Lot Details

Lot 123
of three works, all first editions. Dictionaire Caraibe-François, meslé de quantité de remarques historiques pour l'esclaircissement de la langue. Auxerre: Gilles Bouquet, 1665. [Idem]. Dictionaire François-Caraibe. Auxerre: G. Bouquet, 1666; and [Idem]. Petit catechisme, ou sommaire des trois premières parties de la doctrine chrestienne. Traduit du François, en la langue des Caraibes insulaires. Auxerre: G. Bouquet, 1664. Three works, all in the first edition, bound in one volume, period French mottled calf in compartments, all edges sprinkled red and brown. 6 x 4 1/4 inches (15.5 x 10.5 cm). Pagination: [16], 480 pp.; 415, [1]pp., without the inserted signature à4 found in some copies; 70, [2] (blank)] pp., parallel French and Carib text. Illustration: woodcut crucifixion on p. 16 of the final work with Latin exhortation below, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces, binding: contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, binding slightly rubbed, lower joint partly split. Internally these are generally sound, clean examples.

Three exceedingly rare works, all in first edition, prepared by Raymond Breton, a Dominican missionary who was one of four of his order who helped establish the mission of the Frères Pecheurs in the French West Indies, as he notes on the title-pages. He also issued a fourth work in 1667, the Grammaire Caraibe, which is not present here (likely this group was bound before its publication), but each work stands on its own. Breton spent twenty years from 1635 on in the French West Indies working for the Antilles missions, and his remarks in the works indicate that he had attained a remarkably sympathetic understanding of the culture of the Indians, as well as a comprehensive grasp of their language. Gaetano DeLeonibus, in The French Review, volume 80, no 5 (April 2007) discusses at considerable length the ethnographic value of the present works, written for the instruction of young priests departing for the region. The language Breton recorded is now essentially extinct, largely displaced by Arawak, so this comprehensive lexicon is an important historical document.

Some copies of the Dictionaire françois-caraibe, the second work here, contain an inserted gathering à^(4) containing two letters which begin, "A Monsieur Claude André Lecler" and "Aux Révérends Pères Missionaire." That is not present here, nor was it in the Macclesfield copy, the last example sold, in 2008. All the publications are of considerable scarcity in commerce. Sabin 7740 & 7741; JCB iii, pp. 123, 140, 151 & 108; Alden & Landis 665/20, 666/12 & 664/31.

C The Collection of Jay I. Kislak sold to benefit the Kislak Family Foundation

Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000
Sold for $21,420 (includes buyer's premium)

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Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000
Sold for $21,420 (includes buyer's premium)

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The Collection of Jay I. Kislak sold to benefit the Kislak Family Foundation

Wed, Jun 15, 2022 at 10am EDT
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