When I NEED to get away from my Desk, Computer, Reading Chair…
I often go for a drive, I like to look at old stuff, antiques, books, buildings,paintings…
And one of my favorite places to drive to is Antique Associates at West Townsend
(473 Main St., W. Townsend, Mass. 01474)
It always has plenty of early modern and medieval antiques to get me thinking about other things than books. Yesterday I saw a Candlestick, Gothic Double Socket, Copper Alloy, Three Kings, Extremely Rare Northwest Europe, Likely Germany or Holland
15th Century (Second half) Good Old Color and Patina .
This scarcely encountered form features a central tapering pricket above coarse screw thread, and a detachable twin-branched arm with tapering sockets. The shaft featuring two discoid (bladed) knops is flared at its base and is neatly peened underneath the domed three-stage base. Excellent condition commensurate with age and use; typical wear, none of which are objectionable. There is a small tight crack along the lower edge of the base. (The height is 13 3/4″.)
Of course I can’t help to think of the books read with the aid of this candle stick… And I am always drawn to Bellarmines! and there are always a nice selection of them there! Stoneware, Face Jug, Gray Beard, Bartmann, Bellarmine
Germany, 17th Century
But while moving from wonderful glass case full of material culture of the period I love to the next case, it was empty….
I thought to myself, I could fix that, I could bring my seventy century wine bottle collection, or my vast collection of Homo Erectus stone artifact collection, or my Woodland American point collection…
Or yes it came to me ….. finally BOOKS!
So as of today I have placed some of my current stock at
Here is how they Look and a Shelf List !!!
Shelf ONE Left to Right
JG792G Nicholas Culpeper. A directory for midwives 1700. $5,500
JG138F Donne, John. Poems 1669. $7,500
JG665G Ben Jonson. The Works 1692. $7,500
JG632G Athanasius Kircher. Physiologia Kircheriana1680. $11,500
JG811G Guillermus Parisensis . Postilla super epistolas et evangelia 1488. $ SOLD
JG722F Francis Bacon The Essays 1680. $900
JG1007E John Earl of Rochester Poems 1704. $4,500
JG179G Giovanni Paolo Lancellotti Corpus juris canonici. 1661. $1,320
JG682G Dufresnoy De arte graphica 1695. $2,200
3(vols) JG712G Giorgio Vasari Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori 1648, $12,000
JG792G Nicholas Culpeper 1616-1654
A directory for midwives: or, A guide for women in their conception, bearing, and suckling their children. The first part contains, 1. The anatomy of the vessels of generation. 2. The formation of the child in the womb. 3. What hinders conception, and its remedies. 4. What furthers conception. 5. A guide for women in conception. 6. Of miscarriage in women. 7. A guide for women in their labour. 8. A guide for women in their lying-in. 9. Of nursing children. To cure all diseases in women, read the second part of this book. By Nicholas Culpeper, Gent. student in physic and astrology.
London : printed, and are to be sold by most book sellers in London and Westminster, 1700 $5,500
Octavo A-Q12 (complete) Recorded copies: Wellcome only in UK; U.S. National Library of Medicine & Yale only in North America This copy is bound in contemporary full blind stamped calf. A nice copy of a popular and ill-surviving text in contemporary binding.
A Directory of Midwives was first published in 1651 and became one of the seminal texts on midwifery and female health for the next two centuries. This volume contains both of Culpeper’s Directory, which focuses on obstetrics, and a separately titled Fourth Book of Practical Physick, which deals with female diseases and general health.
JG138F Donne, John. 1571/2-1631
Poems, &c. By John Donne, late Dean of St. Pauls. With Elegies On The Author’s Death. To which is added Divers Copies under his own hand, Never before Printed.
London: In the Savoy, Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman, 1669 $7,500
Octavo, 4.2 x 6.5 inches. Fifth edition. A4, B-Z8, Aa-Dd8. A1 and Dd8 are both blank and present in this copy. This copy is bound in contemporary full mottled calf. It has been sympathetically rebacked with raised bands and gilt title to spine. This is the last and most complete edition of Donne’s poetry published in the seventeenth century, and the only Restoration printing. Many textual changes were made in this edition, and five new poems were added, including “To His Mistress Going to Bed,” and “O My America! My New-found-land.”
“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Donne’s poetry, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images which involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty. Donne, not only displays his own ingenuity; he may see into the nature of the world as deeply as the philosopher. Donne’s conceits in particular leap continually in a restless orbit from the personal to the cosmic and back again.”
Wing D-1871; Keynes 84; Wither to Prior 291. 1:2
JG665G Ben Jonson ca. 1572-1637
The Works of Ben Jonson, which were formerly Printed in Two Volumes, are now Reprinted in One, to which is added a Comedy, called the New Inn, with Additions never before Published.
London Thomas Hodgkin, 1692 $7,500
Folio, 14 x 9 inches. This is the first complete single volume edition, and last of the folio editions, of Ben Jonson’s works. It is truly complete, containing all the masques; epigrams; plays; verse letters and panegyrics; sonnets; the English Grammar; Timber, or Discoveries; and the translation of Horace’s de Arte Poetica. The New Inne is included in this collected edition for the first time.
“Jonson’s life was tough and turbulent. After his father’s early death, Ben was adopted in infancy by a bricklayer and educated by the great classical scholar and antiquarian William Camden, before necessity drove him to enter the army. In Flanders, where the Dutch with English help were warring against the Spaniards, he fought single-handed with one of the enemy before the massed armies, and killed his man. Returning to England about 1595, he began to work as an actor and playwright but was drawn from one storm center to another. He killed a fellow actor in a duel, and escaped the gallows only by pleading ‘benefit of the clergy’ (i.e., by proving he could read and write, which entitled him to plead before a more lenient court). He was jailed for insulting the Scottish nation at a time when King James was newly arrived from Scotland. He took furious part in an intricate set of literary wars with his fellow playwrights.
Yet he rode out all these troubles, growing mellower as he grew older, and in his latter years became the unofficial literary dictator of London, the king’s pensioned poet, a favorite around the court, and the good friend of men like Shakespeare, Donne, Francis Beaumont, John Selden, Francis Bacon, dukes, diplomats, and distinguished folk generally. In addition, he engaged the affection of younger men (poets like Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew, and Sir John Suckling, speculative thinkers like Lord Falkland and Sir Kenelm Digby), who delighted to christen themselves ‘sons of Ben.’
Wing J-1006; Pforzheimer 561. James Gray Bookseller 617.678.4517 43 1:3
JG632G Kircher, Athanasius( Kestler) . 1602-1680
Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, Qua Summa Argumentorum Multitudine & Varietate Naturalium rerum scientia per experimenta Physica, Mathematica, Medica, Chymica, Musica, Magnetica, Mechanica comprobatur atque stabilitur. Quam Ex Vastis Operibus Adm. Revdi. P. Athanasii Kircheri extraxit, & in hunc ordinem per classes redegit Romæ, Anno M. DC. LXXV. Joannes Stephanus Kestlerus Alsata, Authoris discipulus, & in re litterariâ assecla, & coadjutor.
Amsterdam: Ex Officinâ Janssonio- Waesbergiana, 1680 $11,500
Folio . First and only edition. This copy is bound in its original velum binding. There are many illustrations in this book: an extra engraved title page, one hundred and sixty text woodcuts, and ten text engravings, some of which are very large. These illustrations all depict scientific instruments and experiments. This is a very good copy bound in marbled sheep with a gilt spine
“Thus in the most varied branches of science Kircher played the role of pioneer. Even medicine
received his attention. His scientific activities brought him into correspondence with scholars laboring in the most different fields, as the numerous volumes of his extant letters show. It is to his inventive mind that we owe one of the earliest of our counting machines: the speaking-tube and æolian harp were perfected by him. He was also the inventor of the magic lantern [depicted in this volume] which has since been brought to such perfection and is today almost indispensable. [All of Kircher’s inventions are illustrated in the present work, including three different depictions of magic lanterns.]”
“This work, edited by one of Kircher’s pupils, J. S. Kestler, is a codification of Kircher’s observations and experiments across the entire spectrum of his researches in physics. Naturally there are large sections on light and shadow, magnetism, acoustics, and music; but there are also experiments and observations in hydraulics, alchemy, and a myriad of other topics. This compendium was perhaps a response to entreaties from Kircher’s fellow scientists, who appreciated his keen observations and experiments but did not care to wade through some forty volumes to glean them. The book is an example of what Kircher’s writings could have been like at the hands of a good editor.
JG811G Guillermus Parisensis 1437-1485
Postilla super epistolas et evangelia de tempore et de sanctis et de sanctis et pro defunctis.
Basel: Nicolaus Kesler, 28 February 1488 $14,000
Folio 123 (of 124 leaves), lacking the final leaf, blank. ISTC (ig00683000) lists only 2 in the U.S. (San Marino and Washington Library of Congress) The Lower corner of the first two leaves of the Postilla crudely repaired, not affecting text. Early ink ownership inscription of the Observantine Friars Minor “Reformat. 1629” (place deleted) on title of the Postilla. Overall, a very good copy. Bound is a very nice modern full calf binding. Rubicated by hand throughout.
Of William of Paris’ Postilla there are “More than one hundred editions of the Postilla super epistolas et evangelia by Guillermus Parisiensis were printed during the fifteenth century. Surely this esteemed compilation must be regarded as one of the earliest “best sellers”, for how else can one explain why the text was not only frequently reprinted but was reissued time and time again by the same printed… Only a few facts seems to be known about Frater Guillermus. The introduction to the Postilla, his only published work, tells us that he was a Dominican and a professor of sacred theology at Paris. This compilation of the Postilla was written down in 1437 expressly for members of the clergy and for those desirous of understanding the excerpts for the Epistles and the Evangelists, more commonly called lessons, which are read at appropriate services throughout the church year. 2
JG722F Francis Bacon 1561-1626
The essays or counsels, civil and moral, of Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, Viscount St Alban. With a table of the colours of good & evil. Whereunto is added the wisdom of the antients. Enlarged by the honourable author himself; and now more exactly published.
London: Printed by M. Clark, for Samuel Mearne, in Little Britain, John Martyn, in St. Pauls Church-yard, and Henry Herringman, in the New Exchange, 1680. $900
Octavo A6, B-Z8, Aa-Bb8, Cc3, [Cc4]; lacks the final blank leaf. Twelfth edition.
This copy is bound in original boards, recently rebacked.
“[Bacon’s] Essays, the fruits of his political and social observations, were first published in 1597, enlarged in 1612, and again in 1625. His long attempt to reform the intellectual habits of the European mind began with the publication of The Advancement of Learning in 1605, which attacked the unprofitable scholasticism that inhibited the growth of knowledge and the mental prejudices that helped to keep men in ignorance. Above all he deplored the poor and confused state of knowledge about the operations of the natural world. Novum Organum, begun about 1608, published 1620, called for a systematic study of the natural world and of the causes of things, and proposed the inductive method as the most reliable instruments of enquiry. Bacon worked out the principles of the experimental method in this book, and developed them in De Augmentis, 1623. Sylva Sylvarum, a proposal of 1,000 experiments to be undertaken, was published posthumously in 1627, together with New Atlantis, a Utopian fragment written about 1617 that urged the foundation of a college for scientific research. A short book that enjoyed much popularity in his lifetime was De Sapientia Veterum, 1609 (translated as The Wisdom of the Ancients, 1619), which tried to demonstrate that the myths of the Greeks were coded accounts of their knowledge of the physical world.” (Quoted from The Seventeenth Century, by Graham Perry, pages 264-265.)
Wing B-288; Term Catalogue I, 388;Gibson- Bacon #24a, Gibson-St. Thomas More, cf 815.
JG1007E John Earl of Rochester, Wilmot 1647-1680
Poems, On several occasions: with Valentinian: a tragedy. Written by the right honourable John late Earl of Rochester.
London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1705 $4,500
Octavo. The third edition of the authentic works. This copy is bounds in modern panneled calf,in a early eighteenth style. It has the lighter than usual age spotting through out a very nice copy.
During Rochester’s lifetime only a few of his writings were printed as broadsides or in miscellanies, but many of his works were known widely from manuscript copies, a considerable number of which seem to have existed.
“[Wilmot] is one of these English poets who deserve to be called ‘great’ as daring and original explorers of reality; his place is with such memorable spiritual adventurers as Marlowe, Blake, Byron, Wilfred Owen and D. H. Lawrence. Like Byron and Lawrence, he was denounced as licentious, because he was a devastating critic of conventional morality. Alone among the English poets of his day, he perceived the full significance of the intellectual and spiritual crisis of that age. His poetry expresses individual experience in a way that no other poetry does till the time of Blake. It makes us feel what it was like to live in a world which had been suddenly transformed by the scientists into a vast machine governed by mathematical laws, where God has become a remote first cause and man an insignificant ‘reas’ning Engine.’ [See ‘A Satyr Against Mankind] In his time there was beginning the great Augustan attempt to found a new orthodoxy on the Cartesian-Newtonian world-picture, a civilized city of good taste, common sense and reason. Rochester’s achievement was to reject this new orthodoxy at the very outset. He made three attempts to solve the problem of man’s position in the new mathematical universe. The first was the adoption of the ideal of the purely aesthetic hero, the ‘Strephon’ of his lyrics and the brilliant and fascinating Dorimant of Etherege’s comedy. It was a purely selfish ideal of the ethical hero, the disillusioned and penetrating observer of the satires. This ideal was related to truth, but its relationship was purely negative. The third was the ideal of the religious hero, who bore a positive relation to truth. This was the hero who rejected the ‘Fools-Coat’ of the world and lived by an absolute passion for reality. In his short life Rochester may be said to have anticipated the Augustan Age and the Romantic Movement and passed beyond both. In the history of English thought his poetry is an event of the highest significance.
JG179G Giovanni Paolo Lancellotti
Corpus juris canonici emendatum et notis illustratum, Gregorii XIII. Pont. Max. jussu editum ;
indicibus variis, novisq; et appendice Pauli Lancellotti Perusini adauctum … : accesserunt novissimè loci communes uberrimi, summâ diligentiâ ex ipsis canonibus collecti, & ordine ac methodo singulari ad usum fori utriusque fideliter digesti … : Itemq[ue] Liber VII. Decretalium hac primùm editione novis aliquot constitutionibus auctus.
Coloniæ Munatianæ : [s.n.],1661 $1,320
Quarto This copy is bound in full original vellum, there is some water damage to the bottom of the pages but not effecting the text.
The Corpus Juris Canonici, Is the Corpus of Canon Law,a set of six compilations of law in the Roman Catholic Church that provided the chief source of ecclesiastical legislation from the Middle Ages until it was superseded in 1917.
The Corpus includes four official collections: I the Decretum Gratiani (“Decree of Gratian”), written between 1141 and 1150; II the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (1234); III the Liber Sextus (“Book Six”) of Pope Boniface VIII (1298);IV and the Clementinae of Pope Clement V (1317) This edition has a General Index and commentary, Institutiones by Paul Lancellotto and a another Index of the Septimus Decretalium.
A very solid copy of the foundations of modern law!
JG682G Dufresnoy, Charles-Alphonse. 1611-1688
De arte graphica. The art of painting, by C.A. Du Fresnoy. With remarks. Translated into English, together with an original preface containing a parallel betwixt painting and poetry. As also a short account of the most eminent painters, both ancient and modern, continu’d down to the present times, according to the order of their succession. By another hand.
London : W. Rogers, at the Sun against St. Dunstan’s church in Fleetstreet, 1695 $2,200
Quarto This copy is the first edition of the text in English translation This copy is bound in contemporary paneled calf it is a very clean large copy.
Dufresnoy was a working artist who established himself within a circle of peers that included Poussin, Claude Lorrain, and, close friend, Pierre Mignard who spent several years with him in Italy.
Dufresnoy was before all things a critic, and his best known work is not a painting, but a book, “De Arte Graphica”, a manual written in extremely elegant Latin verse…and reprinted for a hundred years as a masterpiece”. The academic and creative impact Dufresnoy’s book had was great; his influence reverberated across the artistic community.
Lowndes describes the book as “a work of established reputation” and the text itself includes Dufresnoy’s explanation of the art of painting. Examples of some topics covered include “The motions of the hands and head must agree”, “The conduct of the tones of Light and Shadows”, “The reflection of colours”, “Things which are vicious in painting to be avoided”. There is also an interesting account of “the most eminent painters, both ancient and modern” by his personal judgement (includes articles on Vouet, Caravaggio, his hero, Titian, and others).
“Painting and Poetry are two Sisters, which are so like in all things, that they mutually lend to each other both their Name and Office. One is call’d a dumb Poesy, and the other a speaking Picture” (from pg. 3 of “De Arte Graphica”). Dufresnoy and Dryden helped assure this filial association between the two popular arts of painting and poetry. This text laid the groundwork for Jonathan Richardson’s seminal “Essay on the Theory of Painting” published in 1715 – a work that has been hailed as the “starting point for the classical school of art criticism in Britain” and the study of aesthetics. “ (Prince, “Aesthetics: Sources in the Eighteenth Century”).
JG712G Giorgio Vasari, (1511-1574)
Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori et architetti di Giorgio Vasari, pittore & architetto aretino; parte prima e seconda [-terza] ; in questa nuoua edizione diligentemente riviste, ricorrette, accresciute d’alcuni ritratti, & arricchite di postille nel margine.
Bologna: Presso gli heredi di Euangelista Dozza, 1648, 1663 $12,000
Quarto: 3 volumes: each measures: 22 x 16 cm. I. [†]4, ††4, a-h4, i6, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Hhh4. II. A6, B-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Yyy4. III. π4, a-c4, d6, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Vvv4, Xxx6
“FOURTH” EDITION (1st ed. 1550) and the “THIRD” ILLUSTRATED EDITION (1st 1568) of Vasari’s “Lives”. This edition has presented a puzzle to bibliographers. The first volume is dated 1648, the other two 1663, and many copies of this “mixed date” edition are known. It would appear that the publishers reprinted the 2nd and 3rd volumes in 1663 and used unsold copies of the first volume of the edition of 1648. See Olschki, “Choix de Livres Anciens,” Vol. X, 15790 (the 1648 ed.) and 15791 (the present mixed-date edition.)
A nice set with good margins, bound in three uniform bindings of 18th century tanned sheepskin, the spines gold-ruled in compartments and with black and citron lettering pieces. These are very good copies with occasional light toning, more to the final, un-illustrated volume, and one browned signature. The three volumes are illustrated throughout with the well-known woodcut portraits of the artists set within ornate frames. For his 1647 edition the editor, Carlo Monalessi, acquired the original woodblocks used for the 1568 edition, and had several new portraits added. This edition also includes all of the portraits.
“Giorgio Vasari invented Renaissance art. In 1550, he published a collection of one hundred and forty-two biographies, his ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Architects, Painters, and Sculptors from Cimabue to our Times’, and defined a period of artistic activity spanning nearly three hundred years in terms of rebirth (rinascità) and progress. He gave the history of the visual arts in Italy a determined course as they advanced towards the perfection of his own day through the contributions of individual artists. He turned a fragmentary discussion and appreciation into a coherent and forceful representation of achievement that has endured since his time. Scattered notices, dim memories, direct encounters, rumor, gossip, anecdote, and experience were structured and transformed by association with exemplary notions of behavior and shaped by a vision of
JG712G Giorgio Vasari, (1511-1574) stylistic development and historical continuity. “Vasari organized the lives in his book into three parts, or ages, roughly corresponding to the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, each defined by their distinctive
character. He dated the initial stages of the rebirth or recovery of the lost attainments of antiquity to around 1240, when Giovanni Cimabue was born to kindle ‘the first lights of painting’. He regarded the arts to be in their infancy in this era, and traced the artists’ faltering steps towards the perfection of later years. For Vasari the means of arriving at perfection lay in the mastery of the principles and models offered by ancient art: a correct understanding of the architectural orders and the imitation of the poses, proportions, and dramatic possibilities of ancient sculpture. To these were added the naturalistic rendering of light with harmoniously blended colors and chiaroscuro modeling in painting, and above all, in all the arts, in ‘disegno’ –the command of idealized form that resulted from manual dexterity (drawing) and an intellectual perception of beauty (design). In the first era painters and sculptors are described as valiantly, if crudely, overthrowing the stiff, course, and clumsy figures of the style Vasari labeled as Greek, achieving more lifelike poses and expression in their figures. Architects are valued for building with more order, beginning to improve from what Vasari called the German manner, which had prevailed since the invasion of the Roman Empire and the destruction of its monuments. In the second era, Vasari shows how the prime goal of art –the imitation of nature- is nearly attained as a result of the successive technical discoveries made by the artists of that time through their diligence and study. These included the rediscovery of the measures, proportions, and ornaments of ancient architecture, and the mastery of anatomy and perspective. This era of technical advance is followed by Vasari’s modern age, when, in various ways, artists bring those techniques to their highest realization. They do so on the basis of their immediate past and the recovery and full comprehension of a distinguished repertory of classical models. With this comes the ability to surpass previous accomplishments, going beyond the rules with new and graceful inventions. The conquest of nature is complete. The palm of victory is granted to Michelangelo –the culminating figure of the ‘Lives’.”… “[Vasari’s] sources in both writing and painting were absorbed and transformed into new expressive forms, whether on palace walls or in artists’ lives. Both were meant to charm and please, to be varied and lifelike. They were true to nature but not idealized. Both were modern. The book was more original. Nothing like it had existed before. Literary friends could offer suggestions, but no plan or scheme or program. The ‘Lives’ are Vasari’s own, and probably greatest invention.” (Patricia Lee Rubin, Giorgio Vasari: Art and History)
Olschki, “Choix de Livres Anciens,” Vol. X, 15791; All of the following references record the 1648 Dozza edition unless where noted. Graesse VI, 264. Brunet V, 1096; Schlosser, 251; Gamba, 1725 (1568 ed.); Cicognara, 2391
May 18, 2016 at 10:32 AM
What a wonderful adventure! Thanks for sharing this.
I always read your messages with interest and I’m happy that you are doing well.
I think you’ve got a novel or two in there — about a collector who discovers something truly astonishing.
Cheers to you, and hope life is treating you well!
Dr. Karl E. Jirgens, Editor, Rampike Magazine
Dept. of English Language, Literature & Creative Writing
University of Windsor
401 Sunset Avenue
Canada N9B 3P4
PHO: (519) 253-3000 ext. 2310 & ext. 2289
FAX: (519) 971-3676
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May 18, 2016 at 10:41 AM
Thanks Karl! I hope all is well with you too!