Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
A Bookbinding for Your MacBook Pro or Your iPad? Why Not?
We have TwelveSouth.com to thank for book-style cases for both the MacBook Pro and iPad.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Dedication Copy of Mauriceau's Work Founding the Science of Obstetrics
Over the past 40 or more years it has been my privilege to handle many of the greatest copies of the greatest classics of science, medicine, and technology. Recently I was excited to sell the greatest copy of the most famous work in obstetrics, Mauriceau's Des maladies des femmes grosses et accouchees. . . . You will find more information and references in From Cave Paintings to the Internet.
Ever the self-promoter, Mauriceau issued his book with a frontispiece drawn by Antoine Paillet and engraved by Guaillaume Vallet, which included a cameo portrait of himself and a notice in small print at the foot of the page with the address of his office where he could be consulted as well as its cross-street, just to be sure people could find it. Incidentally you can enlarge all the images in this blog piece, and if you enlarge the image of the frontispiece you can pretty well read Mauriceau's address at the foot of the page. Advertising a medical practice like that at the foot of frontispiece a serious treatise was a unusual in the seventeenth century.
Mauriceau published a dedication in his book "A tous mes chers confreres: Les Maitres Chirurgiens Jurez de la Ville de Paris." This was the illustrious Confraternite de Saint-Come, established in the 13th century.
The dedication copy of the book, which Mauriceau presented to the Paris surgical society, was bound in contemporary red morocco, gilt, emblazoned on the front and back cover with an inscription that read "Ce Livre Appartient a la Compagnie des Maistres Chirurgiens Jurez de Paris." At the end of the printed dedication Mauriceau signed with his paraph. Later he noted in manuscript the publication of each new edition, in 1675, 1681, and 1694, by writing a notice to that effect and signing it, thus signing the final page of the dedication a total of four times! In addition, all pages of the text were red ruled by the binder--a highly unusual practice for a medical book. If you click on the image of the autograph inscriptions you will be able to enlarge it well enough to read the details and see how each inscription is written in a slightly different color ink.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Who Owned the Head of France's King Henry IV?
I have heard of collecting many things, from the ordinary such as swizzle sticks, to the sublime, such as Rembrandts. I even know one antiquarian bookseller who collects shrunken heads, but until recently I had never heard of owning the head of a deceased monarch.
A New Role for Antiquarian Books: "Intellectual" Clutch Bags by Olympia Le-Tan
An intellectual in Hollywood?
Natalie Portman's 'Lolita' clutch, described in a December 4 article in the Los Angeles Times online, got a lot of attention. The "clutch" by French designer Olympia Le-Tan, is one of a limited edition of only 16 of each title in a series of "intellectual clutch bags" featuring hand-stitched versions of selected book titles from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The British newspaper the Telegraph has a slideshow of Olympia Le-Tan's clutches, with a peek inside Lolita with its snazzy purple-and-green print cover.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
A Sports Event for Bibliophiles
Though I do not recall previously discussing my personal sports proclivities in this blog, I am a serious practitioner of fitness-type sports such as hiking, biking, swimming and gym-workouts, but I have only the barest minimal interest in spectator sports. That said, Sotheby's sale in New York this week of James Naismith's founding document for basketball was a spectator sports event that I did enjoy.
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