SERRES, Olivier de


Theatre d’agriculture et mesnage des champs.

Paris, par Iamet Metayer imprimeur ordinare du roy, 1600


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. [xvi], 1004, [xx]. ă4, ĕ4, A-6K4, 6L2, 6M4, 6N6.Roman letter side-notes in Italic. “Title engraved within an archway, with the figure of Henri IV seated above. The garden scene in the upper part of the title page illustrates a passage in Serres’s dedication to the king, leaf a2r.. The engraving is signed by Karel van Mallery. The text is divided into eight parts, each with a divisional title-page comprising a woodcut scene of agricultural occupations, .. within .. a four-part border, an explanatory title, and an ornament of a vase of flowers.. In addition the sixth ‘lieu’ contains sixteen woodcut designs for gardens .. of which ten are printed in a group as plates, recto and verso of leaves Eeee2-Ffff2, and one as a double-page cut on leaves Gggg2v-Gggg3r. .. Headpiece with Mettayer’s monogram, the French Royal arms, and figures of the virtues (not in Renouard), and a figured headpiece of the same design as Renouard 586 but without initials. Type ornament headpieces; grotesque and arabesque tailpieces. Initials in various styles, including blocks from several sets with figures. Roman letter, small italic marginalia.” Mortimer. Lord Hatton’’s autograph on engraved title, repeated above headpiece on next leaf. Engraved title, very expertly inlaid, very fractionally dusty, light age yellowing, the occasional marginal ink spot or mark. A very good, clean copy, with good margins in French mottled calf, circa 1650, spine with raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments richly gilt with central fleurons and scrolled and pointillé tools, gilt lettered title, all edges sprinkled red, Upper joint cracked, head and tail band, and lower corners worn.

First edition of the first great French work on agriculture of the modern era, of tremendous influence and continued interest; “the masterful summary of agricultural knowledge at that time”. Bitting. “Olivier de Serres (1569 -1619) was born to a well-to-do merchant family in the Languedoc, southern France. .. He was a protestant, studied law, participated in the civil war ravaging France.. then bought a mill and grounds at Pradel in 1575. In 1578 he moved to his estate to dedicate himself to agriculture as a gentleman-farmer. De Serres had read the Roman agriculturists and used some of their information but rejected and even ridiculed their superstitions. He did not mention Crescentio, de Herrera or any of his French predecessors. Open-minded, he relied primarily on his own experience, which he laid down in beautiful French, clear and precise, easy to read. The book was an immediate success, reprinted 19 times within a span of 75 years.” Jan C. Zadoks. ‘Crop Protection in Medieval Agriculture’

The book is divided into eight parts, where all agronomic and horticultural practices are expounded on, and includes a great number of innovations such as the methodical use of soil improvement, deep plowing, triennial rotation, or the cultivation of newly introduced plants (potato, cotton etc.). Serres devotes substantial sections to hunting, cookery, practical medicine, irrigation, forestry, viticulture, vegetable gardening, medicinal plants, fruit trees, silk cultivation, the management of servants. The author also discusses the duties of the mistress of the house and remedies for all manner of diseases suffered by men and animals. The work, somewhat forgotten after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), when its influence diminished because of its Protestant roots, is, however, of continued celebrity, due in particular to the technological advances of the methods presented, which were only surpassed in the twentieth century. Henri IV also had taken a strong interest in the economic regeneration of France and the present work became, in effect, a manifesto for the King’s new policies. Serres became a royal counselor in 1599 and advised Henri IV on various agricultural and economic projects. The publication of the treatise fell within the political framework of a desire to revive agriculture in the first years of the reign. The work, in examining the issue of the culture of the mulberry and sericulture, also participated in the policy of silk manufacture that the king wanted to promote to combat the import of foreign silks. The Theatre d’Agriculture has also become a reference book on the history of gardens, in its descriptions of how to create the newly fashionable flower beds, inaugurated for the royal gardens.The third section also contains over a hundred pages of ‘science’ and practice on vine and wine. The last contains much information on bread, from the choice of grain, to many recipes for the manufacture and conservation of various types of bread. “the author has been called the father of French agriculture, but his work is more comprehensive, including the preparation and use of food and drinks, conserving with salt, vinegar, must , sugar, honey etc.” Bitting.

Christopher Hatton, 1st Baron Hatton (1605 – 1670) was the nephew of the Elizabethan politician, Sir Christopher Hatton and a prominent Royalist during the reign of King Charles I of England. He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. and trained for the law at Gray’s Inn. He was comptroller of the king’s household from 1643 until 1646, and acted as joint commissioner for Charles at the conference of Uxbridge 1645. By August 1648 he had retired to France. He gives a graphic account of his life abroad in his letters to Sir Edward Nicholas and others. He always found comfortable quarters, and made himself very happy with his ‘books and fiddles’. He was a noted antiquarian and compiled, together with William Dugdale and others, the Book of Seals, a volume of 529 medieval charters. Cf. DNB.

A very good copy of this monumental work; a most important and rare first edition.

Mortimer Fr. II 494. En Français dans le Texte 79. Simon, Bibliotheca Bacchica, II, 619. Vicaire, pp. 788-89. Brunet V 212. Bitting 430. Not in Oberlé.


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The first set of English madrigales: to 3. 4. 5. and 6. voices.

London : printed by Thomas Este, [1604]


FIRST EDITION. 4to. Six parts in one vol. Cantus: 16 unnumbered ll. [A]² B-D⁴ E². Alto: 16 unnumbered ll. [A]² B-D⁴ E². Tenor: 14 unnumbered ll.[A]² B-D⁴. Quintus: 10 unnumbered ll.[A]² B-C⁴. Sextus: 5 unnumbered ll.[A]² B⁴. Bass: 16 unnumbered ll. [A]² B-D⁴ E². Six partbooks, each with separate dated title page and register. Roman letter, some Italic. Type set music, titles to each part within fine typographical borders, date within small scrolled woodcut border, fine suite of historiated, grotesque and floriated woodcut initials, (including one of the Saints). Armorial bookplate of John Whipple Frothingham on front endpaper, Robert S Pirie’s bookplate on pastedown, his pencil acquisition note above. Very light age yellowing, the very rare marginal mark. A fine copy, absolutely crisp and clean, in sumptuous C19th tan morocco by F. Bedford, (signed on turn in and fly) covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, fleurons gilt to outer corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments richly gilt with small tools, green morocco title and printers labels gilt, edges double gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

First edition of the first set of madrigals by the English composer Thomas Bateson; a very fine complete set of these very rare works. “Thomas Bateson, an English writer of madrigals in the early 17th century. He is said to have been organist of Chester cathedral in 1599, and is believed to have been the first musical graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. He is known to have written church music, but his fame rests on his madrigals, which give him an important place among Elizabethan composers. He published a set of madrigals in 1604 and a second set in 1618, and both collections have been reprinted in recent years. He died in 1630.” DNB.

“A anthem in seven parts, ‘Holy Lord God Almighty’, was probably the exercise for his degree [at Dublin]. No other sacred music by Bateson is known, though a service of his was sung at Chester Cathedral up to the early part of the 19th century. His fame rests entirely on his madrigals. In 1604 he published ‘The first set of English madrigales’. The work is dedicated “To my honorable and most respected good friend Sir William Norres”. … At the back of the dedication is the madrigal ‘When Oriana walked to take the ayre,’ and the following note: ‘This song was sent too late, and should have been printed in the set of Orianas; but being a work of this author, I have placed it before the set of his songs.’ This refers to ‘The Triumphes of Oriana’, and the words of this madrigal were considered by Oliphant as “the best poetry in the set”. Bateson’s volume also contains a madrigal called ‘Oriana’s Farewell’, evidently written after the death of Queen Elisabeth. … Bateson has in the past been very generally regarded as one of the best of the English madrigal composers; but the discussion of their relative merits has hitherto been based upon a knowledge of no more than a small selection of their writings. A careful study of Bateson’s work as a whole, in his two large volumes containing altogether fifty eight madrigals, leaves the impression that he does not quite stand on the same level as the great leaders of the English madrigal school. … But the comparison of his work with that of the giants must not be allowed to to lead to the impression that Bateson did not write many fine madrigals, and this severe test of comparison is only introduced here to correct a prevailing estimate which does not appear quite a true one. One great point of merit in Bateson’s work is his admirable choice of lyric; he must have had a fine taste in poetry, and this in itself counted for much in madrigal composition.” Grove.

The scarce first edition of Bateson’s first set of madrigals, the Huth copy, (his sale, at Sotheby’s, Part 1, 15 November 1911, Lot 498.) Of the twelve surviving copies recorded in ESTC, five are imperfect; no copy other than this one, has appeared at auction.

STC 1586; ESTC S101050. Arber III. 247. Grove I pp 497-499.


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MICHAËLIS, Sébastien

Pneumalogie ou discours des esprits en tant qu’il est de besoing pour entendre et resouldre la matiere difficile des sorciers.

Paris, chez Guillaume Bichon, 1587


FIRST EDITION. 8vo.  ff. [viii] 122 (i.e. 124) [iv] : ã8, A-Q8. (Q7-8 blank). Roman letter with some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device on title (of a hunting scene), floriated woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, “Celestins de Voutre” in slightly later hand at head of title page, bookplate of Eric Gruaz on pastedown, C19th booksellers label of “Girard Frères” in blank lower margin of title, another of ‘Dorbon Ainé” on rear pastedown, early astrological or cabalistic volvelle pasted to verso of title covering a few words. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties, quires E-D stab bound, but still sewn with the rest of the work, a little wrinkled with minor stains.

Extremely rare first edition of the major work on sorcery by the redoubtable Dominican witch-hunter and inquisitor Sebastien Michaelis. Michaelis was vice-inquisitor in Avignon during the 1580s and was involved in a number of witch trials: a series of cases in 1581 and 1582 led to eighteen women being convicted and burnt. In 1587 he published this work on demons. By 1610 he was prior of the Dominican community at Saint-Maxim near Aix-en-Provence where he was later involved in one of the most notorious witch trials, and case of demonic possession, in the History of France, that of the priest Louis Gaufridi, who was convicted of sorcery, tortured and burnt, on the evidence of a nun ‘possessed by the devil.’  The many publications and the notoriety surrounding the Gaufridi case lead to the translation of this work, the Pneumalogie, into English in 1613, where it was of great influence. Executions for witchcraft in France became rarer after 1610 as the Parlements of Paris and several provinces were de facto decriminalising witchcraft. However Michaelis was Grand Inquisitor in the papal territory of Avignon and so fell out of French jurisdiction. “Michaelis was something of an expert on witchcraft, since he had served as vice-inquisitor during a major out-break of witchhunting in the region of Avignon. In this series of trials in 1581 and 1582, at least fourteen witches were convicted and burnt. Jonathan L. Pearl. ‘The Crime of Crimes: Demonology and Politics in France, 1560-1620’

Michaelis’ work on witches is particularly interesting for its focus on women and sexualality; this and the fact that the work was written in the ‘vulgar’ vernacular caused some disquiet among the clergy in France. In this work he gives an example of a sentence passed at Avignon in 1582 as comprising, in a little space, the most execrable and abominable of the crimes of witches and Sorcerers, which includes their use of broomsticks, the murder and dismemberment of new born babies, copulating with devils, “then adding sin to sin you the men did copulate with Succubi and you the women did fornicate with Incubi.” …“Sebastien Michaelis, the leading French Dominican, wrote in his ‘Pneumalogie, ou discours des esprits’ of ‘la simplicite naturelle qui est en ce sexe’ and of the Devil’s awareness ‘que c’est un organe propre a attirer l’homme a sa volonté.’ But he also said that women were addicted to extremes of behaviour, good as well as bad, and then devoted the rest of his discussion to the examples of the latter not the former.” Brian P. Levack. ‘Gender and Witchcraft’.

Very rare first edition of this most influential work on witches.

BM STC Fr. C16th p. 312. Adams M 1407. USTC 19441. Caillet, 7506. Not in Guaita.


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DE CROZE, Austin [and] ORAZI, Manuel

Calendrier Magique.

Paris, l’Art Nouveau, 1895.


FIRST EDITION. Tall narrow folio. ff 16 unnumbered leaves of ‘art’ finished card. One of 777 copies. Original black wraps, lithographed in gold, bound in. Entirely lithographed, with 13 full-page illustrations, numerous other lithographic illustrations in gilt and colours including large decorative initials, pentagrams, tarot cards, the illustrator’s hand print, and other occult symbols, bookseller label of ‘Lucien Bodin Libraire’ on verso of of first wrap. Lower edge of first few leaves a little creased, few corners slightly brittle, edges of first leaf with tiny closed tear, the very rare mark. A very good copy in slightly later three-quarter red morocco over marbled boards,  red morocco title label gilt on upper cover with gilt stamped dragon in a red morocco triangle below, spine gilt ruled in compartments.

Rare and beautifully illustrated Black Magic calendar, entirely lithographed by the Italian artist Manuel Orazi. This striking publication brings together various elements of sorcery and occultism to produce a wildly unusual subversion of a typical calendar. Finely printed with rich use of colour and gold on mostly black grounds, this work is an arresting example of the esoteric style of art nouveau illustration at the fin de siècle. When Siegfried Bing opened his famous gallery L’Art Nouveau in Paris in 1895, he commissioned Orazi to illustrate Austin De Croze’s Calendrier Magique, an occult calendar on magic and witchcraft  for the coming year. A limited edition of 777, based on the mythical and astrological motifs that had become recurrent themes in the artist’s oeuvre, its remains of great interest for the wonderful illustrations by Orazi. “A rare piece of occultist ephemera, printed in an edition of 777 copies to commemorate magic for the coming year of 1896. Each double page spread mimics the Christian calendar in some respect (name days, iconography). The document is at once a spoof and an attempt to chart the year of magic. Its surviving interest resides in the extravagant and compelling illustrations, especially the full-page right hand plates, by Manuel Orazi.” Cornel ‘The fantastic in Art and fiction’.

A native of Rome, Orazi moved to Paris in 1892, and soon gained a reputation as a highly talented Art Nouveau illustrator and poster designer. He designed posters for various Parisian theatres, illustrated the books of Edgar Alan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Pierre Louis, Lorrain and Ovid, and was a regular contributor to Le Figaro Illustré and L’Assiette au beurre. Orazi was fascinated by magic, witchcraft, alchemy and the occult, which found expression in many of his works in the 1890s. Like many symbolist painters of his time, Orazi’s work was both inspired by literature and produced to embellish works of literature. He became friends with many contemporary authors who were connected to the Aesthetic movement, such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Maurice Maeterlinck. An illustration by Orazi for L’Assiette au beurre’s issue on black magic shows a humorous depiction of a black mass in which a group of well-known dandies, including Maeterlinck, Proust, Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, incredulously ogle a very bored, blasé nude spread out on an improvised altar in front of them.

“The book blends Art Nouveau imagery with references to occult ceremonies, horoscopes, and tarot. The larger images in the calendar are by Manuel Orazi, … The calendar is marked by the Art Nouveau illustrator’s love for the flowing, abundant, tangled look of natural objects. Count Austin de Croze, who compiled the text for the calendar, was a folklorist who wrote on French foodways, cataloging regional specialties and traditional dishes. Did de Croze believe in the magical ideas that he collected in this calendar? Probably not. ..“The Devil is only the symbol of Evil, as God is the symbol of Good,” de Croze writes in a signed statement on the book’s last page, lending credence to the idea that the book was meant to serve as an anthropological curiosity and a work of art, rather than a sincere handbook for occult practice.” Lilly library.

Bib. Esoterica 609; Caillet 8197: ‘fort original et d’une rare exécution artistique’. A copy recently sold at auction for £26,500 (including premium).


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GODELMANN, Johann Georg

Tractatus de magis veneficis et lamiis, deqve his recte cognoscendis et puniendis.

Frankfurt, ex officina typographica Ioannis Saurii : impensis Nicolai Bassaei, 1601.


4to. Three parts in one vol. pp. [vii], 115, [ix]; 68; [ii],[xxxvi], 147, [xxxi]. A-R⁴, 2A-2I⁴, 3A-4C⁴, 4D² [without 4D2 blank]. Pt. 2 and 3 with divisional half-t.p.s, each begins new pagination and register. Roman letter, some Italic and Gothic. Small woodcut ‘fortune’ device on first title, larger on second and third, and on leaf 2I4 of part 2, small woodcut diagrams in text, floriated woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, purchase and price note on blank margin of title “Noriberg 1678.8 rarisse – Z 10. Catlogue d’une Noriberge collection de livres en tout genre rares et curieux chez J Neaulme JJ 1763. 8. nii. n. 2876/138h”, occasional marginal annotation and underlining in the same hand, bookplate of Frédéric and Anne Max on pastedown. Age yellowing with some browning, some minor spotting, title strengthened on verso, with small strip of paper at fore-edge and at gutter, lower outer blank corner of R3 torn, tiny worm trail on two quires in blank outer margin, tiny burn hole to lower margin of 3C2, the odd marginal spot or mark. A good copy, in C19th vellum over boards, later red morocco label gilt, top edge red. 

Second edition of this most interesting treatise, in three parts, on witches, demons, werewolves; the first two parts focus on magic, sorcerers, and witches and the last on the legal procedures in witchcraft cases. Johann Georg Godelmann, (1559 – 1611) was a German Protestant jurist, diplomat and demonological writer. He was born in Tuttlingen, and died, aged 51, in Dresden.

“Another response to Weyer was that of the Swabian jurist (later of Rostock) Johann Georg Godelmann, who published a Tractatus de magis veneficis et lamiis in 1591 that adopted Weyer’s categories verbatim. Those accused of witchcraft might be magi (magicians), venefici (poisoners), or laminae (witches), and Godelmann was quick to agree with Wayer that laminae were mainly women who imagined they had made a pact with the devil and that they did all sorts of evil on its basis. The devil attacked women because they were more often ‘unsteady or flighty, credulous, malicious, ill-humoured, melancholy or depressed, but especially old, worn out women, who were foolish and awkward, badly grounded in the Christian faith, and unsound old hags’. Their pacts with the devil were only illusory, but necromancers and learned magicians did have a real pact with the devil, which Godelmann believed worthy of severe punishment and even death. While attempting to defend witches from unjust accusations, in other words, Godelmann disagreed with Wyer and left open the argument that at least some persons did have a contract with the devil. Godelmann argued strenuously against abuse of torture and in favour of cautious procedures, but in strictly theoretical terms, he was not the radical opponent of witchcraft trials that Weyer was. Indeed, when modern critics attack Johann Weyer for holding a mixture of confused and inconsistent ideas, they might better aim their indignation at Godelmann. And yet, despite the illogical features of his argument, Godelmann was crucial in the process of restructuring the insanity defence. Precisely because he thought that the witches’ pact was a real possibility, Godelmann did not think that one could just assume that supposed witches were mentally ill. This was an empirical question on which advice had to be sought.” H. C. Erik Midelfor ‘A History of Madness in Sixteenth-century Germany.’

“Godelmann attempts to take middle ground between what he regards as the extreme positions of Bodin and Wier. ..[He] was widely read in the literature of his subject and cites many past authors. If his work is a mixture of sanity and credulity, of religious prejudice and a feeling for law and nature, it was perhaps the more effective on that account than a strictly rational and scientific work would have been then in doing something to check the excesses of the witchcraft delusion.” Thorndike.

BM STC Ger C17th II G810. Graesse, Magica, 59. Caillet 4626 (1st edition only). Thorndike. VI pp. 534-6. Not in Guaita.


LE LOYER, Pierre

IIII Livres des spectres ou apparitions et visions d’esprits, anges et demons, se monstrans sensiblement aux hommes.

Paris, chez Gabriel Buon, et Angers, pour Georges Nepveu, 1586


FIRST EDITION. Two parts in one vol. pp. [xii] 642 (i.e. 644); [iv] 364 [ii]. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Buon’s woodcut device on first title, Nepveu’s device on second, floriated woodcut initials, typographical and woodcut headpieces, woodcut tail-pieces, contemporary autograph ‘Loyer’ transliterated into Greek on verso of errata, bookplate of Eric Gruaz on pastedown, early shelf mark above. Light age yellowing, a few quires lightly browned in second part, occasional light mostly marginal spotting, the rare mark or spot. A good copy, clean, with good margins, some lower margins uncut, in contemporary vellum over thin boards, remains of ties, a little creased and soiled.

Rare first edition of this highly influential and important work on ghosts, visions, demons, witches, and transformations by the the demonologist and poet Le Loyer (1550-1634). Using a number of ancient authors as sources, both religious and secular, Le Loyer details the causes of apparitions, the natures of spirits and demons, magicians and sorcerers, and how they communicate. Zachary Jones made a translation, the only early English version, that corresponded with the second French edition 1605. This work introduced the term ‘Spectre’ into the English language. Le Loyer was a very considerable scholar, widely read in the medieval authors such as Lull and Nider and their later counterparts, Cardan, Lemnius and Sprenger. Whilst admitting that in many cases ghosts, apparitions, demons and prodigies were merely the result of a deranged imagination, hypersensitivity or natural occurrences, he insists that both good and bad spirits do appear to men in visible form. He discusses at length the question of the return of the souls of the dead, citing the opinions of Jewish cabalists and Moslems. Also considered in detail are the raising of demons, necromancy, the distinguishing of evil spirits from Angels, the souls of the dead, the use of charms and the practice of exorcism. He is contemptuous of Paraclesus and dismissive of alchemical medicine in general.“In the first chapter Le Loyer attempts to define the nature of spirits — which the author calls “spectres” — while also developing a scientific approach to this human phenomenon, which he distinguishes from the study of ghosts. In Le Loyer’s opinion, there is a real difference between “on the one hand, an apparition that is the product of the human imagination (insane or not), which he calls a ‘fantasm’ and, on the other hand, the apparition of a Spirit who, of its own accord takes shape in the human imagination as a spectre.” (Huot, p. 578).” Éliane Laberge. ‘Ghost stories by Pierre Le Loyer.’

“Before his treatise on ghosts appeared in 1586, Le Loyer was known as a playwright and poet .. he published a translation of Ovid’s ‘Ars Amatoria’ and three comedies..By the mid 1580’s Le Loyer was a writer of some repute. ..Now back in Angers the author chose to move away from poetry and devote his energies to a new project, a treatise on ghosts. The publication was evidently a costly and complex undertaking. George Nepveu, who had just been made maitre libraire-jure to the University of Angers, oversaw the publication which had to be financed at Le Loyer’s own expense. .. the result – a quarto of over a thousand pages – was an object de luxe, marked out for the gentleman’s library. .. The sheer number not to mention the range of Le Loyer’s sources are indeed impressive. So extensive is his reading in the Church Fathers and medieval theology, despite his lack of formal training, that Serclier was led to descibe him as ‘un grand jusrisconsulte et theologian tout ensemble’. Over and above his Patristic sources, which he shared with a number of other writers on ghosts, Le Loyer’s inventio also included a number of hitherto unknown stories and examples…Le Loyer’s expertise as a linguist and a lawyer allowed him access to an unprecedented range of spectral narratives. His treatise is also notable for being the first work of French demonology to draw extensively upon – and subsequently influence – contemporary European cosmography.” Timothy Chesters. ‘Ghost Stories in Late Renaissance France: Walking by Night.’

This first edition if particularly rare. A very good copy in its original vellum.

USTC 52848. BM STC Fr. C16th p. 261. Thorndike VI 531-33. Caillet 6456 (Fr. edn. of 1605). Not in Duveen.


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LANCRE, Pierre de

L’ incredulite’ et mescreance du sortilege plainement conuaincue.

Paris, chez Nicolas Buon, ruë Saint Iacques, 1622


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. 52, 841 (i.e. 749) (xi). ā⁴,ē⁴,ī⁴,ō⁴,ū⁴,*⁴, 2*², A-4Z⁴, 5A⁸, 5B⁴. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Woodcut printer’s device on title, fine engraved portrait of Louis XIII on verso, floriated woodcut initials, grotesque headpieces, ms ex-dono on fly, partially excised, dated 1882, bookplate of Maurice Garçon and ‘Le bibliophobe Bechtel’ on pastedown. Age yellowing, some browning and spotting, a little patchy in places, occasional minor waterstain, mark or spot, loose fly. A good copy, well margined, in handsome slightly later French polished calf, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, spine with blind ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments, large fleurons gilt at centres, borders of fine scrolled and pointilée tools, edges gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges red, joints expertly restored.

Rare and important first edition of Pierre de Lancre’s ‘magnum opus’ on witchcraft, the summation and extension of all of his other works on the subject, dedicated to the young King Louis XIII with his superb engraved portrait. The book is divided into ten treatises. In the first, the author attempts to prove that witchcraft is a reality, that all that has been said  of sorcerers in the major witchcraft treatises is true. The second, titled ‘De la Fascination,’ demonstrates that witches can ‘fascinate’ or bewitch by using the devil and his power. The third is dedicated to ‘touch’, where he shows what magicians can do by touch, which is much more powerful than the gaze. In the fourth treatise, which deals with scopellism,or black magic, he tells us that, by the use of secret spells, people can be cursed, for example, simply by throwing charmed stones into their garden. The following treatise describes all forms of divination. In the sixth he deals with diabolic ‘liasons’, sexual and otherwise, the seventh concerns apparitions. The eighth treatise concerns Jews, apostates and atheists and the ninth heretics, particularly Protestants. In the last chapter he denounces the incredulity and disbelief of judges in regard to witchcraft. In each chapter he cites very numerous sources and gives most interesting examples, many witnessed first hand, of the practises of witch-craft.

“De Lancre was born in Bordeaux around 1553. First educated by Jesuit teachers in Toulouse and Turin, he then studied at the Jesuit College de Clermont at Paris, where he probably listened to Father Maldonat’s famous lectures on demons and the immortality of the soul. After he received his doctorate in law in 1579, he set out on a career as a lawyer in Bordeaux. Around 1582 he joined the Bordeaux Parlement as a magistrate. From 1599 through 1600, de Lancre traveled in Italy. fluent in Italian, he accompanied Pietro de Medici during the Prince’s visit to Bordeaux. In 1607, he published his first witch tract ‘Tableau de l’inconstance de toutes choses’. Shortly after his return to Bordeaux on 5 December 1609, de Lancre began to work on extraordinary report of his four month stay in the Labourd region. It was published under the title ‘Tableau de l’inconstance des mauvais anges et demons’.. in 1612. After his return to his post in Bordeaux, de Lancres served as a counsellor in Paris from 1612 to 1622. That year he published a third witch tract, a résumé and extension of his previous two. (this work).. De Lancre’s stance in all his treatises on witchcraft, though it may seem extreme to us today, was shared by many of his educated contemporaries. He was convinced of women’s inclination toward evil and the reality of witch-craft, embracing the ‘realist’ view initiated by Heinrich Kramer in the Malleus Maleficarum (1487) and shared by other prominent demonologists such as Jean Bodin and Martin del Rio: the belief that witches, male or female, are real and that they fly to the sabbath, adore satan, engage in unnatural sex, and plan the evil deeds (maleficia) that they will perpetrate when they return to their homes. De Lancre knew the classics of the science of demonology well and – like Kramer, Bodin and Del Rio – was convinced that a stern judicial approach to what he believed to be a veritable witch infestation of France was primary in any attempt to control the practise of satanic magic.” Gerhild Scholz Williams “On the Inconstancy of Witches: Pierre de Lancre’s Tableau de L’inconstance .”

A handsome copy of this important work on witchcraft.

BM STC Fr.C17th p. 292 L338. Caillet 6063. Thorndike, VI 287. Not in Guaita.


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Daemoniaci, hoc est: De obsessis a spiritibus daemoniorum hominibus, liber vnus.

Cologne, ex officina Mater. Cholini, sumptibus Gosuini Cholini, 1598


FIRST EDITION thus.  4to. pp. (xii) 207 (i.e. 203) , (i).  (:)⁴, 2(:)², A-2B⁴, 2C². Roman letter, some Italic. Title within line border with large woodcut ‘IHS’ device, floriated woodcut initials, “Monasterii Schöntal” ms. at head of t-p in early hand, stamp of ‘Grand Seminaire de Sens’ on title (repeated on fly), another early armorial stamp, repeated above, small C19th stamp with crossed keys and monogram BVT below, bookplate of Eric Gruaz on pastedown. Age yellowing some browning in places with some minor spotting, occasional marginal mark or spot. A good, clean copy in contemporary vellum over thin boards, yapp edges.

Second, enlarged edition (the first appeared in 1594), of this demonological tract and handbook for exorcists. Petrus Thyraeus, born in Neuss (Rhineland), joined the Jesuits in 1561, and taught at Jesuit colleges first in Trier and then in Mainz. In 1590, he was appointed professor of theology at the University of Würzburg, and found a patron in Prince-Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn. He published a number of works on theology, visions and apparition, possessions and exorcism, and on traditional theological subjects such as the Eucharist and the role of the Catholic Church. Petrus Thyraeus concludes in this work that the visible, audible, and tangible phenomena associated with hauntings are hallucinations caused by demons or spirits. It inquires into the nature of demonic possession, its signs, how it occurs, whether witches, magicians, diviners, or heretics are possessed (usually not) whether the Church should be sought to exorcise them (he believed not); finally, he asks whether demons should be allowed to come out of a person if they so desire, and concludes that they should but only if such action is done to the glory of God. The Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation of the sixteenth century gave occasion to re-examine many aspects of Catholic theology and practice, exorcism among them. As the Malleus malificarum of the fifteenth century was an attempt to establish a thorough and systematic definition of witchcraft in the fifteenth century, so in the sixteenth there was an effort to define possession and exorcism. The Daemoniaci is a fascinating example of these early efforts. It is said to be the first systematic attempt to define demonic possession and exorcism. Thyraeus lists a variety of demonic symptoms, like speaking in unknown languages and hungering for raw meat, but spends just as much time talking about what aren’t symptoms: leading an immoral lifestyle, having an unpleasant temperament, sleeping during the day, etc. His stated goal in writing the Daemoniaci was to make sure that people received proper treatment for whatever ailed them. Those suffering from what he calls a demonic “obsession” ought to receive exorcism, but those suffering from any number of other spiritual or physical problems ought to seek care elsewhere. For Thyraeus, the latter still meant seeing a priest, as he considered doctors to be quacks. Cf. Jennifer Lowe. ‘Driving out the Devil: Demons, Witches, and Magic in the Rare Book Collection.’

BM STC Ger. C16th. p. 862. Adams T697. Caillet 10687. Thorndike VII 368-9. DeBacker/Sommervogel VIII 15:15.


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EYNATTEN, Maximilian

Manuale exorcismorum: continens instructiones, & exorcismos ad eiiciendos è corporibus obsessis spiritus malignos.

Antwerp, ex officina Plantiniana, apud Balthasarem Moretum, & viduam Ioannis Moreti, & Io. Meursium, 1626


8vo. pp(xvi), 314, (vi). *⁸ A-V⁸. [last two ll. blank] Roman and Italic letter. Title in red and black with Moretus’ small woodcut ‘Labore et Constantia’ compass device, a larger version on verso of last, historiated and floriated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, some minor mostly marginal spotting, the odd thumb mark and marginal mark or spot. A good clean copy, in contemporary vellum over the reuse of dark calf, as boards, from and early netherlandish binding circa 1510-40, probably from the top edge of a single cover divided in two, these were triple blind ruled with alternate rose and lozenge blind stamps around a central, diaper blind ruled, panel, filled with blind lozenge tools, yapp edges, stubs from an early manuscript. Two C17th ms ex libris on fly, upper mostly torn away.

Rare second edition of this important manual of exorcisms, giving a complete insight into the procedure of exorcism, containing instructions as to how exorcisms should be carried out with a great number of ritual formulae. These include many ‘magic’ recipes, to fight fevers and the plague, love potions, spells cast on food, evil spells placed on marriages, incubus and Succubus, evil spirits that infest houses and other places, etc. The book was finely printed by Balthasar Moretus in Antwerp in his ‘Officina Plantiniana’. Considered a canonical treatise of reference in matters of exorcism, it is the only production of Maximilian d’Eynatten (1574-1631), canon lawyer, scholar and Antwerp’s Keeper of the Seals.

The work is divided into three sections; the first contains general instructions and preparations for exorcisms such as how to determine if a person is suffering from demonic possession and not merely from natural diseases, learning about various symbols and their effects, the proper time and place for an exorcism, and various precautions to take against demons. The second part details the methods and practices used in an exorcism, including many different prayers, invocations, and solemn oaths, with selected prayers and exorcism methods included from a variety of respected authors. Finally, the third part contains methods and practices to expel various kinds of witchcraft or enchantments from both bodies and other objects, including chapters on exorcising dairy products, cereals and other foods (with specific chapters on milk and butter); exorcising a spirit from a home; exorcising witchcraft from your own body and exorcising witchcraft from the bodies of others; remedies against pests, fevers and other natural diseases; and remedies against love potions, amongst others. This is very much like a modern-day field guide, written in a no-nonsense referential manner so that it could be easily used during field work. Cf Michael Foight, ‘Falvey Memorial Library.’

“Despite these official and semi-official efforts to restrict the practise of Catholic exorcisms to the ordained clergy, laymen and unlicensed priests continued to practise exorcisms. In the Netherlands most exorcisms in the seventeenth century continued to be performed by laymen or priests without ecclesiastical permission. These unauthorised exorcisms explain why some Catholic dioceses decided to elaborate and even expand upon the Vatican’s policy in their jurisdictions.” Brian Levack. ‘The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West’

The reuse of calf from an earlier binding, as boards, is most unusual, particularly from what must have been a handsome Flemish binding from the first half of the C16th. A very interesting example of the way binders ‘recycled’ materials from earlier works.

BM STC Neth. C17th Caillet, 3746 (first ed. only) ‘Manuel d’exorcismes rare’. Coumont, Demonology & Witchcraft, E37.2. Graesse, ‘Bibl. Magica et Pneumatica’, p.29. Not in Guaita.


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MENGHI, Girolamo

Flagellum daemonum exorcismos terribiles.

Lyon, apud Franciscum Arnoullet, 1608.


Fustis daemonum, adivrationes, formidabiles.

Lyon, apud Franciscum Arnoullet, 1608.


8vo. Two works in one volume. 1) pp. [xvi], 214, [ii]: [+]⁸, A-N⁸, O⁴. 2) pp. (xvi) 208:[+]⁸, A-N⁸. Roman letter some Italic. Title pages in red and black with charming woodcut printer’s device of a stag, floriated woodcut initials, typographical headpieces. First title dusty and a little soiled, trimmed close at top edge, touching headline on title only, a little dog-eared at beginning and end, age yellowing with some minor marginal spotting, dark oil stain to upper part of last 10 ll. (possibly an exorcist elixir), minor marginal light waterstain, thumb-mark or spot. A good, doubtless used copy, entirely unsophisticated, in contemporary vellum over thin boards, a little crinkled and soiled, lower corners and spine a little worn.

Excellent editions of two of the most important and influential works on exorcism of the sixteenth century by the most authoritative exorcist of Renaissance Italy, the Franciscan, Girolamo Menghi, later included in the authoritative collection on exorcisms the ‘Thesaurus exorcismorum’. Menghi was born in Viadana in the province of Mantua. At the age of 20 he joined the Franciscans, rising to provincial superior in 1598. A theologian and exorcist, he practiced in Bologna, and was known as ‘the father of the exorcists’ art’. His best known work, ‘Flagellum Daemonum’ was translated into Italian and published in 1576, as ‘Compendio dell’arte essorcisica’ so it would reach the widest audience possible. “In 1576 he (Menghi) published his Flagellum daemonum (the Daemon’s Scourge), followed by Fustus daemonum (The Daemon’s Bludgeon) in 1584. Both books were published in one volume from 1598 and soon became popular all over Europe. The texts consist of both a theoretical treatise and a hands on guide describing actual exorcisms. Fustis daemonum lists exorcisms that follow a strict formula: after an initial prayer, signs of the cross are made, followed by incantations, a reading from the Gospels, and repeated orations” Joseph P. Laycock ‘Spirit Possession around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon.’

“Girolamo Menghi’s Flagellum Daemonum .. was a collection of seven rites of exorcism with detailed instructions on the preparation of the priest and the victim and what sorts of gestures or paraphernalia the priest should employ. No magic wands are mentioned, but the priest could make the Sign of the Cross with great frequency and drape the victim with his stole. He could use his book of exorcism, holy water, fire, or images of the devil. Various herbs or minerals burnt in smudges could help drive out the devil. Various sacramentals had to be specially blest – in essence, purified to make sure they had no diabolic residue – and there are rites of blessing given in this manual as well” Jane Davidson, ‘Early Modern Supernatural: The Dark Side of European Culture, 1400-1700.’ Menghi prefaces the Flagellum with a vehement defence of exorcism. Dedicating the work to Cardinal Gabriele Paleotto, Menghi advocates a much more aggressive promotion and publication of books of exorcisms. He states it is impossible to extirpate this plague unless the art of performing exorcisms is fully known and appreciated throughout the Catholic world. “Worried about the perceived chaos that characterised exorcismal activities in Italy and the unorthodox practices employed by many exorcists, Menghi set himself the goal of compiling all of the existing authorized rituals into a manual for the use of parish exorcists. His books instruct exorcists on how to diagnose a genuine diabolic possession, how to confront the demons, and how to cast out evil spirits, and they contain numerous exorcismal liturgies. This concrete and practical approach was due partly to the events of the recent past. A certain ‘aegritudo’, a mysterious and deadly infection, was threatening innumerable victims, Menghi stated… [he] also intended to prove that demons possessed human beings and animals, and .. argued that ‘medicina celeste,’ as it was practiced by ecclesiastical exorcists, was the only appropriate means to overcome diabolic power” Moshe Sluhovsky.

Menghi was well acquainted with demoniacal literature; the authors he quotes range from Avicenna to Michael Psellus, from Lull to Sprenger. Despite his contemporary fame his works were placed on the index of forbidden books by the Sant’Uffizio in the C18th. “Girolamo Menghi articulated a philosophy of evil that reflected the social and religious culture of his time. …. He tried to arrange devils according to their function, spheres of action and bad habits – just as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite had arranged angels in his ‘Celestial Hierarchy’”. Gaetano Paxia.

BM STC fr. C17th. p. 369. M 906. Caillet 7378. (other editions) “Curieux recueils d’exorcismes tardivement mis a l’index en 1709.” Thorndike VI pp. 555-8.


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