Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue 253: Witchcraft – Ancient & Modern

Weiser Antiquarian booksellers has published a new Catalogue, #253: Witchcraft – Ancient & Modern. Titles include:

BODIN, Jean [ I. Bodin Angevin ]. An original matted, title-page of “De la Demonomanie des Sorciers” [ Page de titre seule / Title Page Only ].

Chez Estienne Prevosteau: Chez Estienne Prevosteau, 1598. Edition Derniere [ “Last Edition” – actually probably the Fourth Edition ]. An original mounted title page [ONLY] from an early edition of Jean Bodin’s “De la Demonomanie des Sorciers” (1598). “Demonomanie” was of course a major work in the history of witchcraft persecutions. The author, Jean Bodin (1530-1596) was a noted lawyer and author. His “Demonomanie” was drawn from his own experience as a judge, as well as other contemporary accounts of witchcraft, and was written to assist other members of the judiciary who were dealing with cases of witchcraft. Bodin was one of the first writers to attempt a legal definition of witchcraft, and sought to explain what the motivated witches, and how they could best be identified. Despite having a reputation as something of a liberal in other spheres, Bodin had no tolerance when it came to suspected witches, and he advocated vigorous interrogation, torture, sentencing and execution of the accused, regardless of the age or infirmity of the accused. The book was disturbingly popular: the First Edition was published in 1580, the second edition in 1582, with the 1598 edition from which this title-page was taken probably thre fourth or fifth. The title-page appears to have been cropped, without loss of text, at the bottom margin and measures approximately 5 1/8 inches x 3 3/8 inches and is mounted in a modern cream-coloured acid-free mount (outer size is 10 x 8 inches), with foam backing board, ready for framing. The mat is fine – as new. The size (10 x 8 inches) is a standard US frame size, and ready made frames into which it can be inserted are widely available. It shows a few light creases and spots, and is somewhat darkened, and is a little chipped at the edges. Overall VG condition and a rare original memento of the original European witch-hunting craze, at a fraction of the price that the actual work itself would cost. It comes with a certificate of authenticity and is guaranteed original and from the 1598 edition, and is thus over 400 years old. Item #66861

Check ’em all out!


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *