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Antiquarian

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  • The Constitution of England or An Account of the English Government – J.L. De Lolme – 1777 (Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove).

    The Constitution of England or An Account of the English Government – J.L. De Lolme – 1777 (Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove).

    Published by Kearsley, Fleet Street and Ridley, St James Street, London in 1777

    Octavo, 404 pages, bound in full “’tree” calf with gilt decoration to the borders of front and back boards, gilt decoration to spine, black leather title label, maybe later. A beautiful example. Bookplate of first owner, Sir William Curtis Baronet to front paste-down. A few marks around the title otherwise a very good if not better copy.

    An 18th Century classic first published in Holland in 1771. Highly praised by Bentham who compared it with the distinguished work of Blackstone. John Louis de Lolme was born at Geneva in 1740 and arrived in England in 1769 where he began studying its Government intrigued by the peculiarity of the system. After a year he began his book … it was complete within another year and published in French as we say in Holland. Seemingly, it was pirated by unknown parties and a poor translation appeared with booksellers in England. De Lolme had the book withdrawn (it cost him a princely sum) and published this translation assisted by Baron Maseres who had been in England for many years and had Chambers at the Temple Bar.

    The work enjoyed a high reputation and appeared at a time that Constitutional matters were being vigorously debated. Written in an easy style the book flatters the national pride by representing England as the only country where Government was strong and free. Reviewers thought the work contained many shrewd observations on political affairs and contained genuine original thought.

    The first owner Sir William Curtis (1752-1829) was an English businessman, banker and politician. Born in Wapping the son of a sea-biscuit manufacturer who supplied the Navy (money in that!). He became a Member of Parliament for the City of London in 1790 holding the seat for 28 years. For a period, he was also the Lord Mayor of London. He was made 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove in 1802. He later declined a Peerage.

    Of very special interest is that, from his amassed wealth Sir William was owner of several vessels, one being the Lady Penrhyn which, on its first voyage, participated in the Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet and carried 101 female convicts to Botany Bay, New South Wales. The ship went on into the Pacific and named Curtis Island, a new discovery after its owner.

    Fine 18th Century Constitutional Review – Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis.

    $240.00

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  • A Discourse Concerning Bonds of Resignation of Benefices in Point of Law and Conscience –  Stillingfleet – First edition 1695

    A Discourse Concerning Bonds of Resignation of Benefices in Point of Law and Conscience – Stillingfleet – First edition 1695

    A first edition published by Henry Mortlock at the Phoenix in St Paul’s Church-Yard in 1695. Octavo, 116 pages plus two-page catalogue of Mortlock’s other publications. Original panelled full leather raised bands to spine with five compartments, red leather title label. Some ageing of the leather but all holding well a really very good antiquarian example. Internally very clean and crisp … strong black period ink.

    Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699) theologian and scholar a great academic of the era. Went to St John’s College Cambridge at 13 years of age, graduating at the age of 17. He went on to the Church in London and had some involvement with the restoration of St Paul’s after the Great Fire. His sermons were so well attended … Samuel Pepys remarked in his Diaries that he couldn’t get in the hear Stillingfleet and had to retire to the pub to eat herrings. Despite his popularity he was not made a Bishop (Worcester) until 1689.

    This unusual discourse concerns the act of Simony i.e. the buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges … a practice Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England had struggled with despite various elements of Church Law. Stillingfleet was not in favour … perhaps spurred on by the length of time he took to become a Bishop.

    The word “Simony” is derived from Simon Magus who offered Disciples Peter and John payment to have them persuade Jesus to empower him with the power of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands. It was not to be.

    Intellectual discourse Stillingfleet – 1695

    $220.00

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  • The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    This is a single volume from Goldsmith’s Works published by Morison, Perth and Edinburgh.

    What makes it interesting as a single volume is that it contains all of his Poetical works along with his narrative on Lord Bolingbroke and Dr Parnell.

    Bound in full original calf with separate red leather title and a volume label. Small octavo, 209 pages, with two full page copper engraved plates. Page edges speckled the whole generally in very good antiquarian condition.

    Some quite lengthy and beautiful poems such as … the Deserted Village, the Traveller, the Hermit … and some amusing ones … A Description of an Author’s Bed-Chamber, the haunch of Venison and we quote here partly due to brevity … Epitaph on Edward Purdon

    Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
    Who long was a bookseller’s hack;
    He led such a damnable life in this world, -
    I don’t think he’ll wish to come back.

    Goldsmith explains … This gentleman was educated at Trinity College, Dublin; but having wasted his patrimony, he enlisted as a foot soldier. Growing tired of that employment, he obtained his discharge, and became a scribbler in the newspapers. He translated Voltaire’s Henriade.

    Oliver Goldsmith interesting Poetry and funnier than you thought.

    $60.00

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  • Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland; from the dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II till the Capture of the French and Spanish Fleets at Vigo – Three Volumes – Sir John Dalrymple -1790

    Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland; from the dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II till the Capture of the French and Spanish Fleets at Vigo – Three Volumes – Sir John Dalrymple -1790

    A new edition 1790 updating his first offering about twenty year earlier that finished at the time of the sea battle of La Hogue. Published by Strahan & Cadell, Bell, Creech & Balfour, London and Edinburgh, 1790.

    Three volumes, octavo, a beautiful set in contemporary mottled calf, banded spine with red morocco title label and green morocco volume number lozenge. Almost edible.

    A vert attractive set of an important work with original owner name Alexander Fraser Tyler, a distinguished Scottish Advocate at the head of the title.

    Sir John Dalrymple (1726-1810) was the 4th Baron of Cousland and Scottish Advocate, Judge and Chemist. He studied at Edinburgh and Cambridge and was a friend of David Hume and Adam Smith. In writing this large work he had access numerous original manuscript documents.

    Of Australian interest the volumes contain … “An Account of an Intended Expedition in the South Seas by Private Persons in the Late War” which relates to Sir John Dalrymple’s attempts to persuade merchants of Glasgow to organise a privateering expedition against Spain in the Pacific. There are numerous references to New Holland and the discoveries of James Cook.

    Because of these early Australian references these volumes are included in Ferguson’s bibliography of all books Australian at number 78.

    Important 18th Century memoir in fine style with Australian interest and important provenance.

    About the first owner Alexander Tytler

    Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouslee (1747-1813) was a Scottish advocate, judge, writer who serve as Professor of Universal History, Greek and Roman Antiquities at Edinburgh University. In 1790, around the time he purchased these volumes, he became Judge Advocate of Scotland and in 1802 he became a Lord of Session in the Scottish Courts. He was a friend of Robert Burns and famously persuaded Burns to remove several lines from “Tam o’Shanter”’ which had insulted the legal profession.

    $690.00

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  • The Works of Andrew Marvell. Poetical, Controversial and Political, containing many Original Letters, Poems, and Tracts, never Before Printed. With a New Life of the Author, by Capt. Edward Thompson. 3 Quarto Volumes 1776

    The Works of Andrew Marvell. Poetical, Controversial and Political, containing many Original Letters, Poems, and Tracts, never Before Printed. With a New Life of the Author, by Capt. Edward Thompson. 3 Quarto Volumes 1776

    Three Volumes, large quarto, 648, 583 and 559 pages after preliminaries. Printed by Henry Baldwin for the Editor Captain Thompson. Bound in full leather with decorated spines. Some loss of leather but still an attractive antiquarian binding. Marbled endpapers, generally clean internally. A nice set of a scarce and valuable work. Substantial weighing in at 5.4 kgs. Carries the bookplates of Reg Ellery and Arthur Kay.

    Reginald Spencer Ellery (1897-1955) was a distinguished Melbourne based psychiatrist and writer. He opened the first private psychiatric facility in Victoria, was communist sympathiser and influenced Sidney Nolan by providing him with drawing made by his patients. He is described as having been rather Bohemian and more a fit with Oxford than Melbourne. He had a great love of poetry, so this set of Marvel’s Works would have been very precious to him.

    The Editor Captain Edward Thompson (1738-1786) rose the rank of Commodore. Well known as a literary figure and was known as “Poet Thompson’ in the navy. He also wrote sea songs including “Loose every sail to the Breeze” and “The Topsail shivers in the Wind”’ … which it does.

    List of subscribers totalling circa 170 with many dignitaries (Duke [Brother of King George III] and Duchess of Cumberland and Duke and Duchess Northumberland), David Garrick (of the Theatre), Voyager hero The Hon Admiral Byron (of the Wager and Grandfather of the Poet); various members of the distinguished Luttrell Family … Temple Luttrell as MP supporting the American cause in the War of Independence and unusually General Charles Lee who at the time of publication was waging war against the British in America and about to be captured and imprisoned. And many more … the nature of which says a lot about the writing of Andrew Marvell.

    An earlier volume of Marvell’s Works was published in 1726 edited by Cooke. They were deficient of the Prose Works and Many Letters and Pamphlets included here, including the Life of Marvel by Thompson. Complete, elegantly printed with broad margins.

    Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) is described as being a metaphysical poet, satirist and politician. He was great friend of John Milton. Yorkshire born he went to Hull Grammar and at 13 went to Trinity College, Cambridge … his portrait by Kneller is in the College collection. He then travelled on the Continent … according to Milton, Marvel mastered French, Italian and Spanish. On return he became tutor to the daughter of Lord General Thomas Fairfax. During this period, he wrote perhaps his most famous poem “To His Coy Mistress”. During the Anglo Dutch War of 1652, he wrote several satirical poems attacking the Dutch character. In 1653 he moved into the realm of Cromwell, wrote several poems in praise of Cromwell, and worked with a took over from Milton (who was going blind) as expert all things Latin.

    A taste of “To His Coy Mistress” …

    Had we but world enough, and time,
    This Coyness, Lady, were no crime
    We would sit down and think which way
    To walk and pass out long love’s day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
    Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.

    Much quoted … a later line “deserts of vast eternity” is used by Woolf in Orlando. Hemingway in a Farewell to Arms quotes “But at my back I always hear – Time’s winged chariot hurrying near” … and even Stephen King makes reference in Pet Sematary.

    Marvellous Marvell Complete and in Good Form

    $690.00

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  • The Bridgewater Treatises: Including Rev William Buckland on Geology and Mineralogy, Charles Bell on the Hand, Whewell on Astronomy etc – Finely Bound – (1833-1845)

    The Bridgewater Treatises: Including Rev William Buckland on Geology and Mineralogy, Charles Bell on the Hand, Whewell on Astronomy etc – Finely Bound – (1833-1845)

    Eight works in 11 volumes, published in London by William Pickering, mixed editions various dates 1833 – 1845.

    Bound in full contemporary polished calf, boards gilt ruled, the spines with gilt lined raised bands, altered direct and dated at the foot of spine. Very good copies with an occasional mark externally and a faint damp stain to the uncoloured geology plates, outer corner. The famous massive folding coloured plate is in fine condition. Each volume carries the bookplate of Maximillian Dudley Digges Dalison.

    Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgwater, a gentleman naturalist and scientist, commissioned the Bridgewater Treatises to be written on his death bed. He died in February 1829. Eight thousand pounds was given to the President of the Royal Society for this purpose. In turn the President appointed leading authorities in key fields to write works with reference to Natural Theology.

    The Voyager Treatise comprise Thomas Chalmers – The Adaption of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man; John Kidd – The Adaption of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man; William Whewell – Astronomy and General Physics; Sir Charles Bell – The Hand, Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design; Peter Mark Roget – Animals and Vegetable Physiology; William Buckland’s – Geology and Mineralogy; William Kirby – On the History, Habits and Instincts of Animals and William Prout – Chemistry, Meteorology and the Function of Digestion.

    The ninth and final Bridgewater Treatise – Charles Babbage – A Fragment is not included in the run.

    Many of the volumes stand alone as important works … Sir Charles Bell on the Hand, Astronomy by Whewell etc. It is the Rev Buckland that produced a truly remarkable work in the field of Geology. The second of two volumes contains all the 87 plates required all finely engraved and the large folding hand coloured plate is something very special.

    Rev William Buckland (1784-1856) was an exceptional individual – a Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Geological Society. His interest in geology and palaeontology led him to write the first full account of a fossil dinosaur which he named Megalosarurus. He discovered the Kirkdale cave and concluded that it had been a prehistoric hyena den – for which he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society. This work was written just prior to his awakening that certain geological structures and fossil remains were a result of glaciation and not the effect of floodwaters from the great deluge. Buckland was a friend of a young Charles Darwin – there must have been some very interesting conversations.

    Important Georgian/ Early Victorian intellectual works by leading academics of the day

    $890.00

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