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Comedy, Satire, Burlesque From Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio


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Les Songes drolatiques de Pantagruel, ou sont contenues plusieurs figures de l'invention de maistre François Rabelais: et dernier oeuvre d'iceluy, pour la recreation des bons esprits.

By [Rabelais, François]; [François Desprez].

[1869]. Good/Unusual nineteenth-century facsimile of the series of prints first published by Richard Breton in 1565 and spuriously attributed to François Rabelais, who had died a dozen years earlier. (One of Breton's engravers, François Desprez, is almost certainly the true artist.) The phantasmagorical and sometimes grotesque figures recall similarly dreamy inventions in the paintings of Bosch and Bruegel, but with some of the social pique of the Dance of Death cycles or emblem books. Several facsimile editions appeared in France in the mid-1800s, but this is the only one without introduction, commentary, or apparatus. . 21 cm; [6] pages, and [120] pages full-page illustrations, all reproduced in facsimile from the 1565 edition. Date supplied by copy in University of Glasgow library. Bound in polished calf over marbled boards, gilt-tooled spine; rebacked with Japan paper, worn, spine perished between crown and title label and laid down; corners rubbed. Pencil underscore on title page.

$125.00

The Way of the World.

By Congreve, William.

London: The Haymarket Press, 1928. Very Good/Congreve's arch and still-funny sex comedy in a 20th-century hand-made edition that features a very good engraving by the notable British portrait artist. . Quarto (26 cm); xxi, 79, [2] pages. Frontispiece drypoint etching by Arthur Ralph Middleton Todd (1891-1966), signed in pencil. Bound in original quarter-leather over marbled velvet cloth boards. Edition limited to 875 copies, numbered in ink (this copy #302). Minor wear to covers.

$85.00

The Life of Sir John Falstaff.  Illustrated by George Cruikshank.  With a biography of the knight from authentic sources.
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The Life of Sir John Falstaff. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. With a biography of the knight from authentic sources.

By Brough, Robert B.; George Cruikshank.

London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858. First edition thus. Very Good. 26 cm; xx, 196 pages, and 20 plates "drawn and etched by George Cruikshank." Bound in half polished brown morocco over marbled boards, with title and decorations stamped in gilt on spine and gilt rules on boards, by P.B. Sanford. Marble endleaves; top edge gilt. Occasional light scattered foxing, primarily in margins. Bindingly lightly scuffed at edges. Armorial bookplate (ca. 1914) of Isaac Rand Thomas engraved by Sydney Lawton Smith after the bookplate Paul Revere designed for Thomas's 18th-century ancestor.

$125.00

Speculum vitae aulicae.  De admirabili fallacia et astutia Vulpeculae Reinikes libri quatuor. [Reynard the Fox].
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Speculum vitae aulicae. De admirabili fallacia et astutia Vulpeculae Reinikes libri quatuor. [Reynard the Fox].

By [Reynard the Fox] Reinke de Vos, Latin; Hartmann Schopper, trans.; Jost Amman, illus.

Frankfurt: N. Bassaeus, 1584. Hard cover. Very Good/Schopper's Latin version of the popular German beast epic narrating the adventures of Reynard the Fox, who outwits his enemies by sheer effrontry and brazen deceit. The Medieval Reynard cycle evolved out of Flemish and Dutch versions, and was first published in Low German in 1498. Schopper's Latin version, originally issued in 1567, made the stories available to a pan-European audience. This edition is especially noteworthy for its charming series of 57 woodcuts by the German master Jost Amman. They proved quite popular and were reprinted through the 17th century.. 12mo (14 cm); [20, 465, [1] pages, [9] leaves (lacks final blank leaf); woodcut printer's device on title; with 57 woodcut illustrations (from 51 blocks) by Jost Amman in text. About a third of the woodcuts have been hand-colored with varying degrees of skill by an early reader. Bound in contemporary vellum, double-fillet panels with fleurons at outer corners and a floral ornament in centers, gilt but oxidized to black. Spine divided into four compartments. At foot of title page is an ownership inscription dated 1595, from Melchior Blorock of Wurzburg; a few other later entries on title page; worming on pastedowns. References: VD16, R-1015; Brunet V, 1222.

$1750.00

Punch and Judy....
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Punch and Judy....

By Cruikshank, George; John Payne Collier.

London: S. Prowett, 1828. Second edition. Leather. Good/The text of the play, illustrated by Cruikshank, with introduction and notes by Collier.. 21 cm; [2], 141, [7] pages, frontispiece portrait of "Mr. Punch" and 23 plates by Cruikshank. Title page illustration and tail-pieces in text after Cruikshank. Bound in half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, ruled in gilt. Spine titled and tooled in gilt. Moderate wear to corners and edges. Scattered light foxing affecting plates. Marginal paper repair at page 99-100, barely affecting text, corrected in manuscript. Bookplate of Howland Pell, of Pelham, NY.

$250.00

Album de Forain.
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Album de Forain.

By Forain, Jean-Louis (1852-1931); Alphonse Daudet.

Paris: H. Simonis Empis, [1893]. First edition, limited to 75 copies on Chine, this being #14, signed in pencil by the artist.. Hard Cover. Good/Reference: Hoe sale III, 1194 (this copy). The Hoe-Robinson copy of a collection of cartoons that affectionately satirize Parisian sexual-social customs. Forain was a friend and protégé of Degas, and a follower of Daumier. The preface is by the French novelist Alphonse Daudet, who writes, "The whole of Paris is there, modern Paris, from top to bottom, Paris and its terrors, its joys, its vices... explored by two sharp black eyes prying and watching...." This copy bears the ownership marks of two notable book collectors. Robert Hoe (1839-1909) was the founding president of the Grolier Club, New York's prestigious society of book collectors. His book collection rivaled that of his contemporary, J. Pierpont Morgan, but unlike Morgan he dispersed his books in a massive auction in 1911, where indeed Morgan acquired many prizes for his own library. C.L. F. Robinson (1874-1916) was the president of Colt Firearms, and a yeoman book collector. His library was sold at Anderson's shortly after his death, the same house that dispersed the Hoe library, for the considerable sum of $45,000.. Folio (42 cm); [4] leaves and [50] printed plates of Fourain's cartoons. Original hand-tinted wraps bound in. Upper wrap loose. Many plates with English translation of caption supplied in ink (in Hoe's hand?). Pervasive damp stain at juncture of gutter and top edge. Bound in half levant morocco over marbled boards, by David. Bookplate of Robert Hoe, later bookplate (by E.D. French) of Colonel C.L.F. Robinson.

$400.00

Todten-Tantz
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Todten-Tantz

By Merian, Matthaeus (1593-1650).

Frankfurt, 1649. First Merian edition (although a sketchier and incomplete proto-edition of exceeding rarity had appeared earlier). Dance of Death cycles typically show a very quick and lively skeleton leading someone away in a dance step. The partner's social station is instantly recognizable, and much of the fun lies in death's indifference to rank: the death figure is just as cheerful leading off the queen or the pope as the merchant or the beggar. While the conventions may have originated in Medieval pageants, their popularity grew and flourished in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Merian's cycle is based on the famous frescoes in the Basel Predigerkirche (destroyed as an "eyesore" by town authorities in 1805). Merian's Adam and Eve plate, and his famously surreal death's-head self-portrait that can be viewed right-side-up or up-side-down, make their first appearance here. The book was frequently reprinted and copied for the succeeding 150 years, becoming the most instantly recognizable of all Baroque editions of the Dance of Death. A very good copy. . Quarto (20 cm); [3], 4-206, [2] pages. Title within engraved border of macabre landscapes, and 44 full-page copperplate engravings. Contemporary (?) binding of plain brown sheep over pasteboard. Rebacked. Extremities rubbed and bumped, exposing boards at corners (one corner repaired); few small abrasions on leather. Browning to perimeter of endpapers from acid migration of the leather turn-ins. Interior: Title and following three leaves fingersoiled; scattered soiling and foxing; old mend to head fore-corner of A2; L4 with 4-cm vertical tear in gutter. Two small wormholes. Nevertheless, text and plates are remarkably clean and unblemished. References: Massmann, "Literatur Der Totentänze," 76; Sears, "A collection of works illustrative of the Dance of Death," 31; Minns, "The Dance of Death" (auction catalogue), 24.

$6000.00

Theory of Nonsense: typed letter, signed.

By Burgess, Gelett (1866-1951).

New York: December 9, 1939. Very Good/Letter discussing the theoretical template for nonsense verse from the author of one of the most enduring nonsense quatrains, "I never saw a purple cow." The letter is certainly to Rupert Hughes (1872-1956), author, director and, incidentally, uncle of Howard Hughes. Burgess writes, "I have discovered a sure-fire formula for Nonsense Verses-especially the double couplet, much superior to the quatrain." Burgess supplies four delightful examples illustrating the secret, including "The public marvels, I suppose, that I paint pictures with my nose. If there is any mystery to it, It isn't How, it's Why I do it." . 28 cm; 1 page on Burgess's monogramed letterhead, to "Hughes," signed with monogram in ink. 43 lines, including salutations and four quatrains of verse. Usual folds, toned at edges. Two closed tears along top edge.

$400.00

Her Majesty's Ship Pinafore:

By Gilbert, W[illiam] S[hwenck], 1836-1911.

Boston: Oliver Ditson, December 2, 1878. Good/Gilbert and Sullivan's first great success, HMS Pinafore, opened in London in May 1878. Saturation was so thorough that "unauthorized" productions sprang up. The first American production took place at the Boston Museum, November 25, 1878. This copy of Gilbert's libretto is dated December 2, 1878 on the Dramatis Personae page, and 1879 on the upper wrap, placing it among the earliest American printings available. In the absence of hard evidence, one can reasonably assume that the sheets from one of the earliest productions were utilized into 1879 with freshly printed wraps.. 19 cm; 31 pages, ads. Printed self wraps, illustrated with publisher's full-page wood-engraved ad on lower wrap. Upper wrap unevenly toned; sewing tender but holding firm. Lower edge slightly bumped.

$160.00

Commedie del cinquecento, volume secondo.

By Sanesi, Ireneo, ed.; Alessandro Piccolomini; Lorenzino de' Medici; Lodovico Dolce; Francesco D'Ambra.

Bari: Laterza, 1912. Wraps. Good/Contains the text of L'amor Costante by Alessandro Piccolomini; L'Aridosia by Lorenzino de' Medici; Il Ragazzo by Lodovico Dolce; and I Bernardi by Francesco D'Ambra. 21 cm; 466 pages. Bound in original printed wraps. Poor condition, offered as reading copy only. Text block cracked, holding by threads; one leaf with closed lateral tear. No marks or blemishes. "Scrittori d'Italia" series.

$10.00

Sermoni.

By Gozzi, Gasparo.

Milano: Giovanni Silvestri, 1826. Very Good. 17 cm; 91, [1] pages, and engraved portrait of Gozzi by Ester Silvestri. Bound in original printed wraps. Unopened, untrimmed. Pages still bright and clean. Shelf wear only.

$50.00

Oeuvres completes.

By Regnier, Mathurin.

Paris: P. Jannet, 1853. Cloth. Good . 12mo; 17 cm., lv, 340, ads., Red cloth, stamped in blind, titled in gilt on spine., Water stains along bottom edge of casing; some spotting in text., One of the great wits of his age, Regnier wrote satires in alexandrines after the manner of Horace and Juvenal. No less an authority than Sainte Beuve compared them to Flemish paintings for their vigor, their precision and light. Includes an essay on the history of satire in France.

$15.00

The Satires of Persius translated: with notes. By William Drummond, Esq. M. P.
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The Satires of Persius translated: with notes. By William Drummond, Esq. M. P.

By Persius Flaccus, Aulus.

London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co., for J. Wright, 1799. Good. 8vo (22 cm); 3, xlviii, 189 pages. Title page with engraved portrait vignette. Bound in contemporary full birdseye calf decorated in gilt. Marbled endpapers. Binding rather rubbed and worn, cracked at joints but holding. Spine ends perishing. Owner's autograph on title page (Sir Alex Bannerman, 1818), with few ink notes in text in 19th-century hand. Latin and English texts on facing pages.

$80.00

Como, dramma con maschere ... Comus, masque.

By Milton, John.

Paris: Didot, 1812. Second edition. Bound in contemporary mottled pink paper-covered boards, worn. . Very Good/The British eccentric Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater (1756-1829) commissioned this translation into French and Italian of Milton's Comus in part to honor his own ancestor, John Egerton, who was present at the first performance of it. First issued in 1806, Egerton chose to reprint the corrected text with the celebrated firm of Didot. A third issue of the Italian text was printed later the same year.. 31cm; xiii, [i], 85 pages. Title and text in French and Italian on facing pages. Bridgewater arms stamped in red on both title pages; Egerton arms stamped in red at head of appendix (a survey of critcism on Comus). A 16-page genealogy in French of the Bridgewater family dated 1810 bound in, stamped with Bridgewater arms. Scattered light foxing only.

$500.00

Rime e lettere ... aggiuntovi la Catrina, il Mogliazzo, il Dialogo contro i poeti, e le poesie latine.

By Berni, Francesco (1497-1535).

Florence: G. Barbera,, 1863. Collezione Diamante. Very Good/The comic poet Francesco Berni is still underappreciated and largely unknown to anglophone readers. According to the Britannica (11th ed), "Berni stands at the head of Italian comic or burlesque poets. For lightness, sparkling wit, variety of form and fluent diction, his verses are unsurpassed." This edition was published in Gaspero Barbera's brilliant "Collezione Diamante" series of vest-pocket books printed in 7-point diamond type in a font based on Bodoni. 2000 copies were printed, and the edition sold out. The text, edited by Carlo Gargiolli, includes his poems, letters, plays, a literary essay in dialogue form, and Latin verse.. in-48 (11cm); xvii, [1], 461, [3] pages, and steel engraved portrait frontispiece with tissue guard. Bound in original publisher's wraps. Bookplate. Shelf wear, corners bumped, but no frays, tears or stains. References: Annali bibliografici, #135; Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche, #52.

$165.00