last 7 days
last 30 days
older than 30 days

ASHER Rare Books


Essai sur la guerre dans le Soudan.Lyon, Imprimerie Mougin-Rusand, 1888. Large 8vo (24.5 x 16 cm). With 2 large folding chromolithographed maps (50 x 60 cm; map images 44 x 58 cm; scale 1: 1,000,000), 4 wood-engraved illustrations in the text and 3 original photographic albumen prints (10.5 x 13 cm) mounted on paperboard plates. Contemporary gold-tooled, black goatskin morocco (signed at the foot of the front turn-in by Lucien Magnin in Lyon), richly gold-tooled spine, richly gold-tooled turn-ins, double fillets on board edges, gilt edges.

SZYMANSKI, Félix. For background information: Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies, Sénégal et Niger: la France dans l’Afrique Occidentale 1879-1883 (1884), pp. 113-232. A detailed eye-witness account of Senegal in the years 1879 to 1883, by Félix Szymanski (1853-1923), an artillery captain of the French marine in the Senegal campaigns of 1879 to 1883. The first half of the book provides a general description of Senegal and its people and resources, while the second half discusses the colonial expeditions, administration and operations. As a whole it gives us an intensive view of the life of both natives and colonial troops in Senegal ca. 1880.The title of the book can cause confusion: the French used "Soudan" at this date to refer to the Sahel region along the southern edge of the Sahara desert from Senegal to Sudan. Szymanski notes that "le Soudan français" comprises Senegambia and parts of Niger, more or less the modern Senegal. This is the region discussed in the book and shown in the two folding maps, and explicitly called Senegal. While the French were not engaged in a war in Senegal at this time, they were trying to secure the region and develop the railways and other infrastructure, which inevitably led to skirmishes and other incidents. Szymanski had the book printed in an edition of 100 copies, but did not put them on sale. The book is therefore extremely rare. Szymanski clearly had the present copy bound for presentation, for he wrote and signed a presentation inscription "A mon cher pere monsieur le docteur Goncet". Lyon offered one of the best binders of the time, Lucien Magnin (1849-1903), who had won a gold medal for his bindings at the 1884 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs ("choix des peaux, harmonie des colours, netteté du dessin, exécution impeccable de la reliure, de la dorure et de la mosaïque") and was to cause a "sensation" with his work at the 1889 Exposition Universelle (Fléty, pp. 117-118).The albumen prints are somewhat faded as usual, the letterpress leaves show some foxing, minor except on the pages facing the plates or map, and there is a small tear on the fold of one map, but the book is still in very good condition, the binding fine.

Seconda tavola.[Venice], Ferrando Bertelli, 1565 [printed ca. 1570]. Engraved map of the Indian Ocean, Indian subcontinent and most of the Gulf region (28 x 39 cm; margins extended to 50 x 66.5 cm), at a scale of about 1:13,500,000 with north at the foot, with 3 sea monsters, a spouting whale and 3 ships in the ocean; and on the land elephants, lions and 2 people on horseback carrying spears. Although printed from a single copper plate, the present map image is divided into two parts, with a 7 mm gap between the right and left halves, so that nothing would be lost if the map were bound as a double-page plate.

GASTALDI, Giacomo]. Bifolco & Ronca, Cartografia topografia Italiana 84b; Gole, Early printed maps of India 2; Karrow 30/74.2. Rare very early engraved map showing the Indian subcontinent, the Strait of Hormuz, the eastern half of the Gulf, and the Indian Ocean, including the islands of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Maldives, Seychelles, the western tip of Sumatra and what must be the eastern tip of Somalia. Many topographic names appear in forms used in early Portuguese accounts of voyages, but most can be identified. In India and Ceylon we find Goa, Mangalor (Mangalore), Cochin (Kochi), Calinapata (Calcutta?), Besinagar (Bangalore), Colmucho (Colombo) and many others; in the Gulf region Cor. Dulfar (Dhofar), the island Macira (Masirah), C. Resalgate (Ras el Had?), Galatia (the ancient site Qalhat), Mazcate (Muscat), the island Quexumo (Qeshm) and Ormus (Hormuz). There is even an unlabelled city close to present-day Abu Dhabi. Two of the ships are labelled with their destinations: Calicut (Kozhikode) on the Malabar Coast and Molucche (the Moluccas) in the East Indies.Gastaldi first published a similar map as one of a set of three woodcut maps in the first volume of the second edition of Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Navagationi et viaggi, Venice, 1554. These were a great advance on earlier maps, taking account of new information from Portuguese explorers. The woodblocks and whatever copies of the printed edition had not yet been sold were destroyed by a fire in 1557, so for the 1563 edition the publisher had the three maps engraved on copperplates by Niccolo Nelli. Bertelli published the three maps without Ramusio's text, and his maps are usually supposed to have been printed from the 1563 plates. Bifolco & Ronca lists copies of the 1563 (84a) and the present 1565 (84b) state or edition together, but their separate lists of references suggest the present 1565 version is much rarer.The margins have been cut down close to the edge and the margins then greatly extended with blank paper, but this paper is also contemporary. The map is very slightly browned at the edges and in the gap between the right and left halves (where the old fold has been reinforced on the back), but the map is otherwise in fine condition. A milestone in the cartography of India and the Gulf States, remarkably well preserved.

Eene overlandreis uit Indië naar Nederland, in 1674-1675.[Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 1863]. 8vo. Offprint, retaining the original pagination and collation, of an article in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië, 6 (1863). 20th-century stiff paper wrappers, with a printed label on the front.

LEEUWENSON, Joannes (Pieter Arend LEUPE, ed. & intro.). First publication of the manuscript journal of Joannes Leeuwenson's 1674/75 overland journey from Colombo (Ceylon/Sri Lanka), along the west coast of India to Banda Abbas (Iran, at the Strait of Hormuz), Basra (Iraq), Aleppo (Syria), and Iskenderun (Turkey), then on to Livorno (Italy), and through Italy and Germany to Amsterdam. The manuscript itself is titled "Daghregister van de Landreijs, gedaeen bij mij Joannes Leeuwenson, ." Although described as an journey over land, parts naturally had to be made by sea as well, and Leeuwenson names numerous ships in the various Dutch fleets, as well as the enemy ships they encountered. He quotes in full (4 pp.) the letter with orders given to him by VOC director François de Haese at Banda Abbas as well as several other letters he received or wrote. He gives a detailed description of the terrain and the difficulties in finding and acquiring supplies, beasts of burden, etc., and relates his encounters with Persians, Ottomans and other Islamic peoples.In very good condition. An important early journal of an overland voyage through India, Iran and the Middle East.

Litterae patentes Imperatoris Sinarum Kang-Hi. Sinice et Latine. cum interpretatione R.P. Ignatii Koegleri, S.J. . Ex archetypo Sinensi edidit additis notitiis Sinicis . cum tabula aenea.Nurnberg and Altdorf, J.F. Kussler and J.C. Monath, 1802. Small 4to. With a large folding engraved plate (32.5 x 30.5 cm) with the Kangxi Emperor’s edict of 1716, a full-page woodcut table with about 65 Chinese characters on an integral leaf, and 3 woodcuts with Chinese characters in the text. Finely bound in 20th-century red half morocco.

MURR, Christoph Gottlieb von. Cordier, Sinica, col. 638; Löwendahl 718; Walravens 132. First and only edition of a publication of primary documents and notes concerning China in general and the Jesuits in China in particular, written and compiled by the remarkable Nürnberg Unitarian scholar Christoph Gottlieb von Murr (1733-1811). The full-page woodcut in Chinese giving a Linnaean classification of Chinese quadrupeds is the first Linnaean classification of Chinese animals and probably the first Linnaeana of any sort in Chinese.In 1706, at the height of the Chinese Rites Controversy, the Kangxi Emperor appointed two Jesuit missionaries as his envoys to Rome, but both died when their ship capsized off the coast of Portugal. In 1708 he appointed two new envoys, who died in 1711 and 1720. In 1716 the Emperor issued an edict on 31 October: a circular letter to all Westerners in China, noting that no word about the four envoys had been received and that there had been no response to the Emperor's enquires, and that the Imperial government therefore could not place its trust in any communications from the West. The rites issue lead the Emperor to expel Catholic missionaries from China and severely damaged Sino-European relations.In fine condition. The back board is very slightly rubbed and the letterpress spine label is slightly worn, but the binding is otherwise also fine. A fine copy of an important work on China and the Jesuits there, by an excellent and versatile scholar.

Voyage aux Indes Orientales et à la Chine, fait par ordre de Louis XVI, depuis 1774 jusqu’en 1781; dans lequel on traite des moers, de la religion, des sciences et des arts des Indiens, des Chinois, des Pégouins et des Madégasses; suivi d’observations sur le Cap de Bonne-Espérance, les îles de France et de Bourbon, les Maldives, Ceylan, Malacca, les Philippines et les Moluques, et de rechereches sur l’histoire naturelle de ces pays, etc, etc. Nouvelle édition.Paris, Dentu, 1806. 4 text volumes (8vo) and 1 atlas (4to). With 140 numbered engraved plates: a double-page plan of the city of Pondichéry, India, 19 double- and 120 single-page views and plates. Contemporary red half sheepskin (text) and modern red half cloth (atlas).

SONNERAT, Pierre. Lust 354; Pritzel 8774; for Sonnerat: DSB XII, pp. 535-537. Much enlarged edition of a classic of natural history and discoveries in the Far East, including China, Ceylon, Malacca, the Philippines, Burma and the Maldives by Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814), a well-known French naturalist and explorer. Sonnerat made several voyages to southeast Asia, visiting the Philippines and Moluccas between 1769 and 1772, and India and China from 1774 to 1781. Charles-Nicolas-Sigisbert Sonnini de Manoucourt (1751-1812) contributed much to this edition. " in his two major publications it is evident that his insight into other civilisations gave a strong impetus in Europe to the spread of a fashionable interest in the religion, arts, and customs of India and the Indian Archipelago" (DSB). A very good set, atlas volume untrimmed.

Gewoonten der aloude volken; behelzende de godsdienstige, burgelyke en krygsgebruiken der Grieken, Romeinen, Israëliten en Hebreeuwen, Egyptenaaren, Persiaanen, Scythiërs, Amazonen, Parthiërs, Daciërs, Sarmatiërs, en andere zo oostersche als westersche volken.Amsterdam, Johannes Allart and Willem Holtrop, 1786. 4 volumes bound as 2. Large 4to (31 x 25 cm). With 345 engraved plates by the famous engraver Charles Nicolas Cochin le Jeune after Bardon. Contemporary half calf.

BARDON, Michel Francois Dandré]. Colas 792; Lipperheide 107; cf. Brunet I, col. 654. First and only Dutch translation of the Costume des anciens peuples by Michel-François Dandré Bardon (1700-1783). The 345 plates (instead of the 356 erroneously announced on the title page), preceded in each part by the descriptions, illustrate the costumes and the customs of the ancient peoples in the field of their religions, everyday life and the military. Parts 1 and 2 contain the plates illustrating the Greek and Roman civilisation, part 3 the Israelites and the Egyptians and part 4 the Persians, Scythians, Amazons etc. Bardon gave a large part of his life to the study of ancient history and he liked to illustrate the subjects of his study with his own hand. Some of his drawing are still in the Louvre Museum and some of his paintings are in the Museum in Marseille. Some water stains to the last few plates of both volumes, bindings slightly rubbed and a large blemish to the front board of the first volume. A good copy, untrimmed.

In omnes de arte rhetorica M. Tullii Ciceronis libros, item in eos ad C. Herennium scriptos, doctissimorum virorum commentaria, in unum veluti corpus redacta, ac separatim a’ Ciceronis contextu, quem a’ diversis impressum nemo iam in sua bibliotheca non habet, ne quis inani sumptu gravaretur, edita. Accessit in omnes libros rerum ac verborum memorabilium plenissimus index.Venice, sons of Aldus Manutius, 1546. 2 parts in 1 volume. Folio. With Aldus’s woodcut device on title-page and repeated on the otherwise blank last leaf. 19th-century gold- and blind-tooled red morocco in Renaissance style: boards with a gold-tooled central ornament, gold-tooled board edges and turn-ins.

CICERO, Marcus Tullius]. Adams C-1698; Ahmanson-Murphy 353; BMC STC Italian, p. 184; Renouard, Alde, p. 136, 8. First Aldine edition of the collected commentaries on the rhetorical works of Cicero: De oratore, De claris oratoribus (Brutus), Topica, De partione oratoria, Rhetorica ad Herennium (Pseudo Cicero) and De inventione. The original was edited by Jacques-Louis Strébée (Strebaeus) and printed under the same title in 1541 in Basel by Robert Winter and Thomas Platter. A page-for-page reprint of the present edition was published in 1551, also at the Aldine presses.Title-page and last leaf a bit soiled, title-page restored, first and last leaves with insignificant marginal water staining, some marginal worm holes and other minor defects. Spine slightly faded, but the binding otherwise good.

De situ orbis Hermolai Barbari fideliter emendatus. [Venice], (colophon: printed by Albertino da Vercelli, 14 May 1502). Small 4to (20.5 x 15.5 cm). With 38 lines to a page and 19 3- to 9-line spaces with printed guide letters left for manuscript initials (not filled in), though also with 1 printed 3-line roman capital. Set in a Venetian-style roman type (83 mm/20 lines) with the title in capitals of a larger (108 mm) size. Gold-tooled red half sheepskin (ca. 1820?).

MELA, Pomponius. EDIT16, BVEE001701; USTC 841937; cf. Adams M1056-1065 (eds. of 1522-1595); BMC STC Italian, pp. 431-432 (other eds.). Rare 1502 edition, the third in the best and most important early recension of Pomponius Mela's description of the world, written ca. AD 43, the earliest surviving geographical work in Latin and one of Pliny's most important sources, perhaps the most important for geography. Pomponius describes Europe, Africa and Asia, the three together surrounded by the ocean. He was at born in southern Spain (we don't know where he wrote) and shows a more detailed and more accurate knowledge of Spain, France and the British Isles than earlier writers (giving us our first known reference to the Orkney Islands) and even knows of the existence of Scandinavia. But he also devotes book I, chapter VI to "Arabia", which includes not only the Arabian peninsula but also "Syria" (which includes what is now Iraq) and other parts of the Middle East, and his description of India in book III, chapter IV, gives further information about what seem to be the Arabian and Iranian coasts of the Gulf, Egypt, Iraq, the island of Masirah and the cities of Aden and Harran.With a few early manuscript notes and the armorial bookplate of the Bibliotheca Giustiniani, showing the (1773?) arms of the Padua branch of the family, but perhaps nevertheless referring to the library of the Venetian palace acquired in 1590 by the Genoese Giuseppe Giustiniani, which dispersed some of its treasures in the late 19th century. With a small worm hole in the lower gutter margin of the first 6 leaves, a defect in the paper in the lower outside corner of the first leaf, sewing holes from an earlier binding visible in the gutter of 2 leaves, some slight browning and an occasional minor spot, but still in good condition. With the hinges worn and some damage to the corners (with the loss of both headbands), but the binding is otherwise good.

Epigrammata]. (Colophon: Venice, Aldus Manutius, December 1501). 8vo (16 x 10 cm). With 15 (mostly 6-line) spaces with printed guide letters left for manuscript initials. Except for an occasional word in Greek, the book is set entirely in the world’s first italic printing type (with small upright capitals, which are also used, usually letterspaced, for running heads, headings, the opening line of each liber, etc.). Francesco Griffo cut it for Aldus, who uses it here 8 months after he introduced it in his Virgil. Tanned sheepskin (ca. 1700?), gold-tooled spine and board edges.

MARTIALIS, Marcus Valerius. Adams M689; Ahmanson-Murphy I, 37; Dibdin, Greek and Latin classics II, p. 229; Renouard, Annales . Alde, p. 30, no. 7; USTC 841150. First Aldine edition of Martial's epigrams, the fifth book in Aldus's series of octavo classics set in the world's first italic type, introduced with his octavo edition of Virgil in April 1501. While the octavo format was not new, it had been most common in devotional works and rarely if ever used for classics. Aldus used this format and the small and narrow italic type primarily for works in verse, which had fairly short lines. Perhaps for that reason, he also departed from what were then the normal proportions of sheets of paper. Aldus himself notes in the 1501 octavo edition of Juvenal and Persius that the books in this format "may be more conveniently held in the hand and learned by heart (not to speak of being read) by everyone", suggesting that they are both more portable and less expensive. He therefore met the needs of the growing market of students, as well as men of business who wished to be fashionably intellectual or simply enjoyed good literature. Martial's epigrams, written between AD 86 and 103, provide not only a masterly model of Latin poetic style, but also a window into classical Roman society in the early years of the Empire, often relating situations and problems encountered in daily life and how people react to them, whether wisely or foolishly. With an early owner's inscription struck through at the head of the first page and a few contemporary and later manuscript notes. Also on the first page are some attractive calligraphic trials (ca. 1700?). The initial B in the space left for that purpose at the opening of Martial's preamble appears to have been written by the same hand. With occasional water stains, browning or foxing, not severe and mostly confined to a few scattered quires, so still in good condition. A crack running nearly the whole length of the spine has been repaired, and some cracks remain in the hinges.

Satirarum opus [= Satyrae/Saturae].(Colophon: Venice, Dionysius de Bertochus & Pelegrinus de Paschalibus Bononienses, 10 September 1484). Small folio (29.5 x 21 cm). With the verse text surrounded on three sides by Fonzio’s prose commentary, Bertochus and Pelegrinus’s woodcut device next to the colophon on the last printed page, with spaces left for manuscript initials without guide letters (not filled in). Set in 2 sizes of Venetian-style roman type (110 and 83 mm/20 lines) with an occasional Greek letter. 19th-century(?) sheepskin parchment.

PERSIUS FLACCUS. BMC VII, p. 1139; Bod-Inc P140; Goff P346; GW M31375; ISTC ip00346000. A 1484 edition of the (mostly hexametric) verse satires by Persius Flaccus (AD 34-62), the sixth known edition with the extensive prose commentary by Bartolomeo Fonzio. Persius satirized Stoic ethics, literary style, their asking the gods for material gain, and their views of life goals and liberty, all in the light of the decadence and corruption of Nero's court at Rome. Though influenced by the satires of Lucilius and Horace, Persius's calm and seriously educational critique gives his work a subtle depth often lacking in his predecessors. He left his satires unfinished at his premature death and they were put into order by his friends Cornutus and Bassus. Ulrich Han in Rome printed the first edition in 1470 and many followed quickly, but the most important were those with Fonzio's commentaries,.Bartolomeo Fonzio (1446/49-1513), born in Etruria, was a Florentine humanist and professor of poetry and rhetoric at the university there. He greatly admired Persius's work but found that its obscurities limited its reception, so he set out to clarify it for the reader.With a couple contemporary pen decorations and a pointing hand in brown ink beside the main text. With some marginal stains, mostly in the last quire, which also shows restorations in the gutter margin, but otherwise in good condition and with wide margins (2-5.5 cm).

Carte nouvelle des costes de Hollande, Zeelande, Flandre, Picardie, & Normandie, depuis la Brille jusques à Dieppe, avec une partie des costes D’Angleterre, Dressé sur les mémoires les plus nouveaux, par le Sr. Romain de Hooge.Amsterdam, Covens & Mortier, [after 1721]. Large engraved map (58.5 x 94 cm), hand-coloured in outline, with two fully coloured inset views of the harbours of Dunkirk and Calais at the foot right, in beautifully decorated cartouche with the arms of Bavaria on top, another coloured cartouche at the foot left with a dedication to Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Further with 3 scale bars at the head (ca. 1:400,000). Framed (84 x 120 cm).

HOOGHE, Romeyn de. Koeman, M.Mor. 5, map 1; not in Landwehr, Romeyn de Hooghe the etcher. Second(?) state of a beautifully engraved map of the coast of Holland, Flanders to Dieppe in Normandy and of south-west England. It was originally produced for the Atlas maritime, published in 1693/1694 for the King of England and Stadtholder of the Netherlands William III, which consisted of nine large charts, considered "the most spectacular type of maritime cartography ever produced in 17th century Amsterdam" (Koeman). It was designed, after English originals, and etched by the famous Dutch artist Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708), who was at the time in the service of king William III. Especially the views and cartouches show De Hooghe's great skill.The first state was published by Pierre Mortier and includes the year of publication "1693". The firm Covens & Mortier was established in 1721. Some faint foxing, a few wormholes restored in the centre fold, and a small clean tear in another fold, otherwise still in very good condition.

Examen vande valsche resolutie vande heeren burgemeesters ende raden tot Amsterdam. Op ‘t stuck vande West-Indische Compagnie.Amsterdam, Abraham de Bruyn, 1649. Small 4to (19x 14.5 cm). Later blue paper wrappers.

WIC]. Asher 253; Borba de Moraes, p. 297; JCB II, p. 383; Knuttel 6473; Sabin 23344; STCN (6 copies); Tiele 3525. First edition of an examination of the fake resolution of the burgomasters and council of Amsterdam on the question of the West India Company. The present pamphlet is a response to Copye vande resolutie van de heeren burgemeesters ende raden tot Amsterdam . (Asher 250-252), a splendid satire of the burgomasters and council members of the city of Amsterdam, presented, and by many contemporaries accepted, as an official resolution of the city government concerning the West India Company (WIC)'s troubles with the Portuguese in Brazil. The Portuguese had retaken Brazil and other possessions from the WIC and there was a great debate in the Netherlands as to whether the government should step in to support the WIC and if so how far they should go. Many investors would lose everything if the WIC permanently lost its trade in Brazil. The present fake resolution gives a statement from each of the burgomasters and councillors (under their real names). The present pamphlet accuses the anonymous perpetrators of the hoax of deliberately trying to turn the populace against the council. This may have merely served to advertise the original pamphlet as a satire, for it was reprinted soon after the original appeared. Removed library stamped on title-page. Slightly moulded in the head margin throughout (with loss of paper at the beginning and end) and the front wrapper detached; a fair copy.