18mo in 6s, pp. , 184, [8 (‘Calendrier pour l’an 1814’)], with engraved title with vignette, and 6 engraved plates, each with tissue guard; calendar printed within typographic border; a little marginal foxing; else a very good copy in a contemporary red straight-grained morocco case-binding, borders within a roll-tooled gilt frame of grapes and vine leaves, spine gilt to a neoclassical design, edges gilt; in a matching slipcase, lettered in gilt, lightly rubbed.
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Le Parnasse des dames.
An attractive copy of Janet’s Parnasse des dames, a pocket-book alamanac on art and literature aimed at a female readership. The little volume contains a broad miscellany of verse, some by female authors, prefaced by engraved copies of works by seventeenth-century French and Dutch painters (Nicolas Poussin, Metzu, Antoine Le Nain, David Teniers twice, and van der Heyden), each accompanied by explanatory text.
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First and only Elzevir edition, in elegant eighteenth-century olive morocco. The volume opens with the Silvae, a collection of poems in five books addressed to patrons including the emperor Domitian, containing Statius’s famous lines on the death of a friend’s parrot. His twelve-book epic hexameter poem the Thebaid follows, relating the quarrel between Oedipus’s sons Eteocles and Polyneices, and the collection ends with the unfinished Achilleid, telling the story of Achilles up to his departure for Troy, including his adventures on Scyros disguised as a girl.
De vita excellentium imperatorum. Interpretatione et notis illustravit Nicolaus Courtin … in usum serenissimi Delphini.
An attractive later Delphin edition (first 1675) of Cornelius Nepos’s Lives. The only surviving work by the first-century BC biographer Cornelius Nepos, the Vitae excellentium imperatorum once formed part of a broader De viris illustribus. The Lives include Themistocles, Pausanias, and Hannibal; the most interesting character portrayal is that of Alcibiades, while the last two biographies are the most accomplished, describing the elder Cato and Atticus, with whom Nepos was intimate.