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Ocellus Lucanus: (Vizzanius, Carolus Emmanuel, ed.:) De Universi Natura. Textum e Graeco in Latinum transtulit. Bononiae [Bologna]: ex Typographia Ferroniana, 1646. 4to., pp. [xxiv], 224, [iv], 225-348, [xvi]. Intermittent marginal dampstaining, a few gatherings browned, one leaf with a repaired marginal tear. 18th-century vellum boards, spine divided by blind rules, one compartment dyed yellow and lettered in gilt, another lettered direct, somewhat soiled and stained. Gilt stamp of the Birmingham Medical Institute to spine and their small stamp to title. On the Nature of the Universe, the only extant treatise by Ocellus Lucanus, the 5th-century Pythagorean philosopher. It had been printed in Latin beginning in 1541 (the original Greek, unusually, having appeared first, two years earlier), and several times more in the 16th century; this edition and its 1661 reprint were joined by only one other edition (Gale's, at Cambridge) in the 17th. Vizzanius, the editor, is notable for addressing the authenticity of the work in his preface, using considerations of dialect which Warburton later accused Bentley of plagiarising in his criticism of Phalaris. Warburton was probably mistaken, but having anticipated Bentley in assessing the authenticity of Greek texts is no small feat.   Ref: 43263 
£750
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Orosius, Paulus: (Havercamp, S., ed.:) Adversus Paganos historiarum libri septem, ut et apologeticus contra Pelagium de arbitrii libertate. Ad fidem MSS. et praesertim Cod. Langob. antiquiss. Bibliothecae Florentinae Mediceae S. Laurentii, adjectis integris notis Franc. Fabricii Marcodurani et Lud. Lautii [...] Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: apud Gerardum Potuliet, 1738. First edition. 4to., pp. [xxxviii], 634, [xxx]. Title in red and black with engraving of both sides of an ancient coin, numerous further engravings of coins in the text. Occasional light spots and smudges but generally clean, three library inkstamps to title-page verso with one slightly offset to first page of text. Contemporary vellum, title inked to spine, all edges red. Darkened, a bit grubby, small stain to upper board, endpapers smudgy with library code to front paste-down, but still a very good copy. Important edition of works of the 5th-cent. author and pupil of Augustine, Paulus Orosius, including his 'Histories', an "apologetic response to the pagan argument that the coming of Christianity had brought disaster to the world" (OCD). It was not surpassed textually until the nineteenth century. The publication is also attractive for the large quantity of numismatic evidence that is used to illustrate the commentary. Schweiger III 622: "Neue Recens. der Geschichtbücher nach 11 Hdschr. u. älteren Ausgg."   Ref: 50151 
£375
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Paris, Matthew: (Watts, William, ed.:) Historia Major. Juxta Exemplar Londinense 1640. verbatim recusa [...] Huic Editione accesserunt, duorum Offarum Merciorum Regum; & viginti trium Abbatum S. Albani Vitae: una cum Libro Additamentorum. Londini [London], Impensis A. Mearne, T. Dring, B. Tooke, T. Sawbridge, & G. Wells 1684. Folio, pp. [xxxiv], 424, 451-859, 856-861, [i], [xcvi], [xii], 961-1048, 1041-1175, [xxxvii] + portrait frontispiece. With all usual errors in pagination. The section titled 'Adversaria sive Variantes Lectiones' and the Indices are bound after the main part of the text, instead of at the beginning as in the ESTC copy. Title in red and black with woodcut device, some woodcut initials. A few tiny smudges and wax spots, small blue ink mark to lower margin of frontis, short closed tear to lower margin pp.695-6. Contemporary dark brown mottled calf, sturdily rebacked, raised bands, gilt title label, edges sprinkled red. Very scuffed, edges worn but corners repaired, a very good, sound copy overall. Reprint of the first complete edition of Matthew Paris' works. Watts added to Archbishop Parker's edition of the 'Historia Major' (1571) Matthew's unpublished minor works (real and suppositious), besides his own notes on variant readings and parallel sources (Roger Wendover, William Rishanger, and others). He produced overall an impressive piece of early modern English historical scholarship, complete with glossary and index. Matthew Paris (d. 1259), a historian and the official chronicler at St. Alban's monastery, was a favourite of King Henry III, and a sharp reporter on contemporary political life. Watts (1590-1649) was also chaplain to Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the Civil War commander. Wing P 359; ESTC R25517   Ref: 51274 
£400
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[Paston letters] (Fenn, John, ed.:) (Frere, Serjeant:) Original Letters, written during the Reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III, by various Persons of Rank or Consequence [...] with Notes, Historical and Explanatory; and Authenticated by Engravings of Autographs, Fac Similes, Paper-Marks and Seals. London, printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1787, 1789, 1823. 5 vols. Vols. I-II second editions with additions and corrections, vols. III-V first editions. 4to., pp. lxxxvii, [i], 301, [i]; [iv], 363, [i]; [iv], xvi, xxxvi, 451, [i]; [vi], xxxii, 478, [ii]; lxxvi, 472 + all plates as called for, including some hand-coloured and 1 folding pedigree chart (repaired). Vol. I and III title-pages reinforced at fore-edge, vol. II plates quite foxed, a little occasional offsetting. Contemporary tan calf, skillfully rebacked in slightly lighter calf with blind tooling, gilt and red and black morocco labels to spines, corners repaired, endpapers sympathetically replaced. Armorial bookplate of the Earls of Dartrey (family name Dawson) relaid to each front paste-down. Bookplate of Adrian Bullock, Sheringham, Norfolk dated 1987 to each front and rear pastedown. Recent note transcribing Paston family gravestone inscriptions loosely inserted. John Fenn's edition of the Paston Letters was the first printing of an invaluable collection shedding light on the life of an aristocratic family (the Pastons, later Earls of Yarmouth) in the fifteenth century. The editor obtained the documents from the executors of a chemist in Diss, Norfolk, and later presented the originals for vols. I to II to George III, receiving a knighthood soon after. His edition was nevertheless suspected for years to be forgery, until the material (including what he had given to the King) resurfaced in various country houses in the later nineteenth century. The fifth volume was sent to the press posthumously by Serjeant Frere, Fenn's nephew (Ency. Brit., 11th edn.) Lowndes 788: "Two editions of Vols. 1 & 2 were printed in 1787, but there is no perceptible difference between them."   Ref: 46282  show full image..
£1250
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Paulus Diaconus; Lipsius, J: Pauli Warnefridi Langobardi Filii, Diaconi Foroiuliensis, De Gestis Langobardorum Libri VI. Ad MS, & Veterum Codicum Fidem Editi; De Recta Pronunciatione Latinae Linguae Dialogus. Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden], Ex Officina Plantiniana, Apud Franciscum Raphelengium, 1595; [c.1586]. 12mo., pp. [xii], 337, [i]; [ii], 96, [viii]. Woodcut device to title page of first work. Slightly toned with some occasional foxing, small scorch mark to text p.16 (no loss of sense), preliminary blanks and one leaf loosening. Some underlining to one page in second section. Later vellum, possibly retaining old boards, ink title to spine, Yapp edges, edges sprinkled red. Endcaps creased, a little darkened at fore-edge but otherwise bright, pastedowns lifting to reveal mauscript binder's waste. Some booksellers notes and a pasted catalogue entry to front paste-down. Two works bound together: the first is the major work of Paul the Deacon, his History of the Lombards, in an edition published by Plantin - the first edited by Fr. Linbenbrog; the second work is an anonymous edition of Lipsius's study on the correct pronunciation of Latin. Adams, p.499   Ref: 46592 
£675
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Peck, Francis: Desiderata Curiosa: or a Collection of Divers Scarce and Curious Pieces (Relating chiefly to Matters of English History) in six books. London: Printed 1732-35. 2 vols. bound as 1, folio, pp. [viii], viii, [xii], 66, 26, 52, 50, 44, 56, [xii] + engraved portrait frontispiece and 6 other engraved plates; [xxii], 68, 58, 52, 32, 50, 36, 32, 56, 25, [xix] + engraved portrait frontispiece and 3 other engraved plates. A little marginal dustsoiling but quite clean. Contemporary tan calf over re-used late 16thC/early 17thC pasteboards (witness the impression of a large lozenge strapwork centre-piece), recently rebacked with spine panel-gilt, relaid label gilt-lettered & -dated, boards single-rule gilt bordered, board edges decorative roll in blind, old scrapes and scratches since polished over, a.e. red speckled, brown & white sewn endbands. Armorial bookplate of "Wm. Constable Esqr. / F.R.S. & F.A.S." on front patsedown. This, the major publication of Francis Peck, 1692-1743, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and correspondent of William Stukeley (who presented the plate of Henry Wykys, vicar of Stamford, printed herein), contains an important biography of Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I's Lord High Treasurer. ESTC T97524.   Ref: 36144  show full image..
£600
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Peck, Francis: New Memoirs of the Life and Poetical Works of Mr. John Milton [...]; Memoirs of the Life and Actions of Oliver Cromwell [...] London: [s.n.] 1740; 1740. First editions. 2 parts in 1. 4to., pp. vi, [vi], 264, [v], 268-437, [i]; [iv], 57, [i]; [ii], 34; [ii], 7, [i]; [ii], 6, [ii] + 2 plates (portrait frontispiece of Milton and medal opposite p.105); pp. xii, 47, [i]; [ii], 8; [iii], 10-36; [iii], 38-47, [i]; [iii], 50-68; [iii], 70-114; [iii], 116-130; [ii], 113, [iii] + 5 plates (portraits of Cromwell, Essex, Fairfax, Hambden (folding) and Peck). With divisional title-pages, and publisher's catalogue at end of each part. Title-pages in red and black, several large engraved head-pieces and initials. Occasional foxing and light toning mostly affecting the first and last few leaves of each part; to leaf A4 of the 'Collection of Historical Pieces', a horizontal closed tear to the head margin, not affecting text. Contemporary sprinkled calf neatly rebacked. Raised bands and red morocco gilt label to spine, narrow gilt border and armorial gilt centrepiece to each board. A bit rubbed, a few light scrapes, corners worn, endpapers a little grubby with a few MS library codes and offsetting therefrom. Still a very good, large paper volume. Small armorial gilt stamp of The Society of Writers to the Signet to each board; small blue library label to front paste-down; some pencilled bookseller's notes to ffep; vertically, to the gutter margin of the title-page, a small Signet Library ownership note in an old hand, offset to the frontispiece. Large and fine paper issues. Originally issued in parts, as evidenced by the divisional titles. Though separate, these works are often found together, and indeed the binder's notes at the beginning of Milton refer also to Cromwell. Having made his name as an antiquary, Peck (1692–1743) produced these works on Milton and Cromwell towards the end of his life, 'as well as a catalogue of the several editions of Shakespeare's writings, and critical and explanatory notes. According to John Nichols, who had a more positive view of Peck's work than either Cole or Harrod, as these last were published "at a period when that species of Criticism had not arrived to the perfection it has since attained by the united labours and genius of several successive and learned Commentators, [they] deserve particular commendation. He seems indeed to have first pointed out the mode [of criticism], which has since been successfully pursued." (Nichols, Lit. anecdotes, 1.513). Thomas Seccombe in the Dictionary of National Biography also described these critical notes as "remarkable, as being perhaps the first attempts made to illustrate their writings by extracts from contemporary writers, in accordance with the method subsequently followed by Steevens and Malone". However, Peck's off-hand attitude to historical veracity appears in an anecdote related by George Vertue, who informed Peck that the print of Milton he wished to use as the frontispiece to his book on the poet was very probably spurious. Vertue later recollected Peck's reply: '"I'll have a scraping from it however, and let posterity settle the matter"' (Appendix to the Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, 513).' (ODNB) ESTC T97527 & T97530   Ref: 51880 
£500
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Persius Flaccus, Aulus: (Casaubon, Isaac, ed.:) Satirarum Liber [...] Terta editio, auctior & emendatior ex ipsius Auctoris codice: cura & opera Merici Casauboni Is. F. Londini (London) Typis M. Flesher: sumptibus R. Mynne in vico vulgo dicto Little Britain: sub insign 1647. Third edition. 8vo., pp. [xxxii], 40, [xxxvi], 554, [xxvi]. Vignette to title-page, a few woodcut decorations, errata leaf at rear. A little light toning. Contemporary dark brown calf neatly rebacked with gilt title to spine, MS binder's waste left visible at hinges post repair. Slightly rubbed, corners beginning to wear, edges dusty but a very good copy. Armorial bookplate of L.A. Burd to front paste-down. Ownership inscription of Richardus Chamberleyne dated 1647 to ffep. Small library code in blue pencil to bookplate and ffep. Oval inkstamp of Repton School Library to title-page. The third Casaubon edition of Persius' 'Satires', the first Casaubon edition of Persius printed in England, and the Second Latin Persius printed in England (the first appeared in 1614). Isaac Casaubon's son Meric Casaubon (1599-1671), who prepared this book for the press, gave impetus to Classical language publishing in England by issuing his own and his illustrious father's work. It was considered the fundamental commentary for 200 years, called by Scaliger, who thought little of Persius,'pluris condimentum quam pulpamentum ', i.e. 'a dish with more sauce than meat' (Epistolæ p.278). ESTC R31791; Wing P 1663; Sandys II 209; Schweiger 711   Ref: 51527 
£300
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Petronius: Satyricon: cum fragmentis Albæ Græcæ recuperatis ann. 1688. Nunc demum integrum. Londini [London]: E. Curll, 1711. 12mo., pp.[xii], 156 + frontispiece and 9 further engraved plates. A2 torn horizontally but neatly repaired and with no loss, closed tear to A6 at fore-edge margin just touching a few letters to verso but again with no loss. A little light toning. Contemporary brown sprinkled calf neatly rebacked, gilt-ruled spine with orange morocco title label, edges lightly sprinkled red. A little rubbed, hinges repaired but very good overall. Inscription to ffep, 'Ex dono preceptoris honorandi Gulielmi Goldwin' (i.e. a gift to an honoured teacher, from William Goldwin). Published the year after the notorious publisher Edmund Curll moved his thriving business to new premises at the sign of the Dial and Bible on Fleet Street. Curll occupies an interesting place in publishing history. He was 'nothing if not eclectic as a publisher' especially in the early part of his career, producing works by Classical authors such as this one as well as contemporary poetry, religious works, political and 'medical' pamphlets, contemporary biographies and pornography. Many of the texts that came from his presses were considered scandalous, either for their salacious content or for Curll's unscrupulousness in publishing works without the proper permissions. The popularity of his publications was increased by the fact that they were also reliably cheap (indeed this volume of Petronius is priced on the title-page at 2s.6d.). 'There is no complete bibliography of works published by Curll, either alone or in one of his numerous joint ventures, and the cheapness of the books' production unfortunately ensured that relatively few survived. But it would not be an exaggeration to see Curll as catering for, and perhaps helping to create, a new lower end for the book market. In the absence of such a bibliography, one can only speculate, but it would appear that Curll's 'scandalous' publications must have been greatly outnumbered by his respectable ones—though it is the former for which he is chiefly remembered. ' (ODNB) Schweiger II, 725   Ref: 51528 
£200
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Phaedrus: (Burmann, Pieter, ed.:) Fabularum Aesopiarum libri quinque. Cum novo commentario Petri Burmanni. Leidae [Leiden]: Apud Samuelem Luchtmans, 1727. Burman's 4th edition. 4to., pp. [lii], 263, xlix, 93, [iii] + additional engraved title-page. Lacks folding portrait plate. Title-page in red and black with woodcut printer's device, head- and tail-pieces. Francis Hare's 93-page 'Epistola Critica' at rear, the presence of which indicates a large paper copy according to Lamb. A little light dampstaining near gutter, sporadic toning with some gatherings more affected than others, occasional wax spots. Contemporary vellum, title inked to spine, edges sprinkled red and blue. Spine with a red smudge, small hole and remains of a paper label, a little grubby but sound. A scholar's copy, still useful despite the missing plate. 20th-century bookplate of John Denys Parmiter (1902-1989), headmaster of Eagle House School, Wellington College, to front paste-down. Inscription of G[eorge] I[saac] Huntingford dated Aug. 14 1790 also to front paste-down. Huntingford (1748-1832) was tutor and friend of Henry Addington (Prime Minister 1801-4), and served as Bishop of Gloucester 1802–1815, and of Hereford, 1815–32. He published an account of Addington's government, a popular Short Introduction to Writing of Greek and original Greek and Latin verse. 'To this day Burman's edition of 1727 is the only complete commentary on Phaedrus and has not been superceded. Unlike his variorum editions, the notes are Burman's own work. He uses conjecture sparingly and often discusses the emendations of other scholars at considerable length.' (Lamb, Annales Phaedriani, p.vi). Dibdin II (4th ed.) 281; Schweiger II 736; Lamb 167   Ref: 51782 
£100
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