Early Printed Books
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The Enlightenment & the Modern Mind
The Manny Coleman Collection
I was fortunate to be involved in the purchase of the Manny Coleman collection of some 10,000 rare books on all subjects, assembled by him before 1968, when cancer took his life. The books had stayed in the family home untouched until Coleman’s wife passed away, and the surviving heirs made the difficult decision to sell the collection in 2001.
Two other bibliophiles and I bought and organized the collection, and eventually sold the majority of it on to other dealers and collectors. The remainder the three of us divided.
After spending time with the books, certain titles and subjects from the early modern period struck me as exploring issues that are still with us today. With the Coleman books as my foundation, I began to search for additional books that would fit this theme. I understand now that in many ways the issues that plagued the 17th century: magical thinking, war, civil unrest, public health, and political strife, are still with us today. At the same time, the scientific experimentation and medical advances that began in this period directly inform current developments in these fields. I really enjoyed building this collection and hope the books will stir the imaginations of others as they have me.
- Stephen White, August 2022
Allott, robert, ed. (fl. circa 1600)
Wits Theater of the Little World.
[London]: Printed by I.R. [James Roberts] for N.L. [Nicholas Ling], 1599.
First edition, octavo, dedication unsigned, without the cancel correcting the printing error at the top of leaf 185; woodcut printer’s device to title, McKerrow 301; bound in full modern calf, ruled in blind, lettered in gilt on the spine, headcap chipped, joints rubbed; small rust hole in leaf T5; repaired hole in Aa3, bottom corner, affecting five letters some headlines slightly cropped, 4 7/8 x 3 in.
STC 382; Pforzheimer 1094; ESTC S100300; W.A. White Catalogue #3; Hoe Catalogue I (1903) 4.
$6,000 – $8,000Request Condition Report
Arnauld, antoine (1612-1694) & pierre nicole (1625-1695)
Logic, or the Art of Thinking.
London: Printed by T.B. for H. Sawbridge, 1685.
First English edition; bound in full contemporary speckled English calf, with original red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, contemporary marbled edges, rubbed; with gift inscription from Abel Ram to Anne Ram dated 1695 on ffep, armorial bookplate of David Rochfort inside front board, along with Rochfort’s signature to title, older bookplate torn away from front pastedown with loss to the endpaper, 6 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.
Wing A-3723; ESTC R7858.
Bacon, roger (1214?-1294)
The Cure of Old Age and Preservation of Youth.
London: Printed for Thomas Flesherand Edward Evets, 1683.
Octavo, translated by Richard Browne (active 1674-1694); with A Physical Account of the Tree of Life by Edward Madeira Arrais (d. 1652); bound in full modern sheepskin, neatly done in period style, 6 1/2 x 4 in.
Wing B-372; ESTC R30749.
Bacon, sir francis (1561-1626)
The Elements of the Common Lawes of England, Branched into a Double Tract.
London: Printed by the Assignes of John More, 1639.
Third edition, quarto, some speckling to title page, divisional title pages, lacking final blank leaf (Aa4); some marginal notes; bound in older sheepskin boards, rebacked, 7 x 5 1/2 in.
In addition to Bacon’s work, this compendium also includes The Use of Law, first printed anonymously as the second part of The Lawyers Light in 1629, and attributed to Sir John Doddridge (1555-1628).
STC 1136; Gibson 195; ESTC S100352.
Baldwin, william (1518-1563?)
A Treatise of Morall Philosophie Containing the Sayings of the Wise.
London: Imprinted by Thomas Este, 1591.
Third edition, small octavo; the text enlarged with additions by Thomas Palfreyman (d. 1589?), ex libris Bateman with armorial bookplate inside front board, later full calf, rebacked, binding rubbed; title page mounted and toned; trimmed closely, some headlines, sidenotes, and catchwords cropped; last leaf torn with loss, 3 1/2 x 5 in.
STC 1263; ESTC S100573.
$500 – $700Request Condition Report
Beck, cave (1623-1706?)
The Universal Character, by which all the Nations in the World may Understand One Anothers Conceptions, Reading out of one Common Writing their own Mother Tongues.
London: Printed by Thomas Maxey for William Weekley [and J. Rothwell], 1657.
First edition, octavo, lacking the engraved title page and A2, the “Mind of the Frontispiece,” bound in later full calf boards, rebacked; released from the University College of London, with ownership stamp on verso of title and release stamp on ffep, 6 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.
Wing B-1647; ESTC R11215.
$300 – $500Request Condition Report
Besson, jacques (1540?-1573)
Theatre des Instrumens Mathemetiques & Mechaniques.
Lyon: Barthelemy Vincent, 1578.
First French edition, folio, title page printed within large woodcut compartment featuring classical figures and cherubs with mathematical instruments; with nineteen unnumbered leaves of text and sixty full-page plates of inventions; bound in later half leather and patterned paper boards, worn; early ownership inscription to title; top outside blank corner of title page and following leaf torn away and very neatly restored; ten leaves of the text portion stained with a large semi-circular pale brown discoloration worse where it originates, fading out in both directions in adjacent pages; the plates somewhat faint, text on plates sometimes traced in pen for legibility; final plate torn and crumpled, repaired on verso; 14 3/4 x 10 1/4 in.
Besson’s popular work contains a bevy of ingenious devices, including mills run by men & horses, devices useful at the sawmill, along with a variety of presses & pumps, wells, fountains, a fire fighting device, a musical instrument, an adjustable reading stand, various hoists, including some used for boats in seaports, and many other inventions.
$3,000 – $5,000Request Condition Report
Boyle, robert (1627-1691)
A Free Discourse against Customary Swearing. And a Dissuasive from Cursing.
London: Printed by R.R. for Thomas Cockerill Snr. & Jnr., 1695.
First edition, octavo, engraved frontispiece portrait of Boyle by Robert White bound opposite the title, with a divisional title page for A Dissuasive from Cursing, (likely written by someone other than Boyle); bound in full crushed brown morocco by Bayntun, Bath, well-preserved and nicely done, with gilt ruling to spine and red lettering piece, 7 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.
Boyle’s Discourse was published from his papers posthumously, although it was originally written circa 1647, when Boyle was only about twenty years old.
Wing B-3978; Fulton 197; ESTC R27221.
Boyle, robert (1627-1691)
Medicinal Experiments: or a Collection of Choice and Safe Remedies.
London: Printed for Samuel Smith and B. Walford, 1696.
12mo, later edition, three parts in one volume, engraved author frontispiece bound opposite title; bound in contemporary blind-ruled paneled calf, rubbed; ex libris Digby Cayley, with bookplate, 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 in.
Wing B-3991; Fulton 181; ESTC R1699.
Browne, sir thomas (1605-1682)
[London]: Printed for William Crooke, 1642.
Second edition, octavo, 159 numbered pages; bound in 19th century full red morocco by Bedford, ornately tooled in gilt, joints lightly rubbed, ex libris William Amhurst Tyssen Amhurst, Baron Amhurst with his anonymous armorial bookplate featuring the motto, “Victoria concordi crescit” [Franks 451]; and G. Walter Steeves, with his bookplate, 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 in.
Wing B-5166; Pforzheimer 111; ESTC R4739.
Bulwer, john (active 1648-1654)
Chirologia or The Naturall Language of the Hand. Composed of the Speaking Motions and Discoursing Gestures Thereof.
London: Printed by Thomas Harper, to be sold by Henry Twyford, 1644.
First edition, octavo, two parts in one volume with engraved titles by William Marshall to each, illustrated with six full-page engravings demonstrating sign language; contemporary ownership signatures of John Gibbon and Nathaniel Gibson, both with dates from the mid-17th century; ex libris Ambrose Isted, with his engraved armorial bookplate inside front board and presentation inscription to Isted from his uncle dated 1822 on ffep; bound in full gilt- and blind-tooled parchment over stiff boards, 6 1/2 x 4 1/8 in.
Wing B-5462 & B-5466; ESTC R14061.
$1,500 – $2,500Request Condition Report
Bunny, edmund (1540-1619)
Of Divorce for Adulterie and Marrying Againe: that there is no Sufficient Warrant so to do.
Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1610.
First edition, quarto, woodcut printer’s device to title (title page toned, vertical tear in blank margin parallel to gutter, loss of blank outer corner, inscription dated 1679 to title, tears and corner repaired on verso); two leaves torn along fore-margin with loss to blank portion; with folding typographical table bound before the first page of text; bound in later half leather with marbled paper boards, rebacked; Delamere House Library bookplate pasted inside front board, 6 3/4 x 5 1/4 in.
STC 4091; ESTC S107056.
Burton, robert (1577-1640)
The Anatomy of Melancholy. What it is, with All the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, & Severall Cures of it.
Oxford: Printed for Henry Cripps, 1632.
Fourth edition, folio, engraved title page with the Argument of the Frontispiece bound opposite; bound in later full calf, joints cracked, spine flaking heavily and falling apart, armorial stamp with royal motto topped with a crown on topmost spine panel; ex libris Robert H. Menzies with his bookplate inside front board; two text leaves with blank corners torn away, no loss to text; 11 x 7 in.
STC 4162; ESTC S122249.
Dalencé, joachim (1640-1707)
Traitté de l’Aiman.
Amsterdam: Chez Henry Wetstein, 1687.
First edition, 12mo, illustrated with engraved title and thirty-three folding engraved plates by Adrien Schoonebeck, student of Romain de Hooghe, bound in full stiff parchment over boards, ex libris Prince of Liechtenstein collection, with bookplate; 6 x 3 1/2 in.
Dalencé’s work is a general treatise on magnets and how to use them. He mentions the invention of the compass, the magnetic mountains of the New World, and why a compass needle points where it does in a magnetic field.
Damhoudere, joos de (1507-1581)
Practijcke ende Hantboeck in Criminele Saken.
Antwerp: Hans de Laet, 1561.
Second Dutch edition, quarto, a defective copy, lacking all four preliminary leaves (including the title page) and the final leaf (all leaves provided in photo-copy facsimile and bound in place), illustrated with more than fifty large (three-quarter page) woodcuts of crimes being committed, justice being delivered, and torture and punishment meted out; in later full mottled calf, rubbed, 7 1/4 x 5 1/8 in.
This practical handbook of crimes is illustrated with more than fifty woodcuts depicting a variety of transgressions, including, but not limited to, rape, incest, murder, robbery, and arson. It also shows a variety of criminal punishments and torture, featuring woodcuts of people being burned at the stake and water boarded, among others.
$300 – $500Request Condition Report
Donne, john (1572-1631)
Biathanatos. A Declaration of that Paradoxe or Thesis that Self-Homicide is Not so Naturally Sin, that it May Never be Otherwise.
London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley, 1648.
Second edition, quarto, title page printed in red and black within type ornament border (title page tattered along fore-edge and bottom with loss to blank margin and bottom outside corner of the border, somewhat clumsily reinforced on verso); bound in later half russet morocco and marbled paper boards, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 in.
Wing D-1859; ESTC R13916; Keynes 48; McAlpin II 560; Thomas E.418 .
$1,500 – $2,000Request Condition Report
Estienne, henri (1531-1598)
A World of Wonders: Or, an Introduction to a Treatise Touching the Conformitie of Ancient and Moderne Wonders.
London: Imprinted [by Richard Field] for John Norton, 1607.
First edition in English, folio, two parts in one volume; a translation of Estienne’s 1566 Apologie pour Hérodote, translator’s dedication signed R.C., attributed to Richard Carew; Norton’s woodcut device featuring an anchor to title page; second part with divisional title page, pagination and signatures are continuous; lacking preliminary blank and final leaf with errata; bound in full contemporary calf boards, older rebacking, marbled endleaves and later wove flyleaves added, 11 x 7 1/4 in.
In his attempt to emphasize the value of Herdotus’s contributions to our knowledge of the ancients, Estienne constructed this series of comparisons between ancient and modern wonders. In the process, he developed a snappy satire on his own times, one that got him into hot water with local religious authorities in Geneva, and eventually lead to his arrest and a censure of his work.
STC 10553; ESTC S121359.
Falconer, john (fl. circa 1685)
Cryptomenysis Patefacta: Or the Art of Secret Information Disclosed without a Key.
London: Printed for Daniel Brown, 1685.
First edition, octavo, bound in full contemporary speckled English calf, integral blanks A1, A8, & N8 present; ex libris Thomas Kirke, Esquire (1650-1706), with his bookplate pasted on verso of title (Kirke’s books were sold at auction after his death in 1706), and C.S. Overy with his bookplate inside front board; 6 3/4 x 4 in.
“Falconer agrees with other cryptographers of his time that the [polyalphabetic] cipher, while secure, is too slow and cumbersome and so not worth the trouble of using. However, for the sake of giving a complete account of the current state of the science of cryptography in his time, Falconer goes on to discuss in detail how to encipher and decipher messages with this type of cipher. What is interesting and more significant is that he makes a solid attempt at cracking this cipher, possibly the first real attack since its invention.” (cf. Charles F. Rocca Jr.’s Cryptology Through History and Inquiry; https://sites.wcsu.edu/mbxml/html/section_polyalphabetic_attack1.html)
Falconer’s first strike against polyalphabetic ciphers later morphed into more sophisticated computation in the hands of Charles Babbage and Friedrich Kasiski.
Wing F-296; ESTC R6319; Term Cat. II 137.
$1,000 – $1,500Request Condition Report
Floyer, sir john (1649-1734)
Medicina Gerocomica: or, The Galenic Art of Preserving Old Men’s Healths.
London: Printed for J. Isted, 1725.
Second edition, octavo, divisional title on page 130; bound in full contemporary speckled sheepskin, boards ruled in blind, worn, joints cracked, 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.
This early monograph on geriatrics was first published by Floyer in the previous year. He advanced the idea of measuring pulse rate, and even invented a watch to facilitate gathering this data.
Osler 2620; Waller 3091; ESTC T117182.
$400 – $600Request Condition Report
Grotius, hugo (1583-1645)
His Three Books Treating of the Rights of War & Peace.
London: Printed by M[argaret] W[hite] for Thomas Basset & Ralph Smith, 1682.
Folio, third English edition, translated into English by William Evats; title page printed in red and black, added engraved title by T. Cross Senior bound opposite the typographical title page (upper outer corner torn with loss of the top corner); bound in tull contemporary paneled calf, quite loose and worn, lacking some leather along the spine, leather becoming detached from the boards; worn at head and tail with loss; ex libris David Rochfort with his engraved armorial bookplate inside front board and signature dated 1702 on verso of engraved title, one opening with the tops of the leaves quite dusty, with some staining; 12 1/4 x 7 3/4 in.
Wing G-2126; ESTC R8527.
Hall, john (1575-1635)
Select Observations on English Bodies.
London: Printed for John Sherley, 1657.
First edition, 12mo, lacking the preliminary leaf with longitudinal title and final two leaves; contents washed and pressed, bound in full crushed navy morocco tooled in gilt by Riviere; 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 in.
Hall was a physician and married Shakespeare’s oldest daughter Susanna in 1607. On page 24, Observation XIX, Hall describes a cure he administered to his wife while she was “miserably tormented with the collick.” The treatment eventually helped. First, he reports, she passed “two stooles,” but the pain continued. Next Hall says he “appointed to inject a pint of sack made hot, this presently brought forth a great deale of wind, and freed her from all pain.”
Wing H-356; ESTC R17385; Jaggard 127.
$3,000 – $4,000Request Condition Report
Hobbes, thomas (1588-1679)
Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.
London: Printed [by John Redmayne and Christoffel Cunradus] for Andrew Ckooke [sic], 1651 [i.e. 1678].
Second edition with the bear ornament on title page, engraved title with inscription across the top, and two signatures of members of the Ward family, including one dated 1681 (water stained), folding typographical table detached, very wrinkled, browned, with extensive edge damage resulting in loss of text to words along the right edge; contemporary boards awkwardly rebacked (front joint stiff, older preliminary leaves detached and loosely inserted with the table); 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 in.
This particular edition of Hobbes Leviathan, one of three dated 1651 and claiming to have been printed by Crooke, is actually a pirated edition made up of sheets printed by John Redmayne in 1670 and Christoffel Cunradus some time before the end of 1678. (For more cf. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan, edited by Noel Malcolm, vol. 1, p. 226-258.)
Wing H-2247; ESTC R13936; Macdonald & Hargreaves 43.
Irvine, christopher (active 1638-1685)
Medicina Magnetica, or the Rare and Wonderful Art of Curing by Sympathy.
[Edinburgh]: Printed [by C. Higgins], 1656.
First edition, first leaf blank but for signature mark “A” present before the title in this copy, lacking final blank; bound in limp parchment with later endleaves, bookplate and signature of collector and scholar of Scottish ballads William Macmath (1844-1922) circa 1879; toning to contents, trimmed closely, cropping some catchwords and signature marks, occasionally touching a final line; 6 x 3 3/4 in.
The dedication to George Monck is signed by Irvine, a surgeon in the royal army. His reference to the work, “whatsoever treasure is found, [ought] straight to be carried to the Supream of that People. Wherefore falling on this, no little treasure, I present it to your Lordship,” has suggested to some scholars that Irvine himself is not the author. As a consequence William Maxwell is sometimes cited as the author. (cf. Davida Rubin’s Sir Kenelm Digby, a Bibliography, San Francisco: Jeremy Norman, 1991.)
The text itself contains 100 aphorisms on natural magic, XII conclusions supporting magical medicine with proofs and explanations; twenty chapters on the method of curing by sympathy; and an appendix with more practical clinical notes based on the teachings of Paracelsus. For example, what is a practitioner to do when trying to cure a wound by applying the weapon that caused it, and said weapon is not at hand?
Wing I-1053; ESTC R202607; rare at auction.
Joannes de mediolano (fl. 1100)
Regimen Sanitatis Salerni: or, The Schoole of Salernes Regiment of Health.
London: Printed by B. Alsop & T. Fawcet, 1634.
English translation attributed to Philemon Holland (1552-1637), with a translation by Thomas Paynell of Arnaldus de Villanova’s commentary, type ornament border cropped with loss at foot; first leaf blank but for signature mark present before the title; bound in full later calf, 7x 5 in.
With early Medieval origins, the Regimen Sanitatis Salerni contains practical advice regarding hygiene, diet, drink, and exercise, all for the benefit of long life and happiness: a joyful mind, rest, and a moderate diet.
STC 21604; ESTC S116397.
$1,200 – $1,500Request Condition Report
Lagniet, jacques (1620-1672)
Recueil des Plus Illustres Proverbes, Divisés en Trois Livres.
Paris: [Chez Jacques Lagniet], 1657-1663.
First edition, quarto, entirely engraved, this copy consisting of 114 engraved full page allegorical and satirical plates telling amusing stories, offering instruction, casting aspersions, and meting out social commentary; the plates are each numbered in three separate sections, lacking the following plates, with blanks bound in their stead; I: lacking plates 19, 23, & 34 [47 plates]; II: lacking plates 7, 19, 30, 35, & 40 [37 plates]; III: lacking plate 17 [29 plates]; and one additional plate of similar genre and period, totaling 114 plates in all; bound in later half leather and textured cloth boards, the William Stirling copy, with his arms tooled in blind on the front board and his large bookplate inside the front board, many plates with neatly extended fore-margins, generally well-preserved internally, with a long bibliographic note neatly written and professionally tipped onto blanks bound before the first title; 10 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.
The bibliographical story of this rare collection of prints is complex. Extant collections contain varying numbers. Often, as is the case here, unnumbered supplemental plates of uncertain origin are also included. We can state that 114 plates are present in this volume, and account for the absence of specific numbers, but the ultimate number of plates in each of the three series is not known with complete certainty.
Lagniet, in his clever, irreverent, and often biting visual commentary, shows countless details of daily life in his country in the mid-17th century. We see people of all genders, classes, abilities, and ages in a myriad of scenarios, including even the antics of domesticated cats and dogs, farm animals, and numerous donkeys. Whether drinking and smoking at a bar, roasting meat on a spit, begging for alms, engaging in a brawl, or getting scratched by a cat, Lagniet shows it all. His complicated compositions invariably include multiple characters, each of whom is depicted as a fully-realized identity, with variations in dress, face, and action. The artist’s inventiveness is hard to capture. As an example, one plate features two squatting characters [Ces Deux Amis] baring their bottoms and passing gas onto a burning candle, illustrating goodness knows what.
Destailleur 325; Brunet III 767; Rahir 590; rare at auction.
$25,000 – $35,000Request Condition Report
Locke, john (1632-1704)
An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding in Four Books.
London: Awnsham and Churchill, 1706.
Folio, fifth edition, with added engraved frontispiece of the author mounted on ffep opposite the title page; bound in full contemporary paneled English calf, joints cracked, corners worn and bumped, final leaf wormed; contents quite bright and clean throughout; 13 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.
Maynwaringe, everard (1628-1699?)
Morbus Polyrhizos et Polymorphaeus. A Treatise of the Scurvy.
London: Printed by J[ohn] M[acock] and are to be sold by Peter Parker, 1672.
Octavo, without the portrait; bound in full contemporary speckled English calf with ornately tooled flat spine and red morocco lettering piece, rebacked, single leaf of printer’s ads present after text, final blank likely integral; 6 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.
Wing M-1504; ESTC R32064.
$400 – $600Request Condition Report
Maynwaringe, everard (1628-1699?)
The Method and Means of Enjoying Health, Vigour, and Long Life.
London: Printed by J.M. for Dorman Newman, 1683.
First edition, octavo, with folding engraved frontispiece author portrait bound opposite the title; bound in full later calf, spine and joints quite rubbed; 6 1/2 x 4 in.
A significant portion of the text concerns diet, including descriptions of the effect on health of many varieties of meat (fowl, seafood, beef, lamb, goat, etc.), sauces, spices, milk, eggs, bread & grain, roots, herbs, flowers, root and other vegetables, fruit, wine, beer, ale, cider, mead, water, and various kinds of hard liquor, and much more.
Wing M-1498; ESTC R31212.
Moffett, thomas (1553-1604)
Healths Improvement: or, Rules Comprizing and Discovering the Nature, Method, and Manner of Preparing all sorts of Food.
London: Printed by Tho. Newcomb for Samuel Thomson, 1655.
First edition, quarto, with imprimatur leaf, signatures Hh, Ff, & Gg bound out of order: Ee, Hh, Ff, Gg, Ii with contemporary MS. notes pointing out the fault; bound in modern full leather, decorated in blind, red spine label, with library stamps on verso of imprimatur (one unsuccessfully removed), blind stamps to title and a few places in the text, presentation inscription dated 1867 written between the lines of the title; 7 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.
Moffett, a Cambridge-educated physician, obtained his medical degree on the continent, and his knowledge of French, Italian, German, and Spanish cuisine is on display in this work, in addition to his conversancy with his native dishes. He begins with a discussion of diet in general and dedicates subsequent chapters to the health effects of the consumption of wild and tame flesh, birds, organ meat, milk and other dairy products, eggs, blood, fish, fruits of orchard, garden, and field, and even includes a discussion of breadmaking, salt, sugar, and spice. He concludes with his thoughts on what quantity and quality of meat one ought to eat, and finally “the time, order, and manner of eating.” Much of the incidental information conveyed by Moffett regarding daily life is not found disclosed in other published works of the period. For example, he names varieties of fowl kept on farms, a true list of 17th century British heritage breeds. Regional and national traditions and preferences are also noted. “Cowbiefe is supposed by the Irish people, and also by the Normans in France to be best of all: neither do they account so much Oxen; either because they think them unperfit creatures, or rather (as I take it) because they know not how to use and diet them in the gelding.” (page 60)
Wing M-2382; Thomason E.835; ESTC R202888; Osler 3420.