H&W Brochure - page 8-9

Ernestus Vaenius. Tractatus Physiologicus de Pulchritudine,
Juxta ea quae de Sponsa in Canticis Canticorum Mysticè Pronunciantur.
Brussels: F. Foppens, 1662. Small octavo, full eighteenth-century mottled calf gilt.
Engraved title and 28 engravings in text. Text in Latin. $2800.
First and only edition of this curious seventeenth-century treatise on female
beauty, taking the figure of the bride in the Song of Songs as the feminine ideal.
Each chapter opens with a Latin translation of one descriptive verse—“thy nose
is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus,” “thy hair is as a
flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead,” “thy two breasts are like two
young roes that are twins”—followed by an illustrated analysis. The striking,
surreal engravings constitute the primary interest of the work, a comparative
anatomy of birds, camels, horses, dogs, and conventionally attractive women.
Most famous is the chapter explicating “Look not upon me, because I am black,
because the sun hath looked upon me”
(Nolite me considerare quod fusca sim, quia
decoloravit me Sol)
, in which Vaenius defends the beauty of the dark-skinned
bride, and calls into question the “frigid” ideal of whiteness. A near-fine copy of
an ambitious work, balancing the claims of anatomy, theology, and aesthetics.
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments,
and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the
Church of England: Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, Pointed
as They Are to be Sung or Said in Churches.
Cambridge: John Baskerville, 1762. Octavo, full contemporary red morocco
elaborately tooled in gilt. $2800.
Third octavo edition of John Baskerville’s prayer book, handsomely printed in
Roman and italic types, and priced at “Eight Shillings and Sixpence, unbound”
on the title page. Contents include English church calendars and tables, prayers
and psalms, services and sacraments: “nothing is ordained to be read, but the
very pure Word of God, the holy Scripture, or that which is agreeable to the
same; and that in such Language and Order as is most easy and plain for the
understanding both of the Readers and Hearers.” This copy is complete with the
occasional prayers, “printed for only a part of the edition,” and with the reference
to George III’s new queen, Charlotte, in the royal prayers. Of particular interest
is the unusual and striking binding, featuring precise horizontal tooling executed
within a framed central lozenge, apparently an English variant on the Scottish
“herring-bone” bindings of the period.
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