visit our search page for our complete inventory

click here for

A list of old vellum-bound books



G., H. (Horat. Gram.) THE EAGLE AND THE ROBIN. An Apologue. Translated from the Original of Aesop, written Two Thousand Years since, and now rendered in familiar Verse... Together with TAFFEY'S TRIUMPH: Or, A New Translation of the Cambro-muo-maxia: In Imitation of Milton. By a Gentleman of Oxford. London: Printed and Sold by Henry Hills... 1709. 16 pp. Octavo, 7 x 4 3/8 in., disbound: The first and final (conjugate) leaves are detached and separated at the fold, else clean and very good. "Preface signed 'Horat. Gram.' presumably for Horace the schoolmaster. There is no evidence that it was translated from Aesop. Printed in Nichols, Collection III. 1-13 as by William King (1663-1712)... the attribution should be treated with suspicion. ... 'Taffey's triumph' is Daniel Bellamy's translation of Edward Holdsworth's Muscipula." (Foxon E5).




PEAKE, R. B. SNOBSON'S SEASONS, being annals of Cockney sports. (London particular.) London: Published by M. A. Nattali, [1838]. First edition. 91 of 92 engraved caricatures poking fun at the misadventures of sporting men in the horse and hound set, amateur anglers, etc., by Robert Seymour, Dickens' first illustrator. The plates include two illustrated half-titles with the title "Seymour's Sketches." vii, 104 pp. Tall octavo, bound by Bayntun of Bath in green, three-quarter crushed morocco with marbled sides, gilt titling to spine ("Seymour's Sketches" and "Snobson's Seasons"), t.e.g. Bookplate to front pastedown. Binding shows some edgewear and is rubbed at joints, and sunned at spine and top edges. The plates are remarkably clean and bright with faint offsetting of plates to text. Very good overall. Robert Seymour (1800-1836) was a prolific illustrator and caricaturist. Although heavily influenced by Cruikshank's style, his original contribution to the genre was the routine of comic sportsmen from London having adventures in the country. Today he is most recognized for having provided the prototypes for the characters Pickwick and Winkle in the early installments of Charles Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" before his untimely death.
Richard Brinsley Peake (1792-1847) was a productive and popular playwright, much valued for his dependability over the course of his forty-year career. One of his many contributions to the theatre was "Presumption, or, The Fate of Frankenstein" (1824), the first dramatic adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." He was also a prolific family man who, to paraphrase his own self assessment, though never idle, was often poor. In the 1830s and 1840s he began to publish in periodicals for vital extra cash. "Snobson's Seasons" is a light-hearted history of cockney sports. References: D.N.B.; Houfe, 296; Benezit; Westwood & Satchell, 193. Scare, only two copies at auction in over 30 years.





THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Includes MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF EDWARD GIBBON, ESQ. COMP0SED BY HIMSELF. In eight volumes. Philadelphia: William W. Birch & Abraham Small, 1804-1805. First American edition. 8vo., Frontis in volume one, three fold-out maps. Contemporary full calf with maroon labels with edge decorations. Ink signature of Samuel Trask on each flyleaf. All bindings are somewhat rubbed, several have small nicks to the top of the spine, spines a bit dry, some hinges a bit tender; overall a very good, appealing set of the first American edition of a of a landmark historical work in its original presentation. Shaw & Shoemaker 6381, Norton 48; p.102. $1500.00





THE WORKS OF LUCIAN, TRANSLATED FROM GREEK BY SEVERAL EMINENT HANDS. with The Life of Lucian, A Discourse on his Writings, and A Character of fome of the present Translators. Written by John Dryden, Esq. London, Printed for Sam. Briscoe, 1711. 4 vols. Nineteen century reback with new labels. Brown calf with red spine lables. Some light wear, mostly to edges and at hinges. Binding is tight and pages are nearly all free from foxing. Volume 1 bears a previous owner's extensive notes to second and third leaves. A solid set. $850.00







BLISS, Carey. JULIUS FIRMICUS MATERNUS AND THE ALDINE EDITION OF SCRIPTORES ASTRONOMICI VETERES. Los Angeles: Kenneth Karmiole, 1981. Folio. Numbered 39 of 164. This study of the Aldine Edition contains a 1499 Aldine leaf in Roman type, paragraph markings printed in red and blue as well as a 3-line initial in blue. There is also a short contemprary ink annotation in the margin. Bound in grey linen with paper titling label at spine. 28pp plus bibliography, acknowledgments and colophon, printed by Patrick Reagh. A fine copy. $650.00




17th and 18th Century British Drama


DRYDEN, John. CLEOMENES, THE SPARTAN HEROE. A Tragedy, as it is acted in the Theatre Royal. To which is prefixt The Life of Cleomenes. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson ..., 1692. First edition. Quarto. A4,a2,*B-*C4,d-e4,B-K4. 21.5 x 16.5 cm. [12],28,[4],72 pp. In a shelfworn Roxburghe-style binding: black quarter leather with marbled paper sides, gilt-stamped spine title. One leaf (*C4, pp. 15-16 in `The Life') has a 9 cm horizontal closed tear near the bottom edge. The top of the running title on p. 43 (G2r) is shaved. Otherwise some mild age-staining and spotting throughout, and in very good condition overall. This was the next to the last of Dryden's plays to produced. Owing to Dryden's illness, the fifth act of the play was completed by Thomas Southerne. The life of Cleomenes was translated from Plutarch by Thomas Creech. It is believed that the revival of some of Shakespeare's Roman plays about this time turned the attention of both playwrights and public to classical themes. (Macdonald 92; Pforzheimer 321; ESTC R19821). $375.00






[SHAKESPEARE, William, & John Dryden] [GARRICK, David, adapted by] THE TEMPEST, AN OPERA. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane. The songs from Shakespeare, Dryden, &c. The music composed by Mr. [John Christopher] Smith. London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson, 1756. First edition - the libretto only, no music. Octavo. [ ]4,B-G4. 20 x 12 cm. [8],47,[1] pp. Bound in Roxburghe style red quarter morocco with red linen sides. Elegantly designed and printed. Small ink smudge on p. 35 with offset to 34, else a very clean and attractive, near-fine copy. This adaptation is still commonly attributed to Garrick despite his denial. The music (not included here) was by John Christopher Smith, Handel's only pupil, who had already composed a popular opera , "The Faeries' (1755), based upon Shakespeare's `A Midsummer Night's Dream.' (ESTC T49920; Jaggard p. 463) $2,500.00






FIELDING, Henry. THE TEMPLE BEAU. A Comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre in Goodman's-Fields. London: Printed for J. Watts, 1730. First edition of Fielding's second play and third book. Octavo. [ ]2,B-F8,G2. 19.5 x 12 cm. [4],80,[4] pp. The final four unnumbered pages are comprised of the epilogue [1], two songs [2-3], and a publisher's advertisement dated Feb. 2, 1729 [4]. This copy is one printed on ordinary paper without a watermark, and with a price following the imprint. (There is a variant printed on fine watermarked paper without a price following the imprint.) Text is clean but for occasional light age spotting. Handsomely bound by Zaehnsdorf in light brown calf with a dark brown morocco label on spine, gilt triple rule frames on side, gilt inner dentelles with marbled endpapers. Near fine. (Cross III, p. 290; ESTC T49927). $1,250.00





CONGREVE, William. THE WAY OF THE WORLD, a Comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields,by His Majesty's Servants. London: Jacob Tonson, 1700. First edition, with the catchword "Lady" on p. 80. (ESTC notes at least two states for this edition, but no preference is given.) Small quarto. [ ]4,a2,B-M4,N2. 21 x 16 cm. [12],89,[3] pp. Half-title page present. The last page is a publisher's list. Bound in full black morocco with gilt title on spine and gilt inner dentelles. Binding shows light wear at joints and fore-edges of boards. Text is age browned with some occasional light spotting. Very good plus.

This is the most finished of Congreve's comedies. However, as it wasn't written to suit the prevailing taste, it wasn't very well received. Not that Congreve had been expecting better, he said as much in the preface. It is said that he also told the audience to their faces that they need not take the trouble to disapprove, as he meant to write no more. And he didn't. `The Way of the World' was the last of Congreve's plays to be performed upon the stage. (ESTC R8381; Tinker 734; Grolier 100, no. 37; DNB). $2,750.00






[SHAKESPEARE, William] DRYDEN, John. TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, or, Truth Found Too Late. A tragedy as it is acted at the Dukes Theatre. To which is Prefix'd, A Preface Containing the Ground of Criticism in Tragedy. London: Printed for Abel Swall ... and Jacob Tonson ..., 1679. First edition, bound with the leaf of commendatory verse by Richard Duke that is found in only some copies. It is bound in just before p. 1, where the play begins. Small quarto. A4,a-b4,[ ]1,B-K4 21.5 x 16 cm. [26],69,[3] pp. Bound in light brown, full calf, with gilt stamped title to spine. The binding is gently scuffed and has a small bit of ink splatter on lower board. Some light age toning and spotting and/or staining throughout, but clean and attractive overall. This is an adaptation of Shakespeare's TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, but greatly altered by Dryden: "I new model'd the plot; threw out many unnecessary persons, improv'd those characters which were begun and left unfinish'd... The whole fifth act, both plot and writing, are my own addition." (ESTC R4152; MacDonald 84 a ii; Pforzheimer 915; Jaggard, pp. 476-477). $2,750.00







[VANBRUGH, John, Sir]. THE RELAPSE; OR, VIRTUE IN DANGER: Being the sequel of The Fool in Fashion, a comedy. Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane. [London:] Printed for Samuel Briscoe ..., 1697. First edition. Small quarto. A-O4. 21.5 x 16 cm. [8],29-56,59-106 pp. Pagination is a bit irregular (pp. 30-31 are misnumbered 32-33, and page nos. 57-58 are dropped completely), but the text is complete. Bound in Roxburghe style brown three-quarter morocco with brick red sides, gilt title to spine. Binding shows light shelfwear. Moderate to heavy foxing throughout text. One leaf (D1) has irregular loss in the blank fore-edge margin. Still, it is a very good copy of Vanbrugh's first play, which was published anonymously, that is rarely seen in the market. It is a sequel to Colley Cibber's "Love's Last Shift; or, The Fool in Fashion" (1696) and was an immediate success, remaining popular throughout the eighteenth century. Numerous editions were published, as well as several translations, and even some adaptations. (ESTC R23576; Pforzheimer 1021). $1750.00






COWLEY, A[braham]. ODE, UPON THE BLESSED RESTORATION AND RETURNE OF OF HIS SACRED MAJESTIE, CHARLES THE SECOND. London: Printed for Henry Herringman ..., 1660. First edition. Small quarto. A-B4,C4(-4). 19 x 14.5 cm. [2],19,[1] pp. Missing the last leaf, a blank. The title-page has been remargined at top-edge, quite close to the tops of the letters in the first line, but without any loss of type. The paper is toned at top and bottom edges throughout, with occasional short edge-tears. The catchwords on pp. 8 and 9 are trimmed (the Pforzheimer bibliographer conjectures that "probably they are cut into in most copies for the text on these two pages is two lines longer than any other"), as are the page numbers on C2. Bound in Roxburghe style quarter straight-grain morocco with plain paper sides. The binding is shelfworn and lightly soiled, and starting at crown. Ex-library: Shelf label on upper board, bookplate at front pastedown, small blind-stamped seal on first two leaves, and an ink stamp on verso of t.p. Cowley (1618-67) supported the Royalist cause during the Civil War. His Ode was written at the Restoration in expectation of a reward, as were similar efforts by many others. Although he never did receive royal preferment, on his death Charles II remarked "That Mr Cowley had not left a better man behind him in England." He is buried in Westminster Abbey. (ESTC R202041; Pforzheimer 229). $475.00







MOXON, Joseph. A TUTOR TO ASTRONOMIE AND GEOGRAPHIE: OR AN EASIE AND SPEEDY WAY TO KNOW THE USE OF BOTH THE GLOBES, CELESTIAL AND TERRESTRIAL. IN SIX BOOKS... Whereunto is added the Antient Poetical Stories of the Stars : shewing several reasons why the several shapes and forms are pictured on the Celestial Globe. Collected from Doctor [Thomas] Hood. As also a Discourse of the Antiquity, Progress and Argumentation of Astronomie. London: Printed by Joseph Moxon, 1659.


First edition. Engraved illustrated title-page in Latin ("Ductor ad Astronomiam & Gographiam...") as frontispiece, plus engraved illustrations and wood-engraved figures in text. Small quarto. 18.5 x 14 cm. [14],224,40 pp. Two brief ink corrections in text on pages 27 and 62, and page 96 is soiled. Two leaves (G4 & H1) have paper repairs at bottom fore-corners and several leaves at the end have small loss at bottom fore-corner, none of which affects any text. Yet it is a clean copy overall and handsomely bound in modern full sprinkled calf done in period style, with a gilt-lettered red morocco spine label.

Moxon (1627-1691) was a hydrographer - that is a map and chart printer and seller - and mathematician who was skilled in many things (smithing, engraving, printing books and pictures) as well as globe and map making. He operated a shop 'on Corn-hill, at the signe of Atlas' where he sold astronomical books,

UTOR TO ASTRONOMIE AND GEOGRAPHIE: OR AN EASIE AND SPEEDY WAY TO KNOW THE USEmaps, and instruments. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1678. (DNB, Wing M3021). $3,250.00




BACON, Francis. ESSAYS, MORAL, ECONOMICAL, AND POLITICAL, With the Life of the Author. London, Printed at the Chiswick Press by C. Whittingham for J. Carpenter, 1812, Octavo. xl, 295pp. Frontispiece portrait. Nicely bound in green diced calf, expertly and almost imperceptibly rebacked in green leather, gilt, with red label. Small ownership stamp to flyleaf, and offset from frontispiece onto title, else fine. $275.00 #76905 order or inquire









AESOP. FABULAE AESOPI SELECTAE, or, Select Fables of Aesop: With AN English translation, more literal than any yet extant, designed for the reader instruction of beginners in the Latin tongue. By H. Clarke. Baltimore: Published by J. & T. Vance; J. Robinson, Printer, 1817. Parallel texts in Latin and English printed in double columns. 161 pp. 12mo. Worn and rubbed contemporary binding of speckled calf, with shallow loss at crown. The upper board is detached. Text leaves are age-browned and foxed. This imprint is not noted in OCLC, though it does note a Fielding Lucas Jr. imprint in Baltimore from the same year, with the same pagination. (Shaw & Shoemaker 39948). $500.00 #72578






COOPER, James Fenimore. THE CRATER; or, Vulcan's Peak. In Two Volumes. New York: Burgess, Stringer & Co., 1847. First American edition (second issue of Vol. I). Two volumes bound in one (without the wrappers); quarter calf and cloth boards, marbled edges and endpapers. The leather shows wear and the upper spine label is missing; front hinge almost completely split. The text is clean and bright. A good copy. Uncommon. (BAL 3925) $250.00




ELIOT, George. SILAS MARNER. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1861. First American edition. 8vo, 265 pp. + ads., publisher's green cloth. Ownership, small stains to gutter at endpapers, cloth slightly worn at extremes and faded. Very good, tight copy. $125.00








DICKENS, Charles. THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. With Twelve Illustrations by S. L. Fildes, and a Portrait. London: Chapman & Hall, [April - September] 1870. First edition. A total of 14 illustrations, including a portrait of Dickens and a vignette title-page. Octavo. [viii,1]-190, [2] pp. In the original six monthly parts, as issued, in blue paper wrappers. Housed in a green three-quarter leather pull-off case in a green cloth chemise. Wrappers show some general light wear and some minor expert repair and are very good overall. The front wrap on Part 1 has a small ink spot near one edge and shows a bit more wear than the other wrappers. Almost all advertisements are present, including the rare cork ad in Part 2, lacking only four pages (nos. 7 - 10) of the "Edwin Drood Advertiser" in Part 3 and the eight-page Chapman & Hall catalog in Part 5. Another minor difference, the eight-page Chapman & Hall catalog in Part 1 is not completely unpaginated; pages 2 and 3 are marked as such. Part 6 has the "Eighteenpence" slip pasted over the original price on front wrap as found in the earliest issues. Some plates show mild light foxing. Text leaves are clean. This was Dickens' last work; it was left unfinished at his death in June, 1870. (Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 371-384) $1,750.00 #83093







70769Fleury, Claude (and Jean Claude Fabre). HISTOIRE ECCLESIASTIQUE, par Mr. Fleury, Prêtre, Abbé de Loc-Dieu, sous-precepteur de Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne & de Monseigneur le Duc d'Anjou. Paris: Pierre Emery (etc.), 1691(-1738). Quarto. 36 volumes. First edition. A beautiful set in full mottled calf, gilt, with lettering-pieces and five raised bands to spines. Probably bound at publication of the final volume. Title woodcut, and copper-engraved headpiece with history scene to each volume, mostly by Sebastien LeClerc. Volumes 21-36, by Fabre, are subtitled "Pour servir decontinuation à celle de Monsieur l'Abbé Fleury." Beginning with Volume 20 the imprints vary to include Jean Mariette, Saugrain, Pierre Martin, and Hippolyte-Louis Guerin. A thorough theological, historical, and anecdotal chronicle of the Catholic Church from the time of the Evangelists to 1595. A standard work, first published in 1691 and reprinted many times. Small losses to three spine ends, wear to extremities, and small superficial cracks to hinges of six volumes; occasional light waterstaining, but on the whole a very good copy. The OCLC shows only one other copy of the first edition, at Yale. $6,500.00 click image for more details, pictures


LE GRAND, Antoine. INSTITUTIO PHILOSOPHIA SECUNDUM PRINCIPIA D. RENATI DESCARTES Nova Methodo Adornata et Explicata. In Usum Juventutis Academicae. London, J. Martyn, Press of the Royal Society, 1672. Octavo. [xxiv]470[1]pp. Engraved frontispiece after Faithorne, and engraving at p. 221 showing the Solar System. First edition, appearing in London in Latin and English in the same year, and followed by several more printings in London, Nuremburg, and Geneva. Le Grand (1629-1699) a Franciscan monk, introduced and popularized the works and philosophy of Descartes in England, Germany, and France. His connections in Oxford, Cambridge, and the Royal Society enabled him to exert influence and to defend Descartes in debates. This exposition of Cartesian principles was intended for students in universities. Lacking ffe. Frontispiece shows small chip to margin, not affecting printed area, and date corrected to 1674; 2 inch tear to p. 425. One Israel Cheever practiced his signature on the rear endpaper in 1759, and signed the printed title. Contemporary calf with intricately gilt spine and label. Superficial cracks to ends of hinges; wear to spine head. Withal a very good copy of the first edition of an influential book. $1,250.00 #84816 click image for more details, pictures






84517GREENE, W. T. PARROTS IN CAPTIVITY, 3 VOLUMES. London: George Bell and Sons, 1884 - 1887. First editions. Three different 8vo. green cloth bindings, the third volume being about 1/2 inch taller. x + 144 pp/xiv + 114 pp/viii + 144 pp. Volume 3 lacks the last three plates. Light soil and wear to cloth, corners bumped. Gilt slightly faded on Vol. 1 and 2's spines; Vol. 3 has a printed paper spine label. Hinges cracked in first 2 volumes, third sound with light foxing to endpapers. Light pale foxing to edges of frontispiece in Volumes 1 and 3; else the plates are fine. Total of 78 beautiful chromolithograph plates. $4,750.00 #84517 click image for more details, pictures













74721RASTELL, John. THE PASTIME OF THE PEOPLE, or, The Chronicles of Divers Realms; and most especially of the Realm of England. Briefly compiled, and imprinted in Cheapside, by John Rastell, [A.D. 1529.] Now first reprinted and systematically arranged, with fac-simile wood-cuts of the portraits of Popes, Emperors, &c. and the Kings of England. London: F.C. and J. Rivington [et al.], 1811. Edited by Thomas Dibdin, who re-arranged all the material of the original edition for greater coherence, but without altering it. 18 striking, full-page wood-cuts of the Kings of England after the originals, executed by John Nesbit, and vignette cuts in the text. Quarto: viii,299 pp. including plates. Quarter bound in green morocco with green cloth sides, gilt title to spine. t.e.g. Bookplate at front pastedown; library bookplate at final pastedown, but no other marks. The leather is rubbed along edges and on spine bands; cloth sides are scuffed. Internally clean, despite occasional light thumbing in margins. A nicely printed and boldly illustrated, wide-margined copy in a worn-looking (though solid) binding, very good overall. $425.00 #74721 click image for more details, pictures






HOLMES, Oliver Wendell. THE SCHOOL-BOY. Illustrated by D. C. HITCHCOCK, J. Appleton BROWN, F. T. MERRILL, W. L. SHEPPARD and A. R. WAUD. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1879. First trade edition. Dedicated to the Students of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. 79 pp. 8vo., brown cloth, beveled boards stamped in gilt, black and white, a.e.g. Boards shelfworn, corners and spine frayed. Cloth and decoration bright. Extra set of gilt decorated endpapers is inserted after front endpapers (publisher's error). Signed by Holmes and dated April 23, 1880 on recto of frontispiece. B/w illustrations. Overopened at title page, else clean and tight. BAL 8931. $375.00 #85007













FUNCK, Johann Nicolaus. DE ADOLESCENTIA LATINAE LINGUAE TRACTATUS quo Iuvenilis & crescens eius in variis scientiis vigor & fata, inde a Bello Punico secundo usque ad Ciceronis aetatem, demonstrantur. Marburg, Philip Casimir Muller, 1723. 4to. [ii]333[17]pp. First edition. The philologist J.N. Funck of Marburg charted the development of the Latin language in a series of treatises: de Origine; de Pueritia; de Adolescentia; de Virili Aetate; de Imminenti Senectute; de Inerti ac decrepita Senectute (On the Origin, the Childhood, the Adolescence, the Manhood, the Approaching Old Age, the Decrepit Old Age) as though it were a living human being. This, the third treatise, concerns the "Adolescence" of the language, from the Second Punic War to the time of Cicero. Nicely printed, with type ornaments, and title in red and black, Light toning to pages; two-inch by 1/4-inch hole in title page, probably from rubbing out an owner's signature. Original speckled pasteboard covers, worn at extremities and backed in modern cloth. $395.00 #77362









VALUABLE SECRETS IN ARTS, TRADES, ETC. SELECTED FROM THE BEST AUTHORS AND ADAPTED TO THE SITUATION OF THE UNITED STATES. New York: Evert Duyckinck, 1809. 12mo. 380 pp. + [20] pp. Index. Modern binding of mottled calf in a contemporary style, with a lettering piece and gilt single-rules on spine, and blind tooled frames on sides. Some of the gilt lettering on spine has flaked off. Bookblock is scuffed on fore-edge; moderate foxing within. The title-leaf and the following leaf ("The Editor's Preface") have been mounted on transparent tissue. One text leaf (p. 307-308) has loss at bottom forecorner, affecting just one letter of type. Another leaf (p. 309-310) has an old paper repair at top forecorner, not affecting type. Despite the flaws mentioned, it is an attractive, sound and very good copy. (Shaw & Shoemaker 19085). $375.00 #78667