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Il Decameron, Boccacio’s most famous work, was penned between 1351 and 1353. The title comes from the Greek deca meaning ten, and hemera meaning day which refers to the framework of the story. Set in the year of the Black Death [1348], seven ladies and three gallants meet in a Florentine Church where they decide to flee the city to the hills of Fiesole. There they entertain themselves by recounting stories all of the ten days. The Decameron is composed of more than one hundred novelle composed of anecdotes, fabliaux, folk stories and fairy tales–all of ancient lineage for the contemporary audience of the fourteenth century.
The compilation includes many influential and celebrated stories that were recycled, especially by Shakespeare. “Bernabo of Tenou was the plot of Cymbeline; “Gillette of Narbonne” of All’s Well that ends well. As late as 1820, John Keats used Isabella or the Pot of Basil as the substance of his poem as well as the title.

Lesser known than his contemporary and companion Petrarch, Boccacio nevertheless is credited with the initial introduction of their style and content, the first in the Italian or European canon of literature. He is entitled to a place beside Petrarch as founder of the Italian Renaissance.


The Giunti publishing family were the great rivals of the Aldine Press as the Giunti aggressively captured large portions of the lucrative Italian governmental and Church's printing business. Their printing enterprise spread from Italy, to Spain and France between 1489 to 1628. From their base in Florence and Venice, family members set up printing presses in Burgos, Salamanca, Madrid, Valladolid, Lerma and Lyons.

16 p.l., 585, [79] p.

Mounted title page; Signatures: * 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ** 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; a 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; b 2, 3, 4, ^ [8]; c 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; d 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; e - z 2, 3, 4 ^ [8] / aa, bb, cc - hh, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ii [misbound] r 497 v 498; ii 2 [499]; ii 3, [501]; ii 3 v [506]; [ii 4 r] 507; [ii 4 v] 504; [ii 5 r] 505; [ii 5 v] 502; ii 4 r [503] v [508]; [ii 6 r] 509 : kk, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ll, mm, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; nn 2, 3, 4 ^ [8], [nn 8 verso] 176; oo recto [75] verso [578];] oo 2, oo 3 ^[6]: oo 5 r [585] v, register followed by colophon with place printer & date; oo 6 recto [blank], verso, printer’s device. end of pagination. // [79]pp., Tavola Sopra Il Libro Chiamato Decameron Proemio: signatures: pp 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; qq - ss 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; tt 2, 3, ^ [6]: tt 5 r: errori; tt 5 v errori con’t, followed by register, colophon with place, printer & date; tt 6 r [blank], v, earlier printer’s device.

References : Adams B174.


The quintessential Robert Adam Swarbrick, John.
Robert Adam and his Brothers: Their lives, work and influence on English architecture, decoration and furniture. London: B.T. Batsford, 1915. Quarto, blue cloth with gilt title on spine and cover. Frontispiece, x, 316pp, 224 illustrations (b&w photographic plates. A well produced book which reviews in considerable detail the work of, particularly John Adam, and the influence he and his brothers had upon all aspects of English architectural and decorative achievements. Comprehensive study, richly illustrated, remains the standard work on Scottish architect Robert Adam whose architecture informed fashionable taste of the 18th century.
$ 225



19th Century edition of Shakespeare in Fine Binding
Shakespeare, William. The Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare with a Life, Glossarial Notes, and One Hundred and Seventy Illustrations from the Plates in Boydell's Edition. Edited By A.J.Valpy. In fifteen volumes. London: Printed and Published by A.J.Valpy Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, 1832-1834. 12mo in fifteen volumes. Engarved frontispiece portraits in Volumes I [engraved by Freeman after the Chandos portrait] and XV [by T. Starling] and 170 outline plates executed on steel, in the first style from Boydell’s 1802 edition. Bound in 3/4 vellum over marbled boards, marbled endpapers, spines elaborated stamped in gilt
with binder’s morocco pastedown stamped in gilt w/ author and volume; t.e.g. A fine, tight set of an important early 19th century collection of the collected works, fully illustrated.
$ 2350



  Edmund Hoyle (1672- 1769). HOYLE'S GAMES IMPROVED
Being a Practical Treatise on the following Fashionable Games, viz. Whist, Quadrille, Piquet, Chefs, Back-Gammon, Draughts, Cricket, Tennis, Quinze, Hazard, Lansquenet, and Billiards; In which are also contained The Method of Betting at those Games upon equal, or advantageous Terms; Including The Laws of the several Games, as settled and agreed to at White’s and Stapleton’s Chocolate-houses: Revised and Corrected by Charles Jones, Esq; London: Printed for J. F. and C. Rivington, et al. 1779. 12mo.

Contemporary calf. xiii, 294 pp, 3 leaves publishers advertisements at end. Front cover detatched, spine worn through to sewings, first signature loose, otherwise a tight copy of a very scarce work. Heraldic device bookplate of Rev. Francis Thackeray pastedown on interior front board. Early ink signature above (illegible). Signature at top right of first flyleaf in flourished hand WM Thackeray.

Britisher Edmund Hoyle died at the advanced age of 90 in 1769. In 1746 Hoyle published a book consisting of a short treatise and rules of five games. Called Hoyle’s Games, it was the only book he ever published. The instant success of his work fostered spurious editions wherein authors’ appended Hoyle’s name to their own books, a practice that continues today. After Hoyle's death, the book was taken over by Charles Jones, who added instructions on cricket, tennis, billiards, and other "fashionable games." Hoyle was the first person to write scientifically about whist, and offered odds for betting in all sports.

BRITTANIA ye 4th edition
John Owen and Emanuel Bowen. Britannia Depicta; or, Ogilby Improv'd; Being a Correct Copy of Mr. Ogilby's Actual Survey of all ye Direct and Principal Crossroads in England and Wales: Wherein are exactly Delineated & Engraven, All ye Cities, Towns, Villages, Churches, Seats &c. scituate on or near the Roads, with their respective Distances in Measured and Computed Miles. And to render this Work universally Useful & agreeable.are added.1. A full & particular Description & Account of all the Cities, Borough-Towns, Towns-Corporate &c. their Arms,.by Ino. Owen of the Midd: Temple Gent... Lastly Particular & Correct Maps of all ye Counties of South Britain; with a Summary description of each County..ye 4th edition. by Eman. Bowen, Engraver. London, Printed for & Sold by Thom. Bowles & I. Bowles, 1724.

8vo., contemporary mottled calf, boards and banded spine ruled in gilt, binders title pastedown intact. Armorial bookplate to front with motto: Go, and do thou likewise.


  (Brittania continued...)

Fourth octavo edition. 2ff, [4], 273pp; engraved throughout, including 54 engraved maps and numerous coats of arms; numbered plates of engravings printed on two sides, beautifully executed by Emanuel Bowen (d. 1767), and largely based on the original work, without substantial alterations Near fine.
$ 2,500.00

John Ogilby (1600-1676) produced two works in folio, both issued in 1675, the Britannia, volume the first, containing both text and maps, and the itinerarium angliae from which the main portion of the text is omitted. The first major road map survey of England and Wales, considered one of the greatest works of cartography ever published. In 1719, owing to its immense popularity and utility, various works containing reductions of the maps were issued, among them the Britannia depicta of which this is the fourth edition.
18th century Carnot La Fontaine
16th century Fine Bindings
- A selection of 16th and 18th books -
click for enlarged image and details
18th century Vellum
19th century Fine Bindings  

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