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The Decimal Language
by : MORRIS (W.)

14 Sep 2018
“Dear reader, may God protect you from bad books...”
As a tribute to the master satirist and virtuoso of language Francisco de Quevedo Villegas, born on this day in 1580, we present to you a copy of an utmost rare Sevilla printing of his famous “Sueños y Discursos”, a collection of misanthropic fantasies of the afterworld first published in Barcelona in 1627. This slightly expurgated version was edited by a friend of the author, with his agreement, and published with an alternative title in order to escape censorship.

Estimado lector, que Dios lo proteja de los libros malos, la policía y las mujeres regañonas, con la cara lívida y el cabello rubio.


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:16 | permalink | comments [0]



27 Jul 2018
On the Barricades of the July Revolution
After the storming of the Bastille, we could not resist the pleasure of presenting this suite of fine lithographs depicting the barricades of the Revolution of July 1830! This heroic vision is that of the painter Hyppolite Bellangé (1800-1866), a specialist in battle scenes famous for his paintings of the Napoleonic epic !


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:14 | permalink | comments [0]



20 Jul 2018
Libri Medullitus Delectant
A little over seven centuries ago today, the great Petrarch was born !
As a tribute to the founder of Humanism, we present to you this rare and beautiful Venice edition (Il Petrarcha, Venegia, Bernardino Bindoni Milanese, 1543), illustrated with 6 engraved figures and a portrait of the master, and dressed in its contemporary vellum !

"[L]ibri medullitus delectant, colloquuntur, consulunt et viva quadam nobis atque arguta familiaritate iunguntur, neque solum se se lectoribus quisque suis insinuat, sed et aliorum nomen ingerit et alter alterius desiderium facit. » (Epistolae de Rebus Familiaribus, III, 18)



 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  12:48 | permalink | comments [0]



13 Jul 2018
The Beginning of the French Revolution according to Nicolas de Basseville
On the eve of Bastille Day, we invite you to discover a detailed chronicle of the events and debates that took place during the first months of the French Revolution, from the creation of the National Assembly until September 1789: “Mémoires historiques, critiques et politiques de la Révolution de France avec toutes les opérations de l'Assemblée Nationale” (Paris, chez l'Auteur, Bleuet, et Potier de Lille, 1790).
Its author, Nicolas de Basseville (1753-1793) was an editor at the Mercure National and then a diplomat in Italy; he died in Rome as a martyr of the young Republic, lynched by a mob raised by the papal clergy against the symbols of the French Revolution !

A beautiful copy in nice contemporary binding, illustrated with an engraving of the storming of the Bastille!


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:30 | permalink | comments [0]



29 Jun 2018
Wurzelbau's Opera Geographico-Astronomica
Now that summertime’s here, don’t we all dream of a night spent watching the stars, far away from the city ? To celebrate the arrival of the favourite season for amateur astronomers, we present to you the works of an amateur so passionate and diligent in his observation that a crater of the Moon now bears his name: Johann Philipp von Wurzelbau (1651-1725) !

Has anybody seen my telescope ?


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  17:08 | permalink | comments [0]



22 Jun 2018
Otto van Veen's Emblems Printed by Anna Margaretha Blanckaert
As a tribute to the many women printers whose identity was often reduced to that of "wife of" or "widow of the printer", and on the occasion of tomorrow's International Widows Day, we present to this very beautiful edition of the famous book of emblems by Flemish painter Otto van Veen, printed by Anna Margaretha Blanckaert (1670-1750), widow of the printer Henrik Verdussen. Missing from the title pages of the works she edited, the name of this great woman printer is not even mentioned in most bibliographies...

Because "to name is to show” and because “one is not born, but rather becomes, *the widow of”, here is her name again : Anna Margaretha Blanckaert !


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:13 | permalink | comments [0]



15 Jun 2018
Fourcroy and the Annales de Chimie (1789-1815)
Born on June 15th, 1755, the chemist and revolutionary statesman Antoine-François de Fourcroy was one of the founders of the Annales de Chimie, a journal so fundamental to the emergence of the principles of modern chemistry.

In his honor, here is an utmost rare complete 50-volumes collection of the first series of publication (1789-1815), in charming contemporary binding.

A genuine monument, indeed !



 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:58 | permalink | comments [0]



8 Jun 2018
Marine Lithographs by Explorer-Artist Lebreton
Today, World Oceans Day, let us all set sail with La Marine au XIXe siècle (Paris, Langlumé [c.1855]), a very rare suite of marine lithographs by Louis Lebreton (1818-1866), an artist from the charming port town of Douarnenez, in Brittany (as you may have guessed, judging from his surname!)

Praised for the accuracy of his representation of sailing life and boats, Lebreton mastered his trade as an artist on board the Astrolabe, the vessel commanded by the great navigator and explorer Dumont d'Urvil, his uncle.

Godspeed to you all, fellow booklovers, illustration lovers and ocean lovers!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  17:11 | permalink | comments [0]



1 Jun 2018
Honouring Sadi Carnot
On this day in 1796, the great French engineer and physicist Sadi Carnot was born, a man whose only published work – Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu et sur les machines propres à développer cette puissance (Paris, 1824) – marked the very foundation of modern thermodynamics.
To celebrate this birth, his father the famous statesman Lazare Carnot had a song published, written by himself and his musician friend Prieur-Duvernois, a member of the revolutionary Comité de Salut Public like Lazare himself in 1793-1794.

Here’s an extremely rare piece of occasion, in honour of an exceptional being!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:24 | permalink | comments [0]



18 May 2018
At the Museum with Visconti
In honour of International Museum Day, here is a superb copy of the Roman Iconography by Ennio Quirino Visconti (1751-1818), commissioned by Napoleon himself to the archaeologist and curator at the Louvre !
A sequel to the Greek Iconography published in 1808, this copy of the in-Folio Original Edition was printed on vellum paper by Didot and bound in half shagreen by Lajoux !


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  14:27 | permalink | comments [0]



4 May 2018
Freedom for Jean-Baptiste Robinet !
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated yesterday, we present to you a curious esoteric treatise: Vue Philosophique de la Gradation Naturelle des Formes de l'Etre, ou les Essais de la Nature qui apprend à faire l'Homme (A Amsterdam, chez E. van Harrevelt, 1768) by Breton naturalist Jean Baptiste Robinet (1735-1820), the Parisian edition of which had been put on the Index, subsequently republished in Amsterdam the same year in order to escape the censors !

Much like the writings of this precursor in the history of evolutionary thought, the illustrating engravings included in the book are on their own a testament to freedom !


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  15:24 | permalink | comments [0]



27 Apr 2018
MENS SANA IN CORPORE SALTATUS
You and I know how important physical activity is to maintaining the vitality of the mind; because great results come with great effort, why not set the bar a little higher than the usual walk or yoga class ?

The work of the Italian acrobat Archangel Tuccaro [Trois Dialogues de l'Exercice de Sauter, et Voltiger en l'air. Avec les figures qui servent à la parfaicte demonstration et intelligence dudict Art. Dédié au Roy (A Paris, chez Claude de Monstr'œil, 1599)], a protégé of King Charles IX of France, we present to you the very first treatise on acrobatic gymnastics ! This exceptional work is illustrated with 87 woodcut figures representing gymnastic moves that you may even want to reproduce at home !

Come on ! (*)



(*) Librería Comellas denies responsibility for any injury suffered by book-lovers turned acrobatic gymnasts upon reading this blog entry.
 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  15:56 | permalink | comments [0]



20 Apr 2018
Homage to Philipe Pinel
Born on April 20th, 1745, this great pioneer modern psychiatry was one of the very first champions of the humane treatment of the alienated: he developed the idea of the "moral treatment" of the insane in the book Traité Médico-Philosophique sur l'aliénation mentale ou la manie (Paris, 1801) of which we present to you today an attractive 1rst edition copy, in contemporary half-binding!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  17:20 | permalink | comments [0]



12 Apr 2018
"Adversus Superstitiosas Artes"
May the occult powers forgive us for this title: it is not we who are opposed to the “arts of superstition”, it is Benito Pereira (1535-1610) !

Known for his works of theology and philosophy and for the courses he taught at the Jesuit Roman College, this immense scholar from Valencia published this treatise in 1591, in which he denounced the practices of magic, the interpretation of dreams, astrology and alchemy.

We originally planned to present the book to you tomorrow, but tomorrow is Friday the 13th, and you know what they say !...

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  18:14 | permalink | comments [0]



23 Mar 2018
Tableau Synoptique de Prévision Météorologique (1888)
On the occasion of World Meteorological Day, let us present to you a really exceptional object ! To the best of our knowledge, this 1888 Weather Forecast Synoptic Table could well be the first "instrument" designed for making weather forecasts !

With the two shortest branches of the moving arrow, the user was to indicate the
atmospheric pressure, direction of the prevailing winds and general weather tendency, which resulted with the main branch indicating the weather to come ! Of course !

Designed in Clermont-Ferrand by J.R. Plumandon, Meteorologist at the Observatoire du Puy-de-Dome, and A, Colomês, member of the Société Météorologique de France, this extremely rare object was the "result of the experience acquired during twelve years of making the daily weather forecast at the Observatoire du Puy-de-Dôme".

Congratulations to these pioneers, and fair winds to you !

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  17:07 | permalink | comments [0]



2 Mar 2018
Roch Le Baillif in New York City
We are now fully ready for the New York Antiquarian Bookfair 2018 ! Please come and say hello to Julien Comellas at Booth B24! Among the 101 fine books on display, this extremely rare collection of works by Roch Le Baillif (1540-1605), the French physician and alchemist of mythical fame! See you in the Big Apple!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  17:38 | permalink | comments [0]



5 Jan 2018
Flos Aetatis
The whole team of Librería Comellas wishes you a happy new year!

To celebrate the passage to 2018, we invite you to discover this very rare collection of treatises composed by French theologian Jacques Almain, a posthumous edition published in 1518!

Five hundred years old! The prime of life!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  15:35 | permalink | comments [0]



29 Dec 2017
Madame de Pompadour's "bibliothèque"
As the year 2017 comes to an end, the time has come for us to thank you, as more and more of you follow us here!

In your honour, it is our pleasure to present to you a copy of the library catalogue of a great patroness of the arts and letters, who was born on December, 29th: Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as Madame de Pompadour (29 Dec. 1721 - 15 Apr. 1764)!

Dear friends and bibliophiles, on behalf of the Librería Comellas team, I wish you a very happy end of the year!

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  13:04 | permalink | comments [0]



22 Dec 2017
Occitan Cuckold Anthems
What better day than today - as the intense political campaign has finally come to an end here in Catalonia - to present to you a charming little collection of… cuckold anthems!
Printed in Montpellier, this collection of songs in Occitan patois (including one in French) was published on the occasion of the 1832 carnival, during which, as tradition dictated, the young grooms celebrated their condition as new "cournards"!
Needless to say, such anthems to the inevitability of deception and unfulfilled promises could still resonate today!


 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  18:12 | permalink | comments [0]



24 Nov 2017
Sign Language
On November, 24th, 1712, Charles-Michel de l'Epée, founder of the Institute for the Deaf and Mute and inventor of "sign language", was born: a century and a half before Saussure, the Abbé de l'Epée already invited us to conceive of any language - spoken or not - as a system of signs!
As a tribute to l’Epée, here is an "ex dono authoris" copy of the original edition of his main work, published in 1776 !
Should you want to know more about this work, please sign up to our webiste !

 
News
posted by  Benjamin at  16:47 | permalink | comments [0]





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