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Book History, Education, Learning & Printing / Book History, Calligraphy & Printing

Rare 17th-century writing book & instructions, for learning without a master

ALLAIS, Jean Baptiste. L'art d'ecrire.
Paris, chez l'auteur, 1680. Folio. With large woodcut vignette on letterpress title-page, a woodcut headpiece, 2 woodcut decorative initials, decorations built up from cast arabesque fleurons, an engraved calligraphic title-page and 22 (of 23) engraved leaves with calligraphic writing samples and illustrations, all engraved by Louis Senault. Contemporary calf, gold-tooled spine, and unusual marbled paste-downs. [4], 12 pp. plus 23 (of 24) engr. ll. Full description
€ 2,250
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Italian florilegium, only copy known with 65 plates printed in up to 6 colours

ARENA, Filippo. La natura, e coltura de' fiori fisicamente esposta.
Palermo, Angelo Felicella, 1767-1768. 2 text volumes (4to), bound as 3, and 1 plates volume (oblong folio). With 65 engraved plates printed in colour, occasionally combining up to 6 colours on one plate. The first plate (here wholly printed in dark green) serves as an (allegorical) frontispiece and includes the name of the author and that of Mario Cammerari, the second plate depicts tools, seeds and details of flowers, the third plate contains parterre designs and the other plates depict flowers (several to each plate). Modern flexible boards, covered with decorated paper. VIII, 440; VIII, “116” [= 416]; [2], 167, [1 blank], [8] pp. plus 65 plates. Full description
€ 85,000
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First Aldine edition of Pedanius's commentaries on Cicero's orations

ASCONIUS PEDANIUS, Quintus. Expositio in IIII orationes M.T. Cic. contra C. Verrem [&c.]
(colophon:) Venice, heirs of Aldo I Manuzio & Andrea Torresano, December 1522. 8vo. With Aldos woodcut anchor and dolphin device on the title-page, repeated on the verso of the last otherwise blank leaf (each with letterpress "AL ... DVS" flanking the device), with spaces (with guide letters) left for manuscript initials, not filled in. Set in Aldos famous italic (with upright capitals), the worlds first italic printing type, first used in 1501 (showing the alphabet a-z and A-N in the register of quires above the colophon). Dark purple sheepskin (ca. 1880?). [12], 283, [1] ll. Full description
€ 4,500
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73 proof impressions of all 12 illustrations

BAYARD, Émile. [Proof impressions of illustrations for Alphonse Daudet's Fromont jeune et Risler aîné].
[Paris, 1885]. Folio (35 x 29 cm). Proofs of 12 engraved plates in many different states, giving 73 prints in total, engraved by Jules Massard and Eugène Abot after Emilé Bayard (image size 10.7 x 7.3 cm; plate size 19 x 14 cm). Contemporary half goatskin morocco. Full description
€ 4,750
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Bellarmino's Arabic catechism with the rare Arabic instructions for confession and communion

BELLARMINO, Roberto. [Title in Arabic] | Dichiarazione piú copiosa della dottrina cristiana... Tradotta dalla lingua italiana nellaraba, e dora di bel nuovo stampata.
Rome, [Propaganda Fide], 1770.
With: (2) BORGIA, Stefano. Irsad li-ajl al-i'tiraf wa-tanawul al-qurban, ... [= Instructions for confession and communion]
[Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1770?].
2 works in 1 volume. 8vo. The catechism with a woodcut of fruits and branches on the title-page and 2 woodcut headpieces The instructions with the title in a decorative border built up from cast fleurons, 1 woodcut headpiece and several further decorations built up from cast fleurons. Except for the bilingual title-page to the Bellarmino and the imprimatur on the last printed page of the Borgia, both works are set entirely in Arabic type. Contemporary half sheepskin, manuscript title on spine, paste paper sides, sprinkled edges. 411, [1 blank]; 109, [1 blank], [1], [3 blank] pp. Full description
€ 4,500
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Lovely commemoration of the Imperial success against the French at Acqui Terme in Piedmont,
printed in gold and in a gold-brocade wrapper

BIORCI, Guido. Applausi poetici alla vera rigenerazione del Piemonte operata nel 1799. Dalla divina provvidenza col celebre valore delle armi Austro-Russe.
Acqui Terme (between Torino and Genoua), Giovanni Francesco Arcasio, [1799?]. 4to. With woodcut arms on first leaf. Printed in gold throughout. Gold-brocade decorated paper wrappers, showing an embossed floral pattern with hunters, a wild boar, deer and dogs scattered through it, in gold, orange, yellow, lavendar and blue. In modern clamshell box. [1], [1 blank], [8], [2 blank] pp. Full description
€ 4,000
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First edition of first French translation of Boccaccio's first work, with woodcut illustrations

BOCCACCIO, Giovanni. Le philocope ..., contena[n]t l'histoire de Fleury & Blanchefleur, divise en sept livres traduictz d'Italien en Francoys par Adrian Sevin ...
Paris, Jean André, bookseller to the University (colophon: printed by Denis Janot), 1542 (colophon: 24 February 1542). Folio (31.5 x 21.5 cm). With Jean André's woodcut device on the title-page and 15 woodcut illustrations plus 21 repeats in the text (mostly 5.5 x 8 cm, each in any of several 4-piece decorative borders, including 8 foot pieces, each with a different coat of arms; one illustration 13.5 x 8.5 cm with an 8-piece decorative border), 5 woodcut decorated initials (2 series) plus 1 repeat, and many spaces with guide-letters for manuscript initials (not filled in). French calf (ca. 1760?), richly gold-tooled spine, gilt edges. VI, CLXXIIII ll. Full description
€ 12,500
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