Contact Alex Day or Donovan Rees

We stock a range of antiquarian music, books on music, manuscripts and autographs, with an emphasis on early printed editions and manuscript scores of important composers.

Recent catalogues have included one of a very few surviving lifetime manuscripts of Scarlatti's harpsichord sonatas; a remarkable collection of vocal and instrumental music from the library of the duchesse de Berry; and inscribed first editions of works by Berg, Janacek, Poulenc, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schumann, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Vaughan Williams.
  1. RIDOLFI, Luca Antonio. 

    Aretefila, dialogo, nel quale da una parte sono quelle ragioni allegate, le quali affermano, lo amore...

    Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé, 1562. 

    Annotated copy, once owned by a music book collector, of the third edition (first 1557) of a remarkable Renaissance philosophical dialogue on the nature of love which marked the culmination of the very divisive ‘questione d’amore’ hotly debated in sixteenth-century literature. 


  2. BROWN, Arthur Henry.

    Autograph manuscript notebook mainly of Christmas carols.

    [Brentwood?, 1864–87].

    An autograph manuscript notebook composed primarily of Christmas carols, compiled carefully over some twenty-five years from various sources including manuscripts in the British Museum, early printed books, and contemporary books and periodicals.


  3. HALÉVY, Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie.

    Autograph musical quotation, signed.

    Paris, 15 May 1846.

    Fromental Halévy (1799–1862) showed musical promise at an early age and entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1810, becoming a pupil of Cherubini for composition the following year. In 1827 he became professor of harmony and accompaniment there, in 1833 of counterpoint and fugue, and in 1840 of composition....


  4. CHERUBINI, Luigi.

    Autograph note signed ‘L. Cherubini’ regarding the cellist Auguste Franchomme.

    [Paris,] 19 December 1825.

    A short note in which the composer and director of the Conservatoire de Paris Luigi Cherubini records that ‘Mr. Franchomme’ has been admitted into the class of ‘Mr. Seuriot’ and that he will begin there on 22 December 1825.


  5. GAY, John.

    The Beggar’s Opera … The third Edition: with the Ouverture in Score, the Songs, and the Basses … compos’d by...

    London: John Watts, 1729.

    Third (and only quarto) edition of The Beggar’s Opera, printed in this format to match the first edition of the sequel Polly. Though Gay’s lasting fame rests on The Beggar’s Opera, in his own time it was sustained by his much reprinted Fables, here found in the first...


  6. DELLOYE, H.-L. (editor).

    Chants et chansons populaires de la France [– notices par M. du Mersan], première [– deuxième;...

    Paris, Félix Locquin [– Dondey-Dupré; – Félix Locquin] for Garnier, 1843.

    First edition of a finely illustrated, serially published collection of French music, broad-margined, extra-illustrated, and accompanied by the later fourth series. Formed of four series of twenty-eight issues, sold individually at sixty centimes from February 1842, the Chants et chansons populaires...


  7. WILSON, David (editor).

    A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, &c. in three Parts … 

    [Edinburgh:] Sold by the Editor at his House … and by J. Hamilton, Music Seller … [c.1800?].

    Second(?), expanded edition of this collection of (mostly) hymn tunes scored for treble, tenor, and bass. Though for most hymns the tunes only are printed, there are words for Cowper’s ‘Hark, my Soul!’ and one other, and at the end are the words and tunes for seven secular catches (in three...


  8. ELISABETH, Empress of Austria.

    A collection of six manuscript scores from the library of Elisabeth (‘Sisi’), Empress...


    Elizabeth Amalie Eugenie of Bavaria (1837–1898), or ‘Sisi’, married Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria at the age of 16, on 24 April 1854. Her first child, a daughter, was born 11 months later but died as an infant (see below), and a male heir had to wait until the birth of Crown Prince Rudolf...


  9. TAYLOR, John.

    A Collection of Tunes in various Airs adapted to Psalms taken out of Dr Watts’s Imitation of David’s Psalms....

    London, Printed by J. Waugh … [1750].

    First edition, very rare, of a work of psalmody and music instruction by the dissenting minister John Taylor (1694–1761). Taylor had moved to Norwich in 1733, slowly diverting from orthodoxy under the influence of Samuel Clarke, before laying the foundation stone of the Octagon Chapel there...


  10. [PRELLEUR, Peter.]

    The Compleat Tutor for the Harpsichord or Spinnet wherein is shewn the Italian Manner of Fingering with suits...

    London, Peter Thompson, musical instrument maker [1755?]

    First edition thus?, an abridgment of part 6 of Prelleur’s Modern Musick-Master (1731) but with different musical examples. The examples, printed on pp. 5–32, include popular tunes and dances alongside pieces adapted from Handel and Corelli.


  11. [ROUSSEAU, Pierre.] 

    Considérations sur le théatre de l’opéra.  Novembre 1822. 

    [Paris,] de l’imprimerie de Rignoux, [1822].

    Very rare proposal for a new opera house in Paris by the architect Pierre Rousseau (1751–1829), annotated by the author and accompanied by an autograph letter. 


  12. SACCHI, Giovenale. 

    Del numero e delle misure delle corde musiche e loro corrispondenze.  Dissertazione del P. D. Giovenale...

    Milan, [Giuseppe Mazzucchelli (colophon),] 1761. 

    First edition of Sacchi’s first work: a theoretical study of music and acoustic from a mathematical and physical perspective built upon the most innovative eighteenth-century physics. 


  13. [VOGEL, Johann Christoph.]


    [France (probably Paris), c. 1787].

    A contemporary scribal manuscript of Johann Christoph Vogel’s opera Démophon, from the library of Christoph Willibald Gluck.


  14. [MENESTRIER, Claude François.]

    Des representations en musique anciennes et modernes.

    Paris, René Guignard, 1681.

    First edition. A Jesuit professor at Lyons and later Paris, Menestrier developed ‘a special interest in the history and organization of public festivals and ceremonies’. He devised ballets for the visit of Louis XIV to Lyons in 1658 and published a series of works on the subject. ‘The four...


  15. HOFMANNSTHAL, Hugo von.

    Die Aegyptische Helena. Oper in zwei Aufzügen.

    [Leipzig, Mainzer Presse for Insel-Verlag, 1928.]

    First edition of Hofmannsthal’s text for Richard Strauss’s opera – Hofmannsthal himself considered it to be his finest libretto. The opera was first performed on 6 June 1928 in Dresden, five weeks before Hofmannsthal’s death. The plot is a free adaptation of Euripides’ Helena, which introduces...


  16. MAJER, Andrea.

    Discorso sulla origine, progressi, e stato attuale della musica italiana …

    Padua, ‘dalla Tipografia e Fonderia della Minerva’, 1821.

    First edition of Majer’s treatise on Italian music, ‘a conservative defence of tradition as part of a backlash against the popularity of Rossini’s reforms’ (Baragwanath, p. 29).


  17. BERARDI, Angelo.

    Documenti armonici …

    Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1687.

    First edition, an exhaustive study of counterpoint by the composer and music theorist Angelo Berardi (c. 1636–1694), a pupil of Marco Scacchi and at this time canon at the college of S. Angelo, Viterbo.


  18. SCHUBERT, Franz, composer

    A fine contemporary volume of ten works containing eighteen Lieder including his most famous...

    Vienna, 1821-1833. 

    A rare collection of Schubert Lieder in a contemporary binding, apparently as retailed by the Czech music publisher Berra, including three first editions. 


  19. [GEORGE V.]

    The Form and Order of the Service that is to be performed and of the Ceremonies that are to be observed in the Coronation...

    London, Novello & Company, 1911.

    A handsome copy of the Coronation service, with choral settings of the music sung, including (among others) Parry’s ‘I was glad’, Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’, and ‘God save the King!’, arranged by Sir Frederick Bridge (1844–1924), organist at Westminster Abbey.