Vive la France! Vive la Russie!
THE FRENCH STATE VISIT: A LEATHER CIGAR BOX WITH SILVER AND ENAMEL MOUNTS. St Petersburg, Grachev, 1902. £14,500.
When the new capital city of St Petersburg was founded in 1703, on the boggy delta of the river Neva, it created a door to Western Europe. Along with the beautiful palaces and landscaped gardens, salon culture and the French language arrived, embedding a Parisian ambition amongst the aristocracy. As readers of War and Peace will know, speaking French in elite circles was simply ‘comme il faut’ and even Pushkin, the father of Russian literature, wrote his first verse in French. Idealising a French model effectively suppressed every aspect of traditional folk culture; ballet was introduced and plays, operas and novels were almost exclusively French. Yet the upper classes experienced a certain loss in national pride, and Fonvizin’s Ivan in The Brigadier (1769) even proclaimed ‘anyone who has been to Paris has the right not to count himself Russian anymore’.
CADOLLE, AUGUSTE. Vues de Moscou. Paris, chez l'auteur, de l'Imprimerie & de la fonderie de J. Pinard, 1825. £25,000.
Educated in European style lycées and gymnasiums the aristocracy still felt somewhat inferior with their Gallic imitations. As Dostoevsky wrote in Writer’s Diary, the Russians would always be nothing more than ‘hangers-on’ in Europe. Their rootless identity was further wounded by the utter humiliation of Napoleon’s entry into Moscow following the Battle of Borodino. It seemed as though despite the Russian Empire’s best attempts they would never be on par with the nation they tried so hard to emulate. All was not lost however, and two years later Tsar Alexander I was handed the key to the city of Paris after successfully forcing Napoleon to capitulate. According to etymological legend Russian officers even left the city a permanent gift from their brief sojourn. Demanding that their food be served quickly as possible they shouted ‘bystro!’ to the waiters, thus coining the term bistro.
MERIMÉE, PROSPER; SOLOMKO, SERGEY SERGEEVICH (ILLUSTRATOR). Carmen. Paris, Ferroud, 1911. £12,500.
Relations warmed up in the latter stages of the nineteenth century with increasing economic cooperation, culminating in the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894. Presidents Felix Faure and Émile Loubet both visited St Petersburg and were toasted as warm friends and allies by Nicholas II (in French of course). The Tsar laid the foundation stone for the Parisian bridge named after his father, Alexander III in 1896 and Félix Faure reciprocated the sentiment for the Trinity Bridge in Petersburg a year later, cementing the quite literal bridge-building between the two countries. However, the Revolution of 1917 changed the trajectory of the two nations’ fates once again and a mistrust drove a wedge between them.
TEILLAIS, JULES CHEVALIER DE LA. Étude sur les chevaux russes. Oberthur et fils, Rennes, 1869. £5,750.
In the midst of a diplomatic frost, France became a haven for the Empire’s talent. Russian émigrés fled their homeland, making perilous journeys across Europe, most losing their vast fortunes along the way. French culture and styles had been exported to Russia for centuries but émigré artists were now flourishing in their adoptive home and became leaders of artistic movements. Nijinsky, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes revolutionised dance whilst Kandinsky, Goncharova and Chagall did the same for art. As Chagall once said of France ‘there, in the south, for the first time in my life, I saw that rich greenness – the like of which I had never seen in my own country’. A burgeoning symbiosis of French and Russian art was born and one for which we are all truly grateful.
CHAGALL, MARC; NICOLAI GOGOL. Les âmes mortes. Paris, Tériade, 1948. £37,500.
A "teaser" selection of images from our latest catalogue on Asian Travel & Exploration. The printed catalogue will be out on approximately the 22nd of January, and will be posted online a few weeks afterwards.
For more information on this catalogue, or if you have any other queries relating to Asia and Asian books, please contact our specialist Julian MacKenzie.
Here are some of the highlights from our upcoming catalogue of continental works, which showcases the way that the medium of printing has facilitated the exchange of ideas across cultures – irrespective of the language in which those ideas were first expressed.
CATHERINE II, Empress of Russia; PALLAS, Peter Simon.
Manuscript for Сравнительный словарь всех языков и наречий [Comparative Dictionary of All the Languages and Dialects]. 1784.
MANUSCRIPT NOTES IN CATHERINE THE GREAT'S OWN HAND, A PREPARATORY STUDY FOR THE BIGGEST LINGUISTIC PROJECT OF THE CENTURY.
Catherine II (1762–96), who was originally Prussian, took an interest in philology in her early years in Russia while studying the language. She was captivated by Court-de-Gébelin’s bold idea that the languages of the world had originated from one source - one primitive language.
This in turn prompted her to look for similarities between Russian and other languages. She began her research by putting together a list of Russian words, mostly nouns, defining simple concepts for which one could find an equivalent in most languages, however basic they were. These 200 – 300 words were then to be translated into all known languages, first of the Russian Empire and later of the world. The scale of this project meant that it would have been impossible for anyone who did not possess Catherine’s boundless power and connections. Realising the vast scale of the task, the Empress soon recruited her trusted friend, the academician and leading scientist Peter Simon Pallas (1741 – 1811), to continue her work and edit it for publication.
Thus the present manuscript, together with many other drafts and notes, passed into Pallas’ hands around April 1785.
Price: £17,500 [ref: 90194]
Typus eclipsis lunae, Anno Christi 1671, Imperatoris Cam Hy decimo, die XVto Lunae iiae, id est, die XXVto Martij, ad Meridianum Pekinensem. 1671.
A WORK OF GREAT RARITY BY THE JESUIT MISSIONARY VERBIEST DEALING WITH LUNAR ECLIPSES.
Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-88) was a Flemish-born Jesuit missionary, mathematician and astronomer, responsible for charting lunar eclipses for each of the Chinese provinces – data that the emperor required six months in advance. This scroll shows the phases of the lunar eclipse of March 25, 1671 in seventeen drawings, one for each province. The legend is in Chinese and Manchu.
Price: £65,000 [ref: 84702]
EINSTEIN, Albert; FREUD, Sigmund.
Warum Krieg? [Why War?]. 1933.
An exchange on the root causes of war by two of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the XX century.
TRUE FIRST EDITION, LIMITED TO 2000 COPIES (COPY NO. 1213).
In 1932 Albert Einstein, invited by the League of Nations to address a letter on any subject to any individual, chose to correspond with Sigmund Freud on the possibilities of avoiding war. Einstein maintained the importance of establishing an independent judiciary body to mediate conflicts. Freud agreed with this idea but also insisted that, ‘there is no likelihood of our being able to suppress humanity’s aggressive tendencies,’ and that war is the ultimate expression of man’s distaste for the restraints of civilisation.
Price: £2,500 [ref: 88482]
Imperatorvm romanorvm omnivm orientalivm et occidentalivm verissimae imagines ex antiqvis nvmismatis qvam fidelissime delineatae. 1559.
ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE BOOKS OF THE RENAISSANCE.
This celebrated work contains 118 woodcut medallion portraits of the Roman and Roman-German emperors from Julius Caesar to Charles V. The woodcut borders surrounding the portraits are the largest ever cut for a book from a single block. The reverse of each portrait features the biography of the emperor depicted, within a woodcut border of putti, fruit, grotesques and arabesque ornaments. The first German edition of this book was published in 1558 by Gessner.
Jacobus Strada (1507-88) was an Italian polymath who served as the official artist and architect to three Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperors. He also worked as a goldsmith, numismatist, writer, merchant and collector; his collection of medals minted with the portraits of emperors was used in the production of the present work.
Price: £25,000 [ref: 89615]
[WEGENER, Gerda] (illustrator); de Verineau, Alexandre [pseud. for Louis Perceau].
Douze sonnets lascifs pour accompagner la suite d'aquarelles intitulée 'Les Délassements d'Eros'. 1925.
EXCELLENT COPY, ILLUSTRATED BY THE WIFE OF 'THE DANISH GIRL.'
Louis Perceau (1883 – 1942) was a French polygraph writer who published under numerous pseudonyms, including Alexandre de Verineau. Living in Paris from 1901, he was a socialist activist, writing for socialist newspapers such as La Guerre Sociale and La Vie Socialiste; in 1906, he even spent six months in jail because of his militancy. Perceau was very active in the rebuilding of the French Socialist Party in 1920. His writing interests also included satirical poetry, erotica and bibliographies.
Gerda Wegener (1886 – 1940) was a Danish illustrator and painter best known for her erotic works. After moving to Paris in 1912, she became highly successful both as a painter and as illustrator for Vogue, La Vie Parisienne and Fantasio. Her work comes with a sensational backstory: Gerda's husband Einar, also a successful artist, posed as a model for many of her works dressed in women’s clothing, and later underwent the world's first sex-change operation. The actress Alicia Vikander even won an Oscar for her portrait of Gerda in a recent film adaptation of this story, Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl.
Theses verses were written by Verineau to accompany the twelve watercolours, published anonymously by Wegener a few years earlier.
Price: £2,500 [ref: 89674]
SCIENCE MEETS ART IN THE MOST STRIKING MANNER
GAUTIER d’AGOTY, Jacques-Fabien.
Sammelband of Three Works: Myologie complette; Anatomie de la tête, en tableaux imprimés; Anatomie generale des visceres. 1746; 1748; 1752.
AN IMPRESSIVE VOLUME GATHER GAUTIER D'AGOTY'S MOST IMPORTANT EARLY WORKS - VERY RARELY FOUND TOGETHER, WITH FULL MARGINS AND IN VERY DESIRABLE UNFOLDED CONDITION WITH ALL PLATES SUPERBLY VARNISHED.
The first life-size anatomical illustrations in colour, beautifully rendered thanks to a labour-intensive printing process.
Gautier's first project was the production of eight prints of the face, neck, head, tongue and larynx, which he issued in 1745, followed one year later by a second group of twelve mostly larger prints showing muscles of the pharynx, torso, arms and legs. A year later he issued the two works together under the general title Myologie complette. The images were from cadavers dissected by Joseph Guichard Duverney, lecturer in anatomy at the Jardin du Roi, and they include especially the celebrated ‘Flayed Angel,’ sometimes called ‘The Angel of the Surrealists.’ Duverney saw in Gautier’s work a ‘convulsive beauty.’ As Jacques Prévert puts it: ‘A pretty woman with naked or rather flayed shoulders, the skin pinned back on each side. Horror and visceral splendour’ (quoted by the Musées nationaux).
Gautier's work on the anatomy of the head includes several finely detailed images from dissections made by Pierre Tarin, another collaborator for a brief period. The king's surgeon, Mertrud, provided dissections for the first three plates of the Anatomie Générale but after this Gautier d’Agoty himself took over the dissections, and apparently wrote all the descriptions in addition to preparing the plates. These were designed in such a way that four spectacular human figures could be formed by combing three plates together.
Price: £95,000 [ref: 94255]
Манифест об учреждении Государственной Думы. [On the Establishment of the State Duma]. 1905.
A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE DOCUMENT ESTABLISHING THE FIRST STATE DUMA, FROM THE LIBRARY OF GRAND DUKE MIKHAIL MIKHAILOVICH.
The events of Bloody Sunday (9 January 1905), when Cossacks stationed outside the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg panicked and fired on peaceful demonstrators, led to what is now referred to as the First Russian Revolution. Under pressure from foreign governments and his own rioting people, Nicholas II was forced to compromise his autocratic principles and, in theory at least, institute a democratically-elected state parliament, or Duma. He did so by issuing the present manifesto, which is based on a draft compiled by his Minister of Domestic Affairs, Aleksandr Bulygin. However, the manifesto makes it clear that the Duma was conceived solely as an advisory body to the State Council and the Tsar. Subsequently, the elections were boycotted and in the wake of continuing strikes Nicholas had to make further concessions and issue the more famous October Manifesto, recognising the Duma as a legislative organ.
Price: £3,500 [ref: 87651]
[ARMENIAN BIBLE]. 1805.
A COMPLETE EXAMPLE OF THE FIRST CRITICAL EDITION OF THE BIBLE IN ARMENIAN.
Although an Armenian language Bible was printed in Amsterdam in 1666, the ‘Zohrab Bible’ was the first critical edition of the Armenian scriptures. It was edited by the Benedictine monk Giovanni Zohrab (Hovhannes Zohrapean, 1756-1829) at the Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro near Venice.
A reprint of the Zohrab edition was issued only in 1984, with a new introduction by Claude Cox (Delmar, N.Y.: Caravan Books). Cox, a professor of Biblical Studies, notes: ‘The principal edition of the Armenian Bible is that of Zohrapian, published in 1805 [...] His [Zohrab’s] edition stands head and shoulders above many editions of texts in his day because he does not tamper with the text: it is a faithful copy of his base manuscript.’ (Textual History of the Bible).
Rare, especially complete and in contemporary bindings, as here.
Price: £4,250 [ref: 93907]
Disputatio excellentium. 1519.
AN IMPORTANT AND EXTREMELY RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF A DEBATE BETWEEN THE LEADERS OF CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT THOUGHT.
The present work bears witness to a theological study that took place in 1519 between the Catholic theologian Jean Eck and two of the leaders of the Protestant reform movement, Martin Luther and Andreas Karlstadt. Among the topics discussed were the Pope's power, the authority of the Church in matters of doctrine, the free will of Man in the face of Divine Grace, and the indulgences of supposedly supreme religious authorities. This debate provoked an enormous rupture between the so-called Lutherans and Rome, with consequences that divided Europe for centuries to come.
Price: £11,500 [ref: 94993]
REITZENSTEIN, Wolf Ehrenfried von.
Der Vollkommene Pferde-Kenners. [The Complete Horse-Guide]. 1764.
A GERMAN HORSE MANUAL WITH A JEWISH-JARGON DICTIONARY SUPPLEMENT.
‘Rare first edition of this original and curious work on horsemanship.’ (Johan Dejager, Great Books on Horsemanship)
The first part of this book is a comprehensive equestrian and veterinary manual. The second deals with horse medicine and understanding prescriptions. The final part of the work is the most unusual: it is a supplement comprising a 36-page Hebrew/Yiddish dictionary with an alphabetic index of over 1,500 terms, transliterated into Gothic letters and with German translations. This is followed by five sample dialogues between Jewish horsetraders in their distinct jargon.
Since their normal vernacular of Yiddish could be understood by their German speaking non-Jewish competitors, the Jewish dealers developed a secret trade dialect heavily laced with Hebrew, which prevented non-Jews from understanding them. The efforts of non-Jewish horsemen to try and penetrate this newly-erected linguistic barrier are demonstrated by a close examination of the present volume.
The end of this volume is lavished with detailed illustrated plates. The first plate depicts the ideal horse, with detailed anatomy of its open mouth; the next plates show horse breeds and are followed by illustrations of dressage and various pieces of equipment. The frontispiece, by A. Hoffer after A.D. Steingruber, depicts the Residenzschloss at Ansbach.
Price: £8,500 [ref: 95270]
Our latest catalogue, Wealth of Many Nations (a derivation on the title of Adam Smith's milestone work, number 116), is a compilation of titles and subjects to appeal to all tastes and pockets. It represents a 'taster' of the vast collection we offer in the bookshop and on our website, including gems from our growing English Literature department.
Latest Arrivals to the Literature Department
This is the first catalogue on Africa we have produced since 2005 and we hope you find it worth the wait. Discover first editions and rare books, including copies in fine bindings, relating to Western exploration and adventuring in Africa over 350 years. We have tried to make it as varied as possible with wonderful colour plate books documenting the botany of South Africa and subjects including colonial encounters, big-game hunting and politics. Throughout there is a solid backbone of the great African explorers from the Victorian era including Stanley, Livingstone and Burton.
Back_to_the_Cradle_catalogue - View PDF
ALLEN, William. Picturesque views on the River Niger, 1840.
Rare first edition with 10 hand-coloured plates and map
William Allen was an English naval officer and explorer involved in fighting the African slave trade. He was also a talented artist, painting scenes of his travels, whose work was exhibited several times at the Royal Academy. On publication this book of illustrations sketched while navigating the River Niger with Richard Lemon Lander, attracted a strong list of subscribers including Robert Schomburgk, the eminent explorer. It includes several panoramas and views of the river, its natural surroundings and riverside towns such as Rabba, Nigeria.
EDWARDS, AMELIA B. A Thousand Miles up the Nile, 1877.
First edition, 17 full-page plates, 62 vignettes, 2 coloured folding maps
A Victorian travel classic, this is Amelia Edward's account of her travels in Egypt that led her to become a leading Egyptologist. The author was one of a party, which, in February 1874, discovered and excavated an interesting group of ruins at Aboo Simbel, in Nubia. Now out of print, this copy is one of the earliest dust-wrapped books that we have handled with original richly decorated cream cloth gilt cover lettered in red.
LOPES, Duarte; Philippo Pigafetta.
A report of the kingdome of Congo, a region of Africa
Printed by Iohn Wolfe, London, 1597
First edition in English complete with the Lopes-Pigafetta map of Africa which overthrew the old Ptolemic idea of the Mountains of the Moon being the source of the Nile with a vast central lake, and instead showed that the Nile flowed from a pair of lakes, one above the other on the same meridian.
BOWDICH, Thomas Edward. Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, 1819.
First edition with fine hand-coloured aquatint plates
Bowdich was appointed conductor of the African Company mission to Ashantee in 1815, superseding his chief. He led the negotiations with the King of Ashantee which resulted in a treaty bringing peace to the British settlements on the Gold Coast. This book recounts his mission and it has been called “The most important [work] after Bruce’s, it excited great interest, as an almost incredible story, recalling The Arabian Nights, of a land and people of warlike and barbaric splendour hitherto unknown.”
Find out More
For more information concerning these newly catalogued items or to request our Africa catalogue please contact Julian MacKenzie in our Travel Department.
The Ottoman Empire ranks alongside the Roman and Byzantine as one of the most powerful imperial systems in world history. In existence from the late thirteenth century until 1923 and embracing at its height most of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, it was arguably the most influential political system over the course of more than a millennium of Islamic history. Our latest catalogue of 100 books and prints gives a full picture of the global reach of the Ottoman state from a European perspective, not just synonymous with Turkish history but many others.
View PDF catalogue: Shapero_LookingEast_LookingWest
BURTON, Richard F., Personal narrative of a pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah. 1855-56
First edition, 3 volumes. £6750
In 1853 intrepid British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton disguised himself as an Islamic pilgrim and made the trek into the heart of Arabia visiting the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. If his true identity as a European Christian had been exposed, the penalty for his indiscretion would have been death. The publication of his account of the journey brought him fame as an adventurer and also as a man of considerable knowledge about Arabs, their customs and way of life.
Further Reading - Larger than Life - the explorer Richard Buron
MAYER, Luigi. Views in Egypt. 1805
First editions. Three separately published works bound in one volume, folio.
Luigi Mayer (1755-1803) was an Italian-German artist and one of the earliest and most important late 18th-century European painters of the Ottoman Empire. A student of Piranesi, he made the illustrations when he was employed as the personal view painter for Sir Robert Ainslie, British ambassador at Constantinople.
The scenes here are quite memorable, not only for the impressive views of ancient monuments, but for their glimpses in to the lives and culture of the people including a rather thrilling depiction of the exploration of Egyptian tombs.
PREZIOSI, Amadeo, follower of. Pair of watercolours depicting scenes inside the Grand Bazaar at Istanbul. Second half of the nineteenth century.
Watercolours with gouache on paper, framed and glazed. £25,000
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The watercolours depict the Bazaar before the advent of shops as we know them. In one, a merchant and his wife, in another a group of well-dressed lightly veiled Ottoman beauties.
A native of Malta, Preziosi first visited Istanbul in 1842, and depicting the city and its people in their distinctive costumes and attitudes was to be the focus for his artistic career thereafter. Preziosi’s gift for depicting people and costume, and free flowing lines, along with attention to small details, make his work particularly appealing, and inspired a school of followers.
Talk & Catalogue Launch: The Ottoman Empire: 22 Feb. 18:00–21:00
Coinciding with the launch of our new catalogue we have arranged for one of the UK's leading historians to give a short talk about the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Philip Mansel's latest book is Aleppo: Rise and Fall of a Syria’s Great Merchant City.
Find out More
For more information concerning these newly catalogued items or to request our Ottoman catalogue please contact Julian MacKenzie in our Travel Department.
For the travel aficionado this Christmas, buy them a Baedeker. From Croydon to Cancun our guidebooks leave no geographical stone unturned.
'Tis the season for giving. Precious rare books make the perfect gifts for friends and family that love to read. We have curated some ideas from the bookshop for you. Select from signed copies, sumptuous first editions and beautifully illustrated works. We also offer a free gift wrapping service.
For the Armchair Traveller
For a century, Baedeker — founded in 1832 by German publisher Karl Baedeker — was the indispensable guide to Europe, the Middle East and beyond, helping thousands of well-to-do travellers brave the perils of abroad.
With their distinctive red covers Baedekers are beautiful objects as well as time capsules to another era, sought after by collectors.
For the Fly Fisher
Skues was the most revered trout fly-fishermen of his day. This book excerpts his observations and insights into how trout live
Deluxe first edition, number 46 of only 150 copies signed by the author.
For the Baking Enthusiast
This is a handsomely illustrated monograph on the manufacture of bread, previously owned by a bakery manager from Leicestershire.
“The nineteenth-century photobook was primarily an archive in which the things of the world were stored and catalogued…. one of the humblest, yet most essential of objects is catalogued as precisely, rigorously, and objectively as any work by a 1980s Conceptual artist”.
For the Romantic
In this children’s classic, Rackham lavishly illustrates C.S. Evan’s intricate retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story with one amazing silhouette after another.
One of the most celebrated painters of the British Golden Age of Illustration, Rackham developed a unique style, combining haunting humour with dream-like romance.
Welcome to our first ever catalogue devoted to the Pacific regions
- A complete set of The Bligh Court Martial Pamphlets
- Berkh's first edition illustrated account of the Arctic and Russian America
- Sarychev's voyage of Captain Billings
- The rare atlas to Lisianskiy's voyage
For further information please contact Julian MacKenzie (Head of the Travel Department)