[S.l.: s.n., 1880. First Edition. Broadside. Very good. [ca. 1880s] Broadside, approximately 28 x 6 3/4 inches. Small closed tears and moderate chipping at upper right edge, not affecting text. Very good. Attractive broadside for B. A. Bambers traveling magic lantern and electric-battery-quack-medicine dime show, which toured in the Midwest and Northeast during the late 1800s. The show represents a bridge between the great American dime museums of the 19th century one of the final iterations of cabinets of curiosities, now assembled by showmen, rather than princes and apothecaries and the cinema of 20th century. Here, a juxtaposition of natural objects, exotic scenery, painting, and statuary, are shown in luminous two dimensions. The typical style and subjects of the quasi-educational dime museum and its 10-cent price remain in the magic lantern show, but the objects and tableaux have lost their materiality and set the stage for new forms of popular spectacle. With lively 19th-century wood type, a portrait of Mr. Bamber, and an enchanting view of the flight of the god Mercury through a moonlit night. While this broadside advertises Bambers 5th Annual Tour, no materials for previous or subsequent tours are recorded.
New York: Currier & Ives, 1860. First Edition. Broadside. Good.  Color lithographic broadside, image approximately 12 x 9 inches. Top half-inch of image trimmed, not affecting pictorial content. Toning, small chips and closed tears, early soft folds. Good. Early Currier & Ives portrait of the albino Dutch Lucasie family, whom Barnum brought to New York from Amsterdam in 1857, advertised for years at the American Museum as natives of Madagascar, and contracted for tours, as advertised here. Scarce.
[Manchester, N.H.?: s.n., 1890]. Very good. [ca. 1890s] Broadside, 10 x 5 3/4 inches. On green paper. Small discoloration, affecting a few characters of text, light horizontal fold, very minor chipping at edges (affecting no text). Very good. Broadside advertising the services of palmist, phrenologist, and clairvoyante "Mrs. Dr. Stanley," who exhibited the "Strange Gift of Prophecy" and specialized in counseling on matters of marriage and healing of women's afflictions. The lower portion of the broadside is completed in print with the fees (fifty cents to two dollars) and address of her current engagement: No. 188 Merrimack St. (likely in Manchester, New Hampshire). Newspaper records show Dr. Mrs. Stanley touring the Midwest, the Northeast, and California between 1890 and 1902. In late 1890 and early 1891, she was the subject of some controversy in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The November 30, 1890, issue of the NEWS-DEALER there reported that she and another woman, both "alleged fortune tellers and 'trance mediums'," became the targets of "the eagle eye of that great guardian of public morality Con[stable] McGroarty," who brought them before the mayor on the basis of "an absurd old law." The mayor was forced to fine and expel them, despite the fact, as the paper remarked, nobody had "ever complained that these two ladies did any harm." Six weeks later, Stanley's name reappeared in the NEWS-DEALER when a Mrs. Ludwig from nearby Pittstown poisoned herself with an ounce of arsenic. Local rumors circulated that family troubles were the cause and that "Mrs. Ludwig thought that her husband did not treat her as a husband ought to." Mr. Ludwig, however, denied "all of the above and claims that the cause was due to what Mrs. Dr. Stanley, the fortuneteller who was driven out of Wilkes-Barre recently, had told Mrs. Ludwig that Mr. Ludwg would desert her and that she would never see him again."
Geneva: Eustache Vignon, 1580. Hardcover. Very good. ,213 pp. In Latin. 19th-century plain paper-backed marbled boards. 19th-century German booksellers label in front pastedown. Small early inscription, crossed out in early ink, in title page, not affecting text, occasional early underlining and marginal notes. Two-inch vertical crease at head of title leaf, with half-inch closed tear at edge (tear not affecting text), faint dampstaining in first 24 leaves. Very good. Early Latin edition, after the first edition, in German, of 1569 and the first Latin edition of 1570. Known in English as Of Ghostes and Spirites Walking by Nyght, and of Strange Noyses, Crackes, and Sundry Forewarnings, Whiche Commonly Happen Before the Death of Menne, Great Slaughters, & Alterations of Kyngdomes, from the 1572 English translation, this work is one of the most important demonological works of the Reformation era, profoundly influential in Elizabethan literature. The author, Ludwig Lavater (1527-1886), was a Zwinglian Swiss theologian and minister based in Zurich. In the 16th and 17th-century Protestant world, new questions had surfaced regarding the nature of ghostly apparitionsparticularly their origins. In the Catholic understanding, ghosts were generally thought to be spirits of the dead on leave from Purgatory. With their rejection of the doctrine of Purgatory, Protestant philosophers and theologians were compelled to search for new answers. One (fairly unpopular) position was taken by Reginald Scot in his DISCOURSE UPON DEVILS AND SPIRITS, appended to his 1584 work, DISCOVERIE OF WITCHCRAFT, in which he argued that because the age of miracles had ceased long ago apparitions must be no more than the products of human imagination or trickery. The dominant view in Protestant theology (if still not quite the popular mind), however, came to be what Lavater expressed here in DE SPECTRIS. Lavater argued that, while many apparitions may be indeed be products of false perception, ample evidence of real supernatural visitations had existed from biblical and classical antiquity to the present day. He concluded, however, that these phenomena are not the spirits of the dead but in fact agents of Hell (and perhaps occasionally Heaven) that will sometimes take human spiritual form. He relates examples of these phenomena throughout the work, together with a taxonomy of less-human specters such as Lamiae, Larvae, and Lemures and a variety of mythical creatures. In his introduction to the 1929 Oxford edition of GHOSTES AND SPIRITES (edited with May Yardley), J. Dover Wilson demonstrates the clear influence of Lavaters viewsand possibly of his book, directlyon Shakespeare in the shaping of the dialogues surrounding the ghost of Hamlets father. In TAMMUZ PAN AND CHIRST : NOTES ON A TYPICAL CASE OF MYTH-TRANSFERENCE AND DEVELOPMENT (Chicago, 1912), Wilfred H. Schoff discusses the influence of Lavaters strange compilation of wonder stories on the Elizabethans and traces the path of the Dead Pan story in English literature from DE SPECTRIS through Spencer, Milton, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Caillet 6237 ("curieux et rare"). Dorbon-Ainé 2509 (first edition). Graesse, pp. 81, 134. Rosenthal 1885. Thorndike VI, pp. 530-32.
San Francisco: North Point Press, 1988. First Edition. Hardcover. Fine/fine. Original cloth, spine gilt, in pictorial dust jacket. Warmly inscribed and signed, "Rennie," by the author with his caricature self-portrait drawn both beside the signature and in the book's fore-edge. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Six early "passion pieces" by Lawrence Weschler, "stories of people merely going about their everyday lives, when suddenly they seem to catch fire, becoming utterly obsessed and ending up somewhere entirely different from where they thought they were headed" (publisher's jacket description). The essays include portraits of English teacher Akumal Ramachander and reclusive painter Harold Shapinsky, cartoonist Art Spiegelman, Danish cheese exporter-turned-museum founder Knud Jensen, bookseller Leonard Durso, Russian avant garde conductor-turned-lexicographer Nicloas Sloniminsky, and artist J. S. G. Boggs (the creator and spender of his own paper currency about whom Weschler would write a full-length biography in 1988).
[Frankfurt]: Printed by Johann Wolf for Johann Jacob Porsius, 1610. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Small octavo. A-Y8 (Y8 blank);  pp. Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript spine title. 18th or 19th-century printed and manuscript library bookplate, later monogram book label. 17th-century inscriptions, including ex dono inscription of George Keith, in title page. Modern bibliographical inscriptions in front free endpaper. Vellum worn and moderately soiled but sound. Early repair to front free endpapers, title leaf, and first leaf of text, with some resulting glue stains, occasional minor worming. After the first few leaves, contents clean. Overall very good. "Miracles of the Dead" is one of the four works by German lawyer Heinrich Kornmann (ca. 1580-1620) published between 1610 and 1614 on magic and marvels. Magical bits from the Miracles of the Dead are that the owl is a fatal omen and the peacock a presage of disease, that suffumigation with the tooth of a dead man expels witchcraft and impotency, that the herb betony protects cemeteries, and that if a mother kisses her dead child, the other children will soon die too. Astrology enters in the question why thousands of persons with different horoscopes die on the same day in the same battle, and divination in the question what dreams about the dead signifiy, the discussion of presages of death, and the prophecies of those about to die. The problem is argued whether the witch of Endor really resuscitated Samuel. Joan of Arcs heart was unburned at the stake. Cases are listed of the teeth of corpses growing and a dead woman impregnated. A corpse is heavier than the living body because it is without the levitation of the vital spirits and heat. The size and weight of resurrected bodies is discussed, how men who have been eaten and the cannibals who ate them can both be resurrected in the body, whether abortions will rise again, and whether monsters will be resurrected. The corpse bleeding before the murderer is treated, and if inextinguishable and ever-burning sepulchral lamps are not, they are about the only thing connected with funerals and burials which is omitted -- Thorndike. Caillet 5827 ("Curieux et recherché"). Thorndike VII, pp. 278-80.
Frankfurt and Leipzig: Philipp Wilhelm Stock, 1704. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. ,128 pp., including several in-text illustrations, plus ten plates (nine folding). In Latin. Modern marbled paper over boards. Moderate toning throughout, mild foxing in some plates, minor loss along upper fold of third plate with archival tape repair and residue of earlier tape repair, apparent loss of small outer panel of terminal plate. Very good. First edition of the posthumous German treatment of the Latin works of Johannes Praetorius on palmistry, metoposcopy, and other forms of physiognomic divination. Johannes Praetorius (i.e., Hans Schultze, 1630-1680) was a German poet, historian, and prolific compiler of curious legends and folklore. Faber du Faur, for whom Praetorius held a particular collecting interest, lists him in the "Oddities" section of GERMAN BAROQUE LITERATURE and refers to his "open eye and a sharp ear for all wonder stories, witch tales, and accounts of ghosts and sorcery current among the people. He indefatigably collected all information on remarkable subjects and happenings, and was fond of popular gossip, even of the uncouth type" (pp. 199-200). Faber du Faur 776 (1713 edition). OCLC lists seven copies, all in Europe.
Kaufbeuren: Christian Starck, 1742. Hardcover. Very good. ,498, pp. including index. In German. Contemporary mottled calf, raised bands, spine richly gilt, gilt leather labels, marbled endpapers, all edges red. Early 20th-century satanic bookplate of "Winkler Jenö." Calf worn at edges and rubbed, loss to lower corner of first rear endpaper. Very good. Later edition, after the first of 1682. One of the last published examples of medieval-style prophecy, the work foretells the life, magical works, reign, and defeat of the Antichrist, with various revelations relating to signs of his coming and the end of the world, the murder and resurrection of Enoch and Elijah, and the Second Coming of Christ, as well as a section on the "Messiah of the Jews." The author, Dionysius von Lützenburg (i.e., Luxemburg, ca. 1652-1703), was a Capuchin friar known especially for this, his first work, and his hagiographical LEGEND DER HEILIGEN (1684). The present copy contains the very unusual bookplate of Jenö Winkler ("Winkler Jenö," in the Hungarian style), who is also evidently its artist, with his monogram in the print. The plate, printed in black and red, shows a suited devil plunging a skull-tipped sword through a large bleeding book. OCLC lists four copies, three in Germany, one at Brigham Young Univeristy. Rare.
Paris: L. Passard, [ca. 1857]. First combined edition. Hardcover. Very good. 16mo. Two volumes in one, as issued. ,132,,-148;,ii,180,4 pp. including fifteen full-page portraits (including frontispiece) in first volume and numerous in-text illustrations and portrait frontispiece in second volume. In French. Contemporary sheep-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Armorial bookplate of the Belmondo Caccia family. Printer's error in p. 151 of second title, effacing portions of several lines of text. Binding moderately rubbed and worn. Very good. L. Passard's combined illustrated pocket companions to the physiognomical studies of Johann Kaspar Lavater and phrenological works of Franz Joseph Gall, by Alexandre David.
[New York: New York Institute for the Humanities], 2003. First Edition. Softcover. Fine. 176 pp., profusely illustrated (mostly in color). Original color pictorial wrappers. Minor shelfwear, else fine. Prototype, printed for private distribution, of Lawrence Weschler and company's prospective journal of writing and visual culture, lamentably never published beyond this issue. With contributions by Ricky Jay, Jamaica Kinkaid, Oliver Sacks, Anne Hollander, Errol Morris, and thirty more writers, artists, editors, and designers, all working for the protoype issue as a labor of love. Weschler begins his introduction to the volume with a note on its first working title: "'Pillow of Air' perfectly describes the reigning aesthetic of the enterprise... in that it invokes those moments of hushed astonishment or absorption when a pillow of air seems to lodge itself in your mouth and you suddenly notice that you haven't taken a breath in a good half minute. The sort of experience where you get lost to yourself and given over to the marvel of all creation (indeed, to everything but yourself)."
[New York: New York Institute for the Humanities], 2003. First Edition. Softcover. Fine. 176 pp., profusely illustrated (mostly in color). Original color pictorial wrappers. Signed by Lawrence Weschler in the title page. Minor shelfwear, else fine. Prototype, printed for private distribution, of Lawrence Weschler and company's prospective journal of writing and visual culture, lamentably never published beyond this issue. With contributions by Ricky Jay, Jamaica Kinkaid, Oliver Sacks, Anne Hollander, Errol Morris, and thirty more writers, artists, editors, and designers, all working for the protoype issue as a labor of love. Weschler begins his introduction with a note on the magazine's first working title: "'Pillow of Air' perfectly describes the reigning aesthetic of the enterprise... in that it invokes those moments of hushed astonishment or absorption when a pillow of air seems to lodge itself in your mouth and you suddenly notice that you haven't taken a breath in a good half minute. The sort of experience where you get lost to yourself and given over to the marvel of all creation (indeed, to everything but yourself)."
New York: Schuman's, 1939. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 47, pp. plus portrait frontispiece. Contemporary three-quarter red morocco and marbled boards, raised bands, spine gilt, original printed wrappers bound in. Ex-lib., with institutional bookplate, marked "withdrawn," in front free endpaper and inkstamp in lower margin of p. 3. Engraved bookplate of Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt. Morocco rubbed at extremities, upper margin of front wrapper lightly smudged, else near fine. An important bookseller's catalog in the history of the history of medicine, dedicated to the celebrated American neurosurgeon Harvey Williams Cushing in honor of his seventieth birthday. Cushing died shortly after this volume was issued, and Schuman's later published the short-title catalog of his collection of books, manuscripts, and ephemera given to Yale University. Henry and Ida Schuman were among the first American booksellers to specialize in the history of medicine. Originally based in Detroit, they moved their business to New York in 1939, releasing the present catalog as the first from their new location. Its offerings range from a 13th-century manuscript relating to Constantine the African to works of William Beaumont on his pioneering digestion experiments with the unfortunate Alexis St. Martin. A 1543 first edition of Vesalius's DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA is listed for $550. This copy of the catalog was owned originally by Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt, philanthropist, bibliophile, and founder of the great Hunt Botanical Library at Carnegie Mellon University. Hunt, a master bookbinder, is almost certainly responsible for the fine morocco binding here.
Mexico City: Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, [ca. 1900]. First Edition. Broadside. Near fine. José Guadalupe Posada. Halfsheet, approximately 11 3/4 x 8 inches, printed recto and verso. In Spanish. Woodcut illustration, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, and ornamental border in recto. Toning, 3/4-inch marginal closed tear, not affecting text, else fine. News halfsheet illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), the immortal Mexican printmaker, at the press of celebrated Mexico City publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo (1850-1917). Guadalupe's wood engraving depicts the "horrible event" of the past September at Ocotlán, in which the Virgin of Guadalupe came to the aid of a virtuous, long-battered woman whose husband had secretly sold her to a demon six years earlier, and whom the demon had now come to collect at a mountain monastery. Hearing her weeping and prayers, the Virgin assumed the woman's identity while she slept and presented herself to the demon, who, when he realized he had been tricked, let out a frightful roar. A striking piece, rare, and in excellent condition despite the extreme fragility of its paper.
Leighton, Pa., 1867. Softcover. Near fine.  pp., approximately 600 words. Bifolium on ruled paper, approximately 9 1/2 x 6 inches. Very minor soiling on first page, else near fine. Manuscript letter by a semi-crippled itinerant phrenologist describing his schemes and recent adventures to a confidant. The unsigned document is addressed to "Friend Harbert," who a later pencil inscription indicates was William Soesbe Harbert (1842-1919). A native of Terre Haute, Indiana and later resident of Des Moines, Chicago, and Pasadena, Harbert was a prominent lawyer, judge, and advocate of progressive causes. He was celebrated for his escape from the infamous Libby Prison during the Civil War, from which he emerged weighing ninety-seven pounds, and was also notable as the husband of Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, a leader in the women's suffrage movement. At the time of the letter's composition, Harbert was completing his law degree at the University of Michigan. The precise relationship of Harbert to the author of the letter is unclear, but the letter writer states that Harbert is the "only one outside my family" to know an unnamed secret ("even my own mother dont know it"). The secret appears to relate either to the author's fraudulent career or "some business" he mentions having to "settle up" back home. The author jokes that "open confession is good for the soul": "While I have experienced the keen fangs of excruciating mortification, of being, drawn on to a hot griddle, & broiled alive, before an audience, there is also a great deal of pleasure & satisfaction in the business. I am treated with the utmost respect & courtisiy, even in the first place.where I think, that it was pretty generaly conceeded, by most all in town that I was a humbug! in fact that opinion, was so prevalent that I thought so myself! Yet I more than made expenses. I am necessarily compelled to put on considerable style & I dont stay long enough in one place to find me out till I lecture & then they take the bait! . I think I will try to get of a pretty good speache here, probably two, & the people are very ignorant, & they may not discover the diference. I have the satisfaction of knowing more about Phrenology than they do anyhow, & I put off a few technical names, describing the brain & skull &c so that closes the M.D.'s & I can handle the rest of the audience pretty well. Up to the present time I have not dared to venture into a town where there is a paper published for fear I get blown so high that I would not get back again." An extremely unusual, colorful piece of correspondence documenting phrenology as quackery by one of its own.
Amsterdam: C.G. Van Der Post, 1855. First Edition. Softcover. Very good. 18 pp., including in-text anatomical illustrations, plus two plates. Quarto. Original printed wrappers. Minor wear at edges, light foxing, two pinholes in plates, not affecting images. Very good. First of two editions. A treatise on false hermaphroditism in females by the Dutch anatomist Hidde Justuszoon Halbertsma (1820-1865). Published by the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen. The two plates illustrate the sex organs of a "hermaphroditic" female calf.