Rare Book Highlights

Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology

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Rare Book Highlights from Marquand Library

  • A new Tokaido Road acquisition for Marquand

    A section of the Tokaido Road map

    "Adventure was promised to those who traveled the 300 mile-long Tōkaidō Road, which linked Japan’s modern capital, Edo (present-day Tokyo), with the ancient imperial capital at Kyoto from the 17th... Read More



    Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), Le vite de’piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, et architettori scritte, & di nuovo ampliate da M. Giorgio Vasari pittore et architetto Aretino. Florence: Appresso i... Read More


    Scenic view

    SCENIC VIEWS IN AND AROUND SHANGHAI     Wu, Youru 吳友如 . Shenjiang sheng jing tu 申江勝景圖 , 二卷 . Shanghai: Dianshizhai chubanshe, 光緒十年 (1884).     Opened in 1879 by former English shipping agent Ernest... Read More

  • Mummies and Museums: Egyptology in Britain in the Early Eighteenth Century

    Mummy Lighter

    Illustration by B. Baron after Alexander Gordon, in Alexander Gordon, An Essay Towards Explaining the Hieroglyphical Figures, on the Coffin of the Ancient Mummy Belonging to Capt. William... Read More



    Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (1878-1935), Ot kubizma i futurizma k suprematizmu: novyĭ zhivopisnyĭ realizm [From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: The New Realism in Painting] Moskva: K. Malevich... Read More

  • 1754: A Celebration of Medieval Mantles

    Schutz Mantle

      Two of the most famous surviving medieval ceremonial mantles, the so-called “Star Mantle” of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II and the Coronation Mantle of the Kings of Hungary, both embroidered in... Read More

  • Jacopo Strada and the Study of Antiquity

    Imperatorum Romanorum omnium orientalium et occidentalium verissimae imagines ex antiquis numismatis quam fidelissime delineatae

    Jacopo (sometimes Latinized to Jacobus) Strada, the author of this elegant volume, played a complex role in the cultural life of some of the most powerful courts in mid-sixteenth-century Europe. Born... Read More

  • Modern Art in Post World War II Japan


    Marquand Library is the only institution on record as owning a complete 7-issue run of the Japanese serial entitled Seikigun [世紀群 Century Group]. Published and hand-distributed in 1949 and 1950 by... Read More



    When we hear the word “manga” today, we think of graphic novels: stories that are dramatically narrated through pictures, often in a comic book-like format. The literal meaning of the term manga (漫画... Read More

  • Two Early French Publications of “Etruscan” Vases

    L’Introduction à l’étude des vases antiques d’argile peints, vulgairement appelés étrusques

    In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the enthusiasm for Greek and Roman antiquities was nurtured by the publication of celebrated collections of antique art. Inspired in particular... Read More

  • The “German Vasari”?

    L’Academia todesca della architectura, scultura & pittura: oder Teutsche Academie der edlen Bau- Bild- und Mahlerey Künste. . .

    Sometimes referred to as the “German Vasari,” Joachim von Sandrart, born in Frankfurt, trained first as a printmaker, notably in Nuremberg, and in Prague with Aegidius Sadeler. He then studied... Read More

  • First Steps toward Modernism in Japanese Photography


    Published between 1922 and 1926, Hakuyō was the monthly magazine of the Japan Photographic Art Association (Nihon Kōga Geijutsu Kyōkai), the first national Japanese organization with ‘art photography... Read More

  • Mountains Upon Mountains

    Ehon kyōka yama mata yama [Picture Book of Comic Poems: Mountains Upon Mountains]

    Another newly acquired Japanese ehon (picture book) in the Marquand Library collection is Katsushika Hokusai’s beautiful Ehon kyōka yama mata yama [Picture Book of Comic Poems: Mountains Upon... Read More

  • Hokusai’s Banned Book

    Itako zekkushū [‘Chinese-style’ Songs of Itako]

    Celebrating the famous prostitution district of the town of Itako, this picture/ poetry book [ehon] by Katsushika Hokusai and the poet, Fuji no Karamaro, was banned by the Japanese government in 1803... Read More

  • The Grimani Breviary

    Breviario Grimani : ms. Lat. I 99 = 2138, Biblioteca nazionale marciana, Venezia

    This year, Marquand Library acquired a copy of one of the first complete color facsimiles of the Grimani Breviary, a magnificent example of Flemish Renaissance manuscript illumination.  Monumental in... Read More


    Plan de Paris: commencé de l’année 1734 (detail)

    In 1734, Michel-Etienne Turgot (1690-1751), the influential provost of the merchants of Paris (a position roughly equivalent to that of the present-day Mayor), commissioned a new printed map to... Read More


    Tōkaidō meisho zue [Illustrated Guide to the Famous Sites of the Tōkaidō Road]

    Adventure was promised to those who traveled Japan’s three hundred-mile-long Tōkaidō Road from the 17th through early 20th century. For more than three centuries illustrated books and woodblock... Read More

  • A Very Artistic Anatomy Book

    Tabulae anatomicae a celeberrimo pictore Petro Berrettino Cortonensi delineatae.

    Pietro da Cortona’s Tabulae anatomicae, one of the most artistic anatomical atlases ever produced, was not published until more than 70 years after the artist’s death. Early in his career, Pietro... Read More

  • Chronicling Disaster (Illegally) in Mid-19th Japan

    Ansei fūbunshū [Reports of (Natural Disasters of) the Ansei Period]

    It is said that if one natural disaster strikes, a second will occur... So begins the preface to this harrowing chronicle of disasters that took place in Japan during the first two years of the Ansei... Read More

  • An Early Study of Trajan’s Column

    Historia vtriusque belli Dacici a Traiano Caesare gesti: ex simulachris quae in columna eiusdem Romae visuntur collecta

    The triumphal column erected by the Roman senate in 113 A.D. to celebrate the victories of the emperor Trajan (died 117) over the Dacians is one of the best-preserved monuments of Imperial Rome. A... Read More

  • On the Road

    Tōkaidō gojūsantsugi emaki [Scrolls of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō]

    Adventure was promised to those who traveled Japan’s three hundred-mile-long Tōkaidō Road from the 17th through early 20th century. For more than three centuries illustrated books and woodblock... Read More

  • The ‘Bug Books’

    Ehon mushi erami [Picture Book of Selected Insects]

    In this lavishly produced woodblock-printed “picture book” from the beginning of Utamaro’s career, pictures of insects, plants, and reptiles are paired with similarly themed and humorously risqué... Read More

  • Emmet Gowin's First Photobook

    Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself

    Though it is hard to believe, this recent addition to Marquand’s rare book collection is actually a student project by Emmet Gowin—distinguished American photographer, and Professor Emeritus of... Read More

  • Stuart Lacquerware Manual

    A Treatise of Japaning and Varnishing: Being a Compleat Discovery of Those Arts...

    Increased trade and diplomatic contact with the Far East during the seventeenth century nurtured European taste for exotic goods, such as lacquer, porcelain, and patterned silks. Oriental lacquer... Read More

  • 'Out and About' in Edo Japan

    Edo meisho zue [Illustrated Guide to the Famous Sites of Edo]

    Written over the course of forty years by three generations of the Saitō family, the Edo meisho zue is a window onto the world of Japan’s capital city during the late 18th and early 19th-centuries.... Read More

  • Pirates of the East China Sea

    Wo kou tu juan (J: Wakō zukan) [Japanese Pirates Scroll]

    In the waning years of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), wokou (Japanese pirates) raided the coastal provinces of eastern China with increasing regularity.  Despite suffering defeat in Shandong in 1363,... Read More