Whether in the highly stylized aesthetic of the Parisian art deco designer George Barbier, pioneering anthropologies in voyage accounts, in maps, portraits, games or tools for teaching the young, this month’s themed list explores costume in all its forms. Often images were so striking they re-occur in accounts decades — or centuries later. The spirit behind many of the works is very much that of the Enlightenment — a tremendous curiosity about newly discovered parts of the world and about human behaviour, particularly for ritualised behavior. The late Professor Bernard Smith noted (here specifically of the work of St-Sauveur included in this list) ‘The engravings published in Cook’s Voyages provided new visual information about many previously unknown peoples, and greatly enlarged Europe’s knowledge of the family of man… as artists copied the engravings so they altered them still further in the direction of European pre-conceptions, the anthropological and ethnographic intentions of the originals being diverted increasingly to fulfil the demands of taste and the intrinsic needs of decoration.’ (European Vision and the South Pacific, p. 113).
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Aborigines of New HollandHandcoloured wood engraving, 100 x 75mm; Very good. Charming French hand-coloured woodcut depicting a man and woman of "New Holland". It was most likely printed as part of a series of costume plates, and may be the same as a similarly-sized woodcut of the...
Paris: Delaunay, c. 1810.
Peoples of the world, and their characters shown on their facesDuodecimo, 25 engraved plates (all hand coloured); mottled pink wrappers. First edition of this fascinating French physiognomical study of the peoples of the world, which compares the facial structures and features of various European races...
Paris: Chez Camille Bloch & Jules Meynial, 1927.
Diaghilev and the Ballets RussesQuarto, portrait frontispiece, introduction followed by twenty-five pochoir colour plates, each signed by the artist and mounted on tinted grey Arches paper; fine in polished half-calf with black lettering. A remarkable collection of elegant theatrical costume designs...
Paris: Bulla, 1828.
Aboriginal portraits and camp-fire sceneHandcoloured lithograph, 385 x 290 mm. Engaging Australian Aboriginal portraits and camp scene from the official voyage account of Hyacinthe de Bougainville, who toured the South Pacific between 1824 and 1826.Edmond de la Touanne, whose work formed the basis of these fine...
Berlin: W. Hagelberg, 1886.
An ephemeral curioColour printed card, 115 x 166 mm., with pull-out tab which opens a booklet of eight black & white scenes with captions;. Very scarce Christmas souvenir of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1866, depicting scenes from the Empire including two scenes featuring...
Barcelona: por los herederos de D. Agustin Roca, 1834. Oblong octavo, engraved frontispiece, title and 32 plates; a fine copy in original printed boards. A very good copy of this very rare illustrated Spanish edition of the costumes of the world, after the original French publication La Géographie en estampes...
circa 1840. Original lithograph, 195 x 166mm., mounted. Portrait of Thomas Denman, Lord Chief Justice and politician, in his judicial robes. Denman played an active role in reforming English laws so as to secure individual liberties. In 1837 he carried two bills abolishing the death penalty for forgery and other...
London J. Reynolds & Sons 174 Strand nd, circa 1875.
Peoples of the Polynesian islands portrayedHand coloured lithograph, 430 x 690mm, designed by E. Ravenstein is inscribed lower left mounted and framed. A large nineteenth century lithograph showing full length portraits of people from Oceania and America. To the...
A priest of Guam takes his ease during the Freycinet visitOriginal ink drawing, 310 x 245 mm., fully signed and dated, framed. Jacques Arago, artist on board Freycinet's Uranie during the French circumnavigation of 1817-20, drew this intimate portrait of the priest in Agana, the capital of...
Paris: Gayet et Lebrun, 1840.
The artist's narrative: the rare coloured editionFive volumes, octavo, with a portrait and 59 hand-coloured lithographic plates (a few folding) in the first four volumes and 15 uncoloured plates in the fifth volume; handsome contemporary French quarter olive-green calf, spines with raised bands, ornamented...
Stockholm: J. A. Probsts, 1825.
Swedish costume booklet for childrenFolding concertina case of 24 individual handcoloured ethnographic portraits, each measuring 88 x 57 mm., mounted upon linen within marbled card covers; with accompanying 24mo booklet of some 42 pp., both housed within original papered slipcase. Ephemeral early-nineteenth century Swedish...
Exeter: W.C. Featherstone, 1847.
Bizarre shipwreck chronicleSmall octavo, with four plates including frontispiece; complete with errata, list of subscribers and like material; in original blue blind-stamped cloth boards with gilt Royal crest. An eccentric account of shipwreck on the Crozet Islands, subsequent rescue and deliverance to Van Diemen's Land...
Paris: circa 1795.
From ethnology to fashionEngraved aquatint with original handcolouring, 440 x 530 mm. (sheet size), mounted and framed. Rare and alluring hand-coloured engraving of the islanders of the Pacific, composed of twenty-four groups of inhabitants from new lands revealed through the voyages of Captain James Cook and...
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Livorno: Tipografia Vignozzi, 1827.
With unrecorded platesThree volumes, duodecimo, three frontispieces and three plates, all with good contemporary handcolouring; contemporary quarter roan binding, lettered in gilt, marbled boards with vellum tips. Attractive early Italian edition of La Pérouse's voyage, containing six charming coloured plates (three of which are not.....
London: circa 1800. Engraving. 250 x 200mm, mounted. A fine portrait of a New Caledonian man by Piron. This image was first published in Labillardière's account of the D'Entrecasteaux expedition. Piron was the official artist on the expedition, in which Australia was circumnavigated twice, and the islands surrounding investigated for...
Paris: Gide Fils, circa 1830.
With plates based on "Foreign Field Sports"Oblong quarto, with 60 engravings; an attractive copy in original printed boards. A rare and beautiful French children's book, with wonderful Australian plates including six based closely on Clark's Foreign Field Sports. This work is not recorded by...
London: William Clowes, 1828.
Mitchell on military drillOctavo, letterpress and 26 plates, some offsetting as common; an appealing copy in contemporary red quarter roan. Major Mitchell's famous book on military exercises and musketry drills with its series of marvellous lithographic plates.Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, explorer and Surveyor-General in New...
Prato: Fratelli Giachetti, 1840-, 1845.
From Christopher Columbus to Sir Thomas MitchellOctavo, 18 volumes (bound in 17), with 159 plates and maps (five handcoloured), in later nineteenth-century red half morocco with ornate gilt spines. A handsome set of voyage accounts uniformly bound in rich gilt morocco, including an Italian...
Paris: Amedée Bedelet, circa 1858. Tinted lithograph, 165 x 233 mm.; marginal tear with early stick-tape repair leaving brown, not affecting image. This oft-reproduced image is based on a famous West Australian view by Louis de Sainson, which was published in the official account of Dumont d'Urville's three-year expedition in...
Paris: Chez Saintin, 1811. Octavo, two hand-coloured plates and seven hand-coloured maps (four double-page, three folding), some loss to a few pages (seemingly original defects in the paper, and not affecting text); half calf, a little rubbed, bumped at corners, a handsome copy. A wonderful children's Atlas, with delightful depictions...
Stuttgart: Friedrich G. Schutz, circa 1820.
German handcoloured globe for childrenHandcoloured paper globe comprising six gores measuring 170 x 65 mm., well preserved with the original cord ties within the publisher's folding card case with printed onlays; accompanied by a folding suite of 15 handcoloured lithographic plates measuring 97...
Paris: Dondey-Dupré père et fils, 1826-1827.
A Russian envoy to ChinaTwo octavo volumes bound in one, and a quarto atlas with lithographic title page, large folding map, two folding plans and eight lithographic plates; matching later quarter crimson morocco. First French edition, recounting the experiences of a Russian envoy.....
Brussels: Librairie Historique, 1844.
One of the great works on the costumes of the worldFour volumes, large octavo, with a total of 204 finely handcoloured costume plates; contemporary half crimson roan, flat spines ornately gilt. Scarce and beautiful work on the costumes of the world, finely illustrated with a....
Lisbon: Imprensa Lusitana Typographia Lisbonense, 1872-, 1873.
A scarce and beautiful workThick octavo, 153 highly-finished handcoloured engravings;red blind-panelled morocco, all edges gilt. Rare Portuguese edition of Wahlen's Moeurs, Usages et Costumes de tous les peuples du monde… (Brussels, 1844), published well after Wahlen's death in 1850. Wahlen's is a....