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  • POELLNITZ, Karl Ludwig, Freiherr von (1692-1775).
    La Saxe Galante. Ou Histoire des Amours d’Auguste I. Roi de Pologne. Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1736.

    Third Edition. 12mo (146 x 88 mm), pp. [ii], 416, title page printed in red, first and final leaves a little dampstained, binding internally sprung but externally sound, in later vellum, marbled endpapers, spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, with the ownership inscription ‘A. de Meslon’ (?).

    A scarce early edition of one of the cheekiest plagiarisms of the eighteenth century. Frequently reprinted, this chronique scandaleuse claims to contain true details of… (more)

    A scarce early edition of one of the cheekiest plagiarisms of the eighteenth century. Frequently reprinted, this chronique scandaleuse claims to contain true details of the love life of the King of Poland, Augustus of Saxony, known as ‘the German Casanova’ and said to have fathered some 400 illegitimate children.
    ‘Cet ouvrage du baron de Poellnitz est un plagiat des plus audacieux. - Ce n'est autre chose que le charmant roman de la Princesse de Clèves de Mme de La Fayette, que le baron de Poellnitz a mis sous son nom, en changeant tout simplement les noms des personnages et le lieu de l'action. Quant aux phrases et au style, on n’a même pas pris la peine de les déguiser’ (Gay III, p. 1028-1079). Gay goes on to say that according to Paulmy this ‘roman très agréable et très amusant’ was the ‘fruit of the youth’ of the chevalier de Solignac, who was witness to most of the adventures recounted in it. It was translated into German as Das Galante Sachsen, Frankfurt, 1739.

    See Jones p. 54; Cioranescu 50714; Gay III, 1078-1079; MMF 63.R.37.

    Not in OCLC, which lists an ebook, linked to a digital version of the Harvard copy.

    View basket More details Price: £200.00
  • Starhenberg copy of the first French biography of Lorenzo the Magnificent
    VALORI, Nicholas.
    GOUJET, Claude Pierre, l'Abbé, translator.
    La Vie de Laurent de Medicis, surnommé le Grand, et le Père des Lettres, Chef de la Republique de Florence; Adressée au Pape Léon X: Traduite du Latin de Nicolas Valori, son Contemporain. Avec des Notes, & quelques Piéces anciennes qui ont rapport au même sujet. Paris, Nyon, 1761.

    First Edition in French. 12mo, pp. xxiv, 346, [2], small marginal hole on p. 65, in contemporary northern European mottled calf, flat spine gilt in continuous diced pattern, orange morocco label lettered in gilt, brightly patterned black and white endpapers, all edges red, from the Starhenberg library at Schloss Eferding, though not so designated.

    The first French translation of the first biography of Lorenzo 'The Magnificent' (circa 1449-1492), great patron of the arts, poet, collector and founder of the… (more)

    The first French translation of the first biography of Lorenzo 'The Magnificent' (circa 1449-1492), great patron of the arts, poet, collector and founder of the great Laurentian Library. This biography, originally written in Latin by Nicolas Valori, is addressed to Pope Leo X, the son of Lorenzo de Medici. It was Leo X who, after the family's expulsion from Florence, later bought the Laurentian Library back from the monks of S. Marco and continued to enlarge it in Rome.

    Provenance: Prince Starhenberg, Austrian Ambassador to Versailles 1756-1766. During his stay in France he amassed a considerable library, mostly bound in this distinctive style and surviving in very good condition today. He married a Princess de Salm, a german cousin of the Princesse de Soubisme, wife of the great book collector and friend of Louis XV.

    Cioranescu 31682.

    View basket More details Price: £300.00
  • the ‘divine scourge’ of princes
    La Vita di Pietro Aretino by MAZZUCHELLI, Gianmaria, conte, (1707-1765).
    MAZZUCHELLI, Gianmaria, conte, (1707-1765).
    La Vita di Pietro Aretino scritta dal conte Giammaria Mazzuchelli Bresciano. Padua, Comino, 1741

    First Edition. 8vo, engraved portrait frontispiece and pp. viii, 303, [1] colophon, [4] advertisements, in contemporary glazed cream paper boards, darker labels on spine lettered in gilt.

    First edition of Mazzuchelli’s biography of the infamous poet, Pietro Aretino (1492-1556), known as the ‘scourge of princes’. Aretino’s satirical sonnets and burlesques were so… (more)

    First edition of Mazzuchelli’s biography of the infamous poet, Pietro Aretino (1492-1556), known as the ‘scourge of princes’. Aretino’s satirical sonnets and burlesques were so feared by the nobles and princes of his day that they appear to have handed out large sums of money to buy his silence. This so-called patronage funded a notoriously profligate lifestyle and his home in Venice (where he went having been banished from his home town of Arezzo on the publication of his sonnet against indulgences) became the scene of continuous revelling and orgies.
    The preface (pp. iii-viii) is supplied by A.F. Seghezzi. Giuseppe Bartoli’s letter to Mazzuchelli on the subject of the present work, praising the latter for his ‘erudizione si ammirabile’, is also included (pp. 263-267). The text is also accompanied by extensive bibliographical footnotes and a thirty-one page index.

    Brunet III, 1563.

    View basket More details Price: £500.00
  • BALESTRIERI, Domenico (1714-1780).
    Lagrime In Morte Di Un Gatto. Milano, Giuseppe Marelli, 1741.

    First Edition. 8vo, (170 x 110mm), pp. [xxxx], 223, [1], 62, [10], the title-page giving the simple title only with no author and no edition statement (as called for, also checked against the Biblioteca Nazionale di Tornino copy), with an engraved plate by F. Porta and G. Bianchi showing Balestrieri mourning a dead cat, woodcut ornaments, slight marginal foxing in places, small tear to lower outer blank margin of B8, bound in contemporary vellum, red and green morocco labels on spine lettered in gilt, with an eighteenth century monogram booklabel and the twentieth century calligraphic bookplate of Joan Feisenberger (featuring a cat) on the front pastedown.

    A wonderful oddity published in celebration of one cat in particular and cats generally. This is a curious collection of poetry edited by Domenico Balestrieri,… (more)

    A wonderful oddity published in celebration of one cat in particular and cats generally. This is a curious collection of poetry edited by Domenico Balestrieri, a chancellor by profession, but also a poet who wrote both in Italian and in the Milanese dialect. He was an active member of the Accademia dei Trasformati, a Milan institution that was dedicated to the Italian language and poetry. Founded in 1743 with its headquarters in the Palazzo Imbonati, the Academy met twice a week to discuss recently published poems. In Lagrime, his published work, Balestrieri gathered poems of generally jocular character which some eighty contributors and friends had sent him to cheer him up after his young cat’s fatal fall from a roof. The collection was also intended as a satirical counterpart to the thriving contemporary genre of occasional verse and florilegia. The poems are mainly in Italian but also in Latin, with one contribution in Hebrew. The contributors include some of the well known members of the Accademia dei Trasformati such as Carl’Antonio Tanzi and Giuseppe Candido Agudio.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • LE SAGE, Alain René (1668-1747).
    Le Bachelier de Salamanque, ou les Memoires de D. Cherubin de la Ronda, tirés d'un Manuscrit Espagnol, par Monsieur Le Sage. Paris, Valleyre, 1736.

    First Edition. 12mo, (155 x 84mm), pp. [viii], 378, [5], with three engraved plates, one to accompany each section, outer corner of text dampstained in the last few leaves and some light browning to the prelims, in contemporary or slightly later free-style tree calf with an attractive simple gilt border on the covers, the spine stained green, gilt in compartments with gilt lettering, marbled endpapers, Chiswick bookplate.

    A handsome copy of the first part, containing the first three books, of one of the most popular picaresque novels of the French eighteenth century.… (more)

    A handsome copy of the first part, containing the first three books, of one of the most popular picaresque novels of the French eighteenth century. Although it is stated on p. 378, ‘Fin du troisième & dernier Livre’, a second volume appeared two years later, containing books four to six (La Haye, Pierre Gosse, 1738).
    Although not in quite the same league as his Gil Blas, Le Sage's Bachelier de Salamanque shares many of the same features, from the successful formula of the hero's many adventures loosely bound together to the enduringly popular Spanish theme common to many of Le Sage's novels. There were numerous editions throughout the century and beyond.
    'He was a writer for his time, an artisan of letters, and a supporter of the modernes in the Quérelle. He wrote for a broad public, and Gil Blas in particular was much appreciated by readers of many countries for two centuries. Critics have sometimes viewed him rather more patronisingly, condemning the diffuse nature of his narratives and the banality or superficiality of his morality and his psychology. Yet he is in many ways a fascinating witness of his period. His writing is sharp and up to date, he has a gift for the dramatic scene and a keen eye for the masks and pretences of a corrupt society. While reusing old literary material, he nevertheless gives us a strong sense of life in a real, unidealized world' (Peter France in the New Oxford Companion to Literature in French).

    Jones p. 59; Cioranescu 39528 (giving p. 383); Cohen-de Ricci c. 635; Tchemerzine VII, 206.

    View basket More details Price: £250.00
  • BERNARD, Jean-Frédéric (1690-1752).
    MIRABAUD, Jean-Baptiste de (1675-1760).
    LE MASCRIER, Jean-Baptiste (1697-1760).
    Le monde, son Origine, et son Antiquité. [-De l’Ame et de son Immortalité - Essai sur la Chronologie.] Première [Seconde] Partie. Londres, 1751.

    First Edition. Three parts in one volume, 12mo, (168 x 100mm), pp. xii, 244; [iv], 172; 72, some leaves in the final part dust-soiled along the lower edge, prior to binding, in contemporary polished calf, triple filet to covers, flat spine continuously gilt with brown morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, with the decorative engraved bookplate of the ‘Bibliothèque de Henri Tardivi’.

    A handsome copy of this scarce materialist diatribe in three parts by three different authors. The first part, Le Monde, son Origine et son Antiquité… (more)

    A handsome copy of this scarce materialist diatribe in three parts by three different authors. The first part, Le Monde, son Origine et son Antiquité is by Jean-Frédéric Bernard, an exiled French Protestant who set up as an editor and bookseller in the Netherlands, where he published a number of books on different subjects. The second part, which has its own separate title page, is in two sections, firstly De L’Ame, et de son Immortalité, also dated Londres, 1751, which is by Jean-Baptiste de Mirabaud. Concluding the volume is Essai sur la Chronologie by Jean-Baptiste Le Mascrier, which has its own register and drop-head title.
    ‘L’entreprise de Mirabaud parait d’une cohérence exemplaire, par sa méthode et par la fin systématique qu’elle poursuit. Elle résume un aspect essentiel de la pensée matérialiste du début du XVIIIème siècle’ (Olivier Bloch, Le Matérialisme du XVIIIème siècle et la littérature clandestine, p. 98).

    Darnton, The Corpus of Clandestine Literature in France 1769-1789, no. 452; Cioranescu 11384 & 45100-45101 & 39047-39048.

    ESTC n30361, well held in France and the UK; California State, Wisconsin-Madison, DLC, UCLA, Chicago and North Carolina in America. OCLC adds Princeton and Stanford.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • ROCHEFORT, J., attributed.
    Le Passe-Tems Agréable, ou Nouveaux Choix de Bons Mots, de Pensées Ingénieuses, de Rencontres Plaisantes, dont une partie n’avoit point encore été mise au jour, Enrichi d’une Elite des plus Vives Gasconnades, Qui ne sont point dans le Gasconniana, Et de quelques Nouvelles Histoires Galantes, Le tout avec des Réflexions. Nouvelle Edition, augmentée de plus de double. Première Partie [-Seconde]. 1758.

    New Edition, ‘double the size of the last’. Two volumes, 12mo, pp. [xiv], 228; [ii], 216, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spines gilt in compartments with floral vignette, red and olive green morocco labels lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges red, green silk markers.

    A very attractive copy of a popular jestbook, first published in 1700. This new edition is advertised as being ‘augmentée de plus de double’, including… (more)

    A very attractive copy of a popular jestbook, first published in 1700. This new edition is advertised as being ‘augmentée de plus de double’, including a new previously unpublished part, new ‘vives gasconnades’ and several new ‘histoires galantes’, all accompanied by refexions. Apart from the mass of popular jokes, tales and so forth, gathered from street-parlance and everyday life and with no known origin, the authors and historical figures who unwittingly contributed their witty sayings to the present compilation include Thomas More, Bacon, Dante, Furetiere, Machiavelli, Rabelais, ‘le capitaine Miller’, ‘George’ and Socrates.
    This work is also attributed to Cartier de Saint Philip, author of Le Je ne Sais Quoi, ou mélanges curieux, 1724, though it is not listed in his works by Cioranescu.

    OCLC lists Louisiana State University; not in RLIN.

    View basket More details Price: £380.00
  • Le Sacrifice De L’Amour; by SAINCRIC, Jean Baptiste de (1780-1845).MARECHAL, Pierre Sylvain, (1750-1803).DREUX DU RADIER, Jean-François (1714-1781).
    SAINCRIC, Jean Baptiste de (1780-1845).
    MARECHAL, Pierre Sylvain, (1750-1803).
    DREUX DU RADIER, Jean-François (1714-1781).
    Le Sacrifice De L’Amour; ou La Messe de Cythere; suivi du Sermon prèché a Gnide, et d’un nouveau Dictionnaire d’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera plusieurs pièces inédites ou peu connues, telles que l’Art de prendre les oiseaux, ou les leçons de l’amour, poëme anacréontique; les articles les plus piquans du Dictionnaire d’Amour du berger Sylvain; la plus grande partie de ceux du Dictionnaire d’Amour qui parût à la Haye, en 1741; et une foule de morceaux extraits des meilleurs écrivains anciens et modernes. ‘Sybaris’, ie. Bordeaux, ‘l’Imprimeur Ordinaire du Plaisir’, 1809.

    First Edition. 12mo (183 x 100 mm), 8vo, pp. [xvi], 17-313, [2] errata, [1] blank; some foxing and browning in the text, uncut throughout recased in contemporary marbled wrappers with later card pastedowns, lacking free endpapers.

    A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of… (more)

    A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of the rarity of the original publications. A Bordeaux doctor who specialised in medical hygiene and forensics, Saincric wrote widely on the medical topography of Bordeaux and its surroundings. He was a member of the Académie de Bordeaux and was twice president of the Société de Médecine de Bordeaux in 1824 and 1837. Dedicated to ‘Sophie’, this work is a book of parts, with ‘Avis de l’Editeur’, ‘Suite de la note du libraire’ and ‘Introduction’ by way of prefatory material, then the title work, ‘Le Sacrifice de l’Amour, ou la Messe de Cythere’ (pp. 17-48) and ‘Sermon prêché a Gnide, a la Cérémonie du Mai, par le berger Sylvain’ (pp. 49-63). The major part of the volume is the dictionary of amorous terms, which is taken largely from Marechal’s Dictionnaire d’Amour, 1788, with additional material from the earlier Dictionnaire de l’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera l’explication des termes les plus usité dans cette langue, 1741 by Jean-François Dreux du Radier. An index follows the dictionary.

    ‘The Little Dictionary of Love has become very rare; you can only find it in very few libraries. It therefore seemed urgent to offer a new edition of it, corrected and augmented. In taking on this work, we believe we are performing an essential service to the fervent lovers of Venus and of his dear son. We have not, moreover, omitted anything which might make this new Dictionary worthy of public favour. It collects together the most striking articles by berger Sylvain with a work which was published anonymously at the Hague in 1741; and we have improved it with a host of pleasant pieces, taken from the best writers’.

    OCLC lists BN, BL, Cambridge, Amsterdam, McGill and Stanford.

    Cioranescu 42536; Gay III, 1059.

    View basket More details Price: £650.00
  • CREBILLON, Claude-Prosper-Jolyot de, 'Crébillon fils', (1701-1777).
    Le Sopha, Conte Moral. Première [-Second] Volume. ‘Gaznah’, ie Paris, 1742.

    Second Edition. Two volumes, 12mo in eights and fours, (162 x 92mm), pp. [vi], 298; [vi], 264, title pages in red and black, in contemporary calf, spines gilt in compartments, head of spines chipped, upper joint of first volume cracking, other joints beginning to show some wear, extremities bumped, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, with the bookplate of Anthony Conyers Surtees in volume one.

    The second edition, following the very scarce Le Sopha couleur de roze, 1120 de l’Hégire, a Gaznah, also published in 1742. Neither Jones nor Tchemerzine… (more)

    The second edition, following the very scarce Le Sopha couleur de roze, 1120 de l’Hégire, a Gaznah, also published in 1742. Neither Jones nor Tchemerzine had seen a copy of this earlier edition (Jones just lists the present edition as the first) but it does exist: OCLC lists copies at Cambridge, V&A, Penn, McGill and Texas.
    Le Sopha is Crébillon fils’ most brilliant novel. It was enormously popular in its time, with its humour, its mild eroticism and its fashionable eastern setting, and is still entertaining today. Dozens of editions have been published from the eigtheenth century to the present. The central character was thought to have been based on Louis XV, a suspicion which was enough to enable Madame de Pompadour to have Crébillon exiled for five years. Laclos further immortalised the work by making it the favourite reading for Madame de Merteuil in his Les Liaisons dangereuses.
    ‘Crébillon déteste et méprise l’étroite société qu’il décrite, ses hauts personnages hypocrites, corrompus, égoïstes, méchants, inutiles, médisants, fats et quelquefois sots, il fait même passer l’expression satirique de sa haine avant l’intérêt romanesque... A part deux chapitres du Sopha qui évoquent avec lyrisme le franc et vrai plaisir d’aimer, tout le reste de l’oeuvre est pessimiste et grimaçant... à la galerie des imposteurs et des vicieux s’oppose une galerie de libertins lucides, mais aussi antipathiques, et dont aucun n’est vraiment heureux’ (Henri Coulet, Le Roman au XVIII Siècle, pp. 365-366). We can be thankful for those two chapters, which are chapter seven and the final chapter.

    Jones p. 79; Tchemerzine IV, p. 193 (b) and p. 194 (figs. I & II); Gay III 1135; see Cioranescu 21744.

    OCLC lists McGill, Arkansas, Yale, Harvard, Texas, Bodley & V&A; RLIN adds Princeton and Penn.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • Le Soupé des petits-maîtres, by CAILHAVA, Jean-François de l'Estendoux (1731-1813).
    CAILHAVA, Jean-François de l'Estendoux (1731-1813).
    Le Soupé des petits-maîtres, Ouvrage Moral. Première [-Seconde] Partie. ‘Londres’, ie Paris, circa 1772.

    First Edition. 12mo (164 x 90 mm), pp. xxiv, [25]-144; vi, [7]-104, text damp-stained and browned in part, in a modern pastiche binding of blue quarter calf over blue boards, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, inscribed in a contemporary hand on both title-pages ‘Cte de Cunha, Liva de Bulhaco

    The very rare first edition of one of the most popular funny books of the French eighteenth century which saw at least half a dozen… (more)

    The very rare first edition of one of the most popular funny books of the French eighteenth century which saw at least half a dozen reprints in the eighteenth century and was reprinted by Pierre-Charles Monselet in 1881. The introductory material - introduction, épitre dédicatoire, envoi and avant-propos - describe with gusto the final stages of the work's production. Reading aloud to himself the final phrases of his work, an abbot, looking like a four-foot doll, smiles at the charm of his own work and at how popular it will be with the ladies. He preens himself happily before visiting a young countess to whom he begs leave to dedicate the work.
    The work itself is a series of tales and anecdotes, romantic stories interwoven with satirical comment and brief comic interludes, very much like a modern day comedy show with improvisations and narrative serials. The titles of the various chapters give some idea as to the satirical, lively and mildly libertine nature of the work: 'le Labyrinthe', 'le faux Milord', 'le Malade Imaginaire', 'l'Actrice de Province raconte son Histoire', 'Des Boudoirs consacrés à la Volupté' and 'Des Boudoirs consacrés à l'Intérêt'.
    'Cet ouvrage moral est le récit d'une partie fine, où chacun raconte son histoire. Les personnages s'appellent Persac, Sainval, le Président, la Bouquetière, la Marchande, la Danseuse, etc. C'est très gai', says Gay, adding, that Cailhava had so much success with the work that he almost immediately reissued it under the title Le Soupé, conte moral.

    MMF 70.32; Gay III 1139 (a detailed entry: 'livre rare et curieux pour l'histoire des moeurs du XVIII siècle'). Neither Cioranescu (who lists a Soupir, ouvrage moral, Londres 1772, no. 15126) nor Quérard, who calls Cailhava 'un des meilleurs auteurs comiques de son temps', list this work.

    ESTC t1330851, listing the British Library, Taylorian and Illinois only. A later edition is also listed under the title Le Soupé, ouvrage moral, [1780?], at the Taylorian and Stanford only.

    View basket More details Price: £850.00
  • RICHARD, René (1654-1727).
    Le Veritable Pere Josef Capucin, nommé au Cardinalat. Contenant l’histoire anecdote du Cardinal de Richelieu. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Butler, 1704.

    Second edition, first under this title. 12mo, pp. [iv], 589, [11], some light browning to text, in contemporary polished calf, triple gilt ruled border to covers, spine chipped at head and foot, otherwise attractive, richly gilt in compartments with a brown morocco label lettered in gilt, all edges marbled, blue marbled endpapers, with a barely readable ownership inscription on the title page and ‘Bibliothèque de Gaignal’ in a contemporary hand in brown ink on the final free endpaper.

    A scarce biography of the capucin friar Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay (1577-1638) Richelieu’s intimate friend and advisor. Known as l’eminence grise, a nickname that… (more)

    A scarce biography of the capucin friar Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay (1577-1638) Richelieu’s intimate friend and advisor. Known as l’eminence grise, a nickname that has come to signify individuals excercising hidden political power, le Père Joseph was immortalised in English literature by Aldous Huxley in his Grey Eminence.
    René Richard’s biography was first published under the title Histoire de la Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, capucin, in 1702 and republished anonymously here as Le Veritable Père Joseph. Curiously, Richard published a Réponse au livre intitulé Père Joseph, also in 1704, being a criticism of the present ‘anonymous’ work. It was appended to another 1704 printing of the original text under yet another title, Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, Geneva 1704. This is a scarce provincial printing from the Savoie region in the Auvergne in southern France.

    See Cioranescu 59193.

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  • CERATI, Antonio, Count (1738-1816).
    CRETENSE, Filandro.
    Le Ville lucchesi con altri opuscoli in versi e in prosa di Filandro Cretense. Parma, Stamperia Reale, 1783.

    [with:] Versi per la promozione al vescovato di Piacenza del pa

    First editions. Two works in one volume, 8vo (200 x 140 mm), pp. [ii], [viii], 195, text printed within decorative border throughout, page numbers also set in a typographical surround, the text block small within a large page, followed by Versi: pp. 24, unpressed throughout, with a small hole to the lower blank margin of the first three leaves, traces of adhesive to lower edge of pp. 97-114, in contemporary block-stamped paste-paper boards in olive green with pattern of black and gold squares, the surface of the paper worn at extremities, binding very slightly sprung, contemporary manuscript shelf mark in ink on the rear pastedown and with contemporary manuscript additions to the errata of the first work, possibly in the same hand.

    A delightful production by Bodoni, with the text printed within lovely typographical borders throughout and bound in thick block-stamped paper boards. It is a collection… (more)

    A delightful production by Bodoni, with the text printed within lovely typographical borders throughout and bound in thick block-stamped paper boards. It is a collection of texts by Antonio Cerati, a member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia. The first and best of the two works is a poetic celebration of the villas belonging to the Marchese Francesco Buonvisi in Lucca, where he had resided for some time to recover from an illness - an interesting example of eighteenth century Italian topographical poetry. The second part, which is addressed to specific dedicatees, moves from love poetry to political commentary.
    The second work, printed by Filippo Carmignani in Parma, is a poem celebrating the promotion of Cerati’s brother to the bishopric of Piacenza.

    I. Brooks 239, var. A; Cerati VIII, 195.
    II. OCLC lists three copies, only Getty in America.

    View basket More details Price: £1,000.00
  • de Goncourt’s copy in contemporary green morocco
    Les A Propos de Societé by LAUJON, Pierre (1727-1811).MOREAU, Jean Michel, ‘le jeune’ (1741-1814), illustrator.
    LAUJON, Pierre (1727-1811).
    MOREAU, Jean Michel, ‘le jeune’ (1741-1814), illustrator.
    Les A Propos de Societé ou Chansons de M. L****. Tome I [-II]. Paris, 1776.

    First Editions. Three volumes, 8vo, (180 x 105 mm), engraved frontispiece and engraved title-page to each volume and pp. [iii]-x, 302; 316; [iii]-vi, 319, [1] errata, each volume with additional engraved head- and tail-piece, all by Moreau, engraved by Launay, Simonett, Duclos and Martini, additional vignettes throughout the text, in contemporary green morocco, triple gilt fillet to covers, spines gilt in compartments, two red morocco labels on each spine, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, with the ex libris of Henri Bonnasse and an unidentified one with the monogram ‘CC’ (?) on the front pastedown and the bookplate of the Goncourt brothers, designed by Gavarni and engraved by Jules de Goncourt, on the front endpaper of the first volume, with the inscription in red ink, ‘Une des plus delicates illustrations de Moreau, de Goncourt’, from the library of Claude Lebédel.

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s copy of this popular French song book, elegantly printed with fabulous illustrations by Moreau. Pierre Laujon was a celebrated society… (more)

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s copy of this popular French song book, elegantly printed with fabulous illustrations by Moreau. Pierre Laujon was a celebrated society host, who organised soirées and entertainments for a select few, at which his songs and ballads would be performed. His ballets, operas and verse were moderately popular and, eventually, at the advanced age of eighty, gained him his place in the Académie française. This collection contains the melodies and lyrics to 264 songs and ballads. Mostly written in a lively and humorous style, the songs celebrate love and drunkenness, birth and marriage, the follies of old age and the daily social whirl and pastimes of the ancien régime. Moreau’s illustrations are particularly evocative of Laujon’s world of aristocratic entertainment, as shown in the vignette in the second volume which depicts a magic lantern show and its enraptured audience.
    This is a stunning copy from the library of the brothers Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896) and Jules de Goncourt (1830-1870), bibliophiles, literary partners, models of bon goût and novelists, mostly remembered today for the Prix Goncourt which is probably the most important literary prize in French literature. The brothers’ passion was the literature, art and culture of the eighteenth century and their many collaborative works were based on meticulous collections of books, engravings and documents of the era. One of their principal enthusiasms was the work of Jean-Michel Moreau whose life and works the brothers wrote about extensively (including Les vignettistes, Eisen, Moreau, Paris, Dentu, 1870; L’art du dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1880-1882).
    Altogether the three volumes include three elegant engraved title-pages by Moreau (that of the first volume is used again in the second, with only the volume number changed), a frontispiece by Moreau, engraved by Launay, Simonet and Martini and three engraved head-pieces by Moreau, engraved by Duclos and Martini and three tail-pieces by Moreau, engraved by de Launay (vols 1 & 2) and by Moreau himself (vol. 3). The text itself is elegantly printed with abundant decoration, typographical ornaments and small vignettes. The third volume, which is usually found with the first two, has the title ‘Les A Propos de la Folie, ou Chancons Grotesques, Grivoises et Annonces de Parade’.

    ‘Les illustrations sont d’une grâce ravissante et comptent parmi les meilleures de Moreau’ (Cohen-de Ricci coll. 604).

    Provenance: Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, with their bookplate, and the manuscript note ‘Une des plus delicates illustrations de Moreau’, signed ‘de Goncourt’.

    Cioranescu 37506 and 37505; Cohen-de Ricci 604.

    Bibliothèque des Goncourt, 391: ‘Bel exemplaire. Les illustrations par Moreau de ces deux ouvrages sont très remarquables’.

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  • Les Bijoux Indiscrets. by DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    Les Bijoux Indiscrets. Tome Premier [Second]. ‘Monomotapa’, ie Paris, 1748.

    Second Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, (160 x 92mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. [viii], 288; [iv], 332, four further engraved plates in volume one and two further in volume two, wanting the final leaf, ‘Avis au Relieur’, marginal tear on I, 239, in contemporary half sheep over speckled boards, spines gilt in compartments with green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, attractive colourful patterned endpapers, edges marbled.

    An attractive copy of this early edition of Diderot's controversial novel, listed second by David Adams and given as the second edition by Tchemerzine. The… (more)

    An attractive copy of this early edition of Diderot's controversial novel, listed second by David Adams and given as the second edition by Tchemerzine. The plates all correspond to Adams BI2 except for the first plate in the second volume which has been bound at p. 265 and is marked as such. All the plates have the word ‘Les Bijoux’ underneath the picture and the volume and page numbers marked at the top. The frontispiece, which is the same as Adams’ BI1, is marked ‘tom. I’ and ‘Frontispiece des Bijoux’. The final leaf as called for by Adams, ‘Avis au Relieur pour placer les Figures’ has been discarded.
    Three editions of Diderot’s Bijoux were published in 1748, all with the same title and imprint but with varying illustrations, this edition with the shorter pagination than the other two. This is Diderot’s first novel, written to raise funds to pay for the expensive lifestyle of his mistress, Madame de Puisieux. Based on the medieval tale 'Le chevalier que faisait les cons parler' and heavily influenced by Caylus' adaptation of this and Crebillon fils' contes libertins, Diderot soon came to disavow his earliest and raciest work. It caused an enormous scandal on its publication and, along with his Lettres sur les aveugles, was the cause of Diderot's being imprisoned in Vincennes. This is Diderot's nearest approach to the world of Thérèse Philosophe (on the publication of Bijoux Indiscrets this was frequently attributed to him), 'the bawdy, naughty, cheeky world of the early Enlightenment, where everything was held up to question and nothing was sacred' (Darnton p. 90).
    Even in this, his most scandalous and light-hearted work, Diderot was beginning to express the philosophical ideas that came to fruition in his later work. 'La critique du cartésianisme, des systèmes à priori, des rêveries de la métaphysique, l'apologie de Newton, certaines théories empiristes et associationnistes, les professions de foi de naturalisme moral montrent que, même dans un ouvrage très léger... Diderot n'oublie pas la philosophie' (H. Bénac, quoted by Henri Berthaut in Grente's Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises).

    Adams, Bibliographie des Œuvres de Diderot, BI2; Tchemerzine IV p. 430 B; Jones p. 97; Darnton Check List 62; see also Cioranescu 24057; Darnton, Forbidden Best-Sellers, p. 90; Gay I, 303; Cohen-de Ricci c. 303.

    View basket More details Price: £950.00
  • Les Bijoux Indiscrets. by DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    Les Bijoux Indiscrets. Tome Premier [Second]. ‘Monomotapa’, ie Paris, 1748.

    First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (162 x 90 mm), engraved frontispiece bound facing the text and pp. [viii], 370; [iv], 420, five further engraved plates in volume one and two further in volume two, engraved vignettes on the titles, text fairly browned and damp-stained in places, title-page vignettes of canopy with cherub facing to the left (76 x 59), frontispiece with the figures to the left and the trees to the right, bearing the legend 'Imagination prenoit la plume des mains de la folie, et l'amour lui dictoit', in modern green vellum, red morocco labels on spines lettered in gilt, red edges.

    The first edition of Diderot's first novel, in a modern green vellum binding. Diderot’s early best-seller was said to have been written to pay for… (more)

    The first edition of Diderot's first novel, in a modern green vellum binding. Diderot’s early best-seller was said to have been written to pay for the expensive lifestyle of his mistress, Madame de Puisieux. Based on the medieval tale 'Le chevalier que faisait les cons parler' and heavily influenced by Caylus' adaptation of this and Crebillon fils' contes libertins, Diderot soon came to disavow his earliest and raciest work. It caused an enormous scandal on its publication and, along with his Lettres sur les aveugles, was the cause of Diderot's being imprisoned in Vincennes. This is Diderot's nearest approach to the world of Thérèse Philosophe (on the publication of Bijoux Indiscrets this was frequently attributed to him), 'the bawdy, naughty, cheeky world of the early Enlightenment, where everything was held up to question and nothing was sacred' (Darnton p. 90).
    Even in this, his most scandalous and light-hearted work, Diderot was beginning to express the philosophical ideas that came to fruition in his later work. 'La critique du cartésianisme, des systèmes à priori, des rêveries de la métaphysique, l'apologie de Newton, certaines théories empiristes et associationnistes, les professions de foi de naturalisme moral montrent que, même dans un ouvrage très léger... Diderot n'oublie pas la philosophie' (H. Bénac, quoted by Henri Berthaut in Grente's Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises).

    David Adams, Bibliographie des œuvres de Denis Diderot 1739-1900, BII; Tchemerzine II: 922 (IV, 430a); Jones p. 97; Darnton Check List 62; see also Darnton, Forbidden Best-Sellers, p. 90; Gay I, 303.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778).
    Les Confessions de J. J. Rousseau, suivies des Réveries du Promeneur Solitaire. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Second Supplément a la Collection des Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau, Citoyen de Genève. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Seconde Partie des Confessions de J. J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur. Tome Premier. Geneva, 1782-1789.

    First Edition of volumes III and IV; Volumes I and II same year as the First Edition. Five volumes, 12mo, (164 x 92mm), pp. [iv], 316; [iv], 396; 439, with the final page beginning ‘ses mortelles’; 403, with the last line of the final page beginning ‘cette lecture’; [ii], 444, in near-uniform contemporary speckled morocco, joints weakening, some signs of wear with staining and rubbing, with some careful restoration, spines gilt with red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman in each volume, trimmed close with some loss in the final three volumes.

    A handsome set, in an English binding, of Rousseau’s Confessions, with a contemporary English female provenance. This is a mixed set, comprising the first edition… (more)

    A handsome set, in an English binding, of Rousseau’s Confessions, with a contemporary English female provenance. This is a mixed set, comprising the first edition of Volumes III and IV (conforming to Bernard Gagnebin and Lucien Scheler in Tchemerzine V, 563) and a reprint of Volumes I and II, with the same imprint, ‘A Genève, 1782’. It also has the supplementary fifth volume, Seconde Partie des Confessions de J.J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur, Geneve 1789 (OCLC lists the Vassar Collection only).
    The bindings on the first two volumes, published in 1782, are slightly different to those of the final three volumes, but each of them bears the ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman. In the first volume she has added ‘2 vols’ and so presumably she purchased them prior to the continuations, which were published some seven years later, and had them bound. In turn, she must have had the continuation volumes bound to match the first two, but perhaps by a different binder: the red labels and the green circular numbering pieces are uniform, but the actual tools used for the binding were different. This is a lovely example of literature on the go and shows how serial publications actually worked. That this is also an import, and an import owned by a female collector, rather adds to the resonance of this particular copy.

    Tchemerzine, V, 563; see also Cioranescu 54642-54643.

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  • CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. Troisième Edition, Revûe, corrigée & augmentée par les Auteurs de plusieurs Morceaux d’esprit qui n’ont point encore paru. 1751 (altered in manuscript to 1752).

    ‘Third Edition; Second Edition, ‘revue & augmentée’. 12mo, (150 x 85mm), pp. xvi, 197, neat and probably contemporary alteration of the date on the title page to 1752 (MDCCLII, viz., one ‘I’ added) in dark brown ink in a contemporary hand; with the woodcut portrait of the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, title page and woodcut page printed in green and black; pp. 166, [4], including woodcut frontispiece printed in brown, title page printed in brown and black with woodcut peapod vignette, in contemporary red morocco, triple fillet border to covers, flat spine simply gilt in compartments, yellow morocco label lettered in gilt, pink and gilt embossed endpapers, gilt edges, with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy.

    A very handsome copy in contemporary red morocco, possibly by Derome jeune, of two of Caylus’ most celebrated œuvres badines. These humorous works contain a… (more)

    A very handsome copy in contemporary red morocco, possibly by Derome jeune, of two of Caylus’ most celebrated œuvres badines. These humorous works contain a variety of anecdotes, short stories, little fictional vignettes, imaginary correspondence, short plays, poems and dialogues, with settings which take the reader from the fashionable east to the more disreputable parts of Paris. With the famous coloured frontispiece to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean, illustrating the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, here printed in green. Also containing ‘Lettre Persanne d’un Monsieur de Paris, à un Gentilhomme Turc de ses Amis’ and the reply ‘Reponse pour le Gentilhomme Turc, à la Lettre Persanne de Paris’ (pp. 14-21); ‘Dialogue en forme de Questions, sur le Mariage’ (pp. 24-29), ‘Le Ballet des Dindons’ (pp. 53-56), ‘Le Prince Bel-Esprit, & la Reine Toute-Belle’ (pp. 61-65) and the conte philosophique ‘Les Epreuves d’Amour dans les quatre Elémens, histoire nouvelle’ (pp. 67-110).
    Les Ecosseuses, ou les Oeufs de Pasques, intended as a sequel to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean but not usually found with it, has the frontispiece and part of the title printed in brown. This selection begins with the short story, ‘Le Oui & le Non, mal placés’ (pp. 13-36) and includes a number of short stories with or without dialogue, such as the ‘Histoire Veritable d’un beau Bal dansé après soupé, dans un Fauxbourg de Paris (pp. 69-74). It also includes the short comedy, ‘Le Porteur d’Iau, ou les Amours de la Ravaudeuse’ (pp. 75-142).
    Both works were written in collaboration with a number of Caylus’ friends, including the redoubtable Comtesse de Verrue, Crébillon fils, Duclos, Vadé, Maurepas, Moncrif, Collé and Voisenon. These were the key players in a literary 'société badine' which centred around the actress and comedian Jeanne-Françoise Quinault. The society would meet for exuberant dinners during the course of which they would collectively compose these tales and jeux d'esprit.

    Provenance: with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy, whose library was sold at Christie’s on 7th July 1909 (see De Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, p. 181).

    Cioranescu 16247; 16251 (Troyes 1739); Cohen-de Ricci 209; Gay I 182; Jones p. 79 and p. 69.

    OCLC: Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean: University of Connecticut, DLC, Maryland, Princeton, Pennsylvania State, Vanderbilt and Göttingen.
    Les Ecosseuses: Ohio State only.

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  • Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. by CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. Seconde Edition, Revûë, corrigée & augmentée par les Auteurs de plusieurs Morceaux d’esprit. Troyes, la Veuve Oudot [ie Paris, Duchesne], 1742.

    First Edition, Large Paper Copy (satirically designated ‘Seconde Edition, Revûë, corrigée & augmentée’). 12mo, (175 x 100 mm), pp. xii, 264, frontispiece woodcut portrait of the printer, ‘Mr. ou Me. Oudot’ printed in blue with the caption and verse in black, title page and printed in blue and black, with the vignette of books, ‘Au Livre Bleu’, printed in blue; a large paper copy printed on papier vélin, in contemporary diced calf by Bozerian Jeune, single gilt fillet to covers with gilt garland of circles, spine gilt in compartments with simple tooling and rules, lettered in gilt, signed ‘Bozerian Jeune’ at the foot of the spine, marbled endpapers, paper shelf mark label, gilt edges: headcap and upper joints skillfully restored, some wear to extremities, from the library of Claude Lebédel.

    A handsome copy in a Bozerian jeune binding of one of the few copies of Caylus’ jeu d’esprit to be printed on large paper. The… (more)

    A handsome copy in a Bozerian jeune binding of one of the few copies of Caylus’ jeu d’esprit to be printed on large paper. The frontispiece portrait, the ‘blue books’ vignette of the title page, the false imprint and the false edition statement are all part of an elaborate parody of the Bibliothèque bleue printed by Oudot in Troyes. A note on the verso of the frontispiece facetiously explains the inclusion of the portrait in a wonderful sentence rife with double meanings about counterfeit texts: ‘L’Imprimeur étant contrefait, il a jugé à propos de se faire graver, afin que son Livre ne soit pas de lui, quand il n’y sera pas’.
    Another dig at the commercial success of the Oudot family is printed on the verso of the title-page, facing the preface: ‘L’attention que je me donne pour satisfaire le gré du Public, ne m’empêche point de penser à mes petits intérêts; c’est la raison pourquoi, pour satisfaire à la curiosité d’aucuns parmi les Curieux, on a tiré queuques [sic] Exemplaires sur de grand & gros papier; ça me coûte fort peu, & ça se vend un tiers de plus, c’est la maniere’.
    These humorous works contain a variety of contes galantes, facetious anecdotes, short stories, little fictional vignettes, imaginary correspondence, short plays, poems and dialogues, with settings which take the reader from the fashionable east to the more disreputable parts of Paris. With the famous satirical frontispiece illustrating the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, here printed in blue. Also containing ‘Lettre Persanne d’un Monsieur de Paris, à un Gentilhomme Turc de ses Amis’ (pp. 21-28) and the reply ‘Reponse pour le Gentilhomme Turc, à la Lettre Persanne de Paris’ (pp. 28-32); ‘Dialogue en forme de Questions, sur le Mariage’ (pp. 37-45), ‘Le Ballet des Dindons’ (pp. 84-91), ‘Le Prince Bel-Esprit, & la Reine Toute-Belle’ (pp. 96-104) and the conte philosophique ‘Les Epreuves d’Amour dans les quatre Elémens, histoire nouvelle’, with its continuation (pp. 106-175). Written in collaboration with a number of Caylus’ friends, including Crébillon fils, Duclos, Vadé, Maurepas, Moncrif, Collé, Voisenon and the redoubtable bibliophile the Comtesse de Verrue. These were the key players in a literary société badine which centred around the actress and comedian Jeanne-Françoise Quinault. The society would meet for exuberant dinners during the course of which they would these tales and satirical pieces would be composed.

    Cioranescu 16247; Cohen-de Ricci 209; Gay I 182; Jones p. 79.

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  • licentious novel sometimes attributed to Restif
    NOUGARET, Pierre Jean Baptiste (1742-1823).
    Les foiblesses d’une jolie femme, ou Mémoires de Madame de Vilfranc, Ecrits par elle-même. Première [-Seconde] Partie. Amsterdam, Belin, 1779.

    Second Edition? Two parts in one volume, 12mo, (160 x 87mm), pp. viii, 94; [iv], 103, wanting the final advertisement (?) leaf to the first volume, in contemporary quarter calf over imitation leather boards, flat spine gilt in compartments, green morocco label (surface rather chipped) vertically lettered in gilt, head of spine chipped.

    A scarce early edition of this notorious licentious novel, attributed both the Nougaret and Restif de la Bretonne, presented as the true memoirs of an… (more)

    A scarce early edition of this notorious licentious novel, attributed both the Nougaret and Restif de la Bretonne, presented as the true memoirs of an attractive young lady, one Madame de Vilfranc. It caused a considerable flurry on publication, was republished at least eight times and was widely accepted as a genuine set of memoirs. Even Voltaire was said to have been taken in by the hoax.
    However, this latter statement calls into question the date of the first edition, as Voltaire died in 1778. There does appear to be some uncertainty as to when the novel first appeared. MMF states that Barbier, Gay, Mornet and Quérard all give an edition of 1776 and Delcro an edition of 1778, but they were unable to find it. I have been unable to find any trace of an earlier edition in any of the usual on-line databases, but whilst Cioranescu and MMF go for the 1779 first edition, the combined weight of Barbier, Gay, Mornet, Quérard and Delcro is hard to wave aside. Besides, there are at least two 1779 editions, not distinguished by MMF or Cioranescu, the one listed by MMF, with pp. iv, 144; 159 and the present edition (Trinity College Dublin only listed in Copac).
    The novel, described as ‘assez érotique’ by Gay, has also been attributed to Restif de la Bretonne, with whom Nougaret collaborated on a number of occasions. ‘On trouve encore là un cordon de sonnette indiscret’, says Gay. The setting is amongst the merchant classes and the action takes place in Paris. In addition to the contemporary popularity of the work, it seems to have had a following in subsequent centuries, published by Lalouette-Douce in 1885, by Edmond Vairel in 1951 and translated into German in 1920 and in 1978.

    See Cioranescu 48442; MMF 79.28; Gay II 226 (under ‘faiblesses’).

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  • Les guerres d'Alexandre by ARRIAN of Nicomedia (86/89-146/160 AD).PERROT, Nicolas d’Ablancourt (1606-1664), translator.
    ARRIAN of Nicomedia (86/89-146/160 AD).
    PERROT, Nicolas d’Ablancourt (1606-1664), translator.
    Les guerres d'Alexandre par Arrian. De la Traduction de Nicolas Perrot, Sieur d’Ablancourt. Sa Vie tirée du Grec de Plutarque, et ses Apothegmes de la mesme Traduction. Paris, Thomas Iolly, 1664.

    Two parts in one volume, 12mo (153 x 90 mm), pp. [40], 346, [20], [4], 142, hole to e8 and last leaf just touching one letter, edges dusty, bound in contemporary English mottled calf, raised bands, spine gilt and gilt-lettered, covers and joints bit rubbed, joints partly split at head, foot of spine torn, with a purchase note dated 1730 to front free endpaper; Latin annotations in a probably 17th-century schoolboy’s hand to front blank, one bibliographical in English to title, 18th-century annotations from Horace and the ownership inscription of Archibald Stewart, 1750 on rear endpaper.

    The third printing of the first French translation of the ‘Anabasis of Alexander’ by Arrian of Nicomedia, a Greek historian, military officer and philosopher. ‘Anabasis’… (more)

    The third printing of the first French translation of the ‘Anabasis of Alexander’ by Arrian of Nicomedia, a Greek historian, military officer and philosopher. ‘Anabasis’ has been considered a major source for our knowledge of Alexander the Great’s life and military achievements, especially during the conquest of the Persian Empire in the 4th century BC. According to Brunet, despite a few flaws, this translation ‘n’est pas sans mérite et on la recherche encore assez’. The classicist Nicolas Perrot d’Ablancourt was renowned for his controversial theories of translation, summarised also in the preface to this edition: ‘mon dessein n’est pas de rendre toutes les paroles de mon Autheur.’ His customary pleasing though heavy adaptation of the original texts gave rise to the phrase ‘la belle infidèle’, to define translations that are beautiful but unfaithful.

    OCLC lists Aberdeen, UNT and Wyoming only.

    Moss II, 190; Brunet I, 91; Schweiger, p.68.

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