JEAN, Alexandre

Arithmetique au miroir. Par laquelle on peut (en quatre vaccations de demie heure chacune) practiquer les plus belles regles d’icelle. 

[Paris], np. 1649.

£2,250

FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. 3 parts in one volume, part 2 and 3 engraved throughout. pp. 15, [1]; [1], 55; 18. Italic letter. First title with small woodcut ornament second title with calligraphic ornament, small woodcut initial and typographical ornaments, engraved tables within three columns in first part, in four columns in the second, label of Erwin Thomash on pastedown. Very light age yellowing. A fine copy, crisp and clean, with excellent fresh and dark impressions of the plates in contemporary limp vellum, vellum slightly stained, folding cloth box

Rare and charmingly executed didactic manual of commercial arithmetic in three parts; in this second edition Jean added a printed explanation of the working of the tables. The engraved title of the second part still bears the date of 1636 as it was probably made using sheets left over from the first edition, or the plates were reprinted from the original, without changing the dates. Alexandre Jean was a master writer and master of French arithmetic, born in about 1580, he was accepted, in 1609, in the “Communauté des maîtres écrivains jurés” or the Company of master writers or calligraphers. He was renowned for making use of the the feather pen, with which he used to execute ornaments with thick lines in his calligraphy. He was a very good the example of those master writers who were also active in teaching and accounting, and he published several methods of arithmetic. He died in 1670 at Paris. This work is very finely executed, in the manner of a calligraphic work by a master writer.

In this second edition of the ready reckoner, a letterpress title page and introduction have been added to the engraved tables. The original engraved title page remains bound in after the introductory material. The work is a ready reckoner for the price of goods in multiples (from 1 to 20,000), and the second is a similar table for fractional amounts (if one unit costs 8 francs, then a half will cost 4 francs, etc.). Part 1 has an engraved title page bearing the date 1636, with the colophon dated 1637. There are also a few small tables of other items (squares etc.). All the tables are beautifully engraved, and many show the figures in what appear to be apothecary jars, palm leaves, etc. It is possible that the tables in part 2 actually represent the value of various measures of cloth as their heading (Fractions de Laune) can be interpreted as La’une (one) or L’aune (ells—of cloth).

A rare work. USTC locates four copies of this enlarged edition. A very good copy from the exceptional mathematical library of Erwin Tomash.

USTC 6006709. Erwin Tomash Library J 11 (this copy).

L3016/2

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JEAN, Alexandre

Arithmetique au miroir. Par laquelle on peut (en quatre vaccations de demye-heure chacune) practiquer les plus belles regles d’Icelle.

[Paris], np. 1636 (1637).

£2,000

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. 2 parts in one volume, engraved throughout. pp. [1], 55, 18. Italic letter. Title with calligraphic ornament, tables within three columns in first part, in four columns in the second part, label of Erwin Thomash on pastedown. Very light age yellowing. A very good, clean copy with excellent fresh and dark impressions of the plates in a contemporary limp vellum binding, yapp edges, re-sewn with thin modern boards, vellum slightly soiled and spotted, folding cloth box

Rare and charmingly executed didactic manual of commercial arithmetic in two parts all finely engraved. In this first edition the engraved title bears the date of 1636 but has the date 1637 on the colophon of the first part. Alexandre Jean was a master writer and master of French arithmetic, born in about 1580, he was accepted, in 1609, in the “Communauté des maîtres écrivains jurés” or the Company of master writers or calligraphers. He was renowned for making use of the the feather pen, with which he used to execute ornaments with thick lines in his calligraphy. He was a very good the example of those master writers who were also active in teaching and accounting, and he published several methods of arithmetic, and a writing book. He died in 1670 at Paris. This work is very finely executed, in the manner of a calligraphic work  by a master writer.

This completely engraved work is in two parts. The first part is a ready reckoner for the price of goods in multiples (from 1 to 20,000), and the second is a similar table for fractional amounts (if one unit costs 8 francs, then a half will cost 4 francs, etc.). Part 1 has an engraved title page bearing the date 1636, with the colophon dated 1637. There are also a few small tables of other items (squares etc.). All the tables are beautifully engraved, and many show the figures in what appear to be apothecary jars, palm leaves, etc. It is possible that the tables in part 2 actually represent the value of various measures of cloth as their heading (Fractions de Laune) can be interpreted as La’une (one) or L’aune (ells—of cloth).

An extremely rare work. USTC locates only one copy of this first edition at the BNF. A very good copy from the exceptional mathematical library of Erwin Tomash.

USTC 6019531. Erwin Tomash Library J 10 (this copy).

L3016/1

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SAINT-ANDRÉ, François de

Lettres de M. de Saint-André, .. au sujet de la magie, des maléfices et des sorciers,

Paris, chez Robert-Marc Despilly, libraire, place de Sorbonne, à Sainte Ursule. 1725

£1,850

FIRST EDITION. 12mo. [viii] 446 [ii]. [ã4, A-S12, T8]. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut initials, head and tail pieces, typographical ornaments, occasional underlinings. Light age yellowing, occasional minor spotting, a few tears in blank margins with early repairs. A very good copy, with good margins, in C19th three quarter olive calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, blue and red morocco labels gilt, a.e.r. joints restored.

First edition of this important enlightenment text on witch-craft and demons by the French physician Francois de Saint-André, published posthumously. Saint-André, physician to Louis XV, denounces popular belief in witchcraft and wizards, and demonstrates, with many examples, that all that is attributed to wizards and demons is most improbable and, most often, derived from the imagination of weak-minded people. He also inveighs against superstitious practices on the grounds that they are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. “Clearly, there was still a lively interest in witchcraft during the 18th century, but through polemics and controversies the discussion was integrated into philosophical, legal, and religious debates, within which more or less modified versions of traditional Demonological theories jostled with “enlightened” critiques of those very theories. In France, for example, a quarrel developed over the physician Nathaniael de Saint André’s ‘lettres .. au sujet de la magie, des maléfices et des sorciers (1725. Letters about magic, evil spells, and sorcerers.) In this work he calls into question the traditional justification of a belief in witches by citing both passages in the Bible and canon law, and he explains all the phenomena in question in terms of natural effects or the power of illusion. The demonologists and even, to a certain extent, the physician John Wier, in his De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563 On the imposture of Devils), had interpreted such phenomena as effects of the devils power of the imagination, melancholia, and matter. However, Saint-Andre interprets them in purely human terms, drawn from psychology and physiology. The light of science, and particularly of medicine, is therefore to ‘disabuse’ human beings of false belief in witchcraft” Michel Delon. ‘Encyclopaedia of the Enlightenment.’

A very good copy of the first edition of one of the first treatises to move away from the theories of witch-craft developed in the the late C15 and C16th centuries.

Quérard IX, 320; Caillet, 9750; Yve-Plessis, 864.

L2783a

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PETIT ALBERT

Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturelle & cabalistique.

Lyon, chez les héritiers de Beringos fratres à l’enseigne d’Agrippa, 1743

£1,750

12 mo. pp. [xii], 252. *⁶, A-K¹², L⁶. 10 full page engraved esoteric plates. Roman letter some Italic. Title page in red and black, small woodcut ornament on title, woodcut headpieces, woodcut tables in text. Light age yellowing, quires I-K browned, the odd spot or mark. A very good copy in contemporary mottled calf, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments, large tulip fleurons gilt at centres, edges gilt ruled, marbled endpapers, all edges red

A very good copy of this most popular and successful work on natural magic. The Little Albert is a so-called “magic” book, or Grimoire, perhaps inspired by the writings of St. Albert the Great. It was printed in France for the first time as early as 1668, and then reprinted on a continuous basis. Brought to the smallest villages in the saddlebags of ‘colporteurs’, it was a phenomenal publication success, despite, or perhaps because of, its sulphurous reputation. It is associated with a twin book, the Grand Albert, and often with an almanac which contained a useful calendar. It is a composite work, even heterogeneous, a bric-a-brac gathering of texts of unequal value written by (or attributed to) different authors, most anonymous. The Petit Albert, however, is neither a summary nor an abridged version of the Great Albert; it is a distinct text. It was enormously popular in France throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. A curious mixture of esoteric science and totally impractical superstition, it was for some time tolerated by the Church, with whose teachings it cohabited uneasily, but it was prized by ordinary people. The book is attributed, though probably spuriously, to Albert Le Grand, a 13th century Dominican monk, whose real name was Albrecht De Groot. He was a superb scholar, a philosopher and divine, mentor to Thomas Aquinas, whose apparent interests in the esoteric earned him a reputation as a mighty sorcerer amongst his contemporaries. It was not until the 19th century that the Petit Albert began to be frowned upon by the Catholic Church and had to be kept hidden, sometimes even underneath church altars in an effort to ‘bless’ them. Albert Le Grand is a saint, and it is likely that the association with him was deliberate, as a way of keeping the books tolerated if not approved by the Church. It owes a good deal of its more esoteric nature—discussions of talismans, mandrakes, and ‘elementals’ for instance—to pseudo-Paracelsus. There are recipes taken from the Italian philosopher Girolamo Cardano’s De Subtilitate of 1552, and Giacomo della Porta’s Magia naturalis of 1598, amongst others.

The Petit Albert offers tremendous insight into the minds of rural folk magic practitioners and provides an example of the then popular practice of publishing of books of secrets. It was a book that acted as a medium, in creating an occult atmosphere; the image of the magician or witch is almost always attended by the presence of the book of magic. It lends the practitioner the token of occult knowledge and power. Despite any claims made for the efficacy of such tomes, they nonetheless instilled a sense of wonder and mystery in those who owned them. As such a popular work, copies were read and used to disintegration and it is not common to find then in such good condition as this copy.

Ferguson 1, p. 17, Brunet I 139.

C2

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LE FLUX DISSENTERIQUE

BANKERS ON THE RUN(S)

LE FLUX DISSENTERIQUE des bourses financieres, ou, La dissenterie des financiers : ensemble le Salué regine desdits financiers à la royne mere.

[Paris?] np., npr., 1624.

RESPONSORIUM au Salve Regina des financiers

Paris [npr., nd. 1624?]

£1,950

FIRST EDITIONS. 8vo. Two works. 8vo. 1) pp 16. A-B8. 2) pp. 8. A4. Roman and Italic letter. Light age yellowing, title of first a little dusty. Both works mounted as pamphlets within larger sheets of paper.

Exceptionally rare and interesting polemical pamphlets concerning financiers, one in the form a allegorical medical satire, and the other a direct response to a previous pamphlet issued on behalf on financiers calling for help from the Queen after they had incurred heavy losses to their investments. The financiers plight was also closely linked to the extraordinary struggle for power taking place in France that culminated in Cardinal Richelieu becoming de facto ruler of France. Richelieu had supported the Marquis de la Vieuville to a place on the council and obtained a position for him as ‘Surintendent des Finances’. De Vieuville had the support of the major financiers of France, and headed “the first government of the financial plutocracy in the History of France”.A. D. Lublinskaya ‘French Absolutism: The Crucial Phase, 1620-1629’. His position on the council lasted less that a year, Richelieu joining the council himself in April 1624, within three months ousteding La Vieuville,  and taking the role as head of the council in August. It is possible that these pamphlets were also written as part of a propaganda campaign against the financiers organised by Richelieu.

The first work takes the form of an allegorical medical satire in which the Financiers, suffering from terrible indigestion having gorged themselves excessively, find a cure thanks to the intervention of the “grand Operateur’, the reparation of the abuses they have committed, and the intercession of “Marie” (the Queen Mother) to whom they address a Salve Regina. “Apres avoir mangé tant de raisins & de figues durnat les vendanges dernieres que la dissenterie si est mise á la malheure, ce ne sont pas figues d’Esope, mais bien d’autres en plus grande quantité dont la fieuvre leas en a pris , d’une tel facon que la pluspart avec de grans efforts vomissent les grappes de raisin & les figues encore toutes entieres”. The pamphlet goes on to state that the cure for such an illness does not require much medical intervention, simply the adoption of a reasonable and healthy diet, that does not over abuse. The work ends with a the poem “La prierre ou Salve Regine des Financiers” in which the financiers admit their fault and demand pardon for their crimes, that merit either hanging or imprisonment, but hope for clemency from the Queen.

The second work is a direct rebuttal of the clemency and bailout demanded by the financiers in the “Salve Regina” stating that that financiers themselves showed no mercy for the orphans, widows and the people of France that they bled dry. In it an adversary of Tax collectors declares “Vous demandez qu’on aye compassion de vos misseres, & des calamitez qui vous pendent sur le Chef: Et que seront donc les clameurs de tant de pauvres Orphelins, desquels vous avez succé la substance? A quoy les plainctes de tant de Veufues que vous avez rongez iusques aux os? & les cris de tout le peuple qui gemit soubs le faix pesant de vos extorsions & pilleries? Non, non n’esperez aucune misericorde du Roy, ny de la Reyne Mere; il ne vous peut pardonner sans faire une injustice à toute la France, qui veut voir le fonds de vos bourses, puis que vous avez voulu voir le fonds de ses coffres”.

Both these pamphlets are exceptionally rare. We have found only one copy of the second at the BNF and two of the first at Newberry and Yale. Most interesting and most topical works.

1) Lindsay & Neu. French political pamphlets, 5104. Alain Mercier. ‘La littérature facétieuse sous Louis XIII: 1610-1643 : une blibiographie.’ 298 2) Alain Mercier. ‘La littérature facétieuse sous Louis XIII: 1610-1643 : une blibiographie.’ 298

L2031

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ELISABETH I

Discours de la prinse de deux grandes navires envoyees de la part de la royne d’Angleterre au roy de Navarre

Paris, veuve François Plumion, 1589

£1,650

FIRST EDITION. pp. 13 [i]. A-B4. (lacking B4 blank). Roman letter some Italic. Woodcut initials and headpieces, modern bookplate with monogram on pastedown. Cut a little short in upper margin fractionally trimming page numbering, light age yellowing, A very good copy in modern blue paper boards, title gilt on spine, a.e.r.

Interesting and very rare first edition of this piece of Catholic League propaganda, printed at Paris just weeks after the events reported, concerning the battle of Arques and the intervention of British troops and ships in Henri IV’s favour at Dieppe. Henry IV found himself trapped at Dieppe by the much larger force of the Leagues’ army under the leadership of the Duke of Mayenne. Henri moved his forces out of the town to Arques which he fortified. He managed to hold off the attack and won a decisive victory when The Duc of Mayenne’s forces retreated, once they realised that 4000 troops had arrived from England to relieve Henri’s position. This pamphlet reports the events in a very different light describing the battle a mostly a victory for the League and reports on the capture of two large British ships sent by the Queen to help Henri. It also reports the Queens determination to intervene on Henri’s behalf even if it means British invasion of France. Such was the strength of the League’s propaganda that Parisians were astonished when Henri’s army arrived on the outskirts of Paris as they had been lead to believe he was severely wounded or had even killed in the battle. The privilege for this work was given by the “Faculte de Theologie” in Paris and is dated October 1589.

“As is typical with works of propaganda, the pamphlets of the League from this time attempted to engage the specific prejudices, preconceptions, and fears of their readers. The pamphlets were mostly anonymous or printed under pseudonyms, however, they were published by well-known partisans of the League. Pro-League printers in Paris during this time did not need to fear reprisals from the king—Paris was completely controlled by the League through the preachers in the local Paris churches, so there was little need to hide behind false imprints. There were originally hundreds of such pamphlets, according to the contemporary diarist Pierre de l’Estoile, but most of the pamphlets were destroyed during the early years of the reign of Henry IV when he instituted a major program of destroying them.” Lydia A. M. Fletcher. “Libels and Declarations: Pamphlets and Printers of the Catholic League.”

A very rare and ephemeral pamphlet which gives most interesting insight into the use of propaganda during the wars of religion and specifically with its connection to the British Queen.

USTC 20302. Andrew Pettegree, etc. ‘French Vernacular Books, Livres vernaculaires français’ 18133.

L2166

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