Chatty, Sophisticated, & Charmingly Illustrated
High-Society Guide to SPA
Pöllnitz, Karl Ludwig, Freiherr von. Amusemens des eaux de Spa, ouvrage utile à ceux qui vont boire ces eaux minérales sur les lieux. Enrichi des tailles-douces, qui représentent les vues & les perspectives du bourg de Spa, des fontaines, des promenades, & des environs. Amsterdam: Chez Pierre Mortier, 1740. 8vo (15.1 cm, 5.94"). 2 vols. I: ix, , 424 pp.; 9 fold. plts. II: , 414 pp.; 7 fold. plts.
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“Nouvelle edition” following the first of 1734 (also published by Mortier), of this entertaining guide to the delights of Spa — thefirst work of its kind, focusing primarily on society and fashion rather than on practical descriptions of the waters and their medicinal qualities. Baron von Pöllnitz was a favorite of Frederick the Great, and published an assortment of memoirs of himself and others. His Amusemens enjoyed great success, was quickly translated into English, and went through a number of editions in both languages, launching a genre of similar works on Spa and other fashionable destinations.
Early editions of the present guide are uncommon: WorldCat findsonly one U.S. institution (New York Academy of Medicine) reporting holding this printing, and only a small handful more of the scarce first.
For 18TH-CENTURY BOOKS,
This attractively accomplished production features title-pages printed in red and black and16 delightful engraved plates counting the double-spread added engraved title-page serving as the frontispiece of vol. I. Offering views of the countryside and the fountains, many of the images incorporate figures such as a hunter and his hounds, riders on horseback, and well-dressed ladies and gentlemen strolling or dancing — as well as one ofa life-sized “insect” allegedly “brought away from the Kidneys of a Woman by the Drinking of the Pouhon Waters.” The unsigned plates, sometimes attributed to the author himself and sometimes to Hecquet, bearcaptions given in French, German, and English.
Provenance: Title-pages each with early inked inscription of Frances Osborn. Later in the residue of the stock of the F. Thomas Heller bookselling firm (est. ca. 1928).
Graesse, I, 109; Wellcome, IV, 407. Not in Blake, NLM 18th Century (which only lists an English-language edition). Contemporary quarter mottled calf and marbled paper–covered sides, spines with gilt-stamped leather title-labels; bindings rubbed, scuffed, and with leather refurbished. Added engraved title-page for vol. I here tipped in as a double-page spread. Vol. I with waterstaining to outer margins of first few leaves, including added title-page and title-page; vol. II with waterstaining to upper outer portions of first few leaves; some plates with waterstaining to margins, not affecting images. Pages otherwise crisp and clean. A pleasurable production, showcasing a pleasurable place! (40619)
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