Stock archive A

This is a test file – genuine data but not all the books at the start of the alphabet.

ABAT, Bonaventure

Amusemens philosophiques sur diverses parties des sciences, et principalement de la physique et des mathematiques.

Amsterdam: & se vend à Marseille, chez Jean Mossy, 1763.

8vo: a–b8 A–2M8 2N4, 300 leaves, pp. xxxii 564 3 [1] (last page blank) woodcut and typographic ornaments, errata at foot of penultimate page.

4 folding engraved plates: numbered planche 1re – 4e (bound after the text as throwouts as directed in the instructions on the verso of the title) 

Condition: 197 x 126mm. Faint paper discolouration. 

Binding: Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine with red lettering piece, marbled endpapers and edges. Spine a little rubbed, corners worn and bumped. 

Provenance: Printed label ‘M. Descartes, Conseiller au Parlement’ on pastedown; stencilled owner’s name ‘Varennes’ on free endpaper; stamp on title of the Jesuit Mission at Aachen; owner’s stamp ‘Borda’ on title and p. 25; inscriptions on rear free endpaper ‘payé a M. Marchal le 27 juin 1764 3ll’. 

First edition. References. OCLC 9273345 (incorrect pagination).

¶ An extenisve popular science text dealing with mathematics, optics, electricity, gravity and capillary attraction. The author, a Franciscan of the Cordelier order, is not shy of introducing his own discoveries and novel theories.

Dedicated to Jean-Baptiste de Belloy, bishop of Marseille.

This copy was owned by Jean-Charles Borda (1733–1799), inventor of the reflecting circle which contributed to the French success in measuring the meridional arc. The former owner ‘Descartes’, who probably purchased the book in June 1764, I have not identified.

The pagination statement in OCLC and many individual OPACS calling for xxxiii preliminary pages is incorrect; the author’s presentation copy at Houghton has xxxii preliminary pages like the copy offered here.

SOLD 2003 Clark Memorial Library.

ABEILLE, Scipion

Nouvelle histoire des os, selon les anciens et les modernes, enrichie de vers. Divisée en deux parties.

Paris: chez l’auteur; et chez R. Chevillion, 1685.

Duodecimo (141 x 80mm) Text: a6 (a2–4 signed a1–3) e5 A–O6, pp. [20] 166 [1].

1 folding engraved plate signed ‘F.R. s.’ inserted at p. [17]. 


Binding: Contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt spine with raised bands, joints cracked but cords holding.

Provenance: Contemporary or early inscription on pastedown ‘Mariemagdeline/ Cligny’. 

First edition. References. Not in NUC, Wellcome, Krivatsy, Waller, BL.

¶ The author’s first work, a pocket osteological anatomy, interspersed with his verses. The plate is based on Vesalius’ illustration of a skeleton leaning on a tomb, the one Saunders and O’Malley describe as ‘the skeletal Hamlet soliloquizing beside the tomb upon some poor Yorick’. Bayle and Thillaye comment sarcastically that the book shows Abeille to have been a better poet than an anatomist, but he was respected as an army surgeon in his day, serving in two campaigns in Germany as Surgeon-General to the Picardie regiment. His interest in military surgery is reflected in the fact that a about a third of the present book is devoted to the anatomy of the head. His other two books, the only ones found in the standard medical libraries, are L’anatomie de la teste, et de ses parties (1689) and Le parfait chirurgien d’armée (1696).

See Bayle and Thillaye II,247; Hirsch I, 36. 

SOLD 1996, Welcome Library


Roues à voussoirs, et voussoirier, présenté à l’exposition des jours complémentaires de l’an 10. Prix 30 centimes.

Paris: [Colophon: de l’imprimerie de Prault], 1802.

8vo, pp [2] 17 [1 blank] and a folding plate ‘Gravé par Gaitte.

Condition: 190 x 124mm. 

Binding: Recent marbled boards. 

Provenance: Inscribed at the head of the title to the prominent soldier and statesman General Lauberdière (imprisoned in England between 1793 and the Peace of Amiens), with the latter’s MS monogram on the title and first page of text, a MS note at the foot of the first page: ‘Inventées, éprouvées, et depuis longtemps mises en usage par le Génal. de Divon. Aboville, Premier Inspecteur Général d’Artillerie’, and his marginal marking of the text. 

First and only edition? References. Not found in Barbier, NUC, OCLC or BN-Opale.

¶ An apparently unrecorded pamphlet describing an improved method of making carriage wheels, the spokes attached to the hub by tapered voussoirs rather than simple tenons. The tenons being the weak point of traditional wheels, these new wheels were much stronger. This copy was given by the anonymous author to General Lauberdière, who has annotated the first page with the information that the system was invented and tested by General Aboville, but it is not clear if he was also the author of the pamphlet. In the text there are descriptions of Aboville’s trials and a sour rant about the French not appreciating French inventions, which have to be taken up in London and then brought back by French travellers. The author says that this will be the best way to get the ‘roues à voussoirs’ accepted, and then every one in France will want ‘roues à l’anglaise’.

SOLD 2007, Clark Memorial Library


Dictionnaire de l’Académie Françoise, revu, corrigé et augmenté par l’académie elle-même. Cinquième édition.

Paris: chez J.J. Smits, l’an VII de la République, 1798.

2 vols 4to: π2 a4 b2 A-5D4, 392 leaves, pp. 768; π2 A-5C4 5D2 5E4 5F2, 390 leaves, pp. [4] 776, woodcut devices on titles, woodcut headpieces.

Condition: 257 x 198mm. Waterstained in margins of vol. II, only extending into the text in the last few gatherings, otherwise a nice fresh copy. 

Binding: Contemporary English tree calf, flat spines with gilt double bands, heads and tails of spines and corners worn. 

Provenance: Engraved bookplate Sir Michael R. Shaw Stewart with MS shelf mark Aa.2.9; purchased from John Grant, Edinburgh, with invoice to Douglas McKie dated 9 March 1960. 

Fifth edition (first 1694, new editions in 1718, 1740 and 1766). References. 

¶ Production of this famous dictionary was the chief function of the Acadèmie Française. This is the  first post-revolutionary edition, fully revised and with a supplement in vol. II containing words new since the revolution. The preface discusses the politics of the abolition of the old Royal academies and their reconstitution under the revolution: ‘Entre les trois Académies, l’Académie Françoise, cependant, est celle qui a le plus contribué au changement de l’esprit monarchique en esprit républicain.’

There is an advertisement on the verso the half-title in vol. I: ‘Deux Volumes, Prix, 30 f. broché, 33 f. relié, à Paris, chez Bossange, Masson et Besson, Libraires, Rue des Mathurins-Jacques, à la Grille.’

En Français Dans le Texte 126 (first edition). 

SOLD 2003, Bonhams.


Rapport fait a l’Académie Royale des Sciences, le Samedi 19 Mars 1791, d’un mémoire important, de M. Blanc, sur la fabrication des armes de guerre, renvoyé à l’examen de la Compagnie, par M. de la Tour-du-Pin, ci-devant ministre de la guerre.

Paris:  no imprint on title, colophon: De l’imprimerie de Moutard, 1791.

4to, pp. [12] (last page blank). p. 1 titlepage, verso blank; p. 3, drop-head title Rapport … armes de guerre [as title, then] Extrait des Registres de l’Académie Royale ds Sciences, du 19 Mars 1791’; p. 11. at end of text ‘Fait dans l’Académie des Sciences, le Samedi 19 Mars 1791. Signé, le Roy, Laplace, Coulomb, Bord. Je certifie le présent extrait conforme à l’original & au jugement de l’Académie. A Paris, le 27 Mars 1791. Signé, Condorcet, Secrétaire perpétuel.


Binding: Stitched as issued; dustsoiled, once folded in half and the last leaf defective along the fold with loss of several letters but without loss of legibility. 


First and only edition? References. OCLC 17810985, Newberry Library only.

¶ This reports on Honoré Blanc’s idea of making interchangeable riffle parts – it obviously relates to the so called ‘American system’, based on European models as reported by Jefferson from Paris in 1785 (Derry and Williams, Short History of Technology, p. 355-6). According to OCLC the work referred to is Honoré Blanc, Mémoire important sur la fabrication des armes de guerre.

SOLD 2005, Burndy Library, MIT, now Huntington Library.


Essayes of natural experiments made in the Academie del Cimento, under the protection of the most serene prince Leopold of Tuscany. Written in Italian by the secretary of that academy. Englished by Richard Waller, Fellow of the Royal Society.

London: printed for Benjamin Alsop at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, over-against the Church, 1684.

4to: [A]4 a–b4 B–Z4 (blank Z4), 100 leaves, pp. [24] 164 (i.e. 164, 77–80 repeated) [12] (last 2 pages blank). Order to print on [A]1v.

20 engraved plates: engraved title signed ‘R. Waller delin’ and plates numbered Tab. 1–19. 

Condition: 229 x 165mm. Some light browning and occasional waterstains. 

Binding: Eighteenth-century panelled sprinkled calf. Old neat repairs to joints, worn. 

Provenance: Inscription on Tab. 15 ‘James Aitkin his book’ in an eighteenth-century hand, and note on the same page beginning ‘I do not Commend your observation …’ perhaps the draft of a letter. Walter Pagel (1896–1983); B. E. J. Pagel (1930–2007). 

First edition in English of Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del cimento (Florence, 1667). The Royal Society’s order to print is dated 27 November 1683. References. Wing A161; ESTC R6541.

¶ One of the key texts of the scientific revolution and of the greatest importance for the Royal Society of London who sponsored this translation. The Accademia del Cimento was founded in 1657 – three years before the Royal Society – with the express purpose of performing experiments to extend the work of Galileo. The experimental programme was led by Alfonso Borelli, Vincenzio Viviani and Evangelista Toricelli. The Saggi di naturali esperienze was compiled by the secretary to the Academy, Lorenzo Magalotti. The work includes descriptions of the first true thermometers and hygrometers and classic experiments on the velocity of sound, radiant heat, phosphorescence, and the expansion of water on freezing; and most famously Toricelli’s experiment on the barometer and air pressure.

The Toricellian experiment and the controversy concerning the nature of the vacuum was closely connected with the work of Robert Boyle, whose New Experiments Physico-Mechanicall, touching the Spring of Air (1660), was the first publication of the Royal Society. ‘There is no doubt whatever that the New Experiments was eagerly read in Florence, for some of Boyle’s pneumatic experiments are referred to in the Saggi’ (Middleton p. 263). Unlike the original Italian edition, a lavish folio for presentation only and not sold through the booktrade, the translation was a commercial venture, published, Middleton suggests, because ‘there was an enormous interest in the new natural philosophy among educated laymen, and nowhere more so than in England’ (Middleton p. 337).

SOLD 2015, Bonhams.

ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769–1838)

Description of the process of manufacturing coal gas. For the lighting of streets houses, and public buildings, with elevations, sections, and plans of the most improved sorts of aparatus now employed at the gas works in London and the principal provincial towns of Great Britain; accompanied with comparative estimates, exhibiting the most economical mode of procuring this species of light.

London: prined for Thomas Boys (C. Green, printer), 1819.

8vo: pp. xv [1] 334.

7 hand-coloured aqutint plates including the title leaf numbered plate I: plate II signed ‘Mullholland Delt, W. Read, Sculpt’, plate IV signed ‘G.H. Palmer, Del’, plate V signed by Read as engraver, plate VII signed ‘Lowry Delt’ & Sculpt’ (plate II facing title, plates III–VII, folding, bound at the end). 

Condition: 225 x 135mm, untrimmed. Slight offsetting to pl. II which has a tear into the engraved surface, small tears in folds of last plate,  light foxing. 

Binding: Original blue-green lithographed boards, signed ‘Berkeley King ex.’ on lower board and ‘No 40 Piccadilly’ on upper board. Head of spine chipped affecting the top panel of the design, joints rubbed and chipped, corners worn. Newspaper cuttings pasted inside upper board, dated 1841, 1843 and 1880. In a cloth case.

Provenance: S. Howe with signature dated 1904 on pastedown and on again a1 with address ‘Gas Light and Coke Co. Westminster, S.W. 

First edition. References. Wellcome II, p.11.

¶ Accum was engaged as a technical witness in the fight fo the charter awarded to the Gas Light & Coke Company in 1812 to provide the first public gas supply. He wrote the first text book on gas lighting in 1815, his Practical Treatise on Gas Light, which is said to have been responsible for the prompt addoption of gas lighting in London and other large cities. The resulting reduction in street crime was one of the minor social revolutions of the first half of the nineteenth century. So many advances were made in the technology of the manufacture, distribution and management of gas supplies in the following four years that the present, entirely new work was needed. Accum was given a position of importance in the new company in 1812, but resigned in 1817, the year in which he and Samuel Clegg, who was largely responsible for the company’s success, installed gas lighting at the Royal Mint.

This is an important work in the industrial history of England, and also one of the most attractively illustrated technical treatises of the period, with a series of fine hand-coloured aquatint plates. The printer of these plates is not named, but it seems probably that it was Ackerman, who printed the Practical treatise. Like several of Accum’s other works, it is also distinguished by the lithographed boards, early examples of fully designed book-covers. This one is signed by Berkeley King, who also did the cover for Accum’s A Treatise of Adulterations of Food (1820).

George Faber Rodwell in DNB: Singer et al. History of technology IV, pp. 252–3 and in the same volume Sir Arthur Elton, ‘Gas for light and heat’ pp. 258–275 esp. pp. 268–70; on Accum and Ackerman see W. J. Burke Rudolph Ackerman. Promoter of the Arts and Sciences (New York Public Library, 1935) pp. 10–11; Allen Samuels, Rudolph Ackerman and the Art of the Book (Exhibition Catalogue, Aberystwyth, 1982) not seen. 

SOLD 2002, Fisher Library, University of Toronto.

ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769–1838)

A treatise on the adulterations of food, and culinary poisons, exhibiting the fraudulent sophistications of bread, beer, wine, spiritous liquors, tea, coffee, cream, confectionery, vinegar, mustard, pepper, cheese, olive oil, pickles, and other articles employed in domestic economy. And methods of detecting them.

London: printed by J. Mallett, sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820.

8vo, pp. [ii] xvi 372, stipple-engraved vignette on title printed in two colours, wood-engravings in the text at pp. 90, 237, 238. A separate 4-page advertisement section dated October 1819 is stitched in between the front endleaves.

Condition: 190 x 115mm, untrimmed. 

Binding: Original lithographed paper covered boards signed ‘B. King, in. et ex. 40 Piccadilly, West,’ printed in blue-green with the design reversed out in white, showing a spider’s web surrounded by snakes and the motto ‘There is death in the pot, 2 Kings C. VI v 40.’ under a skull and cross bones (the same design on upper and lower boards, but re-drawn), spine in panels with crossed arrows and feathers and lettering in second panel. Head and tail of spine chipped, joints cracked and chipped but sound, board edges worn. Preserved in a cloth folding case. 

Provenance: Handstamp on rear pastedown, partly illegible but probably ‘CUMBERLAND’. 

First edition. References. Garrison–Morton 1604.2; Cole 11; Wellcome II, 11.

¶ A fundamental work which proved very popular and did much to awaken the public concern which eventually resulted in the Adulteration Act of 1860. 

‘One of the earliest exposures of food adulteration. This sensational but scientific work embroiled the author in such scandal that he finally had to flee England.’ (Garrison–Morton).

The fragile binding, a remarkable example of lithographed decorated boards is characteristic of the period, but by no means common. The more usual form of publisher’s binding was plain blue or grey paper covered boards with a printed paper label, shortly to be superseded by plain cloth with paper label. The use of lithography is unusual and this is a particularly pleasing design, making imaginative use of white line on a dark ground, taking advantage of the possibilities of the relatively new technique. It is signed ‘B. King, in. et ex. 40 Piccadilly, West.’ in the lower margin of both boards. The position of the lithographed cover on the boards varies as these early edition bindings were still hand made. In other copies I have handled the signature is turned under the boards and obscured by the pastedowns on one or both covers.

The hand-stamped name inside the lower board is partly illegible: it is tempting to read ‘Northumberland’ as the book is dedicated to the Duke of Northumberland, but ‘Cumberland’ fits better.

SOLD 2011, New York Public Library

ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769-1838)

Elements of crystallography, after the method of Haüy; with, or without, [a] series of geometrical models ….

London: printed (by J.G. Barnard) for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1813.

8vo, pp. lxiii [i] 396 including half title and advertisements (pp. 392-6), wood-engraved illustrations in the text.

4 engraved plates: numbered Plate I–IV, signed ‘Lowry sculp.’, (l bound as a frontispiece, II-IV, single page, bound as throwouts at p. xvi, contrary to directions to binder on p. xvi to place them at the end). 

Condition: 225 x 135mm, untrimmed. Some dustsoiling, light waterstaining and spotting. 

Binding: Rebound in moiré-grained cloth. 

Provenance: Early signature of J.R. Stephen on title and pencil marks in the margins; purchased at Sothebys 1 December 1980, M. Stacey collection, typed notes on the author laid in. 

First edition. References. Hoover 6; Ward and Carozzi 1.

¶ Dedicated to Earl Percy, Count Münster Meinhovel, Sir John Borlase Warren and Sir John Saunders Sebright.

SOLD 2001, private collection.

ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769-1838)

A manual of analytical mineralogy, intended to facilitate the practical analysis of minerals..

London: printed for the author (by Hayden) and sold by G. Kearsley; Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh; and Archer and Mahon, Dublin, [1808], 1808.

2 volumes, 12mo in 6’s, pp. xvii [1] 311 [1] (last page blank); vi 313–560, without the final leaf of advertisements for apparatus and Accum’s lectures described by Cole.

2 engraved plates (bound as frontispieces). 

Condition: Rather heavily trimmed in the foremargins and plate I cropped, scattered foxing to text and plates. 

Binding: Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, rebacked in morocco, endpapers replaced (Cambridge Bookbinding Co., 1992). 

Provenance: Early signature ‘Josiah Sharp’ on title of vol. I; purchased from Walford, 1964. 

Second edition, first published as A practical essay on the analysis of minerals (1804, above). References. Cole 4; Hoover 7.

¶ Dedicated to Richard Kirwan.

SOLD 2003, Bonhams.

ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769-1838)

A practical essay on the analysis of minerals, exemplifying the best methods of analysing ores, earths, stones, inflammable fossils, and mineral substances in general..

London: printed for the author (by Hayden); G. Kearsley; J. Johnson; and J. Callow, 1804.

12mo in 6’s, pp. viii  xvi 183 vii. (First leaf blank,  [iii] title  [vii] errata, verso blank). Engraving on title by J. Roffe, woodcut on p. 16.

Condition: 180 x 103mm. A good large copy with some uncut edges. 

Binding: Contemporary polished calf, double gilt filets to sides, flat spine with gilt bands and flower tools, marbled endpapers, corners and foot of spine worn, label replaced and headcap restored (Cambridge Bookbinding Co., 1975). 

Provenance: Signature J.B. Metclafe Jn, 1871 on half title; Robert Washington Oates with blind stamp on free end-paper,  bookplate and presentation label on pastedown and stamp on title ‘Bibliotheca Oatesiana MCM’ on title; purchased from Walford, 1973. 

First edition. References. 

¶ ‘This Essay is printed at the express desire of a number of gentlemen, to whom I delivered a private course of Lectures on Practical Chemistry’ (Preface, p.[i]). The final section is a summary of the ‘Chemical demonstrations or private lectures, on practical chemistry’ offered by Accum.

SOLD 2001, Cornell University Library.

ACHILLINI, Alessandro (1463–1512)

Annotationes anatomiae magni Alexandri Achillini Bononiensis.

Bologna: (Colophon: Expliciunt Anotomicae annotationes Magni Alexandri Achillini Bonon. Editae per eius fratrem Philotheum. Et impressae Bonon. per Hieronymum de Benedictis, Anno. M. D. XX. Die. XXIII. Septemb.), 1520.

4to: a–c4 d6, 18 leaves, foliated I–XVIII. Roman letter, large woodcut portrait on a1 (105 x 105mm), 12-line woodcut initial ‘A’ on a2 signed ‘R.O.’, title on a2.

Condition: 220 x 160mm, untrimmed. Original printing flaw with loss of a small area of woodcut portrait on a1; a very well preserved clean and fresh copy. 

Binding: Seventeenth-century soft boards. 

Provenance: Guglielmo Libri (1802–1869), book collector and thief, with a note in a nineteenth-century hand laid in: ‘Purchased from the collection of M. Guglielmo Libri. described in the catalogue as “uncut, very rare, but especially in this state” ‘; Edwin Clarke (1919–1996). 

First edition, published posthumously by the author’s brother, Giovanni Filoteo (1466–1538); perhaps not regarded by Achillini as suitable for publication and not included in his Opera Omnia (1508 and later editions). Another edition was printed at Venice in 1521 as De humani corporis anatomia and the text was printed for the third time in the 1522 edition of Ketham’s Fasiculus medicinae. References. Bird 14; Durling 31; Heirs of Hippocrates156; Edit16 CNCE 215; Waller 178; Stillwell 559; OCLC records only the Bodleian, NYAM, NLM and Niedersachsen copies.

¶ An important pre-Vesalian anatomy text with a particularly good description of the the brain, published from notes taken at Achillini’s lectures at Bologna between 1502 and 1506.

Apart from the wonderful portrait of the author on the title, the book is not illustrated, but the editor stresses the compact nature of the book and its usefulness to students (Lind p. 38).

“A series of lecture notes probably not intended for publication and not published during Achillini’s lifetime. They record anatomical observations made in 1502, 1503, and 1506, and follow the outline of Mundinus’ text on which they are in fact a brief commentary. He quotes numerous authors and presents a broad view of the subject, avoiding certain dogmatic features of contemporary anatomy such as the the doctrine of humours or pseudo-scientific theories of astrology of physiognomy. He is credited with certain small discoveries or rediscoveries, as those of the fornix and infundibulum; his description of the brain is very good for that time. His work serves as an admirable short introduction to pre-Vesalian anatomy.” (Lind p. 90

L. R. Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian anatomy (Philadelphia, 1975) pp. 9, 38–41 and English translation pp. 42–65; Thorndike, History of magic and experimental science, v., ch. 3, ‘Achillini: Aristotelian and Anatomist’ 37–49, discussing the Annotationes on pp. 45–47. 

SOLD 2004, private collection.


The act of tonnage & poundage, and book of rates; with several statutes at large relating to the custtoms; carefully examined by the records: our of which are collected the variations from the Book of Rates, and Act of Tonnage and Poundage, as now practis’d. With an abridgment of several other statutes concerning the customs. As also the usual tares, ports of England and Wales, lawful keys, and wharfs in the Port of London; with the tables of officers fees, scavage, package, balliage, and packers-porters duties. Together with An index of the whold alphabetically digested.

London: printed by the assigns of John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent majesty, 1675.

12mo: a12 A4 B–N12 O8, 168 leaves, pp. [24] 15–325 [1] (last page blank.

Condition: 148 x 85mm. Cut close at the bottom with loss of some catchwords and shaving the last lines of some pages. 

Binding: Contemporary red morocco, gilt panelled sides and spine, marbled endleaves, 14 blank leaves bound in at the front and back (one leaf of each pasted to the marbled free endleaf), gilt edges, originally clasped. Worn and soiled, clasps and staples missing. 

Provenance: Inscription ‘Nich: Orton his Booke the 31th Dec 1681’ on a rear blank  leaf and his name again dated 1682/3 with some pen trials on a front blank. 

Second edition. The first eidition, not in Wing, is located by ESTC at Huntington and Folger only. There were later editions in at least 1682, 1684, 1689, 1702, 1706, 1726 and 1728. References. Wing E1147A; ESTC  R23868.

SOLD 2005, New York Public Library.

ADAMS, George (1750–1795)

An essay on electricity; in which the theory and practice of that useful science, are illustrated by a variety of experiments, arranged in a methodical manner. To which is added, an essay on magnetism.

London: printed for and sold by the Author, 1784.

8vo: A–2A8; *2, 194 leaves, pp. xvi 367 [1] (last page blank); iv.

6 engraved plates: numbered Plate I–VI signed ‘J.’, ‘Jno.’ or ‘Jn. Lodge sculp.’ (plate I single page bound as frontispiece, II–VI double page, bound as foldouts after the text). 

Condition: 212 x 125mm. Light offsetting from frontispiece onto title and offsetting and faint foxing on the plates. 

Binding: Contemporary half calf, gilt lined spine with raised bands, red lettering piece, marbled paper sides, sprinkled edges. Joints cracked but sound, corners worn. 


First edition. The last four pages, A catalogue of mathematical and philosophical instruments, made and sold by George Adams, are not included in the pagination given by ESTC. This priced catalogue was ‘apparently printed with the text pages and intended to form part of the book’ (Millburn). Though dated 1784, the book was first advertised towards the end of December 1783 at a price of 5s in boards. References. ESTC n7266; Millburn p. 389; Bakken p. 34; Mottelay pp. 280–281; Wheeler Gift 519.

¶ The first of a series of text-books on the sciences written by George Adams junior to replace the business he had lost as one of the official suppliers to the Office of Ordnance when the American War of Independence came to an end. As well as income, these books, which Adams published himself, were intended to stimulate the sales of the instruments he made, among the finest available at the time. ‘Adams made it clear that what he was offering to the public was not an exhaustive treatise on electricity, but rather a practical manual for those who wished to try the experiments themselves – especially of course, those who purchased electrical machines and apparatus at his shop … The type of electrical machine that he recommended (and presumably sold) is shown in … plate I’ (Millburn p. 201). However at 5s it is worth noting that the book was inexpensive compared with the cost of the apparatus. Electrical machines are advertised from £3 13s 6d to £40 and magnetic apparatus from £5 15s to 10 guineas.

Medical electricity is dealt with in chapter 15 (pp. 258–281) and the work concludes with ‘An Essay on Magnetism’ (pp. 327–367) ‘published to illustrate and exemplify some uses of a Magnetical Apparatus’. In the ‘Advertisement’ to this essay (p. 328) Adams notes that it is part of a larger work which he has laid aside because of the imminent publication of Cavallo’s work. Cavallo’s book was the only English book devoted to magnetism and he may have been encouraged to write it by Adams (Patrica Fara, Sympathetic Attractions, Princeton,1996, p. 54).

Evidently successful, an enlarged edition of the Essay on electricity was published in the following year, with subsequent editions in 1787, 1792 and 1799.

John R. Millburn, Adams of Fleet Street, Instrument Makers to King George III (Aldershot, 2000) pp. 198–207. 

SOLD 2002, Linda Hall Library.

ADAMS, Joseph (1756–1818)

A popular view of vaccine inoculation, with the practical mode of conducting it. Shewing the analogy between the small pox and cow pox, and the advantages of the latter.

London: printed for Richard Phillips, 1807.

8vo, pp. xii 161 [3] (advertisements on last page).

7 inserts, a folding printed table and 6 aquatint plates numbered Pl. 1–6, signed ‘J Saillier’ (pl. 1 bound as a frontispiece). 

Condition: 170 x 105mm, untrimmed. Plates foxed and discoloured. 

Binding: Original pink boards with brown paper spine and printed label. Rebacked preserving the original spine, sides soiled and scuffed, corners worn. 

Provenance: Society of Apothecaries with label ‘presented by Ed. A Brande Esq, 1833’. 

First edition.  Dedication to the Duke of York on p. [iii] dated 1 September 1807. References. Wellcome I, p. 14.

¶ An important account of smallpox inoculation by the physician to the London Small-pox Hospital, including his evidence to the Royal College of Physicians’ enquiry on inoculation. Adams began practice at Barts as an apothecary (also his father’s profession) and attended Hunter’s lectures. He then qualified as a physician and had a succesful practice in Madeira before returning to London and taking up the post at the smallpox hospital. ‘For this office he was peculiarly fitted by his former studies. Morbid poisons had been the chief subject of his investigations, and he had been from the first a warm advocate of vaccination’ (Munk, iii, p. 76). Adams was asked to provide evidence for the enquiry into vaccination carried out by the Royal College of Physicians and the appendices include his correspondence with the college, a printed table giving details of 17 cases of small pox out of 20,323 inoculated at the hospital and the text of the report, dated 10 April 1807.

The plates are aquatints printed in brown ink, some with areas printed à la poupée in pink.

SOLD 2004, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA.


Les admirables qualitez du kinkina, confirmées par plusierus experiences, et la maniere de s’en servir dans toutes les fiévres pour toute sorte d’âge, de sexe, & de complexions.

Paris: chez Martin Jouvenel, 1689.

12mo: a~8 e~4 A–O8,4; A2, 98 leaves, pp. [24] 164 [4] (last 2 balnk); 4. Publisher’s advertisements on last 4 pages. Woodcut device on title.

Condition: 153 x 90mm. Light dampstaining and paper discolouration. 

Binding: Contemporary calf, gilt spine, marbled end-leaves, red and brown sprinkled edges. Corners and spine ends worn. 

Provenance: Last third underlined and annotated in a contemporary hand. 

First edition. References. Krivatsy p. 8; Waring p. 339.

¶ A treatise on the use of cinchona bark – containing quinine – the celebrated ‘English remedy’ of Sir Robert Talbor. There are printed approbations by Fagon, le Bel and du Chesne, the last noting that the text contains not only Talbor’s method, but also that of the Italian Sebastien Bade, presumably Badus vel Baldus who published ‘an able defence of the vitues of bark’ in 1663 (see Waring). Talbor seems to have sold his method to the French King and it was published by Nicolas de Blegny (1642?–1722) in Découverte du remède anglais … publié par ordre du Roi (1680). This copy of a later account is interesting in having been extensivly annotated by a contemporary user of the remedies.

There is a recipie on p. 133 for an ‘Opiat preparé avec le Kinkina’ made with lemon syrup (or quince syrup for pregnant women), and on pp. 158–9 its use in various drinks – the precursors of the modern English remedy, gin and tonic.

SOLD 2002, Princeton University Library.

AGRICOLA, Georg (1494–1555)

De re metallica libri XII. Quibus officia, instrumenta, machinae, ac omnia denique ad metallicam spectantia … Eiusdem De animantibus subterraneis liber, ab autore recognitus. Cum indicibus diversis, quicquid in opere tractatum est, pulchrè demonstrantibus.

Basle: sumtibus itemque typis chalcographicis Ludovici Regis, 1621.

Folio: [alpha]6 (–[alpha]6, blank), a–z6 A–2A6 (–2A5,6, blanks), 285 of 288 leaves, pp. [10] 538 (i.e. 502, last two pages misnumbered) [58], woodcut initials and decorations and numerous woodcuts in the text.

2 woodcut plates (bound as foldouts at pp. 96 and 100). 

Condition: 316 x 200mm. Titlepage soiled and mounted; moderate foxing and browning throughout and some light marginal waterstains. 

Binding: Recent panelled calf, a little rubbed. Bound for Dr Pagel. 

Provenance: Walter Pagel (1896–1983), signature, undated, on pastedown. B. E. J. Pagel (1930–2007). 

Third edition (first edition 1556, second 1561). References. VD17 23:297726T; Hoover 19; Ward and Carozzi 33; Wellcome 69.

¶ De re metallica (1556) was ‘the first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy and one of the first technological books of modern times… The De Re Metallica embraces everything connected with the mining industry and metallurgical processes, including administration, prospecting, the duties of officials and companies and the manufacture of glass, sulphur and alum. … Some of the most important sections are those on mechanical engineering and the use of water-power, hauling, pumps, ventilation, blowing of furnaces, transport of ores, etc., showing a very elaborate technique.’ (Printing and the Mind of Man).

Agricola’s work is justly famous for the magnificent series of woodcuts of mining operations and tools, among the best technical illustrations of the Renaissance. The first edition of De Re Metallica was published shortly after Agricola’s death and the later editions are all close reprints of the first, the same woodblocks being used in seven editions up to 1657. Most were apparently designed by Blasius Weffring whom Agricola had met at Joachimsthal in 1550 (Helmut M. Wilsdorf in DSB who counts 292 woodcuts). Seven of the blocks are signed with the monogram ‘RMD’ for Rudolf Hans Manuel Deutsch (1525–1571). It is not clear if either Weffring or Deutsch cut the blocks.

As in the first edition, Agricola’s unillustrated treatise on animals, De Animantibus Subterraneis, first published in 1549, is appended.

The first edition is Dibner, Heralds of Science 88; Horblit, One Hundred Books Famous in Science 2b; Printing and the Mind of Man 79; Sparrow, Milestones of Science 4; Parkinson, Breakthroughs p. 44. 

SOLD 2010, private collection.

AGRICOLA, Georg (1494-1555)

De ortu & causis suberraneorum lib. V. De natura eorum quae effluunt ex terra Lib. IIII. De natura fossilium lib. X. De veteribus & novis metallis Lib II. Bermanus, sive De re metallica dialogus Lib I. Interpretatio Germanica vocum rei metallicae, addito duplici indice, altero rerum, altero locorum..

Basle: In officina Frobeniana per Hieronymum Frobenium & Nicolaum Episcopium, Mense Septembri, 1558.

Folio: a4 A-2O6 2P8 2Q-2S6 2T8 (2Q6 blank), 260 leaves, pp. [8] 470 [2] 40, woodcut device on title and verso of last leaf, woodcut initials, full page woodcut (262 x 159mm) on M5v.

Condition: 288 x 195mm. Title and last leaf a little dustsoiled. A few small round wormholes in foremargins of first few leaves and  through text from gathering L to the end of the volume. Otherwise a good fresh copy. 

Binding: Seventeenth century English panelled calf. Joints starting to split but sound, head and tail of spine chipped. 

Provenance: Early marginal annotations in red ink in an italic hand in the margins; seventeenth century signature ‘Wm. Newenham’ on title, and another inscription scribbled through; purchased from Falkner Grierson, 1971. 

Second edition, revised and enlarged. This collection of treatises was first printed at Basle in 1546: only Bermanus, sive de re metallica had appeared separately, in 1530. References. Adams A346; Darmstaedter p. 89; Ward and Carozzi 29.

¶ ‘In Book v [of De re metallica, 1556] and also in the De Ortu et Causis Subterraneorum, Basle, 1546. Agricola made an important contribution to physical geology. He recognized the influence of water and wind on the shaping of the land scape and gave a clear account of the order of the strata he saw in mines. Writing on the origin of mountains, he describes the eroding action of water as their cause whith a perspicacity much in advance of his time.

‘The most important of Agricola’s many other treatises was the De Natura Fossilium which has earned him the title of ‘Father of Mineralogy’. After the classical writings of Pliny and Theophrastus on the subject, mineralogy during the Middle Ages was chiefly concerned with the medicinal and magical properties of stones. Agricola supplied a new scientific classification of minerals based on their physical properties. He described eighty different mineral and metallic ores (including twenty new ones), their mode of occurrence and mutual relation’ (PMM 79).

Horblit 2a and Sparrow 3 cite the 1546 edition; Parkinson, 4 entries under 1546. {PMM cites bibliography by E. Darmstaedter, Georg Agricola(Munich, 1926). 

SOLD 2001, private collection.

AGRICOLA, Georg (1494-1555)

De re metallica libri XII … Quibus accesserunt hac ultima editione, Tractauts eiusdem argumenti, ab eodem conscripti, sequentes. De Animantibus subeterraneis. Lib. I. De ortu & causis subterraneorum. Lib. V. De natura eorum quae effluunt ex terra. Lib. IV. De natrua fossilium. Lib X. De veteribus & novis metallis. Lib. II. Bermannus sive de re metallica, diaologus. Lib I..

Basle: sumptibus & typis Emanuelis König, 1657.

Folio:  (:)^6 (-(:)6) a-z6 A-2N6 [alpha]-[delta]6 [epsilon]2 [zeta]4 [eta]-[theta]6 [iota]4, 405 leaves, pp. [10] 708 [92] (including the blank [zeta]6), woodcut initials, woodcut on title and numerous woodcuts in the text, many full page.

2 inserted leaves of woodcuts (1, image taller than text bound unfolded at p. 97; 2, image wider than text bound as foldout  facing p. 100). 

Condition: 338 x 205mm. Paper browned and foxed as usual, becoming heavy in some gatherings. 

Binding: Early eighteenth-century English panelled calf, gilt spine. Joints cracked but cords holding, corners worn, head and tailcaps chipped, spine rubbed. 

Provenance: Engraved bookplate of Lord Lilford with crest and printed Lilford Library label; P.B. Lorch with small leather book-label; purchased from Walford, 1972. 

Collected edition. The most important early collected edition Agricola’s works as it contains all his major writings and is the only one to include De re metallica (1556). References. Hoover 20; Wellcome II, p.18.

¶ De re metallica (1556) was ‘the first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy and one of the first technological books of modern times’ which was a standard text for over a century. Interest in De re metallica was revived by Werner in the eighteenth century (PMM).

This copy is without the blank (:)6 but has the blank [zeta]6. It collates with the Cambridge University Library copy (Bb*.8.14(B)), except that copy has the blanks, and the Stanford University Library on-line catalogue, but Hoover, Wellcome, NUC and RLIN all describe 7 preliminary leaves.

Darmstaedter, Ernst Georg Agricola, 1494-1555. Leben und Werk, etc., München, 1926. For the first edition of De re metallica see Dibner 88; Horblit 2b; PMM 79; Sparrow p.8; Parkinson p.44. 

SOLD 2003, Bonhams.

AGRICOLA, Johann (1496–1570)

Ain grüntlicher fleissiger außzug ,auß allen bewerten Kriechischen un[d] Lateinischen lerern, dermassen bißher noch nye beschehen. Von ursachen, zaichen, fürserung, und haylung der grewlichen Pestilentz, sampt alle[n] züfellen die sich in diser Kranckhait begeben mögen, Alles auss gütem grund, on all Sophistisch oder Arabisch, in der Artzney ungegründt, züserz un[d] erdichtes geschwertz. Durch Doct. Johan. Agricolã, der Artzney und Kriechischen sprach leser zü Ingolstat. Deren von Eck, zü Wolffs und Randeck Wapen. [Colophon:] Augspurg, Gedruckt durch Philipp Ulhart [no date].

Augsburg: Phillip Ulhart the elder, date taken from dedicatory letter, 1533.

4to: A–F4, 20 leaves,  ff. [2], 18 [i.e. 22]. Gothic letter, large woodcut arms on title.

Condition: 174 x 130mm. Cropped affecting last line of titlepage (identifying the arms of the dedicatee), first line of f. 12 and a few folio numbers; library stamps partially erased from title and f. 13, causing some holes in the latter affecting several letters but without loss of legibility; some light staining and soiling. 

Binding: Recent quarter cloth over marbled boards, 2 rear endleaves from an earlier binding preserved. 

Provenance: Early inscription ‘ad Medic. ad Bibl. Karsersh’ and early shelfmarks on title; early manuscript notes in German on original rear endleaves; Walter Pagel (1896–1983), signature, undated, on pastedown; B. E. J. Pagel (1930–2007). 

First edition. References. VD16 A1032; Durling 57.

¶ A pamphlet describing the outbreak of sweating sickness and the methods of prevention and treatment. Some of the recommendations deal with diet, drink, baths and the use of purgatives. Johann Agricola was  professor of Greek and medicine at Ingolstadt and was responsible for important editions of Galen, Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Oribasius.

SOLD 2008, Wellcome Library.

AGRIPPA, Camillo (died c. 1595)

Modo da comporre il moto nella sfera… conforme al dialogo del trattato della scienza dell’arme [and two other works].

Rome: [Colophon:] apud Haeredes Antonii Bladii, Impressores Camerales, 1575.

1. Dialogo … sopra la generatione de venti, baleni, tuoni, fulgori, fiumi, laghi, valli & montagne … In Roma, appresso Bartholomeo Bonfadino, & Tito Diani. M. D. L XXXIII. 

Rome: Bartolomeo Bonfadino and Tito Diani, 1583.

4to: A–F4 (blank F4), 24 leaves, pp. 46 (last page misnumbered 47), [2, blank].  Woodcut printer’s device on title.

2. Trattato … di transportar la guglia in su la Piazza di San Pietro … In Roma, per Francesco Zanetti. M D LXXXIII. 

Rome: Francesco Zanetti, 1583.

4to: A–F4, 24 leaves, pp. 47 [1]. Woodcut printer’s device on title. LACKING THE PLATE.

3. Modo da comporre il moto nella sfera … conforme al dialogo del trattato della scienza dell’arme 

[Colophon:] apud Haeredes Antonii Bladii, Impressores Camerales, M D XXLV.

Rome: Heirs of Antonio Blado 1575  

4to: A4, 4 leaves unpaginated, with a large folding engraved plate, 411 x 447mm.

Condition: 230 x 152. Fine fresh copies with heavy type impressions; water stains near the bottom of the lower margins in a few leaves. 

Binding: Contemporary limp vellum, worn and soiled, small chip in spine and board edges, evidence of ties. Motto in French on upper cover in an early hand, ‘Pour faire des affaires in faut  s’en donner la peine’.  

Provenance: Motto in French on upper cover in an early hand, ‘Pour faire des affaires in faut  s’en donner la peine’.  

First editions. References. EDIT16 CNCE 537, 536 and 535; Riccardi I, 1, 10 nos. 4, 3.1 and 2. Mortimer 7 (Trattato).

¶ The earliest work in this attractive volume is the description and large folding engraved plate of the mechanical planetarium constructed by Agrippa to demonstrate the movement of the Ptolemaic spheres according to his own planetary theory. This had been set out in a philosophical dialogue between Anniballe and Camillo (i.e. the author) appended somewhat incongruously to the work for which Agrippa is best known, his  fencing manual, Trattato di scienzia d’armes, con un dialogo di filosofia, (Antonio Blado, 1553). There is no titlepage to the present work on the planetarium and perhaps Blado’s heirs intended it to accompany his edition of the Trattato, even though this had been published 22 years before. 

Agrippa, a native of Milan was an architect and engineer. The second work in the volume describes his scheme for moving the Vatican obelisk, which he says he first discussed with Antonio Sangallo, Michelangelo and others in 1535 (p. 5). The book brought the obelisk to the attention of Sixtus V and Domenico Fontana, whose plan for moving it was eventually adopted in 1586. The work was illustrated by a large folding plate, lacking in this copy (see Mortimer 7 for a reproduction).

Chronologically the last work in the volume, the most substantial, is a dialogue between Tiberio and Camillo on the nature and origin of the winds.  

SOLD 2014, University of Chicago Library.

AGRIPPA, Camillo (Milan, first half of CXVI–after 1600)

Modo da comporre il moto nella sfera… conforme al dialogo del trattato della scienza dell’arme.

Rome: [Colophon:] apud Haeredes Antonii Bladii, Impressores Camerales, 1575.

4to: A4, 4 leaves unpaginated.

Folding engraved plate. 

Condition: 195 x 143mm. Paper flaw in last leaf leaving two small holes touching a few letters. 

Binding: Later wrappers, cloth folding case. 


First edition. References. Riccardi I, 1, 10 no. 2 (‘rarissimo’); Honeyman 37; not in Adams; OCLC: record 1. NYPL; record 2. ‘Plate wanting’ Smithsonian, Adler. Not in RLIN

¶ The description, with a large folding plate, of a mechanical planetarium demonstrating the movement of the ptolemaic spheres, conforming to the dialogue on planetary motions in Agrippa’s Trattato di scientia d’arme con un dialogo de filosophia (Rome 1553). There he discusses the reciprocal influence of the planets and asserted that the precession of the equinoxes is due to the influence of the planets on the earth.

Bunnet does not notice this work, but describes the <i>Trattato as well as four of Agrippa’s treatises on other subjects wher are ‘difficiles à trpiver et d’un prix arbitraire’ (I, 115).

Index Aureliensis; Bernoni (Blado) 243. 

SOLD 2002, Houghton Library, Harvard University.