Thursday, March 8, 2012

Recently acquired rare and antiquarian materials, February

Enlightenment materials, as well as a manuscript about life on the farm in the late 17th century...
Chaudon, Louis Mayeul (1737-1817). L’homme du monde éclairé, Entretiens. A Paris, chez Moutard, Libraire de Madame la Dauphine, quai des Augustins, près du pont S. Michel, à S. Ambroise. 1774.
FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. xii, 303, [6], in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, red edges, with the later heraldic presentation bookplate of Christoper MacCartan, dated April 1851.
A work by a Benedictine monk, critic of Voltaire and author of a Dictionnaire antiphilosophique, to which Voltaire replied in later editions of his Dictionnaire philosophique. This work consists of 18 dialogues.

Vitalis, Antoine. Fables d’Antoine Vitallis.... A Paris, de l’Imprimerie de Du Pont. L’An III [1795].
FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. [iv], 235, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spine gilt with lozenge tooling in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, some wear along the front joint, plain endpapers, marbled edges.
Works of an 18th century fabulist, inspired by La Fontaine,. Published during the French Revolution, his works show an engagement with contemporary issues, too. “ His ‘La République du Tigre’ (pp. 158-159) with its phrase ‘l’image du cahos’, can be seen as a commentary on the terror, whilst ‘Le Café’ (pp. 101) is a satire on the coffee- houses.Printed by Pierre-Samuel Dupont de Nemours, the economist, in the same year as his arrest. He had purchased a printing house in 1791 in order to ensure the safe printing and distribution of his journals.” (Amanda Hall, TEFFONT XXVII).
“First edition of the rules and regulations of the Naples Academy of Science and Literature...  founded under the patronage of Ferdinand IV. The Academy covers mathematics, medicine, chemistry, botany, volcanology, mineralogy, and mechanics, and on the literature side, ancient history and antiquities. … A full list of local and foregin members is given, including many foreign scientists, such as Banks, Lagrange, d’Alembert, Bonnet, Spallanzani... The second half contains a thoughtful analysis of the legal organisation, with a suitable separation of the fianncial, academic, and political leadership, and with separate financial management.
Naples had actually been the home of the Accademia Secretorum Naturae, of Accademia di Segreti, founded by DellaPorta around 1560 and generally regarded as the earliest scientific society. However, when Della Porta waspersecuted for practicing the black arts, his academy was disbanded, although he was later acquitted.”  (Susanne Schulz-Falster, proof, catalogue 17)

“Livres de notice, des gages des domestique(s) et ouvrie(rs) de la bas cour, “1691. Manuscript in ink. France, np, ca. 1691-1704.
Narrow 4to; pp. [64], with a few blank leaves; bound in an earlier vellum liturgical manuscript leaf; fine manuscript in ink, written in a legible hand.
A manuscript documenting salaries paid for servants and other workers on an unidentified French estate at the end of the 17th century. The piece records information about 24 servants and their responsibilities.

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections