- Principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy
DIOGENES LAERTIUS. De vita, & moribus philosophorum libri decem, nuper ad vetusti Graeci codicis fidem accuratissime castigati, ….. Basel, Valentin Curio, 1524. With woodcut printer’s device on verso last leaf and several woodcut initials. , 391,  pp. Small 4to. Contemporary blind stamped half pigskin, spine with raised bands, boards partly covered with purple paper decorated with gilt floral ornaments, clasps absent, catches present
Adams D-486; Graesse 397; BMSTC (German), 244. Rare Latin edition of this famous work of which the Greek editio princeps was not published until 1533 (by Froben). This is a nice Basle edition of the first history of Greek philosophy and this translation is based upon that of the Camaldolese priest Ambrosius Traversarius (1386-1439) which work appeared in Venice, Nicolas Jenson, in 1475. The present edition was edited by Curio and Michael Bentinus and is the first to be printed in the 16th century and the first to be printed in the German speaking countries. – Spine slightly damaged at foot and with some loss in one compartment, and a bit loose from book block at foot but not detached and still solid, boards somewhat stained, some minor blemishes, first leaves with a stain in upper margin, two small wormholes throughout touching the occasional letter. Handwritten name on title (D.V. Stack ?) and stamp “Ex bibliotheca Lycei Vittenbergensis” in blank portion of title. Colophon: Basiliae apud Valentinum Curionem Calendis Septembris An. M.D. XXIIII. The present work is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy: unlike many other ancient secondary sources, Diogenes Laërtius generally reports philosophical teachings without attempting to reinterpret or expand on them, which means his accounts are often closer to the primary sources. Due to the loss of so many of the primary sources on which Diogenes relied, his work has become the foremost surviving source on the history of Greek philosophy. “….the author of the only extant continuous account of the lives and doctrines of the chief Greek philosophers.” The work is “chiefly important for some of its biographical material and for the fragments from the works of the philosophers and poets.” (Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ii, p. 408.)
- Edition “de Luxe”
MENARD, L. Rêveries d’un Païen Mystique. Préface de Maurice Barrès ….. Portrait gravé à l’eau-forte par G. Noyon. Paris, A. Durel, 1909. With engraved portrait. [6, portrait included], xxxv, , 182,  pp. 8vo (15,5 x 22,5 cm). Brown jansenist style morocco, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, all edges gilt, gilt inside dentelles, original covers and spine preserved, binding signed “David.”
Maitron, DBMOF, iii, pp. 78-79; Sandra W. Dolbow, Dictionary of Modern French Literature, p. 203; Carteret, Trésor du Bibliophile, vol. ii, p. 127 for the 1876 and 1895 edition but not listing this one; Talvart & Place, Bibliographie des Auteurs modernes, xiv, 172. Rare edition “de luxe”, with a nice engraved portrait and a nice preface by Maurice Barrès. This is number 74 of 200 copies printed, “petit in 8vo, numérotés à la presse (1 à 200) sur beau papier velin d’Arches, fabriqué spécialement pour cette édition.” “Ecrivain d’un talent universel”, Ménard was a poet, inventor, philosopher and historian of religions, political pamphleteer and painter. He was a student with Baudelaire at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and active supporter of the 1848 revolution: his Prologue d’une Révolution is very rare and an important work dealing with this revolution and its causes. It was published in Proudhon’s Le Peuple in 1848-1849 and earned him 15 months in prison. On his release he went into exile in London and Brussels where he found his friends Louis Blanc and Blanqui again and where he befriended Marx and Engels. After the amnesty of 1859 he returned to Paris and from then on devoted himself primarily to the arts. He found in polytheism a social and moral guide, a union of order and liberty in which reason, imagination, art, religion, and politics could flourish. His best known work is the present work: a mixture of mystical poetry, philosophical dialogues and a number of much admired tales. The work exercised a profound influence on among others Barrès, R. de Montesquiou, Anatole France, Leconte de Lisle, etc. – Exlibris Georges Vandaele on free front end paper, a beautiful copy with its original covers and spine preserved, printed on beautiful paper with large margins.
- Mechanical production as means to improve the condition of labourers
(CELNARD, ELIZABETH.) Des Machines, de leur influence sur la prosperité de la nation et le bien-être des ouvriers. Paris, de l’Imprimerie de David, 1831. – (Followed by:) (TURCK, L.) Dialogue entre plusieurs ouvriers, sur les avantages des machines. Paris, de l’Imprimerie de David, 1831. – (Followed by:) (BERENGER.) De l’influence des mécaniques sur le prix des salaires et le bien-être du peuple. Paris, Imprimerie de David, 1831. Three works bound in one volume. , 67,  pp.; 32 pp.; 76 pp. 12mo. Original blind paper wrappers, partly loose and damaged, kept in a half morocco slipcase with marbled boards and gilt lettering to spine (Atelier Laurenchet).
Kress C.2780; Goldsmiths’ 26948; not in Einaudi. Here collected are three prize winning essays offered to the Société d’Instruction Elémentaire and dealing with the advantages (or disadvantages) of machines in the production processes. The preface to the first work mentions these three works as the winners. All three works argue in favour of industrialization and the advantages of the introduction of mechanical production as means to improve the condition of labourers, combat mendicity and poverty and as having a positive effect on workers income. The Society for Elementary Instruction was founded in 1815 and encouraged free, nondenominational elementary schools. The society was founded by Lazare Carnot during his brief tenure as minister of the interior in the Hundred Days. Under the Restoration, it attracted the support of such prominent liberals as Benjamin Constant, François Guizot, and Alphonse de Lamartine and served as a moderate and respectable lobby for secular primary education. It was declared a public utility in 1831, which permitted it to raise and disburse funds and to establish independent schools. Publishing a review (Journal de l’éducation populaire), the society concerned itself with new methods of teaching, obtaining decent pay and working conditions for elementary school teachers, and awarding medals to outstanding instructors (see: Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restoration to the Second Empire, vol. ii, pp. 994-995). – A bit loose but cords and stitching intact, uncut.
- Lithographed and done in some 100 copies only
(BIGOT) DE MOROGUES, (P.M.S.) Recherche des causes de la richesse et de la misère des peuples civilisés. Application des principes de l’économie politique et des calculs de la statistique au gouvernement de l’Etat, dans le but de trouver les moyens d’assurer sa stabilité et sa force, en assurant le bonheur du peuple et sa tranquillité. Par le Bon. de Morogues ……. (Paris), Lith. Th. Delarue, (1834). , 649,  pp. 4to. Modern half blue morocco, marbled boards, gilt lettering to spine, (Atelier Laurenchet), original front cover preserved.
Kress C.3672; Goldsmiths 28401; Coquelin & Guillaumin, p. 177; Granier, Bibliographie Charitable, 1412; not in Dada (listing three other works but not this one); Blanqui, ii, p. 406; not in Einaudi; not in Mattioli; Catalogue de la Bibliothèque de la Compagnie d’Assurances sur la Vie “Utrecht”, ii, p. 1083. The only edition, lithographed from the manuscript and done in 100 copies only, this work is extremely rare. Bigot considered luxury and the inequality of wealth as necessary causes and by-products of modern civilization, but he also recognized the negative effects of industrial capitalism and pleaded for redistribution of the most extreme wealth, poor relief and the foundation of agricultural colonies. His economic views were based on his moral and religious beliefs of which the improvement of the conditions of the most depraved formed an essential part. The work is an important source for the study of poverty and mendicity in France. Includes quite some statistical information on the conditions of the rural population and labourers, and contains important chapters on the negative effects of industrialization. Pierre-Marie-Sebastien, Baron de Bigot de Morogues (1776-1840), agronomist, philantropist, political writer, and member of the Chamber of Peers. Destined for a career in the Navy, a family-tradition, Bigot’s future was first altered through the coming of the Revolution, and then through his marriage with Claudinne de Montaudouin. His wife held one of the largest domains in Sologne, the Chateau de la Source, and Bigot became an agronomist. For the next forty years he wrote numerous articles and pamphlets on specific agricultural improvements. Both on his own estates and in local agricultural societies he encouraged the use of new techniques to better the lot of the local peasantry. More broadly, Bigot was interested in the social, economic, and moral conditions of the poor. He emphasized the need for society to educate the young in basic skills so that they could function better in the modern world …. Bigot saw luxery and the inequality of wealth as necessary causes and by-products of modern civilization, but he also recognized the negative effects of industrial capitalism. Economic progress might raise the level of civilization in both the arts and morality, but something had to be done to help the poorer classes who frequently suffered under such progress (Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restauration tot the Second Empire, vol. i, pp. 106-108.) Bigot’s works were part of a wider movement represented by authors such as Villermé, Villeneuve Bargemont, and Buret, informing an ever-increasing public about what was happening in the big industrial towns. (…..) But all recognized that poverty was keeping step with capitalist concentration, and that it was poverty of an entirely new character, utterly different from that of previous periods; all condemned the idea of unbridled liberalism and drew attention to the need for social legislation (Jacques Droz, Europe between Revolutions, 1815-1848, p. 63). – The original front cover laid down, with some spots and a bit dirty, small repair causing loss of a few letter in the dedication (see below), title-page not quite clean and with some small loss in blank upper margin, a bit stained in gutter towards the end. Copy with a three-line handwritten dedication on the front cover by the author to Louis-René Villermé.
- Copy from the library of the Enlightenment philosopher Andre Morellet
BLOUNT, T.-P. Censura celebriorum Authorum sive Tractatus in quo varia virorum doctorum de Clarissimis cujusque Seculi Scriptoribus Indicia traduntur …… Editio nova; cui accessit judiciorum vernaculo sermone, sive anglicus sive gallicus, sive demum italicus is fuerit in priore exhibitorum accurata in latinum translatio, cum indice locupletissimo. Geneve, Samuelem de Tournes, 1694. With title vignette & title printed in red and black. , 1063,  pp. 4to. Contemporary blind stamped vellum, double fillet on sides with floral ornament in the corners, blind stamped ornament in the center, foot of spine with some loss.
Graesse, Trésor de Livres Rares et Précieux, v, p. 414; Lowndes, i, p. 210: “An erudite work, much esteemed by the curious, …..” Second edition, first published in London, 1690. The 1690 edition gave all quotations in the original (French, Italian, etc.) languages, in this edition all these were translated into the universal scholarly language: Latin. A vast bibliographic compendium, giving extensive detailed entries containing reviews, reports and critical reviews: Censura here of course meaning “census” and not censorship. Among the numerous (around 600) authors (writers, lawyers, philosophers, men of science, etc., etc., and from the Ancients upto the authors own days) here surveyed we find among others: Aldrovandi, F. Bacon, Barclay, Bellarmino, Bembo, Boccaccio, Boccalini, T. Brahe, Calvino, Campanella, Cardano, Chaucer, Copernicus, Dante, Falloppio, Fernel, Galileo, Gassendi, Gesner, Grotius, Guicciardini, Harvey, Van Helmont, Hobbes, Jansenius, Kimchi, Lascaris, Lipsius, Lullus, P. Manutius, Melantone, Pico della Mirandola, T. More, S. Munster, Paracelsus, Petrach, Filelfo, Possevino, Rabelais, Sabellico, Sadoleto, Sannazaro, Savonarola, Scaliger, Selden, Tasso, Tritemio, Valla, Vesalius, Willis, Wycliff, Zwingli, and countless others. “It is a bibliographical dictionary of a peculiar kind, and may be described as a record of the opinions of the greatest writers of all ages on one another” (DNB, ii, p. 718). “His Censura Celebrium Authorum was first printed at London, 1690, fol. and was reprinted at Geneva, 1694, 4to, and 1710, 4to. This compilation, a work of great erudition and labour, is well known to the critic and the literary historian, but cannot be compared, as Niceron has attempted, with Baillet’s Jugement des Savans, Baillet reporting the opinions of others in his own words, but Blount transcribes them literally, which adds considerably to their value” (Alexander Chalmers, General Biographical Dictionary, vol. 5 pp. 427-429). Handwritten marginalia on pages 120 and 194. Provenance: copy from the library of André Morellet, enlightenment philosopher, economist, academic, encyclopedist and reformer, with his bookplate on front paste-down.
- La Vita Civile
(MARTINELLI, V.) Istoria Critica della Vita Civile. Con Indice copioso delle Materie al nobilissimo Signore Alfonso C. Ercolani, Marchese di Florimonte Cavalier della Chiave d’Oro e Principe del S.R.I. Bologna, All’Insegna dell’Iride, 1754. With engraved frontispiece, title within engraved border, woodcut initials and headpieces. Half-title, frontispiece, title, , 270,  pp. Folio. Contemporary vellum, a bit spotted, spine with raised bands, paper label to spine, small loss of vellum in compartment at foot of spine.
This is the first Italian edition, the book was first published in London in 1752. This first Italian edition is rather scarce on the market.
Vincenzo Martinelli (1702-1785), the Montecatino born jurist and man of letters worked as a lawyer and later at the state changery in Naples before he came to England in 1748 to teach Italian. The book had already been composed in Italy but it was first published in England, the first of three books he would eventually publish in England. It made his reputation as a man of letters: it consists of 19 chapters each dealing with one aspect of la vita civile: education and the education of women, the duties of family life, industry, art, science, marriage, liberal arts, theatre, law, methods of government, etc., and finishes with “della liberta.” There is an interesting section on Martinelli and his stay in England and Italian-English relations in Franco Venturi’s The End of the Old Regime in Europe 1768-1776, pp. 384-392. – Some occasional light stains, a copy with large margins.
- The rights of the Gallican Church
VIGOR, S. De l’Estat et Gouvernement de l’Eglise, Quatre Livres. I. De la Monarchie Ecclesiastique. II. De l’Infaillibilité. III. De la Discipline Ecclesiastique. IV. Des Conciles. Avec La Preface, contenant une sommaire response au livre de Me Theophraste Bouju, dict Beaulieu, de la Defense de la Hierarchie de l’Eglise, & de nostre S. Pere le Pape, &c. Ensemble Une Epistre sur la pretenduë Justification des faussetez de M. C. Durand, Docteur en Theologie, en son discours, intitulé, Advis, &c. Par Mr. Simon Vigor, Conseiller du Roy en son Grand Conseil. A Troyes, Chez Pierre Sourdet, 1621. Title printed in red and black and within printed double-line border. , 437, [1, errata] pp. Small 8vo. Contemporary vellum, a bit wrinkled and spotted, handwritten title to spine.
Not in BMSTC, French Books 1601-1700; Cioranescu 66535.
Scarce first edition of this important work defending the rights of the Gallican Church.
Simon Vigor (1556-1624) was an ardent defender of radical Gallicanism and especially the form it had taken in Edmond Richer’s De Ecclesiastica et politica potestate libellus, published in Paris in 1611. Vigor, in this De l’Estat et gouvernement de l’Eglise, defends and further elaborates the thesis of Edmond Richer. Richer, in his Historia Conciliorum Generalium as with other works, elaborated upon and defended Gallicanism, a theory that described the limits of papal power, and provided one of the early constructs of what later evolved as the concept of “separation of church and state”. Richer’s explanation and defense of the theory and practice of Gallicanism was an expression of French resistance to the power and reach of the Pope during that period.
With the Declaration of the Clergy of France in 1682, a four article document which codified the principles of Gallicanism, ended, at least temporarily, the debate between Rome and the French monarchy, between the temporal and the spiritual powers. These four articles stated the following: the first that sovereigns cannot submit in temporal matters to any ecclesiastical power, subjects cannot be released by such a power from their due obedience of sovereigns; the second and third limit the pope’s plenitude of power by the authority of General Councils and the constitution of the Gallican church, while the fourth concedes the pope’s primcay in questions of faith, but made it depend in the last resort on the consensus of the church. – Verso front free end paper a long handwritten note discussing the Troyes imprint, which was the result of the friendship between François Desmarets (from Troyes) and François Pithou, whose theological and political conceptions were similar to those held by Simon Vigor (according to this note). Manuscript ex-libris on title, small stamp of the Petit Séminaire de Troyes on first page of the tables, a nice copy.
Interestingly, this title is mentioned in Graesse, Trésor des Livres Rares et Précieux, volume 6, p. 315, but is there listed under Simon Vigor, the uncle of the author of this work, with other works by Simon Vigor, the Elder.
- Cohen-de Ricci, col. 768: “Magnifique ouvrage.”
OVIDIUS, [OVID, OVIDE] NASO, PUBLIUS. De Gedaant-Wisselingen van P. Ovidius Naso, in het Latyn en Nederduitsch, Nieulyx vertaald, en te zamen in het Licht gegeven, door Isaak Verburg, …..; nevens Omstandige Aantekeningen tot opheldering der Verdichtselen, Door Antonius Banier, ….. Met een groot getal keurlyke prentverbeeldingen, door B. Picart en andere voorname Meesters gesneeden, vercierd. Te Amsterdam, By R. en J. Wetstein, en W. Smith, 1732. With engraved title, 2 engraved title vignettes, titles printed in red and black, engraved vignette at head of dedication, 124 text engravings and 3 plates with two illustrations each after Lebrun, Picart, Punt and others, by Bouche, Folkema, Van Gunst, Wandelaar, and others. Two volumes in one. , 247, [1, blank] pp.; , 249-524,  pp. Folio. Contemporary blind tooled vellum, spine with raised bands, a bit warped, a bit dirty and soiled, but a fine copy.
Cohen-de Ricci, col. 768: “Magnifique ouvrage.”
A magnificent book production, and preferable to the French edition because of the earlier impression of the plates (see Cohen-de Ricci).
Each engraving is followed by a short summary (Inhoudt), followed by the texts in Latin and in Dutch, and followed by the “Verklaring van de [number] Fabel” (Explanation of the Fabel). – Somewhat browned and foxed in places, last leaf of index partly loose but still solid, a good copy with ample margins and good impressions of the plates.
Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is often ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature. The Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. He enjoyed enormous popularity, but, in one of the mysteries of literary history, was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, “a poem and a mistake”, but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars.
The first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, and for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria (“The Art of Love”) and Fasti. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and greatly influenced Western art and literature. The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology.
- Armchair traveller ?
(DURRET.) Voyage de Marseille à Lima, et dans les autres lieux des Indes Occidentales. Avec une exacte Description de ce qu’il y de plus remarquable tant pour la Geographie, que pour les Moeurs, les Coûtumes, le Commerce, le Gouvernement & la Religion des peuples; avec des notes & des figures en taille-douce. Par le Sieur D*** A Paris, Chez Jean-Baptiste Coignard, 1720. With 6 engraved plates, four of which are folding and including a plan of Lima. Two parts in one volume. xxxv, [1, blank], 282, 244,  pp. 12mo. Nineteenth-century half morocco, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, marbled boards.
European Americana 720/78; Sabin 21437; James Ford Bell Library D354; Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, p. 233; Conlon 20:394; not in Echeverria & Wilkie; Goldsmiths’ 5610; not in Kress or Einaudi.
First edition of this scarce book which, although suggesting to be an account of a voyage to South America, is actually a work of fiction. Durret himself claims that it was based on an account by the “Sieur Bachelier” to which he only added notes and of which improved the style. This however is not correct, the work is by Durret.
“Chapter 17 of the first part and chapter 19 contain descriptions of Santa Catharina and Brazil in general. The letter is signed “Durret,” but the account is by Bachelier, a surgeon. Father Labat believes this was an imaginary voyage” (Borba de Moreas, i, p. 281).
“Récit, selon Barbier, plein de bévues et de contradictions, car D. l’aurait fait sans sortir de chez lui. Détails sur les moeurs, et sur les coutumes nuptiales de Malte, du Maroc, des Canaries, du Brézil, du Chili, du Pérou, de Madagascar, etc.” (INED 1678.)
“Contains useful information on the products of the South American coast” (James Ford Bell Library). – Title page cut short at foot.
- Historical Palestine
RELANDUS, H. (OR RELAND, OR REELANT, H.) Palaestine, Ex Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata, in tres libros distributa, ……. Norimbergae (Nürnberg), apud Petrum Conradum Monathus, 1716. Title printed in red and black, engraved vignette, with engraved frontispiece, engraved title, 6 engraved folding maps and plates, including the large engraved map of the Holy Land, 8 engraved plates, and illustrations in the text. Three volumes in one, continuously paginated: , 788,  pp. 4to. Contemporary vellum.
Brunet iv, 1203-4: “Ouvrage très estimé”; Graesse, Trésor de Livres Rares & Précieux, vi, 75; Blackmer 1406; Chadenat 4935: Hage Chahine 3950; Tobler, p. 213.
Second and revised edition, first published in 1714. A Dutch translation appeared in 1719.
Reland, the celebrated Dutch orientalist, was professor of oriental languages and ecclesiastical antiquities at the University of Utrecht. His description of Palestine is a remarkable work for its time, a significant, long-lasting contribution to research into the history and geography of early Palestine. Reland was eminently qualified to conduct this exhaustive survey: he was a geographer, cartographer and polylinguist possessing, in addition to the European languages, full command of Hebrew, Arabic and classical Greek. The work enumerates and describes 2500 sites mentioned in the Bible, Mishna and Talmud and is probably the most important work published by Reland. – Ancient annotations on front paste-down and recto first fly leaf, small stamp in blank portion of the title-page, a bit age-toned but a good copy. The illustrations in good impressions and showing, besides the Holy Land, among others a folding genealogical table of the Herods and a folding table comparing ancient measurements of distances.