All posts filed under “Old Catalog

Claude Dariot on judicial astrology, with volvelles

Dariot, Claude. Dariotus redivivus: or a briefe introduction conducing to the iudgement of the stars. Wherein the whole art of iudiciall astrologie is briefly and plainly delivered: by which a determinate judgement may be given upon any question demanded. Written at first by Claudius Dariott, at present much inlarged, and adorned with diverse types and figures, by N.S. Also hereunto is added a briefe treatise of mathematical phisick. Written by G.C. Together with divers observations both of agriculture and navigation, very usefull both for merchants and husbandmen. By N.S. London: Andrew Kembe, 1653. Quarto. Wing D257.

French astrologer Claude Dariot’s Ad astrorum judicia facilis introductio was first published in 1557, was issued in French the following year, and made its way into the English language in editions published by Thomas Purfoot around 1583 and again in 1598. The next English edition came in 1653 in the form of the present work, Dariotus Redivivus, which, according to the title page, enlarged the original and adorned it with “diverse types and figures.” It was also supplemented with additional works: a treatise on “mathematicall physick,” or medicine; tables for tracking the motion of the planets and moon; and a tract for judging the weather, or “Change of the Aire.” It would appear that the edition, published by Andrew Kembe, was designed a compendium of the period’s practical astrology.

The present copy is complete, including the frontispiece woodcut of the Armillary Sphere and, very remarkably, all five volvelles, which are intact and functional (on sigs. F3r. G1r, L1r, V1v, and Z3r). A later owner has mounted the moving parts of the volvelles onto a thicker stock, preserving and rendering them far less fragile. The other diagrams and woodcut illustrations are also present as called for. There are separate dated title pages for the later parts—”A treatise of mathematicall physick.”, “A proportionall table”, and “A tract concerning the weather”—on sigs. S4r, 2B1r, and 2K1r, respectively. Of interest to bibliographers and historians of the book trade is a catalog of Kembe’s books included at the rear of the volume.

The book is currently in a mid-nineteenth century English divinity calf binding and has marbled endpapers and pastedowns. The board edges and spine are somewhat rubbed, but the binding remains secure with the boards attached. Affixed to the front pastedown is the gilt bookplate of Edward Hailstone (1818-1890), a Yorkshire antiquarian. On one of the front endpapers is the New York label of John M. Pryse (1863-1952), writer, publisher, and purveyor of occult books. On another of the endpapers is a manuscript note on astrology written by a “Thomas Sheridan” in Dublin. The ten commandments have been written out in a fairly early hand on the blank recto of the book’s first leaf, which contains the frontispiece on the verso. Throughout the work are numerous doodles, notes, and at least one or two additional ownership inscriptions.

Though complete, the book is not without some imperfections. The frontispiece leaf is missing a section from the lower fore-edge corner, but, fortunately, it doesn’t encroach on the illustration. The title is missing a section at the top edge, which has resulted in the loss of the word “Dariotus” and part of the letter “R” in the title. In the middle of the leaf is a 2-3cm hole that, curiously, also impacts the author’s name. (Did an owner feel the need to obliterate the references to Dariot for some reason?) The leaf has been somewhat crudely patched on the blank verso and the missing words have been reinscribed in MS: “DARIOT” and, below it, “WITH.” Two leaves, 2B1 and NN3, have had roughly 1.5cm extra trimmed off of the fore edge, not, however affecting any print. The outer edges of some diagrams and volvelles were slightly cropped when the book was trimmed and rebound.

In all, this is a nice copy of a work that very rarely survives in a complete state due, in large part, to the fragility of its volvelles. It should be of interest to collectors of astrological works as well as those who study technologies of the book. With its notable provenance and manuscript annotations, this copy also shows the many lives that books so often live. It bears evidence of travels from London, where it was published, to Dublin, and across the Atlantic to New York. SOLD

Unrecorded blank form from Cromwell’s Government + Robert Lovell’s ΠΑΝΖΩΟΡΥKTOΛOΓIA

Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Be it known unto all men [by th]ese presents, That … [London?]: [1653-8?]. [1/2 sheet?]. Unrecorded.

When the present copy of Robert Lovell’s ΠΑΝΖΩΟΡΥKTOΛOΓIA (1661) was rebacked at some point in the recent past, the two original pastedowns were carefully separated from the boards onto which they had been glued and bound into the repaired volume as endpapers. The printed surface of these pastedowns had faced the boards, leaving only the blank verso visible to the book’s earliest owners. At some point in the 19th or early 20th century when they were still glued down, one reader wrote down a reference to an early Notes & Queries article on the blank surface of the front leaf. (The brief article mentioned discusses Lovell.) The recovered leaves retain some residue from the pasteboards they were glued to, and one shows some staining along the edges where it was in contact with the tanned leather used on the original covers, which are still present. The printed text is legible.

The two former pastedowns, when put together, constitute the top half (or more) of an otherwise unattested blank form, a form that appears to have been used by Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate government to raise money. The following is a transcription of what remains:

Be it known unto all men [by th]ese presents, That [large, multi-line, blank for name(s)]

do stand and hold firmly bound and indebted unto [his] Highnesse, OLIVER, Lord Protector of the Common-wealth of England, Scot[land] and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, in the Sum of [blank space for amount] Pounds of good and Lawfull money of England, T[o be p]aid unto the said Lord Protector and His Successors, To and for the use and behoof of the [Com]mon-wealth; To the which payment well and truly to be made and done, [large, multi-line, blank]

Heirs, Executors, and Administrators[,] and every of them firmly by them presents. [missing letters – Seale?]d with [blank space] Seal. Dated the [blank space] [missing letters]he year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty [blank space for year] [large, multi-line, blank]

The Condition of this Obligatio[n is su]ch, That [large, multi-line break before end of leaves]

I have been unable, thus far, to ascertain whether any record of this particular fundraising initiative exists in other sources, but no record of the form itself appears in either the ESTC or Worldcat. This form would surely reward more research by either an established historian or a graduate student working toward a Ph.D.

Bound with

Lovell, Robert. ΠΑΝΖΩΟΡΥKTOΛOΓIA. Sive Panzoologicomineralogia. Or a Compleat History of Animals and Minerals. Oxford: Joseph Godwin, 1661. Octavo. Wing L3245 & L3246.

In 1648, Robert Lovell, the son of a Warwickshire rector, became a student at Christ’s Church, Oxford. According to Wood, his admission was “by favour of the visitors appointed by Parliament.” He studied botany, mineralogy, and zoology, and graduated BA in 1650 and MA in 1653. His first book, ΠΑΜΒΟΤΑΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ, was published in Oxford in 1659, which may very well suggest that Lovell remained in Oxford following his graduation. “There was,” according to Lovell’s rather disparaging biographer for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

nothing original in its content or arrangement, which followed the antique Galenic principles of the four elements, temperaments, and qualities. Remarkably, the work reached a second edition in 1665, Lovell having meanwhile issued a companion volume, Panzōoryktologia, claiming to be a complete history of animals and minerals.

Both of his books are more akin to pharmacopœia than the histories they advertise themselves as. Instead of historical accounts of the plants, animals, and minerals themselves, Lovell provides lists of their medical uses. His information is generally culled from the work of ancients such as Galen and Pliny. Remedies range from using mercury to kill lice, which, though dangerous to the user, was likely somewhat effective, to far more dubious ones. It, among many other things, recommends tying the genitals of a fox on top of one’s head in order to alleviate headaches. The 1661 edition is the first and only of ΠΑΝΖΩΟΡΥKTOΛOΓIA, his work on animals and minerals. ΠΑΜΒΟΤΑΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ, however, saw a second edition in 1665.

The present copy of Lovell’s ΠΑΝΖΩΟΡΥKTOΛOΓIA collates complete and has clean, well-preserved leaves throughout. The edges of the title page are slightly frayed and have darkened where they were in contact with the inside flaps of the leather cover (new endleaves and pastedowns now keep the cover and title quite apart), and there is a very small label pasted on the upper-right corner with “No. 4” written in ink. Additionally, there is a small newspaper clipping pasted on the title page’s blank verso. The content of the clipping, which is dated in manuscript to 27 April 1907, seems only loosely related to the book at hand; its heading reads “Ancient medical men. Old and interesting prescriptions,” and the text describes a recent lecture by a Dr. Richard Greene on “Ancient Medicine and Ancient Medical Men.” Tipped in between a recent endleaf and the first rescued pastedown is a clipping from an old bookseller’s catalog for, presumably, the copy in question. It is listed as item 254, and was priced at £1 10s.

As noted above, the book retains its original sheepskin-covered pasteboards. It has been rebacked with a plain smooth leather spine with gilt text between the first and second raised bands: “HISTORY / ANIMALS / MINERALS.” The hinges are quite secure, and show no evidence of rubbing or cracking.

In all, this is a nice copy of a curious scientific work that has preserved a blank form that would otherwise, it would seem, have been lost to history. And because these former pastedowns have been kept with the book they came out of, we can see very clearly the immediate material context in which this piece of the Protectorate’s economic apparatus was unintentionally transmitted into the present. Items like this one don’t often come onto the market. SOLD

“Callis on Sewers” with Evidence of Shelving

Callis, Robert. The reading of that famous and learned gentleman, Robert Callis Esq; sergeant at law, upon the statute of 23 H.8. Cap. 5. of sewers: as it was delivered by him at Grays-Inn, in August, 1622. London: William Leak, 1647. Quarto. Wing C304.

Although he served in other positions, the barrister Robert Callis is probably best known (if he is known at all) as the commissioner of sewers for his home county of Lincolnshire. Shortly after becoming a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1622, he delivered what became an influential reading of an older statute, 23 H. 8 c.5, which had established procedures governing the construction and maintenance of sewers throughout the country as well as the very position that he held (commissioner of sewers). From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on Callis:

Although particularly concerned with the commissioners of sewers, the tract [of Callis’s reading] had broader significance as a work of jurisprudence. Callis argued that, although the ‘bare words’ of the statute provided only for the maintenance of existing defences against the sea, the laws of the sewers were ‘of great and urgent necessity and use for the good of the whole Commonwealth of the Realm’ (Callis, Of Sewers, 71). Accordingly he argued that the statute should be constructed according to its equity, empowering commissioners to provide for new engines and defences against the sea. He also defended the status of the court of sewers as a court of record empowered to fine, imprison, and offer a variety of legal remedies.

It was first printed as a “tract” some twenty-five years later, in 1647. The address to the reader claims that its publication was occasioned by “the late Troubles [i.e. the Civil War],” which had devastated much of England’s infrastructure: “[I]t seemed to me to be of so Publique a Necessity, that I did conceive this Learned Piece upon the Laws of Sewers would come seasonably abroad, and finde an Entertainment suitable to the usefulness of it at this time” (sig. A2r). A second edition was published in 1685/6.

The present copy collates complete and remains in its original sheepskin binding. Leaves throughout are remarkably clean and bright, with only those at the very front and back showing some edge wear and staining. The corners and spine are worn, with the front hinge fragile and splitting somewhat at the head. Although the hinge would benefit from some light repairs, the fact that the book has remained unaltered—and, thus, untrimmed—has meant that what is arguably its most interesting feature remains intact: the tail edge of its text block, which has been inscribed in manuscript with “Callis on Sewers.” It is common with earlier books to see authors and titles written on fore edges, as books were once routinely shelved with the spine in and fore edge facing out, but what we see on this volume is much less typical and relatively late for this practice. That the inscription is on the tail edge most likely indicates that the book was laid on its bottom board with its tail facing out, presumably in a stack with others. Perhaps the shelves in this particular library weren’t tall enough to accommodate this fairly large quarto. Though, in the end, it is probably impossible to know exactly why it is labeled the way that it is, this book nevertheless provides evidence that owners handled and stored their books in a variety of ways, evidence that helps us paint a more nuanced picture of the world of early English print. SOLD