feltrinelli, 436; Peignot, ii, p. 231 (‘Rare’); Le Bûcher Bibliographique, 784.
The very rare first edition of this important work.
‘Alberto Radicate di Passerano is the most surprising and significant political and intellectual product of the age of Victor Emadeus II’ (F. Venturi, Italy and Enlightenment. Studies in a Cosmopolitan Century, chapter 3, which is entirely devoted to Radicati, his exile in England and Holland and his works).
‘Radicati di Passerano did not pass through the world unnoticed. From Jean-Baptiste Argens to Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, from Voltaire to Johann Lorenz Mosheim, from Prosper Marchand to Johann Anton Trinius, a multitude of voices attested to the extent to which his troubled and desperate presence, and his radical and extreme reflections were vital to the panorama of Europe’s cultural life’ (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 3, pp. 387-388).
‘Steeped in Machiavelli, Sarpi, and Bayle, Radicati also at some point discovered Spinoza, who became the prime influence on the further elaboration and growing radicalism of his ideas on society and politics, as well as in philosophy and religion. He was entirely at one with Spinoza in regarding ‘democratical’ government ‘the most ancient and agreeable to the natural and free condition of men” (Jonathan I. Israel, Radical Enlightenment. Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750, pp. 68-69 among others).
Radicati died in great poverty in 1737, and was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave in Amsterdam.
‘L’auteur écrivit contre la cour de Rome des pamphlets si virulents ….. qu’il fut cité devant l’inquisition et obligé de se sauver en Angleterre. Son procès fut instruit, il fut condamné par contumace et vit ses biens confisqués. Il emporta en Angleterre une haine ardente contre l’Église romaine et se signala par plusieurs écrits qu’il publia dans ce pays, où il se lia avec Collins, Tyndal et autres esprits forts, Ces écrits se trouvent dans le Recueil de Pièces curieuses qu’il publia en 1736 à Rotterdam, en Français’ (Le Bûcher Bibliographique).
Contains: Douze discours moraux, historiques et politiques; Histoire de la profession sacerdotale, ancienne et moderne; Nazarenus, et Lycurgos mis en parallèle. Epitre à l’Empereur Trajan. Trad. du Latin; Récit fidelle et comique de la religion des cannibales modernes. Trad. de l’Arabe; Projet facile, équitable et modeste, pour rendre utiles à la Nation un grand nombre de pauvres enfans, qui lui sont maintenant port à charge. Trad. de l’Anglois (de J. Swift), the first French translation of Swift’s (in)famous “A Modest Proposal.”

The Inner Experience of all Around Us

LUYKEN, J. De Bykorf des Gemoeds, Honing zaamelende uit allerly Bloemen. Vervattende over de Honderd konstige Figuuren. Met Godlyke Spreuken en Stichtelyke Verzen, door Jan Luiken. Te Amsterdam, By de Wed. P. Arentz, en K vander Sys, Boekverkoopers in de Beurs-straat, in de drie Raapen, 1711. With engraved title, and 101 fine engravings in the text. [10, including engraved title], 404, [2] pp. 8vo. Contemporary stiff vellum (Dutch binding), sprinkled edges.

€ 1200

Landwehr, Low Countries, 509; Landwehr, Emblem Books in the Low Countries 1554-1949, 398; Heckscher & Sherman, Emblem Books in the Princeton University Library, 501; not in Praz.
A very fine copy of the first edition of this charming Dutch emblem book, printed on thick paper, with clear impressions of the etchings, with ample margins, in a remarkable fresh condition.
The book depicts genre scenes, depictions of trades, and convivial scenes in settings of landscapes, villages and cities. The subject of the book is the inner experience of all around us. Both text and illustrations show Luyken’s great skills as both a poet and a book illustrator.
Jan Luyken (or Luiken) was a Dutch poet, illustrator and engraver. He has been described as the most fertile and versatile etcher of the Dutch school, and the most important copper-engraver (with Romeyn de Hooghe and Gerard de Lairesse), of the period after Rembrandt.  “How much depth of atmosphere in Luyken’s copperplates!” (Praz). Praz also noted that Luyken’s work is “poorly and rather inadequately represented in the large collections of emblems whose catalogues we have used ….” – Ex-Libris B.R. van Schaik on front paste-down. A very nice and fresh copy.

In A Masterbinding

(HEMSTERHUIS, F.) Lettres sur l’Homme et ses rapports. A Paris (Haarlem), (The Author), 1772. 242 pp. 12mo. Contemporary polished calf, with elaborate gilt ornamental borders on both sides, spine gilt with raised bands, label with gilt lettering, inside dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, spine partly chipped at head and foot, some wear to to edges and outer corners, rear cover with a few spot, joints lightly rubbed, binding by the Masterbinder Christian Micke from The Hague.

€ 1800

Ziegenfuss, i, p. 505; Schosler, p. 92; Cabeen 5044; Stoddard, ‘François Hemsterhuis: Some Uncollected Authors VIII’, in: The Book Collector, Summer 2001, pp. 186-201, number 4a.
Very rare first edition due to the fact that during his lifetime most of Hemsterhuis’ works were printed for private circulation only and hence in small and anonymous editions which Hemsterhuis had bound for the recipients.
Frans Hemsterhuis (1721-1790), Dutch philosopher. Although Hemsterhuis was an admirer of John Locke and Isaac Newton, his inspiration was Platonic and idealistic. His emphasis on feeling as a source of knowledge makes him a forerunner of the Romantics. His life and philosophy may be divided into two periods. In the first period the Lettres sur l’Homme et ses rapports was his principal work, preceded by two small, closely connected treatises, Lettres sur la Sculpture and Lettre sur les Désirs in which works Hemsterhuis argued that the essence of the aesthetic experience is longing to unite oneself with the art object. This concept became part of his theory of ethics which is set out in the Lettre sur les Désirs, and which is further developed in the present work, on which the Platonic dialogues of his second period are based. On the subject of the nature of man Hemsterhuis thought in terms of a dualistic philosophy like Descartes’s, but Hemsterhuis’ dualism was combined with an empiristic-sensationalistic theory that he probably derived from Locke and Condillac. The theory here developed leads to an individualistic concept of man’s moral duties, which is one of the reasons for Hemsterhuis’ influence on the German philosophers of Sturm und Drang and romanticism. In this first period F.H. Jacobi and J.G. Herder were among Hemsterhuis’ admirers (see: Encyclopedia of Philosophy, iii, p. 475).
Hemsterhuis had a predilection for “marginous” printing, so that copies of his books are often wrongly described as being on large paper; in fact, all copies are grand-papier, and as most copies of Hemsterhuis’s works, with a ribbon place marker. This copy was bound by the master binder Christiaan Micke (see Storm van Leeuwen, iii, p. 690, and Storm van Leeuwen, “Frans Hemsterhuis’ binders and some bindings on ‘Lettre sur l’Homme'”, The book Collector, 2001, pp. 202-216). – Copy from the library Buynsters/Smets, with their bookplate.

Ice skating as an artistic form of mouvement

(GARCIN, J.) Le vrai Patineur ou principes sur l’art de patiner avec grace, Précédé de réflexions et de remarques critiques sur la manière de quelques Patineurs inélégens, ainsi que sur les différentes formes de Patins, le choix qu’on doit en faire, et les variations dont cette chaussure est susceptible; Le tout orné des gravures représentant les principales attitudes du Patineur. Par Jn. Garcin. Paris, Chez Delespinasse, Delaunay, Nepveu, Et chez l’Auteur, de l’Imprimerie de J. Gille fils, 1813. With 8 numbered engraved plates. xiv, 93, (1) pp. 12mo. Contemporary marbled wrappers, uncut, as issued.

€ 2800

Foster, Bibliography of Skating, 35. The rare first edition of the first French book describing ice-skating as an artisic and gracious form of moving, emphasizing grace and form, illustrated with 8 engraved plates: one as a frontispiece giving an overall view of a skating rink, engraved by Ambroise Tardieu, and 7 further engravings of individual skaters in a different pose. It is one of the first separate works in any language devoted to ice-skating.
The book was published when ice skating became something fashionable to do for the members of the European aristocracy. Garcin, as opposed to the English approach, compared skating with dancing and stressed grace and artistry. The work was dedicated to Mademoiselle Gosselin, principal dancer at the Académie Imperial de Musique. In France, its was Marie-Antoinette who introduced skating to the court, and she seems to have been a rather accomplished skater herself. In England the first club was founded in Scotland, Edinburgh, in 1742, the Edinburgh Skating Club. At the end a short dictionary of ice-skater’s terminology is added. The work also gives suggestions as to the choice of skates, how to tie them, and the like; the skaters depicted in various positions have names such as “Le Beau Narcisse”, “L’Apollon”, l’Adonis”, etc. Garcin’s work remained unique and was reprinted some 40 years later, when ice-skating started to attract the attention (and participation) of the general public. – Small hole in page 81/2 affecting a few letters, plate 7 bound between plates 3 and 4, plate 8 bound between plates 5 and 6. Ownership’s stamp in blank portion of half-title: Max Machey – Epernay.

The Reform of Roman Agriculture

DORIA, LUIGI ROMANO. Elementi della Coltivazione de’ Grani ad uso dell’Agro Romano, Dedicati alla Santità di Nostro Signore Papa Pio Sesto… In Roma, pel Salomoni, 1777. With five engraved plates (three folding) at the end; title printed in black and blue. With portrait medallion of Pope Pius VI and a medallion showing an overflowing grain vat surrounded  by the words ‘spes publica’. xvi, 236 pp. 8vo. Contemporary vellum, label with gilt lettering, a bit spotted and stained on sides, tiny hole at foot of spine, marbled edges.

€ 1250

Not in Kress, Goldsmiths or Einaudi, not found in NUC; see Re, Dizionario ragionato di libri d’agricoltura, p. 207, for 1798 edition only, commenting that he never saw the first edition.
First edition, rare, of this attractively illustrated reform proposal for Roman agriculture.
Doria begins with advice on the assessment of different types and qualities of soil and prospective harvests, which need to be taken into account when assessing the viability of estates and their leases. This is followed by detailed advice on the whole process of practical agriculture, such as how to organise and arrange the fields for maximum efficiency, how the fields are prepared, manure applied and ploughed under, then ploughing, sowing, hoeing, etc. up to the harvesting. He makes some useful suggestions for the more efficient use of existing fields and the incorporation of fallow ground.
Doria also supplies a detailed calendar of projects by month, and an interesting glossary of agricultural terms and procedures, with labour prices where appropriate. A final section gives an account of salaries paid in farming, and the average maintenance cost for various farm workers.
Particularly attractive are the emblematic plates, showing scenes of farming and agriculture, common wind directions, field divisions, and planting instructions.
“These were the years which saw a stepping up of specifically agronomic propaganda, in the manner of Giovanni Salvini’s Instructions to his land agent (1775). Here too we can detect a Tuscan and also a Venetian influence and it is apparent that the proposed agrarian changes (introduction of Tarelli’s method, etc.) would necessitate modifications in economic relationships and mentality …… Above all, one great hope: “We are ever on the point of achieving the impossible …. so that the structure of property will be transformed and the workers will no longer be poor.” In 1777 Luigi Doria’s Principles of Cereal Growing for the use of the Agro Romano was published (the present work). “A time of enlightenment like the eighteenth century”, said the preface, “and a most cultured capital city like my own would take it amiss if I thought it necessary to convince them of the importance of that art which is the subject of the present instructions” (Venturi, Italy and the Enlightenment, Studies in a Cosmopolitan Century, pp. 245-246). Doria’s work was reprinted in 1798, and this first edition appears to be very rare. A bit spotted but overall a good copy.