Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com

home

books

about me

 

May Miscellany

Each item has a link to more pictures and full descriptions, use your browser's back button to return to this list.

[Manuscript.]. [Doctor's Diploma conferred by the faculty of legal studies in the University of Modena, to Thomas de Balestris, native of the city, on June 20th, 1725.] Modena: n. p., 1725. Folio, Eight leaves on vellum, 262 x 185mm. Three full page armorial illuminations in many colors and gold (The Estes, Dukes of Ferrara, Modena; the University itself; and the recipient's family; followed by nine pages in black and gold with colored floral borders. The text block has become loose in the binding, else in lovely condition with some expected light wear to binding.
A beautiful example of illumination and calligraphy. (#kfk534) $6,500.00 pictures

 

Bradford, Duncan. The wonders of the heavens, being a popular view of astronomy, including a full illustration of the mechanism of the heavens... &c. Boston: American Stationers Co., 1837. Large 4to. (33 x 27.3 cm). With engraved frontispiece, engraved title, 6 full-page engraved plates, 6 hand-coloured folding engraved plates, numerous woodcuts in text of which five are full-page. 371 pp. Contemporary half green morroco with marbled boards, spine with title lettered in gold.
First edition of a popular American astronomical guide with exquisite plates with views on the moon, and stellar constellations adorned with the zodiacal symbols.). It contains an engraved frontispiece with Herschel's telescope, an engraved title with zodiac, 6 full-page engraved plates with telescopic views of the moon in different phases and planets, and 6 hand-coloured folding engraved plates with celestial charts. Houzeau-Lancaster 9023; Rinderknecht, American Imprints 43390. (#kfk543) $1,800.00

pictures and complete description

 

Martial. Marci Valerii Martiallis Epigrammata libri xiiii. Venice: Rusconibus, 1514. Royal octavo. 305mm. Vellum, joints cracked but holding. Woodcut title, others in text. Some staining and marginal worming.
Martial's mordant verses depict with unequalled realism the diverse characters of imperial Rome: "gluttons, drunkards, debauchers, hypocrites of various kinds, a few devoted wives, faithful friends, true poets, and honest critics, hot sausage vendors, [and] Gaul[s]" (Oxford Companion to Classical Literature). (#kfk491) $2,750.00 pictures

 

Ambrotype of a man holding a Martin Guitar.

Circa. 1850-60's. 1/2 plate ambrotype in a fine Union case. A spectacular object. (#kfk299)

$3500

full description and more images

 

[Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.] Sebastien Voirol; Léon Bakst, illus. Le sacre du printemps. Paris: Jules Meynial, 1917. xii, 58] p. illus., port. 23 cm.
Second edition, one of twenty-five copies (this being number "XII"; the first was in 1913 and limited to thirteen. A handsome item and a true literary curiosity. The text is a play based on Le sacre du printemps, and dedicated to Nijinsky and Stravinsky. It was performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on June 3, 1917 with mise en scene by Mme. Lara and décor by Martine. Mimeographed (?) text, in green, purple, and red ink. With etched portrait by Bakst, a facsimile of a page of Stravinsky's ms. score, and watercolor drawing by Martine (printed in pouchoir) on cover. Second printing, limited to 25 copies, signed by the author. Clearly scarce, two on Worldcat (NYPL and Vanderbilt Univ.) (#kfk542) $2,750.00 pictures

 

[Celestial Atlas]. Burritt, E. H. Atlas, designed to illustrate the geography of the heavens : comprising the following maps ...

Hartford: F.J. Huntington, 1833. Original wraps, folio. Maps are hand colored engravings by Illman & Pilbrow after the author's drawings. Some staining and wear, a good, unsophisticated copy.
First edition of what would become a immensely popular work. The true first as here is quite scarce. I locate three copies in Worldcat (Princeton, Alder, Stanford). American Imprints 18047. (#kfk549) $1,450.00

pictures

 

[Smyth, Henry DeWolf][The "Smyth Report" on Atomic Energy for Military Purposes, in Russian.]. [Moscow], 1946. Octavo. 276pp. Illustrated. Modern cloth, Original front wrapper bound in.
First Edition in Russian. Printing and the Mind of Man 422e (describing the English language edition printed the preceding year. Published in the U. S. six days after HIroshima, this is ".the remarkably full and candid account of the development work carried out between 1940 and 1945 by the American-directed but internationally recruited team of physicists.which culminated in the production of the first atomic bomb." (PMM) Smyth was chairman of the Department of Physics at Princeton, and his account of the "Manhattan Project" is the first officially published description of the immediate history of atomic reaction following Hahn and Strassman's Discovery of Nuclear fission, 1939. (#kfk523) $5,500.00 pictures

 

Alston, John. Musical Catechism, with Tunes, for the Use of the Blind. Glasgow: Printed in the Asylum, by the Institution Press, 1838. Oblong folio, 147 x 240 mm. 24 ff. text and 13 ff. musical annotation in musical staves. Bound in Scottish black pebbled morocco, floral scroll tooling in gilt on front and back covers, spine richly gilt. Lightest rubs to extremities, a near fine example of a rare book.
First Edition (but full description) of this musical guide. Printed with the Fry-Alston embossed-type system. As with all editions from the Asylum Press, which started printing in late-1836, this is a rare book. (#kfk452) $7,500.00

pictures and complete description

 

Bryant, William Cullen (Ed.). Picturesque America; or, the land we live in. A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country. New York: D. Appelton and Company, 1872-74. Two volumes, large quarto.
Beautifully illustrated work on America which presents a full description and elaborate pictorial delineation of all the different portions of the United States, including Canada. The prints in this work are of exquisite quality, many are almost photographic. The purpose of the editor of this work, William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), has been 'to illustrate with greater fullness and artistic excellence than has hitherto been attempted, all the spots endeared to us by association, and, at the same time, to bring into public appreciation the many glorious scenes that lie in the by-ways of travel'. (#kfk551) $2,250.00

pictures and complete description

 

Ellis, John. An Essay towards a Natural History of the Corallines, and other marine productions of the like kind, commonly found on the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. To which is added the description of a large marine polype taken near the North Pole by the Whale-fishers, in the summer 1753. London: For the Author, 1755. Contemporary calf. Quarto, 260 x 195mm. xvii, [10], 103 [1]pp. Frontispiece, plates numbered I-XXXVIII ( many folding, a few out of order), as well as the folding plate of Cuff's aquatic microscope [i.e. forty engraved plates total]. Some offsetting, spine tanned, very good.
First edition, this work is notable for demonstrating for the first time that Corals were animals rather than plants. John Ellis (1705?-1776) was an Irish-born naturalist and merchant in London and agent for West Florida (1764) and for the Island of Dominica (1770). He had built up a well-known Herbarium from which he did send specimens to many botanists, a. o. to Linnaeus. Specimens received by Ellis from his correspondents are also in the Smith herbarium. Ellis is best known as the author of the present Essay. He published also some pamphlets on the subject of preserving plants and seeds during long voyages. The work was also translated into French, Dutch, in the same year and printed by the same printer, as well into German (in 1767). (#kfk518) $1,500.00 pictures

 

Pocock, George. The Aeropleustic Art, or Navigation by the Use of Kites, or Bouyant Sails.

[London: W. Wilson for Sherwood and Co., 1827]. First edition. Quarto. [2], 51, [1]pp. Engraved title with hand-coloured aquatint vignette and three hand-coloured aquatints by P. Roberts; after Thomas Buttersworth and Samuel Colman. .
First edition, quite rare. The eccentric George Pocock, evangelist, schoolmaster and inventor, settled in Bristol where he opened a school for boys, to whom this work is dedicated. He provides a history of kites and details experiments with them as auxiliary sails for ships, as a means of rescue from shipwrecks, for signals, crossing rivers and most famously for his patented Char-volant, a kite powered carriage that could reach speeds of twenty miles per hour. The text is strewn with literary references and poetry, exhibiting the versatile and quirky personality of this most unusual author. The beautifully executed plates illustrate these various experiments, especially the slightly humorous scene with the Char-volants gleefully roving an idyllic countryside in multiple directions. (#kfk233) $7,500.00 full description and more images

 

 

Taylor, Bayard (editor). Picturesque Europe: a delineation by pen and pencil of the natural features and the picturesque and historical places of Great Britain and the Continent. Illustrated on steel and wood by European and American artists. New York: D. Appleton & Co,, [n.d. but circa 1876-1879]. Three volumes, quarto.
This work, published as a companion to the earlier Picturesque America, was published in both England and America. (#kfk550) $2,500.00

pictures

 

Aesop in Greek. [Greek letters]: Mythoi Aisopoy. | Æsopi Fabulæ Græco-Latinæ. Cum novis notis, necnon versione emendata. Editio, prioribus antehac editis correctior; et ad usum Juventutis Regiæ Scholæ Etonensis accommadata. Boston [and] Cambridge: Sumptibus Cummings et Hilliard [and] Hilliard et Metcalfe typographis, 1812. Contemporary calf with green label, front joint cracked but holding soundly by the cords, typical wear and tanning but quite good for an American student book of the period.
This would appear to be the first example of Aesop in Greek printed in America. (#kfk485) $1,250.00 pictures

 

[World War II]. Design for an "Umbrella Barrage Aerial Bomb".
. n. p.: n, p., 1940 or before. Three blueprints, 17x20 3/4 inches, folded, in a black leatherette folder. Inscribed and signed "read and understood, J. H. Payne, Sept. 12th, 1940"
A strange juxtaposition of aesthetic appeal and cold clinical description of a terribly horrible weapon. (#kfk548) $600.00 pictures

 

 

 

home

books

about me

 

Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com