Ursus Rare Books Archives - inBiblio
last 7 days
last 30 days

Ursus Rare Books


Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York

VALENTINE, David Thomas; NEW YORK NEW YORK CITY. Manual of the Corporation of the City of New-York. By D. T. Valentine. 25 Volumes. Profusely illustrated with lithographic maps, views, diagrams, plans and document facsimiles, many folding and many either tinted in chromolithography or hand-coloured. 12mo. & 8vo., various sizes, bound in late nineteenth-century three-quarter calf over marbled boards, black morocco spine labels. New York: [Various Publishers], 1841-66. First Edition, a rare complete run of Valentine’s extraordinary and justly famous handbook of New York City government, election returns, local history, and institutions of every type. The work is a statistical and graphic tour-de-force on nineteenth-century New York City. It first appeared in 1841 as an unassuming 186 page duodecimo illustrated with a single folding map of the city. By 1849, the manual expanded to a larger octavo format with over twice as many pages and several more maps and views. In the following years each was profusely illustrated with colour-printed lithographs depicting views of Central Park, city infrastructure, distinguished residences & buildings, taverns, inns, etc. in Manhattan, plus folding maps, and engraved plates reproducing early documents. David T. Valentine (1801-1869) spent thirty years as the Deputy to the Clerk and eventually the Clerk of the Common Council (now the City Council) between the years of 1845-1868. He is best known as the compiler of the present publication, having successfully coalesced previously neglected city records that dated back to the Dutch colonial period with contemporaneous statistics and imagery. He also authored History of the City of New York (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1853). Although the publication continued until 1870, the present set represents all the volumes in which Valentine was a contributor through 1866. "The Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, in twenty-five successive annual volumes, commenced in 1841 and [was] conducted by Mr. Valentine until 1866" (William Loring Andrews). The entire run is rare in commerce, as most often one finds single volumes on the market. ABPC shows only two complete sets sold at auction and none since 1995. Generally a very nice set with minor offsetting a few tears to the fragile fold-out plates as usual. Our set has every illustration called for in Loring Andrew’s comprehensive Index, except just one plate from vol. 11 (1852), "Castle Garden, New-York," and one chart from vol. 13 (1854), "Table of the Semi-centennial Mortality."; however the "Castle Garden" is also listed in the General Index in vol. 18 (1859), p. 396. As the compiler notes, "owing to the carelessness of the binder, the position of many of the inserted plates vary," as we find occasionally in this set. Of the two issues published in 1857, ours is the one with the plate "Old Houses cor. Water & Pine St." appearing just once, at page 529. Some volumes with the original black leather spine labels still attached. Please inquire for a more detailed condition report. Stokes V, p. 1901. William Loring Andrews, An Index to the Illustrations in the Manuals of the Corporation of the City of New York, 1841-1870, New York, 1906, pp. 29-32.

La Historia della Citta di Parma et de la Descrittione del fiume Parma

ANGELI, Bonaventura, Ferrarese.; BONAVENTURA, Ange ANGELI, Bonaventura. La Historia della Citta di Parma, et la Descrittione del fiume Parma.divisa in otto libri. [16], 783 (i.e., 795), [1]; [160] pp. Illustrated with large woodcut historiated initials at the beginning of each chapter, ornamental head- and tailpieces, plus the printer’s woodcut device on title-page and colophon (f. Ddd4v). 4to., 203 x 147 mm, bound by Le Gascon in contemporary French blonde calf, double-ruled in gilt, framing a central armorial device with the monogram of Antoine de Sève at corners of inner panel on each board and in spine compartments (interlacing A.D.S.E.V.; Olivier 683, fer 2 and 3); spine with raised bands and title gilt in second compartment of six, the remaining five with same monogram; endpapers and fly-leaves ruled in red, contemporary document in secretary hand used as binder’s waste visible (illegible) beneath endpapers; edges speckled red. In Parma: Appresso Erasmo Viotto, 1591. A history of the city and river of Parma, including regions in the surrounding Emilia Romagna. Angeli’s history contains a plethora of detailed information on the buildings, sites, the Bapistry, the Ducal palace of Ottavio Farnese by Vignola, and accounts of the ruling noble families San Vitali, Pallavicino, Rossa, Torella, and Terza. Angeli dedicated his book to the Prince of Parma, Don Ranuccio Farnese. Bonaventura Angeli (ca. 1525-1592) Italian writer from Ferrara, along with his friend Gianbattista Pigna, formed an academy for the cultivation of literature called the Parthian Academy. For some time he was in the employ of the Dukes of Ferrara. His Historia della Citta di Parma is the most important of many works written by Angeli. At the time little was recorded of the city of Parma, of the history of the Parma river, or of the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region. Angeli consulted whatever archives he could locate in Parma and composed the book in eight chapters with several digressions on a general history of Italy. He supplied an exhaustive index of 160 pages at the end, printed in double columns. This volume was in the library of Philippe Desportes (1546-1606), the French courtier poet who was famous for composing villanelles, elegies and sonnets, many copied by English Elizabethan poets. Desportes was one of the major poets competing with Pierre de Ronsard for the favor of the Duke of Anjou. He worked under the patronage of King Henry III, for whom Desportes wrote poems upon royal request. He was granted the abbey of Tiron as a royal benefice for literary services rendered. The other early owner of this volume was Antoine de Sève (d. 1662), a counselor and chaplain to Louis XIV, prior at Champdieu, and Abbey of l’Isle-en-Barrois. His books, forming an important library of more than six thousand volumes on the sciences, were mainly bound by Antoine Ruette and Le Gascon. One of the tools found in this binding was used by de Sève only during his time at Champdieu. Binding extremities repaired. Trimmed close at upper margin near but not touching headline, two pages with small repair obscuring a few words of text, minor browning or foxing in a few quires, a beautiful book overall in an absolutely sumptuous binding. PROVENANCE: Philippe Desportes, with his ink inscription on title-page; Antoine de Sève, with his coat-of-arms and monogram on binding, from his famous library, see above. Adams 1095 (different collation). Brunet I, 287. Affo, Memorie degli Scrittori e Letterati Parmigiani IV, 209-240. Barotti, Memorie Istoriche di Letterati Ferraresi II, 187-194. CNCE 1768 (the pagination matches ours however the publication year given is "1590 (1589)").


SMITH, Kiki; Dickinson, Emily, and Kiki Smith; KIK SMITH, Kiki. Sampler. By Emily Dickinson. 220 pp. 8vo., 280 x 175 mm, bound in publisher’s red-brown goatskin spine, tan cloth sides, with the front cover embroidered in red thread for title and author and artist names in a slipcase. San Francisco: Arion Press, 2007. This exquisite limited edition presents a selection of two hundred poems by Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest poets, with prints by the acclaimed contemporary artist Kiki Smith. The edition is printed by letterpress on hand-made paper, produced by the acclaimed Arion Press which "produces some of the most beautiful limited-edition, handprinted books in the world," according to the New York Times. The title of this book was chosen to signal that this is a sampling of the poetry of Emily Dickinson, and it refers to embroidered samplers from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that inspired the imagery of Kiki Smith. The artist has made prints for every page of the poetry, as well as the half-title page and a portrait of Emily Dickinson on the frontispiece, 206 images in all. These are original prints, for which the artist has scratched lines in the emulsion of photographic negatives with an etching needle and other sharp-pointed tools, thus allowing light to pass through them in the making of photopolymer plates for letterpress printing. The artwork imitates stitching with short straight and slightly curved strokes like the stitches in samplers, traditionally sewn by young women to demonstrate their domestic skills. The subtle patterns in the artwork of cross-stitches and hatchings become recognizable figures or mysterious forms related to the wondrous imagery in Emily Dickinson’s poems. The type is Monotype and handset Walbaum. The type and polymer plates were printed by letterpress in black ink for the type and red-brown ink for the plates. The paper was made by hand at the Twinrocker Mill. The edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale, signed by the artist.

Greater London Plan 1944.A Report prepared on behalf of the Standing Committee on London Regional Planning.at the request of the Minister of Town and Country Planning

ABERCROMBIE, Patrick. ABERCROMBIE, Patrick. Greater London Plan 1944. A Report prepared on behalf of the Standing Committee on London Regional Planning at the Request of the Minister of Town and Country Planning. X, 220, [1] pp. Illustrated with 89 photographs & 33 illustrations from drawings, diagrams, & maps (some in colour, 9 folding) plus a large folding master plan in 2 sheets inserted in envelope at rear. Folio, bound in publisher’s cloth and dustwrapper. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1945. "Following World War II, London was presented with an opportunity to amend the perceived failings of unplanned and haphazard development that had occurred as a result of rapid industrialization in the nineteenth century. During the Second World War, the blitz had destroyed large urban areas throughout the entire county of London, but particularly the central core. Over 50,000 inner London homes were completely destroyed, while more than 2 million dwellings experienced some form of bomb damage. This presented the London City Council with a unique chance to plan and rebuild vacant tracts of the city on a scale not seen since the Great Fire of London. Although the report was comprehensive in attempting to solve the issues facing London at the time, its implementation was not fully realized. The economic climate in Britain during the post war era simply did not allow for major infrastructure development on the scale that Abercrombie had suggested." Dust jacket worn, else fine.