Rare Book Gallery
A discourse of a method for the...
[DESCARTES, Ren?/ Tr. ANON.]
Bookseller: Martayan Lan, Inc.
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western... More
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western Philosophy ever written, Descartes’ Discourse, containing for the first time in English the phrase which is not only the conceptual cornerstone of Rationalism, generally considered the beginning of modern philosophy, but is synonymous in the cultural imagination with the very field of Philosophy: “I think, therefore, I am.” This English edition was the earliest recorded in the inventory of John Locke’s library (see J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451), and it is generally considered that Locke’s encounter with the ‘New Philosophy’ as it was known in England in the 1660’s, led him to write the Essay, his philosophical masterpiece. “Descartes’ purpose is to find the simple indestructible proposition which gives to the universe and thought their order and system. Three points are made: the truth of thought, when thought is true to itself (thus cogito, ergo sum), the invincible elevation of its partial state in our finite consciousness to its full state of the infinite existence of God, and to the ultimate reduction of the material universe to extension and local movement. From these central propositions in logic, metaphysics and physics came the subsequent inquiries of Locke (164 eg Essay on Human Understanding), Leibniz (177, Th?ic?, and Newton (161 Principia); from them stem all modern and scientific thought.” – PMM 129 (1637). Rather typically for English books of the period, the work is known in issues regarding the title page (and only the title page). These have not been well defined, and the circumstances of the translation’s commissioning and publication are simply unknown: as of 2002, when a series of facsimiles of Descartes’ works in English and related 17th c Cartesian writings was published, the translator of the present work remained unknown (see R. Ariew & D. Garber, Descartes’ Works in Translation, vol. I, p. ix.) According to the entry in the Norman catalogue, several states of the title are known: the title of the Norman copy is ‘A Discourse of a Method for the well guiding of Reason’, and it contains a signature marking, A4—highly exceptional if not unique for a 17th century English book; it does not contain Descartes’ name on the title. This is such an egregious and uncommon error that it is most likely the sign of the earliest state. Another title gives a different spelling ‘for Wel-‘ and Discovrse’; and yet another, like the Norman copy, omits Descartes’ name. OCLC lists 5 copies in American libraries: UCLA, Newberry, Northwestern, Harvard and Wisconsin. Wing adds Folger. In British libraries, Wing lists Oxford, Cambridge (King’s), Patent Office (London), National Library of Scotland. Through additional searching, we have also located two copies at the BL (one with the variant title), and one at Yale (Cushing Medical Library). Remarkably, the book is sufficiently rare that it is not included in the excellent Descartes bibliography of Guillebert; it was NOT included in the Biblioth?e Nationale’s anniversary exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Discours in 1937, and to this day there remains no copy of the present translation in the Biblioth?e Nationale. Finally, it is missing from (at least) two major collections of 17th century English printed books of this level of importance: the Morgan Library and the Huntington. * Wing D1129; Norman 624 (variant imprint); J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451 not in Guillebert; Julien Cain/ Biblioth?e Nationale. Descartes. Exposition organis?pour le III i? Centenaire du Discours de la M?ode. (Paris 1937).. 8vo., 4.5 X 9 cm], (7) ff., of which the first two are blank and integral, 127 pp. (verso blank). Bound in contemporary calf ruled in blind, gilt spine and edges of covers faded and rubbed. Binding a bit shaken, and joints a bit fragile. Minor toning in margin, but a remarkably fresh copy in its original binding, housed in modern bookbox. Less
Price: 90000.00 USD
A Map of the British Empire in...
POPPLE, Henry (d.1743)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
London: "Engrav'd by Willm. Henry Toms", "1733" [but circa 1735]. Folio. (20 1/2 x 15 3/8 inches). Engraved map by William Henry Toms, with very... More
London: "Engrav'd by Willm. Henry Toms", "1733" [but circa 1735]. Folio. (20 1/2 x 15 3/8 inches). Engraved map by William Henry Toms, with very fine full contemporary hand-colouring (with twenty-two integral inset views and plans) on 15 double-page and 5 single-page sheets, with full contemporary hand-colouring, mounted on guards throughout. (Without the table of contents leaf as usual, and without the double-page key map by Toms). Expertly bound to style in half 18th-century russia over original 18th-century marbled paper-covered boards, spine gilt with red morocco spine label, modern blue morocco-backed cloth box, titled in gilt. A monument to 18th-century American cartography: a highly attractive fully- coloured copy of the first large-scale map of North America, and the first printed map to show the thirteen colonies. Popple maps with full contemporary colour are exceedingly rare. Popple produced this map under the auspices of the Lord Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to help settle disputes arising from the rival expansion of English, Spanish and French colonies. "France claimed not only Canada, but also territories drained by the Mississippi and it's tributaries - in practical terms, an area of half a continent" (Goss The Mapping Of North America p.122.) The present copy of Popple's map, with its full contemporary hand-colouring, would have been particularly useful in these disputes. Mark Babinski in his masterly monograph on this map notes that 'The typical coloring of fully colored copies ... is described best by a contemporary manuscript legend on the end-paper affixing the Key map to the binding in the King George III copy at the British Library: "Green - Indian Countrys. Red - English. Yellow - Spanish. Blue - French. Purple - Dutch." The careful demarcation of the disputed areas by colour would have made the identification of whether a particular location was in one or another 'zone' a great deal easier. Thus the colouring adds a whole new dimension to a map that is usually only seen in its uncoloured state, and perhaps suggests that the copies with full hand-colouring were originally produced for some as-yet-unrediscovered official use to do with the international land disputes of the time. Benjamin Franklin, on May 22, 1746, ordered two copies of this map, "one bound the other in sheets," for the Pennsylvania Assembly. It was the only map of sufficient size and grandeur available - and the map is on a grand scale: if actually assembled it would result in a rectangle over eight feet square. Its coverage extends from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland to about ten degrees west of Lake Superior, and from the Great Lakes to the north coast of South America. Several of the sections are illustrated with handsome pictorial insets, including views of New York City, Niagara Falls, Mexico City, and Quebec, and inset maps of Boston, Charles-Town, Providence, Bermuda, and a number of others. "Little is known of Henry Popple except that he came from a family whose members had served the Board of Trade and Plantations for three generations, a connection that must have been a factor in his undertaking the map, his only known cartographic work" (McCorkle America Emergent 21.) Babinski has made a detailed study of the issues and states of the Popple map. This copy is in Babinski's state 6: the imprint on sheet 20 reads "London Engrav'd by Willm. Henry Toms 1733" (i.e. without R. W. Searle's name), sheet one includes the engraved figure "l" in the upper left corner just above the intersection of the two neat lines and engraved sheet numbers have been added to the upper right corners of each sheet. Mark Babinski Henry Popple's 1733 map (New Jersey, 1998) (ref); Brown Early Maps of the Ohio Valley 14; cf. Cumming The Southeast in Early Maps 216, 217; Degrees of Latitude 24, state 4 (but with engraved number to sheet 1); E. McSherry Fowble Two Centuries of Prints in America 1680-1880 (1987), 6, 7; cf. John Goss The Mapping of North America (1990) 55 (key map only); Graff 3322; Howes P481, "b"; Lowery 337 & 338; McCorkle America Emergent 21; Phillips Maps p.569; Sabin 64140; Schwartz & Ehrenberg p.151; Streeter Sale 676; Stephenson & McKee Virginia in Maps, map II-18A-B. Less
Price: 160000.00 USD
New Englands Prospect. A true lively,...
WOOD, William (1580-1639)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close... More
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close shaved to margins with two old neat repairs to verso, upper margins shaved touching headlines and occasional page number, neatly repaired wormtrack through outer blank margins of title and text leaves to C4). Twentieth century crimson morocco gilt bound for Myers & Co. of London, spine in three compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second compartment, gilt turn-ins. Black morocco backed slipcase. The rare second edition of Wood's 'New England's Prospect', with the very rare map: one of the classic works on early New England, important for descriptions of the land, natives, and of course its handsome map. The first edition of this remarkably accurate work was published in 1634. According to Vail it includes the earliest topographical description of the Massachusetts colony. It is also the first detailed account of the animals and plants of New England, as well as the Indian tribes of the region. Of particular note is a chapter describing the customs and work of Indian women. Part One is divided into twelve chapters and is devoted to the climate, landscape, and early settlements, and describes in some detail the native trees, plants, fish game and mineral ores, as well as including advice to those thinking of crossing the Atlantic. The early settlements described include: Boston, Medford, Marblehead, Dorchester, Roxbury, Medford, Watertown, New and Old Plymouth. These chapters also include four charming verses which are essentially a series of lists naming the native trees (20 lines, starting 'Trees both in hills and plaines, in plenty be, /The long liv'd Oake, and mournfull Cyprus tree/ ... '), the animals (12 lines, starting 'The kingly Lyon, and the strong arm'd Beare, / The large lim'd Mooses, with the tripping Deare, / ...'), the birds (28 lines, starting 'The Princely Eagle, and the soaring Hawke, / Whom in their unknowne wayes there's none can chawke: / The Humberd for some Queenes rich Cage more fit, / Than in the vacant Wildernesse to sit, / ... '), and the inhabitants of the seas and rivers (28 lines, starting 'The king of waters, the Sea shouldering Whale, / ... '). The chapter on the birds also includes what are clearly eye-witness descriptions of a number of birds including the Humming-Bird and the Passenger Pigeon. Part Two is devoted to the native inhabitants, and is divided into twenty chapters. The tribes described are the 'Mohawks', 'Connectecuts,' 'Pequants and Narragansetts.' Again Wood goes into some detail describing the clothing, sports, wars, games, methods of hunting and fishing, their arts, and ending with their language: the work ends with a five-page vocabulary of Indian words, one of the earliest published for New England. The map, which is often lacking, is here in a crisp, clean example. It is one of the most important early New England maps. It shows most of the New England coast north of Narragansett Bay. Philip Burden praises the map: `Although simply made, this map is of greater accuracy than any before it. Covering the area from the Pascataque River, in present day New Hampshire, to Narragansett Bay, it is, however, the Massachusetts Bay area that is shown with the most detail ...Wood's map was not improved upon until the John Foster map in 1677.' `Little is known of the author. The dedication to Sir William Armine, Bart., of Lincolnshire, may indicate that Wood was also from there. He was resident in New England, perhaps primarily in Lynn, from 1629 to 1633, when he returned to London to publish his book. He may have returned to New England afterward. The General Court of Massachusetts Bay voted thanks to him on the appearance of New England's Prospect. The exceptional charm and vivacity of Wood's writing, including flights of verse, is widely acknowledged.' (Siebert Sale). Burden 239 (map, state 2); Church 433; European Americana 635/134; JCB (3)II:258; Pilling Algonquin p.535; Pilling Proof-Sheets 4199; Sabin 105075; Siebert Sale 96; STC 25958; Vail 89 Less
Price: 75000.00 USD