Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Recently acquired rare and antiquarian materials

Exciting new additions to the Stanford rare books collection range from exposition albums to treatises on the dangers of venereal disease in French Indochina. We have also recently acquired a 1554 edition of Boccaccio’s Filocopo, one of the first compositions by this seminal author of the Italian Renaissance, as well as a 1737 edition of commemorative poems which includes a contribution by Laura Bassi, the first woman to be appointed lecturer at a European university (Bologna).

French Works

Coutances. Constitutions des religieuses hospitalières de Coutances. Coutances [Normandy], last quarter of the eighteenth century. Manuscript.

"This is a manuscript manual for the Augustinian sisters who were charged with care for the sick. It describes in detail the familiar spiritual necessities of prayer, poverty, humility, charity and chastity and has substantial sections on the sisters’ hospital duties. They were required to tend to the sick (taking account of both their spiritual and medical needs), to make simple records of the patients, to assist at mealtimes and prayers and to be diligent in summoning either doctor or surgeon, according to the patient’s need.  Attendance at the deathbed was also required. There are sections on daily prayers, meals, dress, relations with those outside the hospital, discipline and reading."

Du Deffand, Marie de Vichy Chamrond, Marquise. [Meeke, Mary, Translator]. The Unpublished Correspondence of Madame du Deffand, with d’Alembert, Montesquieu, the President Hénault, the Duchess du Maine, Mesdames de Staal, de Choiseul, the Marquis d’Argens, the Chevalier D’Aydie, .... : followed by the Letters of Voltaire to Madame du Deffand. Translated from the French by Mrs. Meeke. In Two Volumes. Vol. I [-II]. London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A.K. Newman & Co., Leadenhall Street. 1810. Uncommon first English translation of this collection of unpublished correspondence of the French hostess and patron of the arts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand (1697-1780), together with historical details of her life.




Several pieces on France at Interational Expositions and fairs were acquired, including the following pamphlets on French Indochina from published for the Paris Colonial Exposition in 1931.

  • Indochine française. Section des services d'intérêt social. Direction générale de l'instruction publique. Le centre de formation professionnelle de Huê. Hanoi : Imprimerie d'Extrême-Orient, 1931. 
  • Gaide, Laurent Joseph. La prévention et le traitement de la lèpre en Indochine. Hanoi: Impr. d'Extrême-Orient, 1930. 
  • Gaide, Laurent Joseph, and Paul Bernard Campunaud. Le péril vénérien en Indochine: Indochine française. Hanoï: Impr. d'Extrême-Orient, 1930. 
  • Exposition coloniale. Indochine française. L'Inspection générale des mines et de l'industrie. Hanoï: Impr. d'Extrême-Orient, 1931. 


A. Carel. Les brasseries à femmes de Paris. ; illustrations d'après nature de Fernand Fau. Paris: E. Monnier, 1884. From the catalog description: "A flurry of women's brasseries opened following the Paris World Fair in 1867. First located in the Latin Quarter, the establishments hired young attractive women servers from various nations including France, Spain, and England. These brasseries à femmes, with more or less bizarre names . . . offered more than alcohol--they became centers for prostitution."


Livres de notice, des gages des domestique(s) et ouvrie(rs) de la bas cour 1691. Fine Manuscript in ink. France, n.p., ca. 1691-1704. From the catalog description: "An attractive manuscript listing the salaries paid for servants, domestic help and other workers at an unidentified French estate. . . . This annotated account book covers the period between 1691 and ca. 1704, and lists the payments to twenty-four employees, some identified by name, others by function."

Rey, J.-L. Des prostituées et de la prostitution en general, des moyens d’en atténuer les résultats… et de combattre l’invasion des maladies syphilitiques, suivi d’une notice sur les règlements de police concernant la prostitution. Le Mans, Julien, Lanier et Cie, 1847.
From the catalog description: "First edition of this study of prostitution by the Le Mans police commissioner J.-L. Rey. Rey’s concern is to mitigate the effects of prostitution, both among the women themselves, and among their clients; he aims both to improve moral education in an attempt to wean people off the practice, and, on a more practical level, proposes means of limiting the risk of syphilis and other diseases. In doing so, he examines the various types of prostitution, the routes by which people enter into it, the registration of prostitutes with the police, and the specifics facts of prostitution in Le Mans. An appendix contains the police regulations for managing and dealing with prostitution."

Robida, Albert. Voyage de fiançailles au xxe siècle... Paris: Librairie L. Conquet, 1892. 8vo (181 × 114 mm), pp. [iv], 83, [1], frontispiece, text illustrations, title in red and black. An illustrated futuristic voyage, set in 1954, with technology to match!

Italian Works

Componimenti poetici per il publico ingresso di sua eccellenza il signor cov. Fra Alessandro Conte Burri per la sacra ed eminentissima religione gerosolimitana ricevitore apresso la serenissima republica di Venezia. In Verona, Nella Stamperia Targa, MDCCXXXVII [1737].
"First edition of this collection of poems and songs written to commemorate the entry of Count Alessandro Burri into the present day Order of Malta, with contributions from Veronese members of the Accademia dell’Arcadia. Among the contributors are Laura Bassi, the physicist who was the first woman to teach in a European university, Gaetana Secchi Ronchi, and Francesca Ronchi." (from the dealer's catalog)

Boccaccio, Giovanni, Il filocopo. 1554. di nuovo riveduto, corretto ... alla sua vera lettione ridotto da M. Francesco Sansovino. Venezia, Francesco Rampazzetto. A rare edition of one of Boccaccio's masterpieces, in a textual revision by Sansovino.