Volume III: From the 17th to the 21st Century Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

The first monograph on Leonardo’s 'Last Supper’

256. Pino, Domenico (fl. between 18th and 19th century)

Storia genuina del Cenacolo insigne dipinto da Leonardo da Vinci nel refettorio de’ padri domenicani di Santa Maria delle Grazie di Milano.... Cesare Orena in the Malatesta Press, 1796.

8° (223x134 mm). [8], 139, [1] pages. Contemporary red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within elaborate gilt frames, gilt centrepiece. Spine with five raised bands, gilt-tooled; title in gold on blue morocco lettering-piece. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, gilt edges. Small wormholes at the bottom of the spine. A fine copy printed on thick paper. Shelfmark 'L4' on the front flyleaf.

Provenance: old stamp of an unidentified noble family on the title-page. Rare first edition – dedicated to Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany – of the first book entirely devoted to the history of the famous 'Cenacolo' (The Last Supper) fresco painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery in Milan between 1495 and 1498.

The author, the Dominican Domenico Pino, was prior of the monastery when he wrote the book, and thus had access to the conventual archives, which were later dispersed upon the arrival in Milan of Napoleon's troops.

Pino was assigned – by a Milanese printer who was about to publish a new guide of Milan – with the task of collecting more information on the 'Cenacolo' and revising its history. He was then visited by the painter Teodoro Matteini, who had been charged by Grand Duke Ferdinand III with the task of making a copy of the fresco. The copy was later used by Raffaello Morghen for his engraving of the 'Cenacolo'. In scouring the archives, Pino was especially motivated to debunk legends circulating about Leonardo's work, which had discretited the fathers of the convent.

The book therefore represents an important historical resource, chockful of evidentiary material; for example, Pino is able to quote a specific document referring to payment given to Leonardo on June 1497. The text is accompanied by the author's annotations and an extensive index.

Pino's Storia was surpassed a few years later by Giuseppe Bossi's monumental work on Leonardo's 'Cenacolo', published in 1810.

E. Verga, Bibliografia vinciana, Bologna 1931, no. 271; F. Predari, Bibliografia enciclopedica milanese, Milano 1857, p. 443; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 256.

A troubled publication, between French Revolutionism and Austrian Conservatism

258. Foscolo, Ugo (1778-1827)

Vera storia di due amanti infelici, ossia Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis.... [Bologna, Jacopo Marsigli, 1799].

Two parts in one volume, 16° (130x85 mm). [4], 138; [8], 139-264 pages. The first leaf of the second part is blank. Frontispiece with an engraved medallion portrait of Foscolo, in bistro (85x63 mm), uncounted in the foliation. Contemporary mottled calf, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, compartments underlined by double gilt fillet and decorated with floral tools in gold; title in gilt lettering. Upper joint somewhat worn, lower extremity of spine slightly damaged. A good copy, foxing throughout, the upper margin of a few leaves waterstained. The manuscript note 'Par Ugo Foscolo' on the recto of the front flyleaf.

Provenance: ownership inscription, partially trimmed, on the recto of the blank leaf signed [χ]1, separating the two parts, 'M Antonio Centura' [?]; on the verso of the title-page of the second part 'Comprato li 18:7bre 1802'.

The extremely rare first edition – in the 'Austrian' issue known as '1799A' – of Foscolo's masterpiece, which is considered the first Italian epistolary novel.

Foscolo's Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis) is a semi-autobiographical work; in epistolary form, it narrates the impossible love of the young patriot Jacopo Ortis for a girl named Teresa, set against a backdrop of the Napoleonic wars in northern Italy. The epilogue is tragic as sentimental disappointment and political disillusionment lead the young Jacopo to commit suicide.

The work has a very complex publishing history, in which issue 1799A plays a fundamental role. Foscolo had been writing the work between the summer of 1798 and the beginning of the following year, and it was set to be published by the Bolognese printer Jacopo Marsigli. Foscolo then joined the Napoleonic Army, interrupting the text at letter forty-five. Marsigli, the printer, decided to assemble the material regardless, and he asked the young law student Angelo Sassoli (b. 1773) to continue writing the story up until the epilogue. The book came to light – under the title Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis – around 30 June 1799, although the title-page bears the year '1798 Anno vii' as the date of publication. This first issue, known as Ortis 1798, was evidently not distributed: only three complete copies are recorded, these being preserved in the Archiginnasio in Bologna, the Biblioteca di Storia moderna e contemporanea in Rome, and the Biblioteca Comunale in Treviso. At the same time, the city of Bologna was occupied by the Austrian army, and Marsigli attempted to conform his still undistributed publication, which was replete with political statements and references to religious questions, to the new political context. In order to overcome the reactionary Austrian control he assembled a 'new Ortis' – known as issue 1799A – which appeared on the market around August 1799 under the more 'reassuring' title of Vera storia di due amanti infelici, ossia Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The True Story of Two Unhappy Lovers, i.e., The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis). Marsigli re-used the 1798 quires containing the Foscolo-Sassoli text, and organised the Letters into two parts, each of which was preceded by new preliminaries, including the Annotazioni, a sort of 'justification' of what could be considered suspicious. He also eliminated the more delicate or dangerous passages of the Ortis 1798, inserting instead substitute bifolia or single leaves (cancels). After Napoleon's victory in Marengo on 14 June 1800, the French government was restored in Bologna, and the enterprising Marsigli decided to distribute a third and more 'revolutionary' issue of Foscolo's work – issue 1799B –, assembling copies and leaves from the two previous issues, Ortis 1798 and 1799A. Foscolo had been unaware of Marsigli's various attempts at publishing his epistolary novel; it was only in September 1800 that he came into possession of a copy of the Ortis, in its 1799B iteration. The publication was, however, firmly refuted by Foscolo as being not his own work, and thus the 'official' edition appeared only in 1802. “The editorial history of this novel is controversial and partly conjectural, with some aspects still shrouded in darkness [...] Although recent scholarship tends to see Foscolo's contribution greater than he cared to admit, the question of how much can be attributed to him and how much to others is still debated [...] Marsigli himself was involved more than one would expect of a publisher, being most probably responsible for assembling the material and filling in some of the gaps” (R. Loretelli, “Fleurons as Temporal Markers in Richardson and Foscolo”, p. 150).

The present copy is in the rare 1799A or 'Austrian' issue, with the following issue points – as noted by Gambarin – being observed: the novel is divided into two parts, both with new title-pages bearing the different, aforementioned title. In the first part, an additional quire was inserted for the new preliminaries, including the Avviso a chi legge (fol. [π]2; replacing the shorter address of Ortis 1798 Al lettore, signed by Lorenzo F.), the preface Lorenzo F. Al sensibile Lettore (fol. a1) and Annotazioni Alla prima parte delle ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis indispensabilmente da Leggersi (fol. a2). At the beginning of the second part, following the new title-page, are four unnumbered pages containing the Annotazioni Alla seconda parte delle ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis indispensabilmente da Leggersi. In this copy the title-page and the four-page Annotazioni are preceded by a blank leaf, forming a quire of four leaves (χ4), a feature unrecorded in the bibliographies.

Overall, in the 1799A issue, fourteen leaves are cancels, single leaves variously pasted over the stubs of the cancellands, or bifolia inserted into the quires. In this copy, the leaf signed e5 is taken from the original Ortis 1798 (cancelland, bearing on page 74 the misprints 'lampi lampi' and 'gi à') and not a cancel (with the corrected 'lampi' and 'già'), as is normally found in other recorded copies of the 1799A. This particular feature was also described in 1955 by Limentani in his paper “Ancora sulle prime edizioni delle Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis” with regard to his own copy of the 1799A, suggesting that the volume offered here may in fact be the same copy that was once in the hands of that Foscolo scholar.

Only two copies of the Ortis 1799 first edition are preserved in American libraries, one held in the Houghton Library at Harvard (1799B); and one, from the Ferrara collection of Renzo Bonfiglioli (1904-1963) and without any indication of issue (A or B), which is held in the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

Raccolta Foscoliana Acchiappati, 19; Ottolini 55; Limentani (“oltremodo rara edizione”); G. Gambarin, “Introduzione” to U. Foscolo, Edizione Nazionale, Firenze 1955, IV, pp. XII-XXXV; U. Limentani, “Ancora sulle prime edizioni delle Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis”, La Bibliofilia 57, (1955), pp. 156-160; M. A. Terzoli, Le prime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis. Un giallo editoriale tra politica e censura, Roma 2004; R. Loretelli, “The Space of Time. Fleurons as Temporal Markers in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa and Ugo Foscolo's Ortis”, R. Loretelli - F. O'Gorman (eds.), Britain and Italy in the Long Eighteenth Century: Literary and Art Theories, Newcastle Upon Tyne 2010, pp. 144-155; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 258.

On Sailors’ education

259. Scotti, Marcello Eusebio (1742-1800)

Catechismo Nautico o vero de’ particolari doveri della gente marittima. Tratti principalmente dalla S. Bibbia, e dalle massime fondamentali della Religione... Parte prima. Doveri in generale di tutti gli abitatori delle Città marittime. Di Simone, 1788.

8° (182x110 mm). XLIV, 281, [3] pages. Complete with the last blank leaf. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title and imprint on double morocco lettering-piece. Covers and spine somewhat worn and rubbed. A good, genuine copy; some staining and foxing due to the quality of the paper.

Extremely rare first edition of this catechism written – as signalled by its title, Nautical Catechism – for the education of seamen. The work was originally conceived in three parts, but only the first part, containing the Doveri in generale di tutti gli abitatori delle Città marittime, was published. The second and the third parts were lost – as were all Scotti's papers – during the raid of his house in Procida.

Scotti was born in Naples, into a family originally from the island of Procida. He received his early education at the Chinese College. The abilities he demonstrated in his studies, even at a very early age, were quickly recognized by his teachers who deemed him worthy of becoming their colleague. He chose a religious path to more easily devote himself to his studies. In 1779 he was called to the Academy of Science and Letters in Naples and was later sent to preach in Ischia, Aversa, and Procida. His fame as a preacher grew rapidly, but he was soon accused of spreading 'dangerous' principles of faith. No longer allowed to preach from the pulpit, Scotti undertook the writing of his Nautical Catechism.

The text focuses on the duties of seamen, insisting on the importance of being educated in navigation and commerce, practicing the duties of hospitality, assisting with shipwrecks, and taking care of the education of their wives and daughters, who were so exposed to the dangers of seduction during the long absences of their husbands and fathers. Of particular interest, for the surprisingly liberal views of the author, are the chapters on women's rights and duties.

Originally intended only for the education of sailors on the island of Procida, the work had a broader diffusion and ended up reaching the fishermen of Santa Lucia and the coral divers of Torre del Greco as well.

R. Salvemini, “Introduzione” to M. E. Scotti, Catechismo nautico, Procida 2001; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 259.

Neoclassical scenography

260. Basoli, Antonio (1774-1848)

Raccolta di prospettive serie, rustiche, e di paesaggio dedicate al merito di alcuni mecenati, professori, amatori di belle arti, ed amici. Incise a semplice contorno, e stampate in carta velina ad uso di Francia per poterle acquerellare... Disegnate da Francesco Cocchi... Incise da diversi scuolari del professore Francesco Rosaspina, dall’autore e dal disegnatore. vendibili presso l'autore e presso diversi negozianti di stampe e libri in Bologna, 1810.

Oblong folio (380x485 mm). Title-page with engraved vignette at the centre; 102 plates (numbered I-CII) engraved by Ignazio Sarti, Giulio Tomba, Luigi and Francesco Basoli, after Francesco Cocchi. Contemporary half-calf. Spine tooled in gilt; title in gold on morocco lettering-piece. A fine copy.

The Raccolta di prospettive serie, rustiche, e di paesaggio is composed of a wide range of inventive set designs by one of the most important and active Italian scenographers of the nineteenth century, Antonio Basoli. This is the first published collection of his stage designs, which were widely copied and imitated. The album includes landscapes, interiors, neoclassical reconstructions of Rome, and Egyptian scenes.

Born in Castel Guelfo, near Bologna, Basoli was educated by his father in classical art, classic and contemporary literature, and in the works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (see no. 239). He often worked in partnership with his brothers, Francesco and Luigi. He taught at the Accademia Clementina in Bologna until 1826, and was active as a scenographer at the Teatro Taruffi, also in Bologna. Many of his publications, as with the present example, had a didactic purpose.

Berlin Katalog 4165; Millard IV, 15; Thieme-Becker II, 599; C. Ricci, La scenografia italiana, Milano 1930, pp. 2 and 23, pls. 138-146; F. Farneti-E. Frattarolo et al. (eds.), Antonio Basoli, 1774-1848. Ornatista, scenografo, pittore di paesaggio; il viaggiatore che resta a casa, Argelato 2008; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 260.

With an early bibliography on artificial memory and the game of chess

262. Cancellieri, Francesco (1751-1826)

Dissertazione... intorno agli uomini dotati di gran memoria ed a quelli divenuti smemorati. Con un’Appendice delle Biblioteche degli scrittori, sopra gli eruditi precoci, la memoria artificiale, l’arte di scegliere e di notare, ed il giuoco degli scacchi. Francesco Bourlie, 1815.

8° (193x105 mm). XI, [1], 168 pages. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine. A very good, uncut copy. Minor foxing in places, the lower blank margin of the title-page slightly soiled. A few pencilled bibliographical notes on the rear pastedown.

Provenance: Marco Mazzoni (ownership inscription on the title-page).

First and only edition of this curious work by the Roman Jesuit Francesco Cancellieri. After the suppression of the Order, Cancellieri became librarian to Cardinal Leonardo Antonelli (1730-1811), whose library was at the Palazzo Pamphili in Piazza Navona, a post he held until the Cardinal's death. In addition to this position, Cancellieri was also superintendent of the Propaganda printing press.

The first, and by far longest, part of the work is devoted to men and women with exceptional memories – people who were able to memorise the entire Bible, like the Italian humanist Isotta Nogarola, or, in general, people who have displayed extraordinary mnemonic capacities: famous philosophers, historians, and poets are quoted here, including, among others, Onofrio Panvinio, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Torquato Tasso, and Ludovico Antonio Muratori, to mention only a few. The second part deals with precocious, learned men like Ermolao Barbaro and Giacomo Leopardi, who was able to learn Greek without a teacher at the age of sixteen. Two bibliographical appendices follow, one on artificial memory, the other on the game of chess. The last part relates to people who have lost their memory owing to age, disease, or trauma (which, in Malebranche's case, was also a means of recovering it).

A. Chicco - A. Sanvito, Lineamenti di una bibliografia italiana degli scacchi in Italia, Roma 1987, 138; Young 57; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 262.

The true porchetta

264. Nardi, Luigi (1777-1837)

Porcus troianus o sia la porchetta. Cicalata ne le nozze di messer Carlo Ridolfi veronese con madonna Rosa Spina riminese. Nobili Press, 1821.

8° (209x144 mm). [2], XVI, 134, [2 blanks] pages. Contemporary wrappers, small losses to the spine. A fine, uncut copy.

The second, augmented edition of this entertaining ludic poem, or cicalata. A notice is printed before the title-page referring to the first edition printed in Rimini in 1813. The name of the author is given only under the form of an anagram, 'Giri di Luna', in the dedication on p. III.

This work, by the canon from Savignano Luigi Nardi, though written as a cicalata for the marriage of Carlo Ridolfi from Verona to Madonna Rosa Spina from Rimini, represents a real treatise on the history and art of making porchetta (roast pork). According to Nardi, the only true porchetta is that traditionally made in Romagna, the author's region, a version which has nothing to do with that produced in Naples or Bologna.

Nardi then explains that in Ancient Roman cuisine, 'porcus troianus' referred to pork stuffed with various meats, which, when cut open at the table – often in a spectacular manner – revealed its precious contents, as in the famous Homeric episode of the Trojan horse.

B.IN.G., 1338; Westbury 158; L. Bartolotti, “La porchetta, sapori di storia e di tradizione”, Porcus troianus: la storia della porchetta in un trattato dell'Ottocento, Rimini 2006 (facsimile reprint of the present edition); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 264.

265. Polybius (200-118 BC)

Polybii Megalopolitani Historiarum quidquid superest. Recensuit, digessit, emendatiore interpretatione, varietate lectionis, indicibus illustravit Johannes Schweighaeuser... Tom. i. [- Tom. iv]. Editio nova. Oxford, William Baxter, J. Parker, and R. Bliss; London, George Whittaker and W. B. Whittaker, 1823. [together with:] Schweighauser, Johann (1742-1830). Lexicon Polybianum ab Is. et Merico Casaubonis olim adumbratum inde ab Jo. Aug. Ernesti elaboratum nunc ab Joanne Schweighaeusero passim emendatum.... William Baxter for George Whittaker, W. B. Whittaker, and J. Parker, 1822.

Two works, in a set of five volumes, 8° (213x131 mm). I. [4], clxxxv, [3], 448 pages; [4], 542 pages; [4], 560 pages; [4], 287, [1], 84, [166] pages. Text in Greek and Latin. The Index historicus et geographicus in the fourth volume printed in two columns. II. vii, [1], 495, [1] pages. Text in Greek and Latin, printed in two columns. Contemporary uniform bindings, polished honey calf over pasteboards. Covers within double gilt fillet. Spines with five small raised bands, richly gilt tooled, titles and volume numbering on double lettering-pieces. Board edges decorated with gilt frieze, inside dentelles. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Edges marbled. Extremities of spines slightly rubbed; the upper lower corner of the Lexicon Polybianum somewhat bumped. A very fine set, minor foxing in places; minor loss to the lower blank corner of fol. GG3 of the fourth volume.

Provenance: the English politician Charles James Monk (1824-1900), gifted by him in July 1843 to his friend Edmund Rolley Pollexfen Bastard (Monk's address in the first volume of Polybii Historiae, on the recto of the front flyleaf, 'Edmund R. P. Bastard from his very sincere friend Charles James Monk. Eton. July 1843'; Bastard's armorial ex-libris on the rear pastedown of each volume).

A fine, beautifully bound set, comprising the four-volume edition of Polybius' complete works – presented here in the second edition – edited by Johann Schweighauser, and supplemented with his special Lexicon Polybianum. The first edition of Schweighauser's Polybius had appeared in 1789-1795. The first volume opens with a lengthy preface by the sixteenth-century French Hellenist Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614), taken from his Latin translation of Polybius' works, which was published posthumously in 1617. This is followed by Schweighauser's preface, in which the philologist acknowledges his debt to Casaubon. “Casaubon's Polybius has deserved that Schweighauser should say of it, that there is not a page of it, which does not show how much Polybius owes to the learning and sagacity of that industrious editor” (M. Pattison, Isaac Casaubon, p. 224). For the Lexicon Polybianum Schweighauser had likewise relied on materials previously collected by Casaubon, and more recently by the German scholar Johann August Ernesti (1707-1781).

The present set has a very interesting provenance, as the volumes were given as a gift by a then-young Charles James Monk – the English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1857 and 1885 – to his friend Edmund Rodney Pollexfen Bastard, son of a known Tory politician. Both Monk and Bastard were educated at Eton College and Trinity College in Cambridge.

Hoffmann III, p. 267; M. Pattison, Isaac Casaubon, London 1875; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 265.

In original printed boards

267. Fröbel, Friedrich Wilhelm August (1782-1852)

Die Menschenerziehung, die Erziehungs-, Unterrichts- und Lehrkunst, angestrebt in der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt zu Keilhau.... Keilhau, Verlag der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt; Leipzig, A. Wienbrack, 1826.

8° (208x127 mm). [4], 497, [1] pages, plus one final leaf bearing a list of Fröbel's writing up to that date. Original printed boards. The explanatory notes of the two vignettes – 'Die Lilie im Garten' and 'Jesus im Tempel' – at the centre of the covers are pasted on the front and rear flyleaves. A very good copy, only slightly browned.

Provenance: Fröbel's friend and collaborator at Keilhau, Johann Heinrich Langethal (1792-1879; ownership inscription on the verso of the front flyleaf).

Rare first edition of Fröbel's first major work. Perhaps even more than Wie Gertrud ihre Kinder lehrte (1801) by Pestalozzi, who deeply influenced Fröbel, Die Menschenerziehung represents a milestone of modern pedagogical thought, and had an enormous impact on such later educators as Peter Petersen, Hermann Lietz, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey.

In 1816 Fröbel started his first school in the small village of Griesheim (in Hesse, Germany). A year later, the school moved a few miles away to another village, Keilhau, where his friends Wilhelm Middendorff and Johann Heinrich Langethal – the owner of the present copy – joined him to work as teachers. The number of pupils at the school soon grew, and more teachers were recruited. While at Keilhau, Fröbel had begun to publish his ideas in a weekly journal called Die erziehenden Familien, and in 1826 he privately published his Die Menschenerziehung.

The work outlines Fröbel's teaching methods and embodies a theory of education based on the principles of 'wholeness' (a child must be in harmony with nature and society), and 'activity' (in the sense that thinking and doing through play, learning, and work are the basis for a fully conscious and happy life for the individual and for society). The Prussian authorities were not enthusiastic about this eccentric man and his 'dangerous' ideas, and decided to investigate the practices at the school. Parents started removing their children; when finally only six students remained, the school had to be closed down. This, however, was not the end of Fröbel's career as school director; on the contrary, it marked only its beginning.

The present copy had once belonged to Johann Heinrich Langethal, one of Fröbel's closest collaborators at Keilhau. Born in Berlin, he first met Fröbel in 1813, and in 1817 he was among the founders of the Keilhau School.

H. Heiland, Bibliographie Friedrich Fröbel, Hildesheim-Zürich-New York, 1990, no. 0023; S. Hebenstreit, Friedrich Fröbel - Menschenbild, Kindergartenpädagogik, Spielförderung, Jena 2003; M. Berger, “Langethal, Johann Heinrich”, F. Marwinski (ed.), Lebenswege in Thüringen, Fünfte Sammlung, Jena 2015, pp. 171-176; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 267.

La chartreuse est un grand et beau Livre... — Honoré de Balzac

271. Stendhal [pseud. of Marie-Henri Beyle, 1783-1842]

La chartreuse de Parme. Par l’autheur de Rouge et Noir. Ambroise Dupont, 1839.

Two volumes, 8° (203x123 mm). I. [4], 402 pages. II. [4], 445 pages. Both volumes complete with half-title. Lacking – as with the majority of recorded copies – the last leaf of the second volume, a cancel with advertising. Contemporary brown cloth, blind-stamped with floral pattern. Smooth spines, divided into compartments by gilt fillets, title and volume numbering lettered in gold. Blue speckled edges. Pastedowns and flyleaves in yellow paper. Hinges and corners somewhat rubbed. A good copy, some stains.

Provenance: armorial stamp on the half-title of both volumes, the same coat of arms stamped in gilt at the foot of the spines.

First edition, in its rare first issue, of the eighth novel published by the celebrated French writer Stendhal, mentioned here as the author of another famous roman, Le Rouge et Noir, which appeared in 1830/31. La chartreuse de Parme was written in only fifty-six days, between 4 November and 26 December 1838. It was inspired by both Stendhal's desire to write a Napoleonic novel centred on the Battle of Waterloo and his interest in the life of Alexander Farnese – who would later become Pope Paul III – which featured numerous parallels with that of the novel's main character, Fabrice del Dongo.

The present copy, printed on vellum paper (papier velin) and without the indication 'Deuxième édition' on the title-page, represents a rare example from the first issue of this edition. “The various copies of the first edition of the Chartreuse de Parme that I saw were all on vellum paper; there is, under the same date of 1839, an edition of this work bearing on the titles and on the wrappers 'Deuxième édition'. The copy I saw is on laid-paper. In fact, it is a new issue on the same composition rather than a second edition. The volumes' collation is identical to the first edition” (Vicaire, Manuel de l'amateur, 458).

The novel was enthusiastically received by Stendhal's contemporaries. Of especial note is the opinion expressed by Honoré de Balzac in a letter written to Stendhal on 6 April 1839: upon reading the work, Balzac writes “Il ne faut jamais retarder de faire plaisir à ceux qui nous ont donné du plaisir. La chartreuse est un grand et beau Livre, je vous le dis sans flatterie, sans envie, car je serai incapable de le faire [...]”.

Carteret Romantique II, 358; Clouzot 151; Lhermitte 567; Vicaire I, 458; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 271.

A late first edition of a lascivious Cantare Carnacialesco, printed on blue paper

272. Pulci, Luigi (1432-1484)

Tractato del Prete cole Monache. Tipografia Crapelet, 1840.

Large 8° (210x135 mm). Printed on blue paper. [8] leaves. Set in gothic type. Large woodcut vignette on the title-page depicting the encounter between a priest and three nuns. Two woodcut decorated initials, on criblé ground. Contemporary marbled pasteboards, engraved label with title on the upper cover. A very good copy, trace of large ex-libris on the front pastedown. Issued in a total of fifty copies, of which this is number 36.

The first edition of this Renaissance cantare carnacialesco, a lascivious work about a priest enticing nuns. The composition of this poetic text has variously been attributed to Luigi Pulci, and is introduced here by a brief address to the reader written by Niccolò Franco (1515-1570).

The Tractato del Prete cole Monache – replete with double entendres – enjoyed a significant manuscript circulation. The work was first published in 1840, from the Paris press run by Georges André Crapelet, and upon the recommendation of Étienne Audin de Rians, a scholar of Italian chivalric and popular literature. The text itself is based on ms Palatino 359 of the National Library in Florence.

As stated in the colophon printed on the recto of the last leaf, the edition was issued in a total of fifty copies, seven of which were printed on parchment, with only fifteen being printed on blue paper, including the handsome copy offered here.

E. Benucci et al. (eds.), Cantari novellistici dal Tre al Cinquecento, Roma 2002; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 272.

274. Rothschild, Charlotte Baroness de (1825-1899)

Italie. Souvenir d’un voyage de Nice à Génes par la Corniche. Vingt-trois de mes Dessins. Eaux-fortes. 1869.

Oblong folio (435x600 mm overall; 250x430 mm platemark). Title-page printed in red and black. Twenty-three mounted etchings. Contemporary dark brown shagreen, covers double-ruled. Spine with six raised bands, title lettered in gilt. Minor abrasions to covers, spine partially cracked. Generally the etchings are superb impressions.

Provenance: Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild (ex-libris 'Abaye des Vaux de Cernay. Nathaniel de Rothschild' on the front pastedown).

Extremely rare and charming series of etched views of areas between Côte d'Azur and Genoa, designed by the accomplished painter, amateur printmaker, and art collector Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild. A visual record of one of the great Romantic voyages pittoresques, the journey began in Nice and concluded in Genoa, with stops in Menton, San Remo, etc. From the Parisian branch of this immensely wealthy and cultured family, Charlotte studied watercolours under Eugène Lami, with whom she founded the Society of French Watercolour Painters. Her Parisian salon included such luminaries as Corot, Manet, and Chopin. Published in a small number of copies, strictly for distribution as gifts to family and friends, we have only located two institutional copies: at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cabinet des Estampes, and at the Bibliothèque de Cessole in Nice.

The copy presented here has a very appropriate provenance, bearing her ex-libris on the front pastedown, with the inscription 'Abaye des Vaux de Cernay. Nathaniel de Rothschild'. The Baroness had bought the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, located in the Chevreuse valley, in 1873, after the death of her husband, her English cousin Nathaniel Rothschild (1812-1870).

Most of the plates, as the title indicates, show harbours and coastlines from the viewpoint of the shore, although four are townscapes. The outlines of cities appear in some of the harbour plates as well; the emphasis falls on the romantic celebration of nature, with picturesque elements (fishermen, washer women) providing a sense of scale and enlivening the scenes. Unusually, the place names of the locales depicted are etched in the plate. Proximity is indicated by densely etched areas of black in the foreground, distance by a lighter and lighter line. The pitch-black areas are reminiscent of Manet, who most influenced the artist.

The album represents a quite unknown document, and a significant addition to the corpus of engraving by female artists.

Astengo-Fiaschini, nos. 55, 99, 122, 123, 132, 147, and 160; La route de Gènes. La riviera da Nizza a Genova nelle stampe romantiche francesi, nos. 58-59; M. Hall, “The English Rothschilds”, G. Heuberger (ed.), The Rothschilds: Essays on the History of a European Family, Rochester, NY 1994, pp. 265-286; P. Prévost-Marcilhacy, “Charlotte de Rothschild: artiste, collectionneur et mécène”, Histoires d'art, (2008), pp. 252-265; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 274.

The foundation of Criminology. A dedication copy to the Italian Psychiatric Society

275. Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909)

L’uomo delinquente studiato in rapporto alla antropologia, alla medicina legale ed alle discipline carcerarie. Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

8° (225x160 mm). [4], 255, [1] pages. With four illustrations in the text, one of which is pasted on page 65 and reproduces the photograph that three murders made of themselves, as a memory, while miming the crime that they had just committed. Contemporary half-cloth with gilt title on spine. Spine repaired at the extremities. A very good copy, gutter of the first quire reinforced.

Provenance: gifted by Cesare Lombroso to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, i.e., the Italian Psychiatric Society (large paper strip on the half-title, bearing Lombroso's autograph dedication 'per i soci della Freniatrica Italiana / tutti voi / C. Lombroso / Pavia 6 Dic 1883'); the medical-legal physician Angiolo Filippi (1836-1905; pencilled ownership inscription on the half-title leaf).

Rare first edition – in a precious association copy – of the work that marks the birth of criminal anthropology. The book went through five editions in Italian and was published in various European languages, including English in 1900.

Born in Verona to a wealthy Jewish family, Lombroso studied literature, linguistics, and archaeology at the universities of Padua, Vienna and Paris, before becoming an army surgeon in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed visiting lecturer at Pavia and in 1871 he took charge of the mental asylum at Pesaro. He became Professor of Forensic Medicine and Hygiene at Turin in 1878. Later he was appointed as Professor of Psychiatry (1896) and Criminal Anthropology (1906) at the same university.

The Criminal Man, immediately welcomed as extremely innovative in the psychiatric and medical world of the time, is also addressed to judges and lawyers. It illustrates Lombroso's theories on the correlation between somatic and mental deformities with reference to specific factors as atavism, degeneration, and epilepsy. Lombroso also deals with the legal implications of his theories, particularly in relation to the issue of 'moral insanity', understood as a serious disturbance of social behavior. Lombroso was convinced of the pathological nature of the 'born criminal', and is considered the founder of criminology.

“Lombroso [...] maintained that criminals are more often found to suffer from physical, nervous and mental abnormalities than non-criminals, and that these abnormalities are either inherited or the result of physical degeneration [...] 'Criminal Man' was a revolutionary work which not only caused a considerable stir when it first came out but had a practical effect which was wholly beneficial. The division which it indicated between the congenital criminal and those who were tempted to crime by circumstances has had a lasting effect on penal theory. Again, by connecting the treatment of crime with the treatment of insanity, Lombroso initiated a branch of psychiatric research which has cast new light on problems, such as criminal responsibility, which lie at the root of human society” (PMM).

This copy bears Lombroso's autograph address to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, dated 'Pavia, 6 Dic 1883'. The Società Freniatrica Italiana – the Italian Psychiatric Society – was established in 1873, and Lombroso was among its founders. Its fourth congress took place in Voghera, near Pavia, on 16-22 September 1883. Later the volume came into possession of Angiolo Filippi, who was the leading medical-legal authority in Italy at that time. Filippi published the first Italian treatises on forensic medicine – the Principii di medicina legale per gli studenti di legge ed i giurisperiti (Firenze 1889) and the Manuale di medicina legale conforme al nuovo codice penale per medici e giuristi (Milano 1889) - in which some sections are devoted to criminal anthropology. Filippi was in correspondence with Lombroso, with respect to whom he often had differing opinions. Some notes in the present volume, written in his own hand, confirm the critical approach he had towards Lombroso's work, offerring striking testimony to the Italian debate on criminology.

CLIO, Catalogo dei libri italiani dell'Ottocento (1801-1900), IV, p. 2667 (MI185); Garrison-Morton 174; Norman 1384; PMM 394; H. Mannheim, Pioneers in Criminology, Chicago 1960, pp. 168-227; M. Gibson, Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Italian origins of Biological Criminology, Westport 2002; G. Seppilli - L. Bianchi (eds.), Atti del IV Congresso della Società Freniatrica Italiana tenuto in Voghera dal 16 al 22 settembre 1883, Milano 1883; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 275.

In the deluxe original publisher’s green cloth

276. Collodi, Carlo (1826-1890)

Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino. Illustrata da E. Mazzanti. Firenze, Felice Paggi, 1883.

8° (182x120 mm). 236 pages, plus IV pages of advertisements. A portrait of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti serves as the frontispiece. Sixty-one woodcuts in the text, likewise by Mazzanti. Original publisher's green cloth. On the upper cover, title stamped in gilt between two gilt stripes with the name of the author and printer embossed in green; the lower cover decorated with two floral-patterned rolls in black; spine with title lettered in gold. Covers slightly discoloured, lower cover somewhat bumped. In a fine sand morocco folding case, probably by Gozzi (Modena), the figure of Pinocchio outlined in gold at the centre of the upper board, with inlays in green, white, and red morocco. A good copy, marginal browning. Two short tears to the blank margins of pages 18 and 225, repaired, without any loss.

The exceedingly rare first edition in book form – presented in its very desirable original luxury cloth binding – of the masterpiece by the Italian writer and journalist Carlo Lorenzini (better known as Collodi), the enduring children's classic about a marionette whose nose would grow each time he told a lie.

The novel Pinocchio was first serialised in the children's magazine from Rome, Giornale per i bambini, under the direction of Ferdinando Martini: the first instalment appeared on 7 July 1881, and the last one on 25 January 1883. Pinocchio was published as a book in the same year, 1883, probably in a very small print run, and at least twelve reprints appeared during the first year of publication. Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1893) was responsible for the everlasting black-and-white illustrations. The success was enormous, with countless editions and translations into more than 260 languages. Collodi's masterpiece continues to be cherished to this day and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including popular versions by Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg, who used the story for the film A.I. (2001).

The work was first translated into English in 1892 by M. A. Murray, whose version – The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio – was published in the same year in London as well as in New York, supplemented with thirty seven of Mazzanti's illustrations. In 1904 the first American illustrated edition was published, thanks to the work of Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland (Pinocchio: the Adventures of a Marionette, Boston, Ginn & Co.). “Almost nothing else in children's literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter-Prichard, Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 462).

Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche dell'Ottocento, pp. 148-153 (“E' questo uno dei pezzi più rari, se non il più raro senz'altro, dell'Ottocento italiano”); H. Carpenter - M. Prichard (eds.), Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford 1984, pp. 461-462; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 276.

With the original light green wrappers, housed in an artistic binding by Sandra Varisco

277. Collodi, Carlo (1826-1890)

Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino. Illustrata da E. Mazzanti. Felice Paggi, 1883.

8° (190x122 mm). 236 pages, plus IV pages of advertisements. A portrait of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti serves as the frontispiece. Sixty-one woodcuts in the text, likewise by Mazzanti. In a fine binding signed and dated (2015) by Sandra Varisco, after a maquette by the contemporary artist MP5. Cream box calf with figurative inlays in green inspired by the silhouette of Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears (in Italian, 'donkey' also means 'dunce'). Title lettered in 'dymo' style on spine. The original light green wrappers preserved inside (with old repairs). In a half-leather chemise, with title in 'dymo' style on spine. A fine copy, partly uncut and generally fresh, two unobtrusive children's stamps.

Handsome copy of the first edition of Pinocchio housed in an artistic box calf binding, which captures one of the most famous episodes of Collodi's masterpiece, Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears in the Paese dei Balocchi, i.e, the Land of Toys. The original light green wrappers, illustrated by Enrico Mazzanti, are preserved inside the covers.

The novel Pinocchio was first serialised in the children's magazine from Rome, Giornale per i bambini, under the direction of Ferdinando Martini: the first instalment appeared on 7 July 1881, and the last one on 25 January 1883. Pinocchio was published as a book in the same year, 1883, probably in a very small print run, and at least twelve reprints appeared during the first year of publication. Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1893) was responsible for the everlasting black-and-white illustrations. The success was enormous, with countless editions and translations into more than 260 languages. Collodi's masterpiece continues to be cherished to this day and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including popular versions by Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg, who used the story for the film A.I. (2001).

The work was first translated into English in 1892 by M. A. Murray, whose version – The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio – was published in the same year in London as well as in New York, supplemented with thirty seven of Mazzanti's illustrations. In 1904 the first American illustrated edition was published, thanks to the work of Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland (Pinocchio: the Adventures of a Marionette, Boston, Ginn & Co.). “Almost nothing else in children's literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter-Prichard, Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 462).

Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche dell'Ottocento, pp. 148-153 (“E' questo uno dei pezzi più rari, se non il più raro senz'altro, dell'Ottocento italiano”); H. Carpenter - M. Prichard (eds.),Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford 1984, pp. 461-462; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 276.

‘Normal’ versus ‘criminal’ woman, such as ‘the prostitute’

279. Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909)

La donna delinquente. La prostituta e la donna normale. L. Roux, 1893.

8° (242x154 mm). XI, [1], 640 pages. With the engraved portrait of Messalina on the title-page, eight plates (four folding) and several diagrams, photographs, and statistical tables in the text. Possibly original blue cloth, gilt title on spine. Joints weakened. A good copy, only slightly browned, plate VI loose.

Rare first edition of this very influential work on the criminal woman, considered the first modern criminology text to focus exclusively on the subject.

A first draft of the work, written in collaboration with Salvatore Ottolenghi, had appeared two years earlier in the Giornale della R. Accademia di Medicina (nos. 9-10). The final draft was written in collaboration with the author's son-in-law, the talented law student Guglielmo Ferrero (1871-1942).

In Criminal Woman, Lombroso – convinced of the pathological nature of the born criminal – applies to women the same theories expressed in his Uomo delinquente (Criminal Man), published in 1876, the work that marks the foundation of criminal anthropology. In the text, he outlines a comparative analysis of 'normal women' as opposed to 'criminal women' such as 'the prostitute'.

“These theories, published in L'uomo delinquente and several other works, caused a good deal of controversy, but also exerted a powerful influence that still persists, even though we no longer accept Lombroso's concept of the connection between atavism and criminality” (Norman 1384).

CLIO, Catalogo dei libri italiani dell'Ottocento (1801-1900), IV, p. 2667 (MI185); Garrison-Morton 174; H. Mannheim, Pioneers in Criminology, Chicago 1960, pp. 168-227; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 279.

Manet’s Etching Revival

280. Manet, Édouard (1832-1883)

Manet. Trente eaux-fortes originales. A. Strölin, 1905.

Large folio-size collection (546x360 mm) comprising a four-leaf booklet and complete set of thirty etchings with aquatint set in mats. The title-page includes a heliogravure portrait by Fantin-Latour; introduction and index by Théodore Duret. Edition of 100 copies. In original tan cloth portfolio case. Sheets with full margins, 445x312 mm; plates ranging in size. Printed on paper with the Van Gelder watermark or with crowned lily and monogram 'JGL'. In the lower right margin of each sheet is a small red editorial stamp with numbering of the plates. Good impressions, neatly inked and very fresh, in a perfect condition.

Exceedingly rare complete set of etchings with aquatint by the famous French artist Édouard Manet, the eldest son of an official in the French Ministry of Justice and a visionary Realist with a profound impact on Modern Art. Printed in Paris by the Swiss-born art dealer, publisher, and collector Alfred Strölin, the etchings are accompanied with an introduction and index by the French journalist, author, and art critic Théodore Duret, one of Manet's greatest champions, and a heliogravure portrait of Manet by Henri Fantin-Latour, an extraction from the latter's celebrated canvas, Hommage à Delacroix, which was exhibited at the Salon in 1864.

The early 1860s was a particularly fruitful time in Manet's career specifically and printmaking generally. As Duret explains, this was when the artist was most fascinated with Spanish themes, taking as his subjects the various singing and dancing troops that made their way into Parisian entertainment. In 1861, as a young artist of only twenty-nine years, Manet received honourable mention at the tremendously important Paris Salon with Le Guitarrero ('The Spanish Singer') followed by great notoriety at the 1863 Salon des Refusés with the scandalous Déjeuner sur l'herbe, a reputation perhaps most solidified when his Olympia was shown in 1865. In the same years, the 'Etching Revival' – a period from about 1850 to 1930 when the medium was re-embraced by artists, particularly in France, England, and the United States – was gaining speed thanks to the establishment of the Société des Aquafortistes in 1862. The Society, which aimed to promote etching among artists and the public alike, was established at the urging of the skilled etcher Alphonse Legros. As with other painters, Manet joined the Society new to the graphic arts, and it was Legros who taught him the ropes. Fittingly, among his earliest efforts counts an etching of Le Guitarrero, included here in its final state – a poetic testament to Manet's artistic and technical maturation.

Between 1860 and 1882, Manet produced about 100 prints (etchings and lithographs); although a number of these were included in Society-related projects, many others were published posthumously. Upon the artist's death in 1883, thirty etched plates were counted among his possessions, which then became the property of his wife, Suzanne; in 1890, Suzanne printed about thirty impressions of twenty-three of these (including thirteen which had previously been unpublished) at Gennevilliers, where Manet had summered at his family's house. These twenty-three plates, along with seven more, were then ceded to the dealer and printer Louis Dumont who likewise published thirty impressions of each of the thirty plates. As Dumont's successor, the plates then passed into the hands of Alfred Strölin, who is responsible for the current edition, of which 100 copies were printed. Apart from contemporary impressions known in only a small number of copies, the plates of the Strölin edition are generally considered most desirable, as those of previous editions are often poorly inked. There is, however, an additional measure of finality at play: upon completing the print run, Strölin destroyed all the coppers by punching holes in them, thus ensuring his would be the final prints pulled from Manet's plates.

The beautiful impressions included in Strölin's edition are representative of the vastness and depth of Manet's lauded career, ranging from his early investigations into Spanish themes to such famous masterpieces as Olympia (included here in two versions), and the portraits of Eva Gonzalès, Baudelaire (again in two versions), Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Allan Poe.

It is extremely rare to find the Strölin set complete with all thirty etchings along with the text.

E. Moreau-Nélaton, Manet, Graveur et Lithographe, Paris 1906; M. Guérin, L'Oeuvre gravé de Manet, Paris 1944; J. C. Harris, Edouard Manet: Graphic works, New York 1970; F. Cachin - C. S. Moffett - J. Wilson Bareau, Manet, 1832-1883: Galeries Nationales Du Grand Palais, Paris, April 22-August 8, 1983, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 10-November 27, 1983, New York 1983; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 280.

One of thirty printed on Japon Ancien, bound by Madeleine Gras

281. Bonnard, Pierre (1867-1947) - Mirbeau, Octave (1848-1917)

Dingo. Ambroise Vollard, 1924.

4° (371x274 mm). 193, [11] pages. Fifty-five original etchings, some with drypoint: fourteen hors-texte plates, forty inthe text, one at the end; etched initials, headpieces and vignettes, all by Bonnard. Black and red morocco binding with white and red accents by Madeleine Gras (1891-1958), title lettered in gold in 'dymo' style on spine. Black suede endleaves and flyleaves. Gilt edges. The original wrappers preserved inside. Copy no. 23 of a total 350 copies, one of thirty printed on Japon Ancien. With a separate sheet showing the Indication pour le placement des eaux-fortes hors-texte, and a double suite of the fourteen plates sur papier d'Arches. A beautiful, pristine copy.

A fine copy of the famous French dealer-printer Ambroise Vollard's deluxe printing of one of Octave Mirbeau's final texts, illustrated throughout by the celebrated French painter and printmaker Pierre Bonnard. No. 23 of 350 copies printed – and one of only thirty copies printed on Japon Ancien – it is one of the best examples of early twentieth-century livres d'artiste, counting among Bonnard's masterpieces, and further enriched with a design binding by Madeleine Gras, pupil of the great binder Noulhac.

Dingo is an autobiographical tale of the author's adventures with his semi-feral Austrialian dog – the titular Dingo – in a lowly French country village reminiscent of the town in which Mirbeau grew up. It was published by Eugène Fasquelle in May 1913 although some months earlier, on 23 January, Vollard had written to Mirbeau stating that Imprimerie Nationale had agreed to print it for Éditions Vollard and on 29 December 1916 the dealer paid Bonnard 9,200 francs for illustrations for Dingo as well as another project he was illustrating. In failing health, Mirbeau turned to his long-time friend Léon Werth to help complete the work and passed away less than a month after Vollard's letter, on 16 February 1917. It is still a matter of debate as to why the printing of the text then shifted from Imprimerie Nationale to Émile Féquet, but by 26 November of that same year Vollard wrote to Mirbeau's widow announcing that the printing of Dingo was to commence that same day.

Regarded as the champion among champions of young avant-garde artists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Vollard was endowed with a great eye and an incredibly energetic creative spirit, constantly moving from one novel project to the next. It was likely in 1893 that Vollard met a young Bonnard, now known for his intimate Post-Impressionist style and painterly approach to printmaking, and the former acted as the latter's 'impresario' for over twenty-five years thereafter.

Already an established dealer, in 1895, Vollard entered the world of print publishing and set out to issue annual collections of fine prints commissioned from an array of contemporary artists. This included Bonnard, who was increasingly involved with these efforts; indeed, in 1897, Vollard published his second collection, Album d'estampes originales de la Galerie Vollard, for which Bonnard designed the wrapper, inside covers, and contents page, and also contributed a lithograph to the collection itself. Although Vollard's early efforts in this domain were both critically and commercially unsuccessful, it was to Bonnard that he turned when he decided to begin printing his livres de luxe, Dingo being the second of five such works that Bonnard worked on with the great printer-dealer.

Bonnard, for his part, seems to have begun working on illustrations for Mirbeau's text shortly after it was published, and his 'croquis d'après le Dingo de M. Octave Mirbeau' was published in the June 1913 issue of Les Cahiers d'aujourd'hui. His illustrations mark Bonnard's first use of line etching and drypoint, and his excitement at the new technique – which to Vollard's dismay rendered his a more lengthy task than had been anticipated – can be felt in the animated strokes that enliven his illustrations; they capture at once the nobility, savagery, and freedom of the animal spirit and the powerfully dynamic nature of one's relation to space.

Vollard also had a lengthy relationship with Mirbeau himself. The French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright – who travelled breezily around popular and avant-garde domains alike – wrote a catalogue preface for a Manzana-Pissarro exhibition at Vollard's gallery in April 1907 and purchased a number of works from him around 1904; by 1907 the author had still not paid what he had owed, and it has been suggested by former Metropolitan Museum curator of Modern art Rebecca A. Rabinow that, 'given the nature of their relationship, it is possible that Mirbeau offered Vollard the opportunity to publish his latest work to defray his debt' (Rabinow, Cézanne to Picasso, 333).

N. Rauch, Les Peintres et le livre, 1867-1957, Genève 1957, 26; U. Johnson, Ambroise Vollard, Editeur, New York 1977, no. 169; F. Bouvet, Bonnard the Complete Graphic Work, London 1981, no. 90; C. Ives - H. E. Giambruni - S. M. Newman, Pierre Bonnard: The Graphic Art, New York 1989, no. 103; R. Jentsch, Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur, Stuttgart 1994, no. 17; R. A. Rabinow - D. W. Druick - M. A. di Panzillo, Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-garde, New York 2006, no. 20; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 281.

Picasso’s true meditation on Art

283. Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973) - Balzac, Honoré de (1799-1850)

Le Chef-D'oeuvre Inconnu. Ambroise Vollard, 1931.

4° (335x260 mm). XIV, [3], [16 pages lettered A to P], [3], 92, [14] pages. With thirteen original etchings by Picasso, pulled by Louis Fort; sixty-seven wood engravings cut by George Aubert after Picasso's drawings; and 16 pages reproducing lineblock dot and line drawings. Handsomely bound in a custom binding by René Kieffer, with his signature on the lower turn-ins of the upper cover and his stamp pasted on the verso of the second flyleaf. Linen pastedowns, linen and marble-paper flyleaves. In marbled slipcase. Small stain on plate no. V of the table of etchings and on facing page (a blank), otherwise in pristine condition.

Beautiful centennial edition of Balzac's short story, Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu – originally published in the newspaper L'Artiste in August 1831 with the title 'Maître Frenhofer' – commissioned by Picasso's dealer, Ambroise Vollard, and illustrated with thirteen original etchings by the Spanish master, sixty-seven wood engravings cut by George Aubert after his drawings, and sixteen pages reproducing lineblock dot and line drawings. This edition was printed in 305 copies, of which 240 – including the present one, no. 230 – were printed on Rives wove paper.

Admired by such artists as Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, Balzac's story tells the tale of an ageing seventeenth-century artist named Frenhofer who obsessively works on a canvas he keeps hidden for years. When two young painters and admirers of Frenhofer's work finally manage to see the canvas, they are shocked by what they discover to be an indistinguishable mass of tangled brushstrokes and layers of paint. Deciding that the older artist must have gone insane, the two young artists deride Frenhofer who subsequently destroys all his works and commits suicide.

The story of this dramatically misunderstood yet visionary hero was well suited for the avant-garde artists pursuing careers in Balzac's wake; indeed, in 1904 Cézanne exclaimed outright 'Frenhofer, c'est moi' (J. Medina, Cézanne and Modernism: The Poetics of Painting, 1995). Arguably the most innovative and ground-breaking artist of the Modern period, Picasso was no exception and identified heavily with Balzac's tragic protagonist, so much so that he later moved his studio to the very seventeenth-century townhouse believed to have been the setting for the opening scene of Frenhofer's tale. It is perhaps hardly a coincidence that the dealer of both Cézanne and Picasso was the great avant-garde champion and mentor Ambroise Vollard, who, in addition to dealing art, was also an avid collector, biographer, and publisher.

In 1927, twenty-six years after mounting Picasso's first Paris exhibition in 1901, Vollard asked the Spanish artist to illustrate a centennial edition of Balzac's text. Although Picasso – widely recognized as one of the greatest printmakers of all time – counts among the most prolific book illustrators of the twentieth century, the etchings he produced for this edition in fact bear little relation to Balzac's text; rather, the artist seems to have used the opportunity to reflect more generally on one of his favourite subjects: the artist-model relationship and the act of creation itself. It is perhaps for this reason that the final product – a true meditation on Art – is itself a work of art, ranking among one of the most beautiful artist's books of the twentieth century.

Cramer, Picasso. Catalogue raisonné des livres illustrés, no. 20; Bonet, Carnets, no. 690, pl. 175; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 283.

No, not your poem. Weird... weird... how I felt while you were saying it — The Postman

286. Neruda, Pablo (1904-1973)

Los versos del capitan. Arte Tipografica, 8 July 1952.

4° (246x165 mm). 181, [3] pages, including the Elenco de los subscriptores and Index. Original publisher's wrappers. Excellent copy, minor wear to the foot of the spine. Front wrapper slightly foxed. Copy no. 35, printed for the 'subscriptor' Bruno Molajoli.

Provenance: the Italian art historian Bruno Molajoli (1905-1985), one of the subscribers of this publication.

The first edition of one of the rarest twentieth-century books, issued anonymously – or, as the colophon states, “de autor desconocido” – in only forty four copies printed for friends and subscribers.

Los versos del capitan is considered one of the masterpieces of the celebrated Chilean poet and 1971 Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda, whose real name was Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.

Owing to his protests against President González Videla's authoritarian policy, Neruda was forced to flee Chile for Europe. The poetic collection Los versos del capitan was written in 1952 during his exile on the island of Capri and published in Naples on 8 July 1952 by Arte Tipografica, the press led by his friend Angelo Rossi.

The collection contains Neruda's passionate love songs addressed to his muse, Matilde Urrutia (1912-1985), who became his third wife in 1963, and ultimately his widow. The first edition was published without mention of Neruda's name as their love affair was still a secret at the time.

Neruda's stay in Italy was fictionalized in Antonio Skarmeta's 1985 novel Ardiente Paciencia, which inspired the popular film Il Postino (The Postman, 1994), directed by Massimo Troisi.

The work only appeared in Chile in 1963, in a publication bearing the name of Neruda as the author.

J. Wilson, A Companion to Pablo Neruda: Evaluating Neruda's Poetry, Woodbridge 2008, pp. 194-196; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 286.

The Little Red Book, in the rare paper wrappers

287. Mao Zedong (1893-1976)

Mao Zhu Xi Yu Lu [Quotations of Chairman Mao. In Chinese]. Shenyang, Political Department, Air Force Division of Shenyang Military Region, December 1963.

12° (126x91 mm). [6], 351, [1] pages. Text organized into five divisions, sixteen chapters, and sixty-four sections. Publisher's cream-colour wrappers, red-lettered upper wrapper and spine. A good copy, cover stained, some text underlined in red ink.

Provenance: on the upper wrapper, an inscription referring to a degree of military hierarchy corresponding to that of 'official'.

Extremely important Maoist edition representing the prototype of the official Little Red Book of May 1964, in its printed paper wrappers: prior to the formal publication of Mao's Quotations – widely distributed within the People's Liberation Army – the Air Force, under the leadership of Lin Biao, assembled a somewhat larger collection of abstracts from the Chairman's speeches and writings; these were printed in such a small quantity that military officers were requested to return the book so others could borrow it. This edition has the same title as the later version (consisting of 250 pages divided in thirty chapters) and includes Lin's endorsement that “Everyone should study the Chairman's writings, follow his teachings, act according to his instructions and be Chairman Mao's good soldier”, taken from Lin's Resolution of the Expanded Meeting of the Military Committee on Strengthening Political And Ideological Education in the Army, here type-set in red and printed in its entirety (as opposed to the abridged version in calligraphy). The edition does not include Mao's portrait. Lin's endorsement is followed by seven pages of indexed content proceeded by 150 quotations (127 extracts from Mao and twenty-three by Lin Biao and the Central Military Commission, selected from newspaper transcripts).

This larger anthology is barely known and not mentioned in any of the standard Mao bibliographies, nor is its relationship to the eventual publication five months later explained in the one citation located, Guo Dongpeng's Outline for Cataloguing Mao Zedong's Works (p. 71). Guo refers to two copies in different bindings, each with 351 pages of text: an undated edition without imprint that he ascribes to 1963, and this version (which is dated and detailed); the most recent selection from Mao's texts is dated 29 August 1963. As General Lin was Minister of National Defense for the PRC (1959-1971), it is assumed this may have been a trial specimen created by the Air Force and possibly used as the model and source for editing down Mao's better-known version of the following year.

Guo Dongpeng, Outline for Cataloguing Mao Zedong's Works, Harbin 2006, p. 71; O. Lein Han, “Sources and Early Printing History of Chairman Mao's Quotations”, The Bibliographic Society of America (accessed January 2018); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 287.

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