A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


March 2016

The Destruction of the Huron Missions at the Hands of the Iroquois

Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe (1612-1672)


Breve Relatione d’Alcune Missioni de’ PP. della Compagnia di Giesù nella Nuova Francia.

Macerata: Heirs of Agostino Grisei, 1653                                            $20,000


FIRST EDITION. Bound in 17th c. limp sheepskin parchment. With a large woodcut Jesuit device on the title page, woodcut initial, and a factotum built up from fleurons. There is a neatly written contemporary inscription of the library of the Jesuit Community at Rome on the title page; some leaves foxed, parts lightly browned; there is a minor ink stain on two leaves. In all, a nice, genuine copy with generous margins.

FIRST EDITION of one of the most important eyewitness accounts of 17th-century Canada devoted primarily to the Huron Indians, but also with accounts of other groups, including the Jesuit author’s captivity and mutilation under the Iroquois. He also devotes 25 pages to a 1643 letter written by his Jesuit colleague Isaac Jogues (1607-1646), who was killed by the Mohawks.

Bressani (1612-1672), an Italian Jesuit, travelled to Canada as a missionary in 1642. After two years in Quebec and with the Algonquins on the St. Lawrence River, he set off for the most distant outposts, the missions on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay, deep in the interior. He was captured by the Iroquois who cut off his fingers and eventually sold him to the Dutch, who helped him reach France. He returned to Canada in 1645, participated in peace talks with the Iroquois and finally reached the Huron missions, where he remained until the Iroquois destroyed them in 1649, killing most of the Hurons and missionaries. On his return to Europe in 1650, he wrote the present Italian account.

A riveting eyewitness account of Canadian Indians and Jesuits in the 1640s.

He opens his description with reference to Pope Urban VIII letter of 1638 that forbade the enslavement of Natives in the New World. As subjects of the missions the natives were recognised as human beings with souls that needed to be saved. It is clear that Bressani shared these ideals and enthusiastically followed them in his mission work. The Breve Relatione is organised into three parts. The first presents a very positive image of the missions: Bressani describes the geography and vegetation of Canada, and then deals with the Native people. The second describes the conversion of the Native people and the many difficulties encountered by the Jesuits who arrived to convert them. The third gives us graphic details about the suffering, torture, and martyrdom of the missionaries including the author. Bressani goes into great detail describing the society of the Hurons. He lists their food and feast celebrations, their communal singing and dances, explains marriage practices and compares them to those of the ancient Jews. He points out that in their system of government tribal chiefs are determined by succession by way of the mother’s line. In their system of justice crimes of theft and murder are dealt with through fines and gift giving for reparation. It is clear that he admires these people for their honesty, hospitality, and inherent sense of right and wrong.

He also describes the many obstacles the Jesuits encountered: the harsh climate, river rapids and waterfalls, the dangers of the journeys due to Iroquois attacks, the problems with the different Indian languages, conflict with the Indian medicine men, and the plagues which killed large groups of Natives. In the second part he includes his letter to his superior in which he recounts his capture by the Iroquois, his tortures, forced travels, beatings, starvation, mutilations, and final rescue. The third and final part of the Breve Relatione deals with the sufferings of the missionaries at the hands of the Iroquois in which Bressani gives several accounts of torture and martyrdom, reproduced from other volumes of the Jesuit Relations written in French, including the martyrdom of Father Isaac Jogues, Father Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel. He also recounts the fate of Father Anne de Noue who died of cold when he got lost in the snow.




Alden & Landis 653/15; De Backer & Sommervogel II, col. 133; Walter, Jesuit relations, 43; Church 524; James Ford Bell Lib. B-407; JCB II, p. 428; Lande, Canadiana 57; McCoy, Jesuit relations 82; Sabin 7734; not in Eberstadt; Streeter.

The Spider and the Flie, A parable of the Spider and the Flie

The Spider and the file is  probably one of my favorite poems of the sixteenth century. Like a morality play this poem is full of argument , dialogue and allegory, and Heywood takes his time to explore this situation, Perhaps I just like it because I spend a lot of time at a desk next to a window looking .. (out or in?)  In any case this is a very wonderful book and like many of my favorite 20th century poems it is mostly about work of the mind ..

( see Max Jacob “The Dice-cup” and John Ashbery “The instruction Manual”)


 888G John Heywood 1497?-1580?


The Spider and the Flie. A parable of the Spider and the Flie, made by John Heywood.



Imprinted At London in Flete Streete By Thomas Povvell, 1556                         $52,000

Quarto,7 1/2  X 5 3/8 Inches.  A-C4, A-Z4, Aa16, Bb6, Cc8, Dd12, Ee16, Ff14, Gg8, Hh-Ss4.

First edition. This is a complete copy bound in nineteenth century red morocco tooled in a cottage style,it is a very elegant copy with silk doublures.

“The Spider and the Fly, an allegorical mock-heroic bestiary in rhyme royal by John Heywood. It was first printed in 1556 but, according to Heywood’s epilogue, was begun nineteen years earlier. The time span between composition and publication may account in part for the generally acknowledge obscurities and inconsistencies of Heywood’s political and religious allegory. Heywood’s poem is nearly as long as Milton’s Paradise Lost.heywood

“As in most of Heywood’s works, a modicum of plot is enlarged upon by liberal use of the medieval debat. The Fly, caught in the Spider’s web, is allowed to plead his case for clemency before the Spider, who promises to judge the plaintiff according to reason, law, custom, and conscience. This lengthy debate satirizing courts and legal procedures is made even more convoluted when the Fly appoints a butterfly and the Spider an ant to act as advocates. When all legal arguments fail, the Spider and the Fly summon their allies and prepare to settle the dispute by war. The flies capture the ant and prepare to execute him, but the eloquent ant manages to win a reprieve. After the attack of the flies against the cobweb castle is repulsed, both sides agree to a truce, but not until an extremely long debate over how the territory (a window) is to be divided. In the midst of this controversy the Spider reopens the original litigation and decrees that the Fly must be condemned to death. Before execution can take place, however, a maid appears and threatens to kill the Spider, who then must plead for his own life. His appeals fail; the maid crushes the Spider, lectures the flies and spiders on the necessity of peace and order, and both factions depart in amity. At the conclusion of the poem the narrator urges his readers to emulate the harmony reached by the spiders and flies:

 “Let us here Play our parts in this part, all parts to appear

To this maid as spiders and flies to that maid.

Let our banners of obedience be display’d,

Of love the badge, of rejoicing the right root,

And of our own wealths the right and full boot.“

There is little doubt that the maid of Heywood’s poem is Mary Tudor, who attempted to crush Protestantism and restore Roman Catholicism to England, and that Heywood, a devout Catholic, had to wait almost twenty years for religious developments in England to provide him with a suitable conclusion to his poem. The other principals in the poem are less easy to identify, possibly because Heywood sometimes refers to issues and personages in Henry VIII’s reign and on other occasions to events in Mary Tudor’s. In the first part of the poem the flies seem to represent the commons, the spiders the nobility and rich landowners, and the issue appears to be land enclosures (although not consistently); in the second part the flies appear to be Roman Catholics, the spiders Protestants, and the issue religious conformity. Early in the poem the Fly caught in the web could represent Sir Thomas More and the Spider Cardinal Wolsey; later the crushed Spider suggests Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, executed by the Catholics in 1556. Obscure as Heywood’s allegory is, it is nevertheless recognizable as being patently pro-Catholic, an allegation the author was at pains not to publicize until the restoration of Roman Catholicism under Mary Tudor.” (quoted from Crowell’s Handbook of Elizabethan & Stuart Literature, by James E. Ruoff)

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STC 13308, F. HN. HD. N. NY.+; Grolier’s Langland to Wither, number 137. Pforzheimer 469; McKerro & Ferguson 50.

The New York ABAA Book Show: I am offering a paid internship:

The Position has been filled .

This year will be the first year I will be exhibiting at the NY Book Show. I have been hard at work, cataloguing, packing and writing a New Catalogue for this event.

Cover Fascicule VI

In addition to this, or maybe because of this, I think that I will need an assistant, generally my daughter Eva is my assistant, but this year Her high school musical “Catch me if you can” falls on this date. Therefore I am in need of an assistant! IMG_0235Here is a short description of what I am considering, if you are interested PLEASE contact me As soon as you can.

I am offering a paid internship:

The pay will be a $1,000 plus meals, to work in my booth at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair from Wednesday April 6th to Sunday April 10th. If you wish to gain experience in the book trade or just want a behind-the-scenes look at the goings on at the premier North American book fair, I welcome you to apply with either a CV or an email detailing your background and what you hope to gain by participating in this event. No prior experience in the book trade or librarianship required.

Responsibilities include: familiarizing yourself with our inventory (a list will be provided prior to the book fair), booth set-up (unpacking books and arranging them in the display cases), interacting with visitors to the booth, minding the booth when I am called away, engaging clients when I am occupied, and performing small but essential tasks to keep things running smoothly (for instance, buying lunch nearby.)

If you are considering applying for this position, please understand that the most important qualifications are enthusiasm and, above all, an outgoing, courteous, and engaging personality. The book show can be very hectic at times, the booth can become quite crowded, and in the flurry of activity, you may be the only person with whom a client or casual browser interacts.

Please email me directly at

Thank you for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours very truly,

James Gray, Bookseller.
46 Hobbs Road
Princeton Ma 01541
cell (617) 678-4517
Member ABAA & ILAB


Portrait of Athanasius Kircher with some of our 17th century folio stacks.

The test oath (1672, 1678) (Also known as the DECLARATION OF ATTESTATION OATH.)

This collection of seven books Bound together all

Cover Fascicule VI
Cover Fascicule VI

deal with The test oath (1672, 1678)



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730G The seven authors :   ad1) Abraham Woodhead, R. H., 1609-1678.

                                                 ad2) Atterbury, Francis, 1662-1732

                                                 ad3) Tullie, George, 1652?-1695.

                                                 ad4) Anonymous. By Samuel Parker.

                                                 ad5)Anonymous. By William Wake.

                                                 ad6)Ashwell, George, 1612-1695.

                                                  ad7) Anonymous. By James Harrington.

1) Two discourses. The first, concerning the spirit of Martin Luther, and the original of the Reformation· The second, concerning the celibacy of the clergy·
bound with
2) An answer to some considerations on the spirit of Martin Luther and the original of the Reformation; lately printed at Oxford
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3) An answer to a discourse concerning the celibacy of the clergy, printed at Oxford
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4) Reasons for abrogating the test, imposed upon all members of Parliament anno 1678. Octob. 30. In these words, I A.B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testifie, and declare, that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at, or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever; and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other Saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. First written for the author’s own satisfaction; and now published for the benefit of all others whom it may concern
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5) A discourse concerning the nature of idolatry: in which a late author’s true and onely notion of idolatry is considered and confuted.
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6) De ecclesia Romana dissertatio. Pars operis multo majoris de judice controversiarum et Catholicæ veritatis regula. Autore Georgio Ashwello S.S.T.B. ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Presbytero, Coll. Wadhami in Acad. Oxon. olim Socio.
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7) Some reflexions upon a treatise call’d Pietas Romana & Parisiensis lately printed at Oxford. To which are added I. A vindication of Protestant charity, in answer to some passages in Mr. E.M.’s Remarks on a late conference. II. A defence of the Oxford reply to two discourse there printed. A.D. 1687

Printers and date printed:     ad1) Printed at Oxford : [s.n.]. ad2)Oxford : printed at the Theater, Anno 1687. ad3)Oxford printed at the Theater, for Richard Chiswell at the Rose and Crown in S. Pauls Church Yard, London 1688. ad4) London printed for Henry Bonwicke, at the Red Lyon in St. Paul’s Church-Yard 1688. ad5)London : printed for William Rogers, at the Sun over against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleet-street, MDCLXXXVIII. [1688]. ad6) Oxoniæ : e Theatro Sheldoniano, an. Do. M. DC. LXXXVIII. [1688] ad7) Oxford: printed at the Theater 1688.

Quarto 9 X 7 inches . All seven books are First editions. This copy is bound in full contemporary calf, the front hinge has an early repair, worn.

Binding 730G
Binding 730G

This collection of seven small books Bound together all deal with The test oath (1672, 1678)

The first Parliament after the Restoration revived the priority of Supremacy and priority which were taken on 14 July, 1660. The Catholics in England being at first in some favour managed, as a rule, to escape taking it. After the conversion of James, then Duke of York, the jealousy of the Protestant party increased, and in 1672 The Test Act was carried by Shaftesbury, which compelled all holders of office under the Crown to make a short “Declaration against Transubstantiation”, viz., to swear that “there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, . . . at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever” This test was effective: James resigned his post of Lord High Admiral. But when the country and the Parliament had gone mad over Oates’s plot, 1678, a much longer and more insulting test was devised, which added a further clause that “The invocation of the virgin Mary, or any Saint and the Sacrifice of the Mass . . . are superstitious and idolatrous . . . and that I make this declaration without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted me by the pope. On the death of Charles, James II succeeded, and he would no doubt have gladly abolished the anti-Catholic oaths altogether. But he never had the opportunity of bringing the project before Parliament. The Test was the subject of constant discussion, And here in this collection of bound books we have more than two sides of the debate, for its form and scope had been expressly intended to hamper a reform such as James was instituting. He freed himself, however, more or less from it by the Dispensing Power, especially after the declaration of the judges, June, 1686, that it was contrary to the principles of the constitution to prevent the Crown from using the services of any of its subjects when they were needed.

The first work bound here is by Woodhead whom Dr. Whitby pronounces “the most ingenious and solid writer of the Roman (catholic) party,” and who merits some notice from his name occurring so frequently in the popish controversy at the latter end of the seventeenth century , The attempt of James II to force his creed upon an unwilling university called forth many champions of the faith, and among others the able young tutor of Christ Church. In “Two Discourses,” Abraham Woodhead, launches an attack upon the Reformation in the person of Martin Luther who he accuses of numerous ‘failings’ and extrapolates these failings to be the cause for the invalidity of the Reformation in whole. .

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In reply to this Atterbury published (1687) ‘An Answer to some Considerations on the Spirit of Martin Luther, and the Original of the Reformation,’ which Bishop Burnet pronounces to be one of the ablest of the many vindications of the church of England ‘. His Answer to the Discourse on celibacy of the Clergy is also an admirable defence. Bound next is Samuel Parkers’s Reason for Abrogating, which at the time he published it was Bishop of Oxford, but because of the conciliatory nature of the book he was rumored to be a Roman Catholic.

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Bound next (5th) is Parkers Discourse concerning Idolartry, in which Parker hopes to convert Papists,. Is an interesting history of Idols and Idolatry .

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Next we have the only published part of George Ashwell’s “De judice controversiarum et catholicae veritatis regula “ which supports the Anglo-Catholic positions..DSC_0337







And finally to wrap things up is Harrington’s Some Reflections which is a quite spirited defense of the Church of England against the “Church of Rome”

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Wing: W 3460, A4146, T3235, P467A, W239, A3994, H834.

Listing my books on ABE !

Today, as I sometimes do, I’ll write about the process of being a rare book dealer, or at the least some of the processes I go through, finding,buying and eventually (and hopefully) selling early books. I l think that  the personal  transactional bond, that of participating in commerce with others is an overlooked (or least under discussed) part of Culture, in our current time.  And to a pretty obvious extent it is a diminishing aspect social contact. I have always thought of Antiquarian Bookselling  as a form of creating intellectual and person relationships with like-minded, but usually very different people from myself. For the twenty years I hadUnknown an open shop in Harvard square, I met and developed strong personal relationships with many extraordinary people.  But eventually it became obvious that the ‘walk in’ trade could in no way support the ever-increasing  value of real estate (I don’t exactly know why, since people don’t stroll from book store to the next one anymore, at least in Harvard square as they are mostly all gone) So over the past ten years all of our buying practices and habits have changed and I have has to respond.  This has taken the physical form of abandoning the Physical store front and retreating into the rural splendor of my new office.

Above is the old sign from Arrow street. Now there is no sign and if you Google my business you will get an image like this …


Which is more or less what it will look like an about two or three months. Selling books from a bush is much different from a heavily trafficked retail/student area, or it should be, but in fact while in “The Shop” it was becoming ever increasingly necessary to find alternate ways of contacting potential Book lovers , clients, librarians and scholars.  Naturally I have.

These new strategies have included issuing more frequent printed catalogues DSC_0332

Exhibiting at Antiquarian Book Shows and conferences;

IMG_0235And of course this blog  but the most recent Iteration is The Listing of my books on :


This is for me a bit of a learning process, and as we learn we often feel awkward and uncomfortable, this is true for me in this process. at one time the catalogues i made were ‘set-ups’  by cut and paste with blue pencil..But creating a web Store front on had been pretty painless thanks to Udo Goellmann at Abe.

I’ve (or rater Udo), has listed a few books for me, and I am generally pleased. I hope that after I blog about a book, you can just follow a link and by only a little typing purchase the book from my days Blog!

Here are some of the books on ABE now :

Andres Alciati (1492 – 1550)
V.C. Emblemata (Viri Clarissimi) Emblemata. Cum Claudij Minois ad eadam Commentariis & Notis Posterioribus. Quibus Emblematum omnium aperta origine, mens auctoris explicatur, & obscura omnia dubiáque illustrantur

Published by Lugduni (Lyon), Hæred. Gvlielmi Rovilii, (1600)

Anon (but probably L’Estrange, Roger. 1616-1704)
A compendious history of the most remarkable passages of the last fourteen years: with an account of the plot, as it was carried on both before and after the fire of London, to this present time

Published by London: printed by A. Godbid, and J. Playford, and are sold by S. Neale, at the Three Pigeons in Bedford-Street over against the New-Exchange (1680)
Grosse, Henning. (1553-1621)
Magica De Spectris Et Apparitionibus Spiritum, De Vaticiniis, Divinationibus, &c


Please Take a look at my books on ABE! I will also soon post an update of the books both on Abe and on exhibition at The ABAA new York Antiquarian Book Show!



Coryats Crudities: 17th century wanderlust

This is a familiar book, Ive had a few copies and probably will have another soon, then YOU can have one for yourself!

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

titlepage The engraved title page of Coryats Crudities (1611). The word “crudities,” like the French “crudités,” suggests something under-cooked or unrefined.

In May 1608, Thomas Coryat of Odcombe set out from London with little money and only one pair of shoes on a voyage that took him through France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. Travelling approximately 1,975 miles (3,175 km) alone and unarmed, sometimes walking as far as 36 miles in a single day, he acquired the well-deserved nickname, “the Odcombian Legstretcher.” Returning to England in October, he hung his well-worn shoes in the church at Odcombe (with the rector’s permission) and began compiling his observations into what would become more than 650 pages of descriptive prose, published in 1611 as Coryats Crudities.

verona “A delineation of the Amphitheater of Verona expressed in that forme wherein it flourished in the tyme of the Roman Monarchie, only the greatest part of…

View original post 679 more words

Gassendi’s Doubts and Instances Against the Metaphysics of René Descartes 1644

DSC_0284781G Pierre Gassendi 1592-1655

Petri Gassendi Disquisitio metaphysica seu dubitationes et instantiae adversus Renati Cartessi metaphysicam & responsa.

Amsterodami : Apud Iohannem Blaev ;1644   $ 3,000

Quarto *4, **4, A-Z4, Aa-Rr4   First Edition.  Bound in original full sheep skin with gilt spine andDSC_0285 label.This is a nice clean copy.

From the most wonderful “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”

In 1641 the theologian and mathematician Marin Mersenne invited Gassendi and several other eminent thinkers to contribute comments on the manuscript of René Descartes’s Meditations (1641); Gassendi’s comments, in which he argued that Descartes had failed to establish the reality and certainty of innate ideas, were published in the second edition of the Meditations (1642) as the fifth set of objections and replies. Gassendi enlarged upon these criticisms in his Disquisitio metaphysica, seu duitationes et instantiae adversus Renati Cartesii metaphysicam et responsa (1644; “Metaphysical Disquisition; or, Doubts and Instances Against the Metaphysics of René Descartes and Responses”).

“For many commentators, Gassendi’s empiricist theory of knowledge and objections to Descartes’s Meditations count as his paramount philosophical contributions. In his core epistemology, he offers the first modern model of knowledge from the senses to be integrated with a physiological account of perception. In his objections to Descartes, he rejects the clarity and distinctness criterion, seeks to undermine the reasoning behind the cogito, and assails the ontological argument. Each of these views represents a battle Gassendi has taken up against the Aristotelian tradition or the Cartesian stance; his thoroughgoing empiricism poses an alternative to both of these competing perspectives.One cornerstone of Gassendi’s anti-Aristotelianism is the suggestion that there is nothing necessary about the way the world is. God, he proposes, could have made the world work in any number of ways, and the contingent history and character of Creation means that there is nothing immutable about the essence of a material thing. (That a ‘substance’, in either the Aristotelian or Cartesian sense, might have an immutable essence, is a different matter, and insofar as Gassendi has such a notion (for example, with respect to space, time, matter, and void) he agrees that such things feature unchangeable sine qua non characteristics.) Moreover, Gassendi maintains, regardless of whether there are any essences and whether they might be mutable, there are none to which we have any epistemic access. The sole originating source of our knowledge is the information the senses provide, such that what we know is closely linked to what we can perceive. However, as Descartes notes, we can perceive only appearances. Gassendi draws from this point the very uncartesian lesson that appearances are all we can know about, too—thereby ruling out knowledge of unperceivable essences. One line of this reasoning can be found in his discussion of classical skeptical tropes concerning the relativity of evidence from the senses to individual experience—that honey tastes sweet to me, though bitter to you; and that fire seems hot to us, though not so to insects that live near fire (O III (DM) 388b; R 535). Since different people have distinct experiences, our knowledge of honey’s taste or fire’s heat differs from person to person and thus is not a reliable guide to invariable characteristics of, for example, the honey or fire. In cases like these we know a thing’s qualities only as we record them on a subjective basis. Such sensory information, based on experiences which vary intersubjectively, cannot yield judgments about a thing’s qualities which do not vary in that (or any other) way. Hence we lack knowledge of the thing’s essence, if indeed there is one. More broadly, from our principal source of ideas—the senses—we know only how things appear to us (O III (DM) 311b-312a; R 184). (If we are to have knowledge of an object’s essence, Gassendi proposes, such requires a “perfect interior examination” of that object, which is apparently not something we may gain from empirical study.) ”

Gassendi believed that there was no conflict between his mechanistic atomism and the doctrines of Roman Catholicism; indeed, he took pains to emphasize their compatibility.   Although his works were originally published in latin , a French abridgement of them appeared in the second half of the century, as did English translations of various excerpts. His ideas were taught in Jesuit schools in France, in English universities, and even in newly founded schools in North America.   Gassendi and  Descartes  both believed that all natural phenomena could be explained in terms of matter and motion alone. They disagreed about the details of their mechanical accounts of the world, in particular about their theories of matter and their approaches to scientific method.

Two incunables from Milan ,1489 and about 1477-80!

776G . Hilarius, Episcopus Pictaviensis (315-367/68) [ed. Cribellus, Georgius,; fl. 1489]

DSC_0271Libri Sancti Hilarii de Trinitate contra Arianos, contra Constantium hereticum, contra Auxentium et de synodis fidei catholicae contra Arianos. – Liber Aurelii Augustini de Trinitate. [Georgio Crivellio edente.]

Mediolani : per magi strum Leonardum Pachel 1489                                        $9,000

Folio          π 2 A-I8, AA, BB8, a-k8, (except H, I, in sixes) complete! . The last blank leaf is missing . This copy is bound in eighteenth century quarter calf. There is light damp stain at top margin, few minor wormholes in the beginning, touching a few letters, some thumbing to lower outer corner of first few leaves, small old red ink note to last leaf. There is small bookplate of the former Redemptorist seminary St. Alphonsus in Esopus, NY.


This is the Editio princeps of Hilary of Poitiers’ major theological work, issued with St. Augustine’s work on the same subject. ” Hilary was said to be a defender of the divinity of Christ was a gentle and courteous man, devoted to writing some of the greatest theology on the Trinity, and was like his Master in being labeled a “disturber of the peace.”

In a very troubled period in the Church, his holiness was lived out in both scholarship and controversy. He was bishop of Poitiers in France. Raised a pagan, he was converted to Christianity when he met his God of nature in the Scriptures. His wife was still living when he was chosen, against his will, to be the bishop of Poitiers in France. He was soon taken up with battling what became the scourge of the fourth century, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. The heresy spread rapidly. St. Jerome said “The world groaned and marveled to find that it was Arian.” When Emperor Constantius ordered all the bishops of the West to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the great defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia (in modern-day Turkey). Eventually he was called the “Athanasius of the West.” While writing in exile, he was invited by some semi-Arians (hoping for reconciliation) to a council the emperor called to counteract the Council of Nicea. But Hilary predictably defended the Church, and when he sought public debate with the heretical bishop who had exiled him, the Arians, dreading the meeting and its outcome, pleaded with the emperor to send this troublemaker back home. Hilary was welcomed by his people.His work on the Trinity is a scriptural confirmation of the philosophic doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and is of permanent value. It was not a mere restatement of traditional orthodoxy, but a fresh and living utterance of his own experience and study. In the discussion of the co-essentiality of the Son, Hilary lays emphasis on the Scripture titles and affirmations, and especially on his birth from the Father, which he insists involves identity of essence. In the elaboration of the divine-human personality of Christ, he is more original and profound. The incarnation was a move went of the Logos towards humanity in order to lift humanity up to participation in the divine nature. It consisted in a self-emptying of himself, and the assumption of human nature. In this process lie lost none of his divine nature; and, even during the humiliation, he continued to reign everywhere in heaven and on earth. Christ assumed body, soul, and spirit, and passed through all stages of human growth, his body being really subject to pain and death. Redemption is the result of Christ’s voluntary substitution of himself, out of love, in our stead. Between the God-man and the believer there is a vital communion. As the Logos is in the Father, by reason of his divine birth, so we are in him, and become partakers of his nature, by regeneration and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.The christology of Hilary is full of fresh and inspiring thoughts, which deserve to be better known than they are.

Goff H269( two copies only Yale U Beinecke , Villanova Univ); BMC VI 777





775G Antoninus Florentinus 1389-1459

Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura [Italian] Specchio di coscienza. Add: Trattado dell’ excommunicazione; Li dieci comandamenti; Credo volgare in prosa; Thomas Aquinas: Orazione la quale diceva quando andava a celebrare; Orazione che si fa dopo la comunione

[Milan: Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler, about 1477-80] Also recorded as [Christophorus Valdarfer, about 1470-71]                                                             $14,000

Quarto 8.5 x 6.25 in a-m8, n6

This copy is bound in early XVIth century dark calf Venetian binding, richly blindstamped this copy the initial and heading letters fully rubricated in red, upper margin a bit short, but a fine and crisp copy on strong paper. One of the earlier XVth century editions of the Confessionale in ancient italian . This is one of the first books printed in Milan. Antoninus Florentinus entered the Dominican order at the age of sixteen. Uninterested in achieving an
important administrative position, he was nevertheless forced by Eugene IV to accept the Archbishopric of Florence in 1446.“The literary productions of Saint Antoninus, while giving evidence of the eminently practical turn of his mind, show that he was a profound student of history and theology.” (CE)These two works on Dominican and ecclesiastical discipline and canon law deal with the circumstances under which excommunication might be imposed and all legal and theological aspects of marriage.

Goff A 848; (one copy only San Marino CA, The Huntington Library) GW 2171;( Corresponds page for page with the edition of about the same date from an anonymous press, GW 2170. GW assigned to Valdarfer ) BMC VI, 794; IGI 658; Pell. 857


Two copies of An introduction to the Skill of Musick!

628G John Playford 1623-1687

An introduction to the skill of musick : in three books: by John Playford. Containing I. The Grounds and Principles of Musick, according to the Gamut: In the most Easy Method, for Young Practitioners. II. Instructions and Lessons for the Treble Tenor, and Bass-Viols; and also for the Treble-Violin. III. The Art of Descant, or composing Music in Parts: Made very Plain and Easie by the Late Henry Purcell.


London. Printed By Charles Peregrine, 1687.                                                     $ SOLD

Octavo 6 X 4 inches A-M8 (A1 , frontispiece; M8 , advertisements both present!) Bound in DSC_0262very nice neteenth-century navy morocco. Lightly rubbed. Frontispiece border shaved, just within platemark, with additional small hole. Minute wormholes to gutter margin of quire A, fore-edge margin of final four leaves. Small rust-hole to H1, just touching a single character to verso. William Henry Havergal’s copy, with his ink inscription dated 1840 along with note of purchase ‘Bought for 2/6 at the sale of the effects of Mrs Green of Poole House, Astley, in the County of Worcester’.

Henry Purcell. 1659-1695

“A pastoral elegy on the death of Mr. John Playford. By N. Tate”: verso of 8th prelim. leaf._”The order of performing the divine service in cathedrals, & collegiate chappels”: p. 53-60.Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar.

Playford,as a bookseller, publisher, and member of the Stationers’ Company, published books on music theory, instruction books for several instruments, and psalters with tunes for singing in churches. He is perhaps best known today for his publication of The English Dancing Master in 1651, during the period of the Puritan-dominated Commonwealth (later editions were known as ‘The Dancing Master’). This work contains both the music and instructions for English country dances. This came about after Playford, working as a war correspondent, was captured by Cromwell’s men and told that, if he valued his freedom (as a sympathiser with the King), he might consider a change of career. Although many of the tunes in the book are attributed to him today, he probably did not write any of them. Most were popular melodies that had existed for years. __ !!!In typographical technique Playford’s most original improvement was the invention in 1658 of ‘the new-ty’d note.’ (See the Title of the FOLLOWING BOOK  These were quavers or semiquavers connected in pairs or series by one or two horizontal strokes at the end of their tails, the last note of the group retaining in the early examples the characteristic up-stroke. Hawkins observes that the Dutch printers were the first to follow the lead in this detail. In 1665 he caused every semibreve to be barred in the dance tunes; in 1672 he began engravinDSC_0261g on copper plates. Generally, however, Playford clung to old methods; he recommended the use of lute tablature to ordinary violin players; and he resisted, in an earnest letter of remonstrance (1673), Thomas Salmon’s proposals for a readjustment of clefs. Playford’s printers were: Thomas Harper, 1648 1652; William Godbid, 1658 1678; Ann Godbid and her partner, John Playford the younger, 1679 1683; John Playford alone, 1684-1685 William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), one of the previous owners Anglican clergyman and composer. His compositions ranged from hymns to popular catchDSC_0259es, though Havergal’s academic studies centered on early Church music with a particular bias towards metrical psalmody.

Wing P2483












__________________________________________            Another Edition and a Very different book!

This edition utilizes the ayford’s most original improvement was the invention in 1658 of ‘the new-ty’d note.’

771G John Playford 1623-1687

An introduction to the skill of musick : in three books: by John Playford. Containing I. The Grounds and Principles of Musick, according to the Gamut: In the most Easy Method, for Young Practitioners. II. Instructions and Lessons for the Treble Tenor, and Bass-Viols; and also for the Treble-Violin. III. The Art of Descant, or composing Music in Parts: Made very Plain and Easie by the Late Henry Purcell.


London, Printed by William Pearson, for John and Ben. Sprint … 1718             $3,900

Octavo 6 X 4 inches A-M8 (A1 , frontispiece; M8 , advertisements both present!) This copy is bound in full contemporary calf, expertly rebacked. Henry Purcell. 1659-1695

DSC_0264DSC_0267on the left is the 1687edition                                            on the right  the 1718 edition 



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