Electricity - Early Americana & Special Provenance
Astronomical instruments
Fete Books - Sculpture - Mineralogy - Mathematics
Estate Management - Medicine - French Art
Lottery & Games - Plastic Surgery
Ephemera - India - Almanack


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New York, NY 10023
office: 212.308.0018 ~ mobile: 917.216.4891

   Stunning Depiction of Early Experiments in Electricity
In the Late 1700s Netherlands

1. ELECTRICITY [VINKELES, Reinier]. [The Felix Meritis Society: The Physics Hall]. [Amsterdam, c. 1801]. Etching and engraving on off-white laid paper. Early proof before lettering. Sheet size: 46 × 58.5 cm (18.11 inches × 23 inches); image size: 37 × 51 cm (14.5 × 20 inches); plate size: 44 × 55 cm (17.3 × 21.6 inches).


A fascinating print depicting a demonstration of static electricity to the Society Felix Meritis (Amsterdam) on a twin-plate machine, built especially for the Society by the renowned instrument maker John Cuthbertson. The machines built by him were considered “the largest and most powerful electrical machines the world had seen at the time” (Roberts, p. 695). According to Michel, "it was with this machine that the electrolysis of water was first tried successfully in 1799" (Michel, p. 200, fig. 102).

The First English Edition
Of the First Ethnological Treatment of the Indian World
With an Inscription to Robert Cecil, the Book's Dedicatee 

2. ACOSTA, Joseph. The Naturall and Morall Historie of the East and West Indies. Written in Spanish… and translated into English by E.G. London, Val Sims for Edward Blount and William Aspley, 1604. 4to.  [17.5 x 13 cm], (3) ff., 590 pp., (7) ff. index & errata. Without first and final blanks. Bound in tan calf by Riviere preserving original spine. Near contemporary incomplete presentation inscription to the Robert Cecil (1563-1612), 1st Earl of Salisbury, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, to whom the book is dedicated: "To the Right Honourable Sir Robert Cecill Knight Barron Essingden Vicount..." (verso of the title page). 


The first English edition of this eyewitness anthropological account of the Americas, chiefly Inca Peru and Aztec Mesoamerica, by the Jesuit father José de Acosta, “a more thoughtful and a more thorough account of the Indian world than anything then available” (Pagden).

User's Guide to a Paper Instrument
Illustrated by Hans Holbein

3. MÜNSTER, Sebastian. Canones super Novum Instrumentum Luminarium... Colophon: Basel, Cratander, 1534. 4to. [20 x 15.5 cm], 51 pp, (1) p. woodcut printer’s device. With large woodcut on title page and 6 woodcuts in text, woodcut initials. Bound in half vellum over marbled boards with gilt title label on cover. 


Very rare first Latin edition of one of Sebastian Münster’s (1488-1552) earliest astronomical works, the Canones super Novum Instrumentum Luminarium, a treatise on the use of an elaborate device known as the Instrumentum Novum (‘New Instrument’). The work is notable (beyond its purely scientific utility) for being illustrated by the renowned painter and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543).

Funeral Orations in Lima
for a Spanish Queen

4. [LIMA IMPRINT] LUXAN, Mariano. Relacion Funebre de las Reales Exequias …de la Serenissima Magestad…La Señora Doña Maria Barbara de Portugal, Catholica Reyna de las Indias, mandò celebrar en esta capital de Los Reyes el dia 4 de Septiembre de 1759. Lima, Imprenta Real for Pedro Nolasco Alvorado, 1760. 4to. [19 x 13], (2) ff., 132 pp., 112 (ie 214) (1) f., with one large [49.5 x 34.5] engraved plate of the catafalque signed Camacho after Bexerano 1759, and two woodcut plates of calligrams;
[Including:] TAGLE Y BRACHO, Juan Antonio de. Oracion Funebre. (12) ff., 136 (ie 138) pp.


Rare first edition of the funeral-book of Maria Barbara of Portugal, Queen-consort of Spain and wife of Ferdinand VI, with a large folding plate of her catafalque. As with many books of exequies for European monarchs printed in America, the volume appeared over a year after the Queen’s death in Madrid in August 1758, subsequent to her funeral exequies held at the Cathedral of Lima on 4 September 1759.

A Festival Book from Valencia
With Fine Engravings of the Celebrations
Printed by a Woman

5. SERRANO, Thomas. Fiestas seculares, con que la coronada ciudad de Valencia celebró el feliz cumplimiento del tercer siglo de la canonizacion de su esclarecido hijo, y angel protector S. Vicente Ferrer, Apostol de Europa. Valencia, La viuda de Joseph de Orga, 1762. 4to [20.1 x 14.9 cm], (17) ff. (including engraved frontispiece), 452 pp., (2) ff. folding engraved plates, with (10) finely engraved headpiece vignettes, woodcut initials, and woodcut tailpieces. Bound in contemporary vellum, manuscript title on spine, red and blue mottled edges. 


Rare first edition of an illustrated festival book describing the celebration in Valencia of the 300th anniversary of the canonization of St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419), the Dominican friar and native of Valencia acclaimed for his missionary work, his application of logic to theology, and his efforts to end the Western Schism (1378-1418). The Jesuit Thomas Serrano’s (1715-84) Fiestas seculares presents a full written account of the festivities, detailing the genesis of the event, providing a block-by-block account of decorations, and describing both sacred ceremonies and secular merriment. 

Ghent Welcomes Charles VI to Flanders

6. [CHARLES VI / INAUGURATIONS]. Relation de l’inauguration Solemnelle de Sa Sacrée Majesté Imperiale et Catholique, Charles VI. Empereur des Romains…Celebrée à Gand Ville Capitale de la Province, le XVIII. Octobre 1717. Ghent, Augustin Graet, 1719. Tall folio [44 x 27 cm], Engraved frontispiece and 6 large folding plates by Helybrouck, Berterham and Harrewyn after van Volxsom, J. Colin and Eykens, 32 pp., including title and first text leaf printed in red and black. Bound in 19th c vellum, morocco title label on spine.


First edition of a sumptuous festival book commemorating the inauguration of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1717 as Count of Flanders, featuring an allegorical frontispiece and six large folding plates, including four engravings of the extravagant firework displays that followed the ceremony. The book provides a meticulous day-by-day account of the festivities.

The First Monograph Devoted to a Celebrated Work of Art
On Donatello’s Statue of St. George

7. BOCCHI, Francesco. Eccellenza della Statua del San Giorgio di Donatello Scultore Fiorentino, posta nella facciata di fuori d’Orsan Michele. Florence, Giorgio Marescotti, 1584. 8vo., 106 pp., (3) ff., without final blank. Bound in calf, red morocco title label on spine with title gilt.


Rare first edition of the earliest monograph devoted to a specific work of art (Schlosser, p. 391), an enthusiastic appraisal of Donatello’s statue of St. George commissioned for Orsan Michele and now in the Bargello.

Iron Man
With 4 Engravings

8. ZANNICHELLI, Joannes Hieroynmus. De ferro ejusque nivis praeparatione dissertatio physico-chymica in qua varia de ipso metallo explicantur. Venice, Andrea Poleti, 1713. 8vo. [18.6 x 12.0 cm], (8) ff. (the first blank), 79 pp., (1) p. blank verso, with (4) ff. engraved plates (one of which is folding), woodcut printer’s device on title and woodcut initials. Bound in contemporary vellum, title piece laid to spine, block-printed floral pastedowns, green silk ribbon bookmark. 


Rare first edition of an early illustrated mineralogical treatise devoted to the element iron, written by the noted Venetian physician, apothecary and collector Giovanni Girolamo Zannichelli (1662-1729). The author is especially interested the crystallization of iron, and accordingly he includes 3 unusual engravings of iron crystals, one of which represents, “the earliest known illustration of a dendritic crystal” of iron (Hoover 904). 

Mercantile Mathematics in Milan

9. PISANI, Giovanni Battista. Giardino aritmetico. Milan, Per Lodovico Monza, 1646. 8vo [17.1 x 11.1 cm], (5) ff., 214 pp. (final page erroneously numbered 114). Bound in contemporary vellum, title in ink on spine.


Very rare first and only edition of a practical handbook of business mathematics by Giovanni Battista Pisani (born circa 1606), who promises on the work’s title page to help readers “solve the intricate Labyrinth of mercantile accounting.” The book paints a vivid picture of seventeenth-century mercantile life in Italy, with examples discussing the bottling of wine and olive oil, the storage of pepper, the stacking of silks, the measurement of carpets, the construction of houses and walls, the feeding of horses, and the handling of rice, saffron, brocades, wool, sugar, pearls, and soap, as well as the importing and exporting of goods among every major town on the peninsula and in Europe from Amsterdam, to Lisbon & Lyon.

Managing a Rural Estate in the 17th-Century
A Comprehensive Guide

10. FISCHER, Christoph. Fleissiges Herren-Auge, Oder Wohl- Ab- und Angehführter Haus-Halter ….Frankfurt and Nuremberg, Johann Zeiger, 1690. 4to [21.3 x 15.9 cm], Part 1: (8) ff. (including an engraved frontispiece), 296 pp.; Part 2: (4) ff. (including an engraved frontispiece), 312 pp, with (12) half-page calendrical engravings in the text, with woodcut and initials and tailpieces. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over beveled wood boards, retaining metal pins and one of two metal clasps, blue fore-edge.


Rare first German-language edition of the Jesuit Christoph Fischer’s (1611-80) comprehensive two-part guide to the management of rural agricultural estates, illustrated with 2 engraved allegorical frontispieces (the meaning of which Fischer discusses in his introduction) and 12 engravings of personifications of the months and here preserved in its fine contemporary binding. The work is a notable example from the genre of Hausväterliteratur, or ‘Household Literature,’ which developed in German-speaking Europe from the end of the 16th century following the success of Johannes Coler’s (1566-1639) Oeconomia (1593). 

The Economics of an Aristocratic Estate
In Pre-Revolutionary France
An Early Illustrated Work on Forestry
Entirely Engraved

11.[ATLAS/FORESTRY/ ESTATE MANAGEMENT/ GLASSMAKING/ ENTIRELY ENGRAVED] ESTANCELIN, LouisCollection de Cartes Concernant les Forêts, [France?], 40 numbered single-sided engraved plates. Bound in contemporary marbled paper. 


Only edition of this unusual volume, entirely engraved, surveying the wooded holdings of the Count of Eu (Louis Charles de Bourbon), in Upper Normandy. This work is comprised entirely of 40 fine, single-sided full-page engravings, including calligraphic plates of text, botanical, architectural and industrial images (e.g. a glass factory), as well as handsome, precise maps of the woods and forests within the County of Pairie d’Eu. “This volume, evidently not intended for general sale, is a great rarity” (Thiébaud, 155).

First Edition of the First Treatise on the Plague by Paracelsus,
“The Luther of Medicine”

12. PARACELSUS, or Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. Zwey Bücher … von der Pestilentz und ihren Zufällen. Strasbourg: Paul Messerschmidt, 1564. 8vo. (112) ff, pages [2] and [110-112] are blank. Bound in modern paneled calf, with gilt-stamped fleurons on front and back covers, raised bands.

The first edition of this plague treatise by Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541), the “Luther of Medicine” and one of the key figures in the history of medicine. In the treatise, Paracelsus for the first time presents his complex theory on the origins of the plague which he believed were the result of astrological and corporeal events set in motion by human sins. In addition to the study on pestilence, the text includes two short works by Paracelsus: “Vom Preservatiff durch den Schwebel” and “Von der Mummia.”

29 Most Prominent Artists in Late-Eighteenth Century France
With an Explanatory Key

13. CLEMENT, Alexandre after BOILLY, Louis Léopold. Réunion d'artistes / Dédiée aux amateurs des arts. Tirée du cabinet de Monsieur Bouillier. [Paris, P. Bassand, 1804]. A stipple engraving (image: 39.5 x 35.5 cm; plate: 54.6 x 43.4 cm; sheet: 64.5 x 48.4 cm) with a print in outline technique.

A stipple engraving and a related print in outline technique by Alexandre Clément (c. 1775 - c. 1808), after Réunion d'artistes dans l'atelier d'Isabey ("A Reunion of Artists in Isabey’s Studio"), a painting by Louis Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), which enjoyed great popularity at the time. Shown for the first time at the Salon of 1798, the painting brought Boilly considerable success and was subsequently acquired by the Louvre.

Lottery and Memory Games
24 Female and 24 Male Dwarfs,
Representing Catalan Trades & Archetypes

14. [AUCAS]. [TWO PRINTS]. [Valencia: Ildefonso Mompié, ca. 1830s]. Two separately printed wood-engraved broadsides (31.5 x 43 cm & 31 x 43.5 cm), on one side only. Each sheet contains 24 numbered woodcut images within individual frames. 

Two satirical auca broadsides, each with 24 images of dwarfs, illustrating Catalan trades and archetypes, from the Valencia-based printing shop of Ildefonso Mompié (ca. 1785-1855). The auca, or the aleluya as it became known in the rest of Spain, is a specific print design, most popular in Catalonia. The auca "is so ingrained in popular culture that it has become the best example and most representative form of Catalan popular engraving" (Montserrat Gali Boadella, p. 87). 

Early Plastic Surgery
Performed By the Founder of Plastic Surgery
Dedication Copy of an Illustrated Case Study

15. VERHAEGHE, F. Restauration complete du nez, d’après la méthode de M. Dieffenbach. [Brussels], [Journal de la Société des sciences médicales et naturelles de Bruxelles], [1846]. 8vo. [20.6 x 13.4 cm], pp. 1-7, p. 8 (blank), (2) ff. of lithograph plates. Bound in modern burgundy diced pasteboards, gilt title label laid to spine, retains original blue paper front wrapper. 


Rare dedication copy of an early illustrated offprint on plastic surgery. This study by Dr. Verhaeghe of Ostend describes a rhinoplasty operation carried out by Johann Friederich Dieffenbach (1792-1847), considered to be the founder of plastic surgery. Dieffenbach used a segment of skin from the patient’s forehead to reshape his nose. Lithograph illustrations here show the patient before the operation, and at 3 days, 20 days, and 3 months after the surgery.

Selling and Hoarding Food
On The Piazza Navona in 1800

16. [FOOD/ROME/ECONOMY]. Sinibaldi, Cesare Marchese. Editio sopra il buon Regolamento de’ publici Mercati, che si faranno in Piazza Navona. Rome, Lazzarini, [8th January], 1800. Single broadsheet [60 x 44.5 cm], folded. 


A rare survival of such an ephemeral piece (unrecorded on ICCU): a large broadside issued during the nine-month occupation of Rome following the fall of the Roman Republic, and proclaiming a complete revision of the running of the city’s public market to prevent “hoarders and scalpers” from inflating food prices beyond the means of the “most sensitive” members of the populace during this tumultuous period.

Early Protestant Missionaries in India

17. [India] / [Engraving] / [Lutheranism]. KLEINSCHMIDT, Johann Jacob / RIEDINGER, Johann Elias. Vorstellung der Evangelisch-Ost-Indischen Kirche. Augsburg, Kleinschmidt, [1730]. Copperplate engraving [83.5 x 55.5 cm], (1) folio. Fold marks, minor edge wear, otherwise a very good copy in very crisp, dark impression.


Rare, large-format engraved broadside produced in 1730 as part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession (1530), one of the foundational documents of Lutheranism. The subject of the print is the famous Tranquebar Mission in southern India, which was established by King Frederick IV of Denmark (1671-1730) and led by the German missionaries Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719) and Heinrich Plütschau (1676-1752), who are noted for having translated the Bible into Tamil and arranged for its printing.

Oxford Almanack for 1800
The Printing House, the Sheldonian Theatre,
and the Ashmolean Museum

18. [ETCHING/OXFORD]A View of the Theatre, Printing House, &c. The Oxford Almanack For the Year of our Lord God MDCCC. [Oxford], 1800. Folio sheet.

A full-sheet Oxford Almanack for the year 1800, illustrating Oxford's iconic three buildings: the Oxford printing house, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Ashmolean Museum. The Oxford sheet almanacks were issued yearly from 1676 until 1946. "The value of a yearly series of illustrations such as the almanacks provide is that in them a single unbroken thread reveals the trends of development and illustrates with precision the history of art" [Petter, The Oxford Almanack, 1674-1946, p. 14].


Martayan Lan Rare Books
10 West 66th Street, Suite 26-B
New York, NY 10023

Office Tel: 212 308 0018
Mobile: 917 907 0422