Shapero Rare Books Archives - Rare Book Insider

Shapero Rare Books

  • Showing all 24 results

book (2)

Utopia: Written in Latin by Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England: Translated into English.

MORE, Sir Thomas; [BURNET, Gilbert (translator)]. First edition of the Burnet translation; small 8vo (18.5 x 12 cm); old MS price in pen to front free endpaper recto, woodcut headpieces; contemporary mottled calf ruled in blind, expertly rebacked to style, contrasting red morocco title-piece to spine, internally clean, very good; [24], 206, [2]pp. The first edition of this translation by Gilbert Burnet of Thomas More's most important contribution to political philosophy, Utopia. An enigmatic work which continues to defy simple interpretation. As Burnet (1643-1715) noted in his preface, 'I do not think. More himself went in heartily to that which is the chief Basis of his Utopia, the taking away of all Property, and the levelling of the World; but that he only intended to set many Notions in his Reader's way; and that he might not seem too much in earnest, he went so far out of all Roads to do it the less suspected'. The tale begins when More encounters the fictional character Raphael Hythloday, a traveller who has just returned from voyages with Amerigo Vespucci. Hythloday tells More of a distant island called Utopia, where all property is held in common and gold and silver are used not as currency but as the material for making shackles and chamber pots. However, all is not as it seems, and the paradoxes in the names of Hythloday ('the nonsense speaker') and Utopia ('nowhere') reveal a more complex story. Burnet's translation was completed in 1684 during in a low period of his life when he was out of royal favour. He found in More an unlikely ally; a fellow victim of political circumstance, who was 'one of the greatest Men that this Island has produced' (Preface). 'This translation, though not so frequently reprinted. is, in some respects, much superior, and certainly presents a more readable text' (Pforzheimer). ESTC R7176; Wing M2691; Gibson 30; Sabin 50546; Pforzheimer 742; cf.PMM 47.
  • $3,025
  • $3,025
Pharmacopoeia Londinensis. Or

Pharmacopoeia Londinensis. Or, the New London Dispensatory. In Six Books. Translated into English for the publick Good. Together with several choice Medicines added by the Author. As also, The Praxis of Chymistry, As it’s now Exercised, fitted to the meanest Capacity.

SALMON, William. First Salmon edition; 8vo (19 x 12.5 cm); text in English in 2 columns, pen trials to pastedowns, dated gift inscription in pencil to front free endpaper recto, ownership inscription in pen to title, bookplate to rear pastedown, a few contemporary annotations in pen to margins, a little browned with occasional light staining, the odd chip, small tear into text of X1, 2K1 with very small loss of text, the odd small hole with loss; contemporary panelled calf, expertly rebacked preserving original spine, a very good copy; [14], 896pp. The first edition of this translation by William Salmon (1644-1713) of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis, substantially revised and much expanded from Culpeper with over 4000 treatments, remedies and definitions of key terms. Like Culpeper, Salmon was not a licensed member of the Royal College of Physicians, preferring to market himself as a 'Professor of Physick'. At the time, the college had a monopoly over the practice of internal medicine, and the Pharmacopoeia (an officially sanctioned compendium of treatments printed in Latin) was published in an effort to regulate the profession. Salmon's English translation opened up access to this knowledge to ordinary people, but it also introduced a variety of unorthodox material drawn from a host of different sources, much of it eyebrow-raising, some even shocking. Thus, the chapter on 'Man' includes treatments from a 'dead body', with recipes for 'Spiritus Cerebri humani': a 'Noble Antiepileptick' formed from the 'Brain of a young man slain, with all its Membranes, Arteries, Veins, and Nerves', and 'Essence of Mans Skull': said to be 'prevalent against the Falling Sickness' (p.196). Other treatments are derived from dissolved 'Arabian Mummy', although because these are 'scarcely to be got', Salmon includes a recipe for the preparation of an 'Artificial or Modern Mummy': 'Take the Carcase of a young man (some say red hair'd) not dying of a Disease, but killed; let it lie 24 hours in clear water in the Air: cut the flesh in pieces, to which add Powder of Myrrh, and a little Aloes: imbibe it 24 hours in the spirit of Wine and Turpentine, take it out, hang it up twelve hours; imbibe it again 24 hours in fresh spirit then hang up the pieces in a dry air, and a shadowy place, so will they dry and not stink' (p.194) Scarce. Copac records only 8 copies in institutional collections.
  • $2,118
  • $2,118
book (2)

Ballet. 104 Photographs by Alexey Brodovitch. Text by Edwin Denby.

BRODOVITCH, Alexey. First edition, one of 500 copies; oblong 8vo (214 x 277 mm, 8 ½ x 11 in); 104 black-and-white photographs and design by Alexey Brodovitch, printed in gravure; original plain boards with grey cloth spine, age-toned, spine rubbed toward foot, light cockling and a faint moisture stain to top of pages, occasional light spotting, publisher's grey printed French-dust-jacket with title printed in white on front, soiled, toned, and worn, front panel detached, head and foot of rear panel split at spine, bookseller's ticket to front free endpaper, without the rare card slipcase, a very good copy in a good example of the notoriously fragile dust-jacket; 143, [1]pp. A masterpiece of cinematic sequencing and design. Ballet established an influential template and remains a touchstone of twentieth-century photographic bookmaking. Alexey Brodovitch took these photographs between 1935 and 1937 of various international ballet companies performing in New York. Initially, he intended to capture images of the performances for 'souvenir purposes', but later expanded his scope to photograph the dancers from behind the stage during performances and rehearsals. Later, he enlarged small sections of selected frames and employed various darkroom techniques to bleach and fade certain areas, further emphasising the images' contrast and grain. Brodovitch was crucial in introducing the United States to a radically simplified, 'modern' graphic design style forged in Europe in the 1920s from various vanguard art and design movements. As graphic designer and art director of Harper's Bazaar between 1934 and 1958, he redefined the possibilities of what could be achieved in a page layout, and through his 'Design Laboratory' workshop classes, he mentored and influenced generations of photographers, including Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Lisette Model, Garry Winogrand, Marvin Israel, and Tony Ray-Jones. Due to its small print run, Ballet received limited commercial exposure, though its influence was widely felt. Brodovitch distributed a significant number of the copies that did find their way into circulation, mostly giving them to friends and colleagues. The book's scarcity was exacerbated when fires in 1956 and 1959 destroyed much of Brodovitch's working archive and library, including most of his remaining copies of Ballet. Regards sur un siècle de photographie à travers Le Livre 85; The Book of 101 Books Seminal Photography Books of the Twentieth Century pp110-3; The Photobook: A History, I pp240-1; The Open Book A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present pp136-7; 802 photo books from the M + M Auer collection p314; Errata Editions Books on Books #11 Alexey Brodovitch: Ballet.
  • $2,269
  • $2,269
book (2)

Affidavit to patent a gun carriage for land or sea service, 15th March 1808.

CONGREVE, Sir William. Single leaf folded in three (23.5 x 19.5 cm open); signed 'William Congreve'; old catalogue description and MS note tipped to upper margin, blind stamped 'ii shillings vi pence'; minor soling to verso along fold lines, edges rubbed. A signed and dated affidavit to patent the invention of a new gun carriage by Sir William Congreve (1772-1828), comptroller of the royal laboratory at Woolwich from 1814 until his death in 1828. A brilliant military technologist, Congreve had earlier won renown for the development of a rocket system based on a Mughal design which had been used with effect against the British during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. His invention, of the 'simplest construction wither for land or sea service', was 'calculated to reduce very considerably the labour of working the gun to produce a smooth and even recoil and prevent the violent action that takes place in common carriages when the gun is fired' (Petition). To this effect wheels were to be placed on the trunnions of the guns themselves, rather than mounted on the gun-carriages as had previously been the case. The invention was later recorded as British Patent Number 3134. The design was perfected over the next three years before being published in Congreve's An Elementary Treatise on the Mounting of Naval Ordinance in 1811. There is evidence that the Royal Navy took his idea seriously, and Congreve was confident that a team of 4 could replace the 13 men previously required to man a long 24-pounder cannon. A variety of the system designed for carronades, shorter ranged powerful weapons with a tendency to jump at recoil, was trialed in July 1808, and Sir Philip Broke, who commanded HMS Shannon to great effect during the War of 1812 considered employing the new technology.
  • $1,150
  • $1,150
book (2)

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, or, An Essay towards an Analysis of the Principles by which Men naturally judge concerning the Conduct and Character, first of their Neighbours, and afterwards of themselves. To which is added, A Dissertation on the Origin of Languages.

Fifth edition; 8vo (21.5 x 14 cm); dated ownership inscription in pen to front free endpaper, 2pp publisher's ads to rear; contemporary polished sheep, contrasting red morocco title-piece to spine, in 6 gilt-banded compartments, small split to head of lower joint with minor loss to head-cap worn, corners slightly bumped, otherwise internally very clean, a handsome copy; [8],478, [2]pp. A handsome, lifetime edition of Adam Smith's (d.1790) first published work, and his most important contribution to the study of ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. It is in this book that Smith first elaborates on his idea that it is 'the impressions of our own senses only' which determines how we relate to eachother, making human sympathy the driving force of human action. As a result, it is 'man's sociability, his basic need for the approval of others, and his capacity to form objective moral codes through social interaction' which underpins the operation of society (ODNB). One of the rarer lifetime editions, incorporating several minor improvements from the fourth edition of 1774. Smith devoted the years 1755 to 1759 to writing and publishing Moral Sentiments, having been appointed Professor of Logic at Glasgow in 1751 and elected Professor of Moral Philosophy a year later. It was this period at Glasgow College which Smith was later to describe as 'the period of thirteen years which I spent as a member of that society I remember as by far the most useful, and, therefore, as by far the happiest and most honourable period of my life'. First published in 1759, the book immediately established Smith's Hailed by David Hume in a typically ironic manner: 'I proceed to tell you the melancholy news', he wrote from London, 'that your book has been very unfortunate: for the public seem disposed to applaud it extremely'. Kress B.425; not in Goldsmith or Einaudi.
book (2)

Portraits of the Winning Horses of the Great St. Leger Stakes, at Doncaster, from the year 1815 to the present year inclusive.

Large folio (58.8 x 42.8 cm); with Second Series letterpress title with engraved vignette, 1-leaf list of winners, 46 original hand-coloured aquatint horse portraits, comprising the complete series of 29 plates of the St Leger Winners and 17 of the Derby Stakes Winners, 1815-1843, plates 1-42 after Herring, plates 43, 45 and 46 after Harry Hall, plate 44 after Abraham Cooper, each with exceptional hand colouring and touches of gum arabic, on wove paper, plates 1-13, 15, 16, 19-21, 23, 31, 33 and 37-41, with Minerva head blind stamp, plates 14, 17, 25, 28 and 44 watermarked J. Whatman Turkey Mill with dates 1836-1839, all but two of the St Leger winners are proceeded by separate text pages giving the history and performances, plates 33, 34, 39, 42, 45 and 46 are inscribed as proof impressions within the text, published by Messrs Fuller, excepting Memnon published by W Sheardown & Son (Charles XII with a smudge under the horse's muzzle, some text and plates 2, 8, 16, 24 and 37 with faint spotting and staining mainly confined to verso of plates. Contemporary purple half morocco over cloth-covered boards, gilt morocco lettering-piece on upper cover, light wear and rubbing to binding, the plates fine. A rare set of the finest early 19th-century series of racehorse portraits by John Herring, one of the greatest sporting artists of the day. Herring must have watched his first St Ledger in 1814 when he took the Royal Leeds Union stage from London to Doncaster in order to elope. While lodging in the town he took a coach builder's finishing shop and from that obtained the vacant post of coachman to the Nelson Inn. He followed this arduous profession for six years, ending up on the box of the prestigious High Flyer plying between York and London. In his leisure time he continued to paint, and in 1824 the Doncaster Gazette arranged for him to paint the winners of the St Leger retrospectively from 1815 onwards. The pictures were then engraved and published first by Messrs Sheardown & Son, owners of the Gazette, in 1824. This true first edition comprised just 10 plates, but it made Herring a household name. Eventually he left Doncaster for Newmarket in 1830, and then moved to London in 1834, in time becoming Britain's foremost exponent of horse painting of the day. S. & J. Fuller of London purchased Shearman's plates in 1827, and continued to publish, periodically, the St. Leger Winner Series up to 1845, re-lettering the plates with their own imprint. The present copy was published in book form in 1843 with the plates of the two series, bearing the title from the Second Series, listing only the St Leger winners, although the work is composed of 29 St Leger winners and 17 Derby winners. Bobins III, 1181; Mellon/Snelgrove Herring 2; Siltzer pp.145-147; Tooley 261.
book (2)

Pro dikovinnykh zverei [About strange animals].

First edition, 4to (26.2 x 19.5 cm); 12pp., illustrations in colour throughout by Samokhvalov; original printed wrappers, minor repairs to spine, a fine copy. An excellent example of this incredibly scarce and sought-after children's book illustrated by renowned Soviet artist Alexander Samokhvalov (1894-1971). Samokhvalov was born in Bezhetsk in Tver Oblast and moved to St Petersburg in 1914 to study at the Imperial Academy of Arts. It was here that he first encountered Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin and Vasily Shukhaev and he quickly adopted their novel approach to perspective. Samokhvalov began exhibiting with the Mir Iskusstva group and in 1921 travelled to Samarkand with Petrov-Vodkin. The illustrations for Pro dikovinnykh zverei perfectly demonstrate the relationship between traditional Russian popular prints (lubki) and the avant-garde style which erupted at the beginning of the twentieth century. Samokhvalov uses bold lines, flattened figures (or in this case animals), borders and bright colours, all of which are similar to cheaply printed lubok woodcuts. Much like Petrov-Vodkin, Samokhvalov was also influenced by religious art and worked on the restoration of frescos in Staraya Ladoga in 1926. The Mir Iskusstva group believed that book illustration should be considered an art form in itself and each design aspect should be carefully considered. It is in this vein that the typography perfectly reflects the overall aesthetic of the book and the illustrations work in harmony together across a double-page spread. This holistic approach was espoused before the revolution but was now being taken in a new direction by Soviet artists working for the state publisher. As the 1920s progressed, Samokhvalov turned more to the official Soviet realist style and started to gain recognition for his portrayals of young subjects as heroes of labour and sport. Many of these are held by the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum; his most famous canvas 'Girl in a sports fair' (1932) gained a gold medal at the World Fair in Paris in 1937 and was hailed as a 'Soviet Mona Lisa' by critics. We have not been able to trace another copy to ever come on the market and there are no copies in Worldcat.