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Books published before 1800

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  • Bracken, Henry: Farriery Improv’d: or, a Compleat Treatise upon the Art of Farriery

    Bracken, Henry: Farriery Improv’d: or, a Compleat Treatise upon the Art of Farriery

    Stock No. 1119BS

    Second edition, two volumes, London, volume I for J. Clarke ande J. Shuckburgh, 1739, volume II for J. Hodges, 1740.  8º (163 x 96 mm.), pp. viii, [ii - contents leaf], 363, [35 - index]; xvi, 298, [19 - index, 3 - Hodges' catalogue].  Volume II bound in contemporary full calf, raised bands between gilt rules, numbered only in third compartment, double gilt fillet borders to sides, speckled edges.  Volume I bound in modern full calf to match, new plain endpapers.  Volume I retains the original stitching and ropes, but since it was originally sewn upside-down, i.e. with the largest compartment at the head instead of the foot, the textblock is upside-down in the binding.  There are a few very minor marginal stains towards the beginning of volume I, otherwise both volumes are internally clean and unfoxed.  The contemporary binding is in very good condition, quite sound and complete except for two small areas of missing leather on the lower board.  First published in 1738, the early editions of this popular work are scarce, and the two volumes of the second edition rarely found together.

    Henry Bracken, M.D. (1697-1764), was a Lancaster doctor and surgeon who studied under Herman Boerhaave.  He was Mayor of Lancaster in 1747/8 and 1757/8.  He adopted a simple approach to medicine, and his love of horses and horseracing led him to publish a number of works on the care of the horse, of which the present one was the most popular and successful.  He was praised by John Lawrence in his A Philosophical and Practical Treatise on Horses, and on the Moral Duties of Man towards the Brute Creation (1796) as the foremost writer on veterinary medicine.


  • Heister, Laurence: A General System of Surgery

    Heister, Laurence: A General System of Surgery

    Stock No. 1075BS

    A General System of Surgery.  In Three Parts.  Containing the Doctrine and Management I. Of Wounds, Fractures, Luxations, Tumours, and Ulcers, of all Kinds.  II. Of the several Operations performed on all Parts of the Body.  III. Of the several Bandages applied in all Operations and Disorders.  The Whole illustrated with Thirty Eight Copper-Plates … etc.  Translated into English from the Latin of Dr. Laurence Heister.  The Fifth Edition.  London, for W. Innys and J. Richardson etc., 1753.  4º (250 x 200 mm.).  Two parts in one volume, pp. xvi, 476; 338, [10].  38 folding copper-engraved plates as called for. Two small unobtrusive library stamps on verso of free endpaper and of title-page, a few tiny marginal worm-holes, but a very clean fresh copy, the plates in excellent state, of a book difficult to find in good condition, bound in modern quarter calf over cloth, raised bands.

    The Chirurgie was first published in 1718, and was the most important, comprehensive and influential book on surgery published in the eighteenth century.




  • “Cardanus Rider”: Rider’s British Merlin: For the Year of Our Lord God 1746

    “Cardanus Rider”: Rider’s British Merlin: For the Year of Our Lord God 1746

    Stock No. 1219BS

    London, R. Nutt, 1746.  12º (130 x 77mm.), pp. [47](partly interleaved with blanks), [4], 186.  Bound in contemporary full sheep, raised bands ruled in gilt, covers with double gilt rules, speckled edges.  A couple of brief contemporary ink notes on blanks.  A very good copy.



  • “Sylvanus Urban” [Edward Cave]: The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle , Volume VIII (1738)

    “Sylvanus Urban” [Edward Cave]: The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle , Volume VIII (1738)

    Stock No. 1171BS

    London, Edward Cave.  8º (206 x 125 mm.), pp. [2], 699, [1], [18 (index)].  The 1738 volume, the first to which Johnson contributed in the form of preface, Parliamentary reports, and verse, in a fine modern half calf binding with morocco lettering-pieces, plain endpapers, original speckled edges to textblock.  Contents clean and in very good state.



  • “Sylvanus Urban”: The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. XXVII, 1757

    “Sylvanus Urban”: The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. XXVII, 1757

    Stock No. 1172BS

    London, D. Henry and R. Cave.  8º (202 x 127 mm.), pp. [2], 608, [18 (index)].  Original half calf on marbled boards, morocco lettering-pieces, plain edges, bookplate of William Strong.  Lacking most plates but with three maps present:  Corsica, French Coast about Rochfort, Upper Saxony.  Binding worn, hinges cracked but solid, internally clean.



  • Anderson, James, & Lord Egmont: A Genealogical History of the House of Yvery

    Anderson, James, & Lord Egmont: A Genealogical History of the House of Yvery

    Stock No. 1161BC

    A Genealogical History of the House of Yvery; In its Different Branches of Yvery, Luvel, Perceval, and Gournay.  Two volumes, H. Woodfall jun., 1742.  4º (235 x 145 mm.).  Volume I: Books I-V, pp. xxxix, 30, 457 (last page misnumbered 455), mezzotint portrait frontispiece, seventeen genealogical tables hors-texte of which three double-page, three full-page copper engravings, numerous small armorial copper engravings in text.  Volume II: Books VI & VII, pp. [4 - To the Reader], 533, eighteen mezzotint portraits, one engraved portrait of Sir Philip Percival by Toms, six double-page genealogical tables hors-texte (one of which folding), six plates, and more small armorial engravings in text; cancels at pp. 445-448 present; 8pp addenda to p. 452 bound in after p. 452.  Title-pages printed in black and red.  Bound in full nineteenth century red crushed morocco, raised bands within gilt rules, lettered direct, covers with double gilt fillets and corner ornaments, inner dentelles richly gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.  Pencil signatures of E.H. Lefroy, with the note “Bought at Sotheby’s June 1898″.  Some very occasional pale browning to leaves, but a very clean, crisp copy.  The bindings with the slightest wear to extremities.  A fine set.

    James Caulfield remarks in his Calcographiana (1814): “… a very rare book”, and notes that Granger had mentioned a copy selling for four guineas;  “What would have been his astonishment to see a copy sell for thirty-two guineas! which was given by the late Mr. Baker at Mr. Fonnereau’s sale.”  He adds, “Its chief value consists in seventeen Mezzotinto Portraits of the Percival family; and one engraved by Toms of Sir Philip Percival from a picture by Vandyke, which however seldom appears in the book.”  This copy is remarkable and rare in that it contains a total of twenty portraits, the Toms engraving and nineteen mezzotints.




  • Ascham, Roger:  The English Works, ed. Bennet

    Ascham, Roger: The English Works, ed. Bennet

    Stock No. 1024BS

    The English Works of Roger Ascham, Preceptor to Queen Elizabeth … With Notes and Observations, and the Author’s Life.  By James Bennet, Master of the Boarding-School at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire.  London.  Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1761.  Pp. 4, [5], xvi, 295.  The scarce first issue (of two) with the dated title-page, no half-title, and the leaf of “Additional Subscribers” omitted in the second (1767) issue.  4º (275 mm.), contemporary full speckled calf, neatly rebacked with new lettering-piece, raised bands.  Bookplates of Robert Walpole Esq. of Lincoln’s Inn (on pastedown) and Samuel Wegg (on free endpaper).

    The dedication, the life, and the notes were written by Samuel Johnson – see A.T. Hazen, Samuel Johnson’s Prefaces and Dedications, p. 19 ff.  It is said that, with typical generosity, Johnson allowed Bennet to take the credit for what is now considered one of his major pieces of editorial work.

    Some foxing/browning to endpapers, internally generally clean.


  • Blackstone, William; Christian, Edward (ed.): Commentaries of the Laws of England

    Blackstone, William; Christian, Edward (ed.): Commentaries of the Laws of England

    Stock No. 1167BS

    Twelfth edition, London, T. Cadell, 1793-5.  Four volumes, 8º (211 x 130 mm.), 1793, 1794, 1794, 1795, pp. iii, 485, [1]; 520, xix, [2]; 455, xxxv, [1]; x, 485, [1], with a frontispiece portrait to each volume plus nine other portraits (total thirteen) and a folding chart.  Bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, plain endpapers, smooth backs with morocco lettering-pieces. The bindings cracked at joints and rather worn but quite sound.  Internally very clean.  Early ownership signatures of Thomas Dale M.D. and John Pethybridge.

    The first Christian edition, distinguished from earlier editions by its series of fine copper-engraved portraits of judges, here all present.

  • Buckler, John Chessell:  Views of the Cathedral Churches

    Buckler, John Chessell: Views of the Cathedral Churches

    Stock No. 1026BS

    Views of the Cathedral Churches of England and Wales with Descriptions, by John Chessell Bucker;  London, John Nichols and Son, 1822.  Large folio, 337 x 260 mm.  Contemporary marbled boards, skillfully rebacked and recornered in calf, inner hinges strengthened with cloth, raised bands, double lettering-pieces.  Unpaginated, 32 fine guarded etched plates by the author, who was the son of the artist and architect John Buckler.  A good copy of this scarce collection of large architectural etchings, impressive, spare and accurate.  Generally clean, though are few instances of minor foxing and the last plate (the second view of York Minster) more generally foxed.


  • Butler, Samuel: Hudibras, illustrated by William Hogarth

    Butler, Samuel: Hudibras, illustrated by William Hogarth

    Stock No.1016BS

    Hudibras.  In Three Parts.  Written in the Time of the Late Wars.  Corrected and Amended with Additions.  London, Printed by T.W. for D. Browne, etc. 1726.  12º (145 x 90 mm.), pp. xiv, 424, [21](index).     18C. mottled calf ruled in gilt, floral motifs in corners of panels, neatly rebacked in plain matching calf, raised bands, old lettering-piece retained.  Endpapers renewed using 18C. marbled paper.  Yellow edges.  Portrait frontispiece of Butler by Hogarth, and sixteen copper plates engraved by Hogarth, four of which are folding, as called for.  Two of the four plates neatly laid down, one with small area of loss in upper margin well away from engraved area.  The text block trimmed for the early binding, resulting in a few headlines being slightly shaved.  Light uniform browning but no foxing.  Overall an excellent copy of a book rarely found complete, let alone in this condition.  All the plates are good impressions and very clean.  The binding has been well restored and the volume is tight and square.

    The importance of this book lies in the seventeen small plates (Paulson 5-21), which represent some of Hogarth’s earliest work, and one of his very earliest attempts at book illustration.  Though said to be designed by him, they were in fact based on an anonymous set of illustrations to a 1710 edition of Hudibras.  Though this book is dated 1726 (it was published in April of that year), it is now accepted that Hogarth engraved the plates around 1720 or 1721, when he was 23 or 24, long before he worked on the large independent series of Hudibras plates also published in 1726.


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