"NO ACT OF KINDNESS, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, IS EVER WASTED”: RARE AND DESIRABLE FIRST STOCKDALE EDITION OF THE FABLES OF AESOP ELEGANTLY BOUND BY RIVIERE
The Fables of Aesop, with a Life of the Author and Embellished with One Hundred & Twelve Plates.
L'Estrange, Sir Roger [Aesop].
Item Number: 95839
London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1793.
First Stockdale edition of The Fables of Aesop, with a Life of the Author. Octavo, two volumes. Bound in full green levant morocco by Riviere, gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, front and rear panels, red inlay to the front and rear panels, gilt turn ins, all edges gilt. With 112 engraved plates. In near fine condition with light toning. A stunning example.
Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BC. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media. The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him, although some of that material was from sources earlier than him or came from beyond the Greek cultural sphere. The process of inclusion has continued until the present, with some of the fables unrecorded before the later Middle Ages and others arriving from outside Europe. The process is continuous and new stories are still being added to the Aesop corpus, even when they are demonstrably more recent work and sometimes from known authors. Manuscripts in Latin and Greek were important avenues of transmission, although poetical treatments in European vernaculars eventually formed another. On the arrival of printing, collections of Aesop's fables were among the earliest books in a variety of languages. Through the means of later collections, and translations or adaptations of them, Aesop's reputation as a fabulist was transmitted throughout the world. Initially the fables were addressed to adults and covered religious, social and political themes. They were also put to use as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children. Their ethical dimension was reinforced in the adult world through depiction in sculpture, painting and other illustrative means, as well as adaptation to drama and song. In addition, there have been reinterpretations of the meaning of fables and changes in emphasis over time.
Other Books by this Author
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often": Winston Churchills Collected Works; 38 Volumes In Full Vellum In the Original Slipcases; Inscribed by Clementine and Mary Soames
London: Library of Imperial History In association With Charles Scribner's Sons and The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1973-76.
Centenary limited edition of Sir Winston S. Churchill’s collected works, inscribed by both his wife and youngest daughter in the year of the centenary of his birth to the winner of the 1974 C & G Gimcrack Horse Race at that very race. Octavos, 34 volumes bound in the original full vellum with gilt titles and gilt-stamped Churchill coat of arms to the spines and front panels, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Each volume housed in the original dark green slipcase which is also gilt-stamped with the Churchill coat of arms. One of only 3,000 sets produced, this is number 143. Volume I, which contains My Early Life and My African Journey is inscribed by The Baroness Clementine Churchill opposite her preface, “Inscribed by Clementine Spencer Churchill” as well as her youngest daughter Mary, “presented by her youngest daughter Mary Soames, “and presented by her daughter to Mr. Ravi Tikkoo at York Races August the 22nd 1974.” The inscribed volume is housed in a custom oak and vellum clamshell box with ornate claw feet, velvet lining, and gold plaque which reads, C and G Gimcrack Stakes 1974 Presented to Mr. Ravi Tikkoo Owner of Steel Heart (Habitat – A. I. by Abernant) Winner of the C & G Gimcrack Stakes 1974, by Lady Soames in the Centenary Year of the Birth of Her Father Sir Winston Churchill.” In excellent condition. A brilliant set with exceptional provenance.
Rare First Edition of Mathematical Collections and Translations, which includes the first translation in English of Galileo's System of the World" (Dialogo)
London: William Leybourn, 1661.
First edition of Thomas Salusbury’s Mathematical Collections and Translations. Salusbury compiled and translated important writings by Archimedes, Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Tartaglia, Torricelli into English for the first time, greatly influencing the English-speaking world. This volume contains the first English translation of Galileo’s 1632 The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo). Also included is Galileo’s 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, published in 1636 as Nov-antiqua sanctissimorum patrum et probatorum theologorum doctrina, which asserted the independence of science from religious authority. This short but important Epistle to the Grand Dutchesse Mother concerning the Authority of Holy Scripture in Philosophical Controversies (known today as the Letter to Christina), was only the second work of Galileo’s to be published in England. It preceded the Latin edition, published in London by Thomas Dicas, by two years and remained the only vernacular translation for two centuries. Apart from the two works by Galileo, Salusbury included other translations from Italian and Latin in this volume of his Collections, such as Johannes Kepler’s and Didacus a Stunica’s “Reconcilings of Scripture Texts,” and Foscarinus’ Epistle to Father Fantonus reconciling the Authority of Scripture. Folio, bound in full calf, with 4 engraved plates. Lacking the half-title, contents leaf, fly-title to The System of the World, and the errata leaf found at the end of the first part in some copies. 2 parts in one volume. In very good condition with the contents showing some light browning in the upper margins. First editions are exceptionally rare.
Rare First Edition of Edmond Halley's Astronomical Tables with Precepts both in English and Latin for Computing the Places of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Comets
Astronomical Tables with Precepts both in English and Latin for Computing the Places of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Comets.
London: Printed for William Innys, 1752.
First edition in English of Halley’s classic work. Quarto, bound in contemporary full calf, gilt titles to the spine, gilt embossed stamp of The Society of Writers to the Signet on the front and rear panel, copper-engraved frontispiece portrait. Edited by John Bevis. In very good condition with light rubbing and wear.
"One of the four Greatest Novels Ever Written" (Arthur Schopenhauer): Rare First Edition in English of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
London: Oliver & Boyd, 1824.
First edition in English of Goethe’s masterpiece. Octavo, 3 volumes. Bound in contemporary half cloth over marbled boards. In near fine condition with light toning to the spine.