List 11:  BRAINS!
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TERMS.    A documentary list from our Human Sciences department, on the development of phrenology and the slow invention of the brain. Because the Cloud forgets. Purchases are guaranteed to be catalogued, shipped, and delivered to the collector's satisfaction. Returns are eligible within 10 days of receipt. Reciprocal terms are extended to the trade; institutional policies are accommodated. Prices are issued in USD; sold items will be marked as such regularly. Shipping is charged at cost. Various forms of payment are accepted. Phone (416-729-7043) or email ( for acquisition inquiries; priority is given to first interest. Subscribe to be added to our mailing list. And, for those in Toronto: please visit us in booth 409 at the upcoming ABAC fair, to be held at the Art Gallery of Ontario, November 3-5.
LAVATER, Johann Caspar
Over de physiognomie.  Amsterdam: Johannes Allart, 1780–1783.
First edition thus, including scarce first issue of vol. I

Complete set, with all four volumes being first editions; volume one being most often present in its second, 1784 state. Contemporary bindings of thin marbled boards; leather spines with manuscript labels. Bindings having uniformly come undone; this set being a prime candidate for rebinding, or as a preservation copy, with textblocks remarkably fresh. Each volume with armorial bookplate to pastedowns (monogrammed WHS) and contemporary ownership inscription to endpapers. A sumptuously-illustrated set, with over 350 in-text engravings, many three-quarter paged, along with title page engravings and 42 engraved full-length plates (13 to each of the first three volumes, with 3 to the fourth). Contents collated as complete; pagination being: xx, [1], 22-40, 1-397, [1] / viii, 342 / vi, 347, [1] / [6], 435, [1], concluding with [20] page index.
Near the beginning of the human sciences, we find physiognomy and its founding figure, the Swiss mystic and poet Johann Caspar Lavater—searching for objective patterns in the expressions of faces and bodies; reading human character through the anatomization of the soul. First publishing his multi-volume opus in Leipzig (Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe, 1775-1778), under the influence of his impressive art collection, Lavater nonetheless offered his work under the banner of Enlightened science, declaring the medium of drawing to be its "natural language." 
Lavatar's combination of visual culture, positivism, and moral judgment proved to be a popular recipe, with over 100 physiognomic editions to be issued over the coming decades. As part of the first wave of this reception, the Dutch publisher Johannes Allart attempted to capitalize on demand through this lavish multi-volume production (1780–1783). The pitch to subscribers was seductive: not only was Lavater here supplying original copy to be translated into Dutch, but he was also supervising the production of the nearly 400 engravings, to be newly executed by J. R. Schellenberg, R. Brichet, J. Hegi, J. Heidegger, and others. Allart was soon in competition, with Pieter Blussé announcing a more modest "manual," which not only promised practical lessons in physiognomic interpretation, but was also considerably less expensive, at 4 guilders vs. 32 guilders for Allart's tall octavo. Dutch book buyers, however, appear to have sided with the aesthetic vision of Allart, who would publish a second edition of his work, while Blussé would not.
[Group of sixteen black profile caricatures], circa 1840.
450 USD

Single sheet (23 x 29 cm.) bearing four rows of black profile caricatures, cut from glossy black paper; with four silhouettes across each row, for a total of sixteen. The sheet being affixed to later backing board, slightly askew; the board showing residue and toning from previous matting; not affecting silhouettes.
As a physiognomic tool, Lavater designed a silhouette machine (see above), with its products promising to represent the "immediate imprint of Nature." With related sentiment, Rousseau declared the art of silhouette as portraiture "reduced to its essential form. All [the audience's] attention is concentrated on outline." On the other side of this objectivity, the art of caricature made a competing claim, which is perhaps why E. Nevill Jackson shouldn't have been so surprised in his History of silhouettes (1911) when he declared: "The subject of caricature in silhouette is a very interesting one, but cannot be fully treated here. There are few examples, and it is strange that so virile and graphic an art as that of the silhouette should show so few specimens of caricature work. In August Edouart's work just such aptitude for seizing the salient feature in face or figure is invariably shown which never allows his scissors to swerve from faithful and exact portrayal." In the grotesque example offered here, an anonymous pair of scissors works against this grain, at the intersection of these two art forms, although it remains unclear whether the caricatures were offered as contemporary or retrospective.
END OF LOT 02   Purchase here.
(GALL, Franz Joseph);  [SPURZHEIM, Johann Gaspar]
[Autograph letter, in which Gall accepts the salon invitation of Constance de Salm].  Paris, January 1809.

Single sheet of watermarked paper (48 x 38 cm.), originally folded and sealed into self-envelope, being now unsealed and secure as single leaf (24 x 19 cm.). Recto features 4 line autograph letter written in the third person, almost certainly in the hand of Spurzheim,; dated "le 22." To verso: one of the Parisian addresses of Madame la Comtesse de Salm; post-marked January 25, 1809.
In 1806, the celebrated femme des lettres Constance de Salm—annointed "Reason's Muse" by Chénier—painted a picture of her salons of the period with the poem À mes amis. Thirty years later, in her collected works, she reflected back on the poem's timing: "Je regrete de n'avoir pu y rappeler aussi ceux d'un grand nombre d'artistes, de savants, de littérateurs non moins distingués que je n'ai connous que plus tard, et qui auraient rendu plus complet ce tableau d'une de nos renions amicables: je citerai particulièrement Gétri, le docteur Gall, Firmin Didot père..." For it was in 1807, after an epic two year lecture tour of the Continent, that Franz Joseph Gall—the consensus pick as the founding father of phrenology—arrived and settled in Paris.
Having earlier been blessed with a successful private practice in Vienna—so blessed, in fact, that he was able to turn down an offer to work as Court physician—Gall only assumed his itinerant lifestyle after having his lectures banned by his would-be-employer, the last Holy Roman Emperor Franz II. Since 1796, these lectures had caused a noticeable stir in Viennese society, as Gall argued that the operations of Mind were to be located in the anatomy of the brain—and not in the liver, heart, or spinal fluid—with Gall persuasively illustrating his theory via novel dissection techniques. Committed to his truth (and pay-grade) in the face of censorship, Gall set off on his lecture tour accompanied by a wax modeller, two monkeys, and a large collection of skulls and casts. Also accompanying him: his 29 year old former student Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, now employed as his attendant and dissection assistant.

Paris would prove to be home until Gall's death in 1828 and the place of publication for his monumental four volume work: Anatomie et physiologie du système nerveux en général, et du cerveau en particulier, 1810–1819. Despite not being accepted by the official scientific community, Gall would find a receptive audience with Parisian society. "No heads in the world," Gall would write in a January 1809 letter, "are haunted with materialism and fatalism with such a complete lack of all religious morality as the French." The present letter, dated only two days after this quip, bears witness to this first phrenological social network—and with comedic effect, as Spurzheim here accepts de Salm's salon invitation to Gall in the third person, while apologetically inviting himself along: "Le Dr. Gall aura l'honneur de se rendre à l'invitation pour vendredi, le 27. Il espère trouver pardon, s'il amène le Dr. Spurzheim."

SPURZHEIM, J[ohann] G[aspar]
The physiognomical system of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim; founded on an anatomical and physiological examination of the nervous system in general, and of the brain in particular; and indicating the dispositions and manifestations of the Mind.  London: Printed for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy and William Blackwood in Edinburgh, 1815.  First edition.
Mid-nineteenth century binding of half-leather, over fine cloth boards; with foliate tooling to leather edges. Spine with gilt ornamentation and lettering, reading "Gall & Spurzheim's | physiognomical system;" leather well-rubbed. Illustrated with frontispiece and 18 plates bound at rear (complete); the majority of the plates being foxed. Contents collated as complete; xviii, 571 pages, followed by [1] page errata. With a handful of manuscript corrections throughout text, corresponding to errata, and extensive pencil annotations to the list of phrenological organs (pp. 569-570). Laid in loose, between pp. 180-181: a comparative illustration of the abstract silhouettes of General Wurmser and Ceylonese Boy.
Parting from Gall in Paris—largely owing to his desire to transform the insights of organology into an applied/social science—it was to be Spurzheim who would drag phrenology from out of the courts and salons and into the lyceums and theatres of the people; "phrenology" indeed being his own preferred brand name for this modern science of Mind. Reportedly learning English in a mere six months, Spurzheim would begin his mission in earnest with a lecture tour of England, for which he published this present work in 1815; the first English appearance of the Gall-and-Spurzheim system, "being at the same time a book of reference for Dr. Spurzheim's demonstrative lectures." Of note, there's a fascinating competition among the illustrated plates (struck in 1814) between anatomical and physiognomic styles; the latter being accomplished by F. C. Lewis. With frontispiece qualifying as the first published appearance of the phrenological bust.
This particular copy of the first edition—which appears to have preceded the "greatly improved second edition" by only a matter of months—documents the fluidity of the early phrenological system, with Spurzheim's first published listing of the XXXIII phrenological organs being re-ordered in pencil; with the anonymous owner adding the organs of "eventuality" and "marvelousness," in correspondence with later modifications made by Spurzheim. Laid in loose is an abstract ink illustration (on paper watermarked 1825) comparing the heads of General Wurmser and a Ceylonese Boy; the same example re-appearing in Combe's 1830 System of phrenology, to illustrate the organ of Combativeness.

With a single OCLC record discovered for this first edition in Canada (McMaster).

SPURZHEIM, [Johann Gaspar]
Outlines of phrenology; being also a manual of reference for the marked bustsLondon: Treuttel, Wurtz, and Richter, 1829.  New edition, following the 1827 printing.

Later rebinding, in blue cloth boards (18 cm. tall), with simple gilt lettering to front panel. Illustrated by lithographic frontispiece, with minor dampstaining, choreographing three views of the phrenological bust. Contents collated as complete; [8], 101, [1] pages.
A decade after publishing the de facto textbook for phrenological science, Spurzheim developed this concise treatment for a more general audience, in which the meta-character of the phrenological bust gains two new organs, for a total of 35, and is engraved with further refinement, losing its eyebrows along the way. While Gall had largely employed skull imagery to illustrate his localized taxonomy of the organs that worked as substratum of Mind, Spurzheim instead elected to work with a model that was simultaneously more fleshy and virtual.

With 7 North American OCLC records discovered for this 1829 edition; none in Canada.

Transactions of the Phrenological Society, instituted February 1820Edinburgh: John Anderson Jun., 1824.

Half-leather, over marbled boards, with rubbing to joints and weakness to front hinge. Gilt ornamentation and lettering to spine. With contemporary ownership inscription to title page. Illustrated with (1) engraving of Miss Clara Fisher, misbound as frontispiece, (2) a large folding plate choreographing four views of the phrenological bust, with a list of 33 phrenological organs organized into three groups (propensities, sentiment, and intellect), and (3) three additional engraved plates, as called for. Textblock slightly trimmed. Contents: xvi, 448 numbered pages. Followed in this binding by the preface and table of contents from Pierre Flourens' Recherches éxperimentales sur les propriétés et les fonctions du système nerveux, dans les animaux vertébrés (Paris, 1824); being xx, [2] pages, with Flourens' name crossed-out in pencil and replaced with "Septime Nerveux."
If England provided the starting point for Spurzheim's phrenological campaign, then Edinburgh certainly qualifies as the movement's first capital. It did not, however, start well—with  the influential Edinburgh review (vol. 25, June 1815) publishing a scathing critique of The physiognomical system. In response, Spurzheim changed course of his lecture tour, making a direct line for Edinburgh where he would confront his critics head-on—laying a copy of that very issue of the Edinburgh review on the dissection table, next to the brain that he was carefully deconstructing. Even more refined than Gall's, Spurzheim's dissection techniques won over his Edinburgh audience, including the young barrister George Combe: "He proceeded to display the structure of the brain in a manner inexpressibly superior to that of my late teacher, Dr. Barclay; and I saw with my own eyes that the reviewer had shown profound ignorance, and descended to gross misrepresentation in regard to the appearances presented by this organ when dissected by a skillful anatomist." Five years later, Combe and his brother Andrew would found the first Phrenological Society in Britain, with Gall and Spurzheim named honorary members.

In 1824, the Society would publish its Transactions: "to proclaim the existence and the views of the Society; to hold it out as a point of union to those who take an interest in the doctrines; and to invite future communications." George Combe would contribute the bulk of the contents, including "Preliminary dissertation on the progress and application of phrenology," "Report upon the cast of Miss Clara Fisher," "On inferring natural dispositions and talents from developments of Brain," "Observations on evidence in favour of phrenology, afforded by reports on the cerebral development of executed criminals, as indicated by their skulls," "Case of Mary Maciness, who murdered William Howat," and "Phrenological analyses of some of the maxims of Le Rochefoucault." With George's brother Andrew, the surgeon, contributing "On the effects of injuries of the brain upon the manifestations of the Mind," in which he gestures at the end to the recent manuscript submitted by Pierre Flourens to the French Institute, concerning his experiments with the ablation of live animal brains. (Coincidentally an excised preface from Flourens' original 1824 work, published by Crevot, is bound at the rear of this volume). Also of note: a list of donors to the Phrenological Society (most importantly of casts and skulls), as well as its list of members up to May 1823; including John Anderson Junior, the bookseller who would publish much of the early phrenological literature.

With 9 OCLC records discovered in North America; none in Canada.

(BELL, Charles)
Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Part I: comprehending the preparations illustrative of pathologyEdinburgh: Printed by Neill and Company, 1836.
250 USD

Cloth boards (21 cm. tall), with blind stamp of Aberdeen University Library to front panel; with printed titles to paper label on spine, along with manuscript call number. Bookplate of the University of Aberdeen Library to front pastedown (cancel-stamped) and contemporary Latin annotation to title page, identifying donation from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Copy otherwise free of library treatments. Split to front hinge. Contents: [xii], 369, [1] pages, with some gatherings unopened.
Although identified as Part I, this catalogue for the  pathology sub-collection at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons was all-published in 1836, following a much slimmer 1834 publication of 176 pages. The contents provide a glimpse into the early neurological context in which the Phrenological Society developed, with injuries and diseases of the brain classified under Organs of Sensation, comprising items 841 through 908; described largely without concern for localization. The brain specimens are almost all identified as issuing from the collection of Sir Charles Bell, being acquired through sale to the Royal College in 1825.

With 5 OCLC records discovered in North America; none in Canada.
END OF LOT 07   Purchase here.
COMBE, George
[Autograph letter, signed, to phrenological sculptor William Bally of Manchester, on the eve of Combe's potential election to University of Edinburgh's Chair of Logic].
Edinburgh, May 1836.

Single sheet of paper (40 x 25 cm.), blind-stamped with the mark of Edinburgh papermaker Alexander Cowan. Originally folded and sealed into self-envelope, being now unsealed and secure as single leaf (25 x 20 cm.). Verso plainly addressed to Mr. William Bally of Manchester, without postmark. Recto features 12 line autograph letter, dated Edinburgh, 25 May, 1836, and signed "Yours faithfully, Geo. Combe."
The Swiss-born William Bally traveled with Spurzheim from 1829 to 1831, before settling in Manchester to launch his iconic career as a sculptor of phrenological busts. In this letter, Combe praises Bally's "exceedingly well executed" bust of Mr. Capen—presumably being that of Nahum Capen, the Boston phrenological publisher; "it stood for some days on one of my tables, and several friends who had seen him in my house at once recognized it and praised the likeness." The remainder of the letter addresses the upcoming Election for the Chair of Logic at the University of Edinburgh, for which Combe was running against one of the most hostile critics of phrenology:  Sir William Hamilton. While Hamilton would prove the easy victor, Combe used the spotlight to draw attention to phrenological developments, publishing Testimonials on behalf of George Combe, as a candidate for the Chair of Logic in the University of Edinburgh as part of that campaign; a copy of which apparently accompanied this letter.
Toe-tology versus phrenology. A course of lectures to be delivered (at the "foot" of Arthur's Seat) on the 1st of April, to prove that there is more expression in the foot than in the headEdinburgh: [Lizars Litho.], circa 1820.

Engraved broadside (26 x 20 cm.), featuring 16 hand-colored caricatures of costumed feet, each associated with unique character traits. Minor abrasion; otherwise in remarkably fresh condition. Verso shows remnants of contemporary adhesive.
By the very nature of its visual form of rhetoric, phrenology lent itself to caricature. In what appears to be an April Fool's joke, this anonymous engraving, incorporating both genders, takes-the-piss out of the then-nascent localization debate, developing a system of character based on the anato-physiognomy of the foot, versus Brain. A copy preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum bears the imprint of Lizars Lith. of Edinburgh.
With single OCLC record discovered in North America (UCLA).
Phrenological illustrations, or an artist's view of the craniological system of Doctors Gall and Spurzheim. 
London: Self-published by Cruikshank and sold by J. Robins and Co. et al, 1826.  Plain issue.

Oblong wrappers (29 x 39 cm.), with minor wear to lower edge; otherwise a remarkably fresh copy, in original condition. Prices below imprint are listead for plain and coloured (8 and 12s.), with no India proofs mentioned. With two early ownership inscriptions to front wrapper—with that of Fanny G. Wise repeating on title page—and the distinguished bookplate of collector Bella Clara Landauer to front wrapper's verso. Contents: [4] pages of text, followed by six leaves containing 33 etchings (un-coloured); all tissue guards present, watermarked S.O. 1823, as called for (Cohn 178). With advertisement to rear for J. Robins and Co. listing seven works illustrated by Cruikshank.
For the subject of his first independent work, Cruikshank perceptively turned to phrenology. Being 1826, however—a  full year before Spurzheim published the first condensed version of the phrenological system (see lot 05 above)—Cruikshank was just as much offering contribution as caricature, with the then-up-to-date XXXIII organs of Spurzheim craftily illustrated in three views to the cover. As in: George Cruikshank, Phrenologist. While the corresponding etchings are certainly accomplished as satire, Cruikshank's instinct to illustrate the behavioural scenographies of the organs undoubtedly influenced the development of the symbolical head, which would illustrate phrenology's  most popular decades.
FLOURENS, P[ierre]
Examen de phrénologie.  Paris: Paulin, Éditeur, 1842.  Association copy.

Later binding, in plain purple cloth boards (17 cm.), with stylized gilt lettering to spine. With floral endpapers and bookplate of collector C. B. Farrar to pastedown. Original wrappers bound-in; with ownership inscription to top (dated 1904), along with presentation inscription from Flourens to the right; most unfortunately trimmed. With bookplate of [Narcisse-Achille] de Salvandy to endpaper; de Salvandy being the presumed recipient of the gift. Contents: 115, [1] pages followed by [4] pages with table of contents and errata. Early twentieth-century bookseller's description affixed to rear endpaper.
For a time, Pierre Flourens appeared to be in league with the phrenologists. Hence Andrew Combe's interest in his 1824 report to the French Institute, where he reported on his experiments in ablation—destroying localized parts of animal brains, to jump the gun on accidental brain damage and observe how the brain was essentially related (or not related) to the group of functions that we think of as personality or character. And yes, the experiments would prove that what we consider the essential basics of human behaviour are localized in the structures of the brain, albeit not in the way that the phrenologists might have imagined. Eventually, given his close quarters with phrenology, the Académie française would ask Flourens to report on phrenology's claim to legitimacy in the now-sanctioned doctrine of localization. His answer, roughly translated, was both deferential and devastating for the phrenological movement: "Each succeeding age has a philosophy of its own. The seventeenth century recovered from the philosophy of Descartes; the eighteenth recovered from that of Locke and Condillac. Is the nineteenth century to recover from that of Gall? This is truly an important question." This copy, of what's been translated into English as Phrenology examined, was presented by Flourens to his fellow member of the Académie, Narcisse-Achile de Salvandy, who was the influential French Minister of Education from 1837-1838 and again in 1845.
CARPENTER, William B[enjamin]
Principles of mental physiology, with their applications to the training and discipline of the mind, and the study of its morbid conditions.  London: Henry S. King & Co., 1874.  First revised edition, with tipped inscription.

London: Henry S. King & Co., 1874. Brown pebbled cloth, showing minor rubbing, with black-stamped design and gilt lettering to front panel and spine. Contents with a number of black-and-white illustrations; xxi, [1], 737, [1] pages. Tipped-onto front endpaper: a signed inscription from Carpenter, dated August 21, 1872.
From another noted critic of phrenology, W. B. Carpenter; a curious copy of his fundamental 1874 revision of a work he first attempted in 1858 (as published by Blanchard and Lea): On the principles of mental physiology; the living Mind rooted in the nervous system. On the front pastedown of this copy is affixed an inscription in the hand of Carpenter, dated two years prior to this publication, in which he cites Schiller: "It is the character of the true philosopher to love Truth better than his system." As appendix, Carpenter praises the then-recently published results of David Ferrier's experiments, as proof of Carpenter's own theories; the experiments accomplished through the application of faradized electrical shocks to the living brains of animals. Also of note: the little referenced Chapter XVII: Of intoxication and delirium, where Carpenter considers hash and opium: "There is no class of aberrant Mental phenomena which is more deserving of careful scientific study, than that which is produced by the introduction into the Blood of substances which are foreign to its composition, and which have the special property of perverting its normal action on the Brain."
[A well-dressed sitter, with phrenological bust],  circa 1849.

Ninth plate dagguerreotype, with original seals intact. With brass mat and preserver. Small tarnish ring. Housed in period pressboard case with geometric scroll pattern, repeated on velvet interior.
In 1832, phrenology crossed the Atlantic, carried across by Spurzheim, preparing for yet another lecture tour. And his work bore fruit; for it's undoubtedly in America that phrenology found its most popular phase, offering an optimistic science through which brains could be exercised—and organs rendered virtuous—in the pursuit of Providence. First in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, before venturing out in all directions. Given its popularity—not to mention the crossover in respect of visual culture (see O'Leary's "daguerreotype of the soul" below)—it's surprising that there are few records of phrenological daguerreotypes.  The one offered here is exceedingly well-struck, with a bust that dates from the late 1840s; the bust almost certainly belonging to the sitter, who is thus either phrenologist or disciple.
Funeral oration: delivered before the citizens of Boston assembled at the Old South Church, Nov. XVII at the burial of Gaspar Spurzheim, M. D.  Boston: Marsh, Capen & Lyon, 1832.

Printed green wrappers (25 cm.), with contents of 32 pages; separation of rear wrapper. General foxing, with faint damp-staining to rear.
Spurzheim's American experience was brief. He was dead in November. Of exhaustion, the legend goes, after being over-taxed by the voracious curiosity of his American audiences. His funeral oration was offered by a Professor of German Literature from Harvard, a transcription of which is here first published, followed by a 3 page summary of the proceedings of the funeral. The final page of text features two odes dedicated to Spurzheim, with an advertisement printed to the rear wrapper from the Boston Medical Association, in which they declared Spurzheim's death "a calamity to mankind," and had it "Resolved, that we recommend to our fellow citizens the opinions of the deceased, on the improvement of our systems of education; and especially what relates to the development of physical powers and moral dispositions; and as they can no more expect to hear them from the lips of our lamented friend, that they lose no time in making a practical application of them to the existing state of our institutions, for the culture of the human mind."
With 9 OCLC records discovered in North America; none in Canada.

WELLFORD, Dr. Beverley R.
Remarks on the principles of phrenology: a lecture delivered before the Fredericksburg Phrenological Society.  Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1834.

Printed yellow wrappers (23 cm. tall), show some soiling. With presentation to upper portion of the front wrapper, inscribed to a Virginian lawmaker; corner clipped. Clean tear to rear wrapper interrupts final page of text (without loss). Contents: 34 pages.
A rhetorically-accomplished lecture, working out from the phrenological injunction to "know yourself," insofar as said self is a portion of existence imbued with Mind. Before the Civil War, phrenological societies sprouted across America, Wellford's being in Fredericksburg, Virginia; Wellford eventually elected President of the Virginia Medical Association
With only 5 OCLC records discovered in North America; one at the Wellcome.

COMBE, George
Prospectus of a course of sixteen lectures on phrenology... 
Boston: Printed by Cassady & March / Sold by Marsh, Capen & Lyon and James B. Dow, 1838.

Pamphlet (22 cm.) of 4 pages, apparently having been disbound from larger collection. With slight tear to far edge from horizontal fold.
Following in the footsteps of his mentor, George Combe travelled across the Atlantic, only two years after Spurzheim's sudden death. He reportedly took precautions not to over-exert himself, no matter the demand. Davies refers to this three year lecture tour as "perhaps the high-water mark in phrenology, at least among the upper classes of the United States." With this prospectus, we find Combe in Boston, offering a course of sixteen lectures at the Masonic Temple, "to be amptly illustrated by specimens and casts." It was October and November of 1838, with his first American lectures having taken place a few months earlier, in the April of New York City. The prospectus telegraphs his logical introduction to the significance of Brain for phrenology, followed by a guided tour of Combe's 35 phrenological organs, divided into the four orders of "Feelings," "Intellectual faculties," the "Knowing faculties which perceive the relations of external objects," and the "Reflecting faculties which compare, judge, and discriminate." A final group of lectures considers the possibilities for an applied phrenology—concerning varieties of dispositions and talents, differences of national characters, and the possibility for the scientific evaluation of "pursuits and institutions suited to the nature of man." Prices for the lectures are advertised as $5 for the full course of twelve, or 50 cents per single admission ticket; tickets are transferable, but no one without a ticket will be allowed entrance.
With only 2 OCLC records discovered (Harvard Medical School and Yale).
[Unused circular for Webster's itinerant phrenological cabinet], circa 1840s.

Printed broadside (20 x 13 cm.), with engraved foliate border; registration slightly offset. Fields for city, address, and for the cabinet's hours of operation remain blank.
What immediately distinguished the American experience of phrenology was its decidedly applied nature. The phrenology of Europe was stereotyped as "theoretical," in opposition to the "practical phrenology" pursued in the New World. The practice of practical phrenology being composed of various scenes; one of the most significant being the phrenological Cabinet, in which visitors could observe for themselves—sometimes for free, sometimes at a marginal cost—the collections of casts and skulls assembled by the individual phrenologist, who operated here as curator, on the margins of the Wunderkammer tradition. Cabinets such as the one maintained by the Fowlers in New York City—across many leases and locations; as well as those itinerant cabinets hustled by the likes of J. P. Webster, Practical Phrenologist. Here, in an unused broadside template, Webster gives a preview of his 18 life-sized casts, "from people who have distinguished themselves in the ages in which they have lived by their strong and weak points... Sir Isaac Newton, Mungo Park, Dr. Hett, Mary McInes, Gibbs, Gen. Wurmser, Tasso, Durham Boy, Flat-Head Indian, Ann Ormerod, Haydn, Antoine LeBlanc, Boutillia, Canova, J. Horn Took, Idiot." Admission free.

With 2 OCLC records discovered for this broadside (Harvard Medical School and New York Historical Society).
A. E. Willis, practical phrenologist and physiognomistChicago, circa 1875.

Illustrated handbill (118 x 65 mm.), printed in black ink on rough blue-gray paper. With symbolical head printed to recto on black field, along with the Chicago address of Willis' studio (N. W. corner of State and Madison Streets). With series of mottoes printed to verso: "Know thyself. [?] a friend to yourself. For to be ignorant of your own physiology and mental powers, is to be your own enemy. Knowledge is power, especially personal knowledge. Self-interest demands a knowledge of yourself."
Despite a number of publications to his credit, A. E. Willis has yet to make much of a dent in phrenological history. Contemporary newspaper reports paint him as quite the eclectic, with an emphasis placed on Willis' photographic studio and galleries at the corner of State and Madison; a location which also appears—as per this handbill—to have housed his general practice in phrenology, physiognomy, expression, mesmerism, dietetics, etc. An advertisement in his 1884 publication The human face suggests that Willis pushed the photographic medium further, as a possible substitute to phrenological busts, with an invitation offered to visit his recently-established New York cabinet: "You are invited to call and see my elegant physiognomical display of pictures, illustrating all kinds of characters."
SIZER, Nelson
[Phrenological lecture ticket, accompanied by three later character delineations from the New York office of Fowler and Wells]. [1849]–1895.

A group comprised of 4 items: (1) a lecture ticket, circa 1849, printed on thin paper (50 x 90 cm.); for lecture at Opera House in unidentified city.  Accompanied by 3 copies of How to read character: a new illustrated hand-book of phrenology and physiognomy, for students and examiners; with a descriptive chart.  New York: Fowler and Wells; with (2) 1886 printing in green cloth boards (20 cm. tall), with black-stamped design to panels and gilt lettering to spine and (3, 4) both 1895 printings in red cloth. Uniform contents (copyright 1868) of these two copies are well-illustrated; viii, 9-191, [1] pages. With all three copies featuring 6 page character delineation accomplished in manuscript, under Sizer's name, and with the names of the two 1895 clients present (Rush Robinson in April and Suzie Maxwell in July); the name for the earlier delineation has been erased. Each of the three volumes with promotional inserts bound before Part II, the first dated 1884, with the others 1890.
Two of the other staples of practical phrenology: the lecture circuit and the examination, both of them represented in this lot with materials from Nelson Sizer. Ultimately, Sizer would lay claim to over 300,000 phrenological examinations; the majority of them conducted in his role as Resident Examiner in the New York City phrenological cabinet of Fowler(s) and Wells, where he would eventually become Vice President. In the decade prior, however, Sizer was one of the most active of itinerant phrenologists, with the present lecture ticket giving a sense of his practice, with examinations following public lectures.
The phrenological chart was an incredibly clever act of hybrid publishing. The Fowlers would publish an approachable summary of the phrenological system, and include within that publication charts that could easily be filled out by the practicing phrenologist during an examination. The patient could thus leave the office with a reminder of the principles of the system, along with illustrated examples of virtuous brains, and pay slightly more to receive a record of the reading of her own phrenological constitution. As part of the long-established genre of books-for-meditating-upon. In these three examples from Sizer's examinations, there's a curious similarity in brain sizes (with two measuring 21 1/4, and the third only an inch larger than that), with almost all of the patients' organs registered as "large." The insert advertisement to all three of these issues invites clients unable to attend examination in New York to send in photographs, from which examinations could be drawn; with Charlotte Fowler listed as the firm's President.
FOWLER, Orson Squire;  WARNE, Rev. J. A.
First volume of The American phrenological journalPhiladelphia: Published for the proprietors by A. Waldie, 1838–1839.
Full leather boards (22 cm. tall); scuffed, with abrasion to lower corner of front panel. Binding remarkably robust. With gilt ruling and titles to spine. Contents illustrated with over a dozen examples in-text. Contents for 12 consecutive numbers preceded by [4] preliminary leaves, comprising a Prospectus for the journal, a cumulative title page, and a table of contents, followed by 488 pages. A couple dozen pages show marginal foxing.
Lamenting that phrenologists did not have a regular professional journal—unlike the medical, legal, and religious professionals upon whom they'd been exerting influence—The American Phrenological Journal began, with the Prospectus stressing the importance of publication cycles for a science that was so-firmly rooted in the cumulative massing of observations: "The object of this work will be to preserve from oblivion the most interesting of the very numerous facts, confirmatory and illustrative of the truth of phrenology:—to show the true hearings of this science on Education (physical, intellectual, and moral), on Theology, and on Mental and moral philosophy." Although modeled after—and reprinting much of its contents from—the journal of the Edinburgh Society, the force behind the American Journal was the iconic firm of the Fowlers. Orson Squire Fowler, worked as the Journal's first Editor; the journal being founded only two years after he and his brother Lorenzo opened their phrenological Cabinet in New York. (After a few decades of exhaustive work, O. S. Fowler would wind-up retreating into his pursuit of octagonal architecture).  For the first volume of the Journal, Fowler selected Rev. J. A. Warne as editor, with 30,000 copies of the Prospectus being distributed and 1500 subscribers recruited. Some of the essays in this volume include: "Questions which are considered as settled by phrenology," "Character of Le Blanc, the murderer of Judge Sayre and family, of Morristown, N.J. With cuts," "Lectures of Mr. George Combe, in Boston and New York," reviews of the phrenological scene in France, New York, and Boston, and an essay "On dueling."
[Sammelband of reform-minded works, including volume IX of The American phrenological journal].  Various places., 1835–1847.
Half-leather and fine cloth boards, with gilt titles to spine, referring to Vol. IX of The American phrenological journal. Marbled endpapers. Bound-together works comprise: (1) A. Sampson, Euology on the life and character of La Fayette. Rochester: Printed by Hoyt and Porter and pronounced by request of the Young Men's Society of Rochester, N. Y., August 19, 1834 (28 pages); (2) Benjamin Park, Poetry: a satire, pronounced before the Mercantile Library Association at its twenty second anniversary. New York: J. Winchester, 1842 (40 pages); (3) O. S. Fowler, Fowler on matrimony: or phrenology and physiology applied to the selection of companions for life; including directions to the married for living together affectionately and happily. New York: O. S. and L. N. Fowler, in Clinton Hall, 1842. Second edition, enlarged and improved (48 pages); (4) O.S. Fowler, Religion, natural and revealed: or, the natural theology and moral bearings of phrenology and physiology... New York: Published by O.S. Fowler, 1846. Tenth edition—enlarged and improved (176 pages); (5) The American phrenological journal and miscellany, Volume IX. New York: Fowlers and Wells, Publishers, 1847. Contents: [2], iv, 9–392 pages (table of contents starts with page 9); front wrapper for no. 12 (December) bound at end of contents. With Masonic stamp of J. G. Dodd to title page; (6) Mrs. Ellis, Voice from the vintage or the force of example, addressed to those who think and feel. No publication information (32 pages), with text in double columns. Hand-stamp (ornamental) of P. J. Dunn to first page.
POE, Edgar Allan;  FOWLER, Orson Squires (editor)
"Mesmeric revelation," as it appeared—and was retracted—in Volume VII of The American phrenological journal and miscellany
[New York]: Fowler & Wells, Clinton Hall, 1845.
Contemporary binding of half-leather over muslin boards, with four raised bands to spine and gilt lettering to two compartments. Original binding instructions included loose, inscribed on fragment of original wrappers (with annotation requesting binding "as soon as possible"). Binding shows modest surface wear. Complete contents for 12 numbers of Volume VII preceded by [8] pages of preliminaries, featuring cumulative title page, table of contents, prospectus, and advertisement for other works offered by the firm. Contents well-illustrated, with dozens of cuts; 416 pages, with printer's error between the June and July issues, so that pages 225 ff. are preceded by page 192.
The Fowlers were not without their brushes with the literary. Perhaps most significantly, it was through the firm that the majority of the first edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of grass was sold in 1855; Whitman being a devoted patient. A decade earlier, the author in question was Edgar Allan Poe, although with somewhat less sympathy. In the September issue, Orson Squire Fowler—then holding editorial control of The American phrenological journal—would reprint an essay of Poe's that had earlier appeared in The Columbian; namely, "Mesmeric revelation." Advising his readers that the text was worth their while to "read and reread," Fowler supplied a long preface, declaring that the mystical speech pf Mr. Vankirk, who had reportedly been placed by Poe (or P.) in a mesmeric trace, had clearly illustrated how "a correct knowledge of God lies at the foundation of all correct knowledge." (At the time, the Fowlers were drawing the tenets of magnetism and mesmerism into their phrenological tent). A month later, in the October issue, Fowler was forced to print a retraction: "The article in the last number, quoted from Mr. Poe, proves not to be that 'magnetic [sic] revelation' it claims for itself, but simply the production of its author's own brain." This production would be the basis for Poe's longer tale "The facts of the case of Mr. Valdemar," which was later issued as a separate pamphlet as Mesmerism "in articulo mortis." An astounding & horrifying narrative, shewing the extraordinary power of mesmerism in arresting the progress of death.
[An innovative flashcard representation of the phrenological system].
[New York]: Fowler & Wells Co., circa 1900.

A group of 56 flashcards (90 x 70 mm.). Printed to the verso of each: a textual variant of the symbolical head, printed in ochre, under which are listed the three rules of phrenology. The illustrations to the rectos, printed in blue, are all unique, with 52 of the cards illustrating character profiles for sixteen groups of professionals, in addition to three cards illustrating the general motive, mental, and vital temperaments. With a final card illustrating the overarching phrenological principle of "Culture." Preserved with the deck is the rear panel from the original cardboard case, which features an illustrated Fowler & Wells Co. advertisement for Nelson Sizer's Heads and faces.
After both her brothers and husband (Samuel R. Wells) passed-on, as the first generation of popular American phrenologists, it was Charlotte Fowler who steered the phrenological ship during its passing from popular culture. Writing about her innovative promotional campaigns—such as handing out leaflets announcing free life insurance policies for railway deaths— Madeleine Stern wrote of Fowler: "With all the modern devices available to her,  she was pushing a product no longer modern—a product that was indeed fast declining, in the view of many, from pseudo-science to charlatanry." In the present instance, the firm of Fowler & Wells Co. proved itself up-to-the-challenge, with an innovative redesign of the symbolical head, which had dominated phrenological lliterature for the previous few decades. Using a flashcard system, the brain was repositioned into a costumed bust, and that bust was given a job (merchant, artist, writer, lawyer, etc.). With these new coordinates, the phrenological organs could be organized into groupings, with the list of "ideal occupations" that had earlier existed as a separate entity in phrenological charts mapped directly on the busts. Something of a move back to the physiognomical origins of phrenology and a clever instance of what we'd now call information visualization.
With no OCLC records discovered.

O'LEARY, A[rthur]
[A broadside announcing a series of itinerant phrenological examinations and lectures, accompanied by a proprietary phrenological chart, with reading accomplished in manuscript][1861]–1895.

This group consists of two items, being (1) Examinations and descriptions of character, a broadside (35 x 11 cm.), circa 1861, with modest creasing and toning, featuring symbolical head numbering 41 organs (37 + D), with 41 lines of text attributed to A. O'Leary. Broadside affixed to backing sheet and floated within vintage wooden frame (42 x 18 cm.); not inspected outside of frame. And (2) Delineation of character, as determined by the teachings of phrenology, physiology, and physiognomy, containing a special description of the disposition, talents, tastes, professional and business aptitudes, abilities, etc., of [Mr. Alonzo Chesley] as given by [A. O'Leary, Oct. 17th 1864], printed in Boston by Bradley, Dayton & Co, with contents copyright 1860. Blind-stamped brown cloth, with gilt lettering to front panel and some chipping to spine. Contents: 139, [1] pages, with two-paged phrenological chart accomplished in manuscript by A. O'Leary, including two pages of marriage advice.
"For two generations back, the names of only four phrenologists on this continent enjoyed international reputations: the Fowlers, Haggarty, and O'Leary" (from testimonial in Cavanagh's phrenology; item 25 below).  "A finer Irish gentleman never stepped upon a stage and threw an audience into convulsions of merriment with well told stories, nor held its attention spell-bound with words of wit and wisdom, and the Irish are famous for eloquence" (William Windsor, Phrenology, the science of character).

Born in Durham County, in what was then Upper Canada, Arthur O'Leary (circa 1829–1905) is recorded as conducting phrenological examinations as early as 1851, in Coburg, Ontario. He would eventually settle his practice in Boston, rivaling the Fowlers by publishing his own proprietary version of the phrenological chart (a copy of which is offered here, corresponding to an 1864 examination), with an unique manner of representing his matrimonial advice. Before establishing himself, however, O'Leary also practiced the itinerant phrenological tradition. In the present broadside—in which he persuasively anoints phrenology as "the daguerreotype of the soul"—O'Leary refers to his "eight years of a most successful experience, extending over an immense variety of characters in all parts of the country, from Alabama to Minnesota, and from Kansas to Maine—many of them characters the most noble in the land—poets, philosophers, statesmen, jurists and divines; and from these down to the idiots of the asylums, and the convicts of the penitentiaries; and almost invariably correct. Surely this can be no guess work, but the calculations of science." He echoes this geography—albeit with a mention of his travels through the Canadas—in relating the biography of his traveling companion E. D. Stark, in the final pages of his phrenological chart. For this particular chart, O'Leary writes that his patient, Mr. Alonzo Chesley, is of moderate amativeness and self-esteem, but with a large motive temperament and benevolence, with ideal occupations as blacksmith, manufacturer, or mechanic. Mr. Chesley is on record as the future Inspector of Livestock in St. John, New Brunswick.
CAVANAGH, Francis Joseph
Cavanagh's phrenological chart. Being an explanation of the mental faculties and guide to improvement. The greatest, most natural, interesting, simplest, reliable, and valuable system of self help ever discoveredToronto
, [1905].
Burgundy cloth boards (25 cm.), ruled and lettered in black to front panel and in gilt to spine. Contents illustrated with frontispiece portrait of Prof. Cavanagh, after photograph, as well as with an image of the symbolical head at beginning of chart; 165, [1] pages. With the chart accomplished in manuscript for Mr. Francis Moore Barrington, 279 Clinton St., Toronto; July 17, 1905. With a series of marginal annotations in colour pencils throughout, presumably from Cavanagh.
Starting off in the 1880s, during the last phase of popular phrenology, Prof. Francis Joseph Cavanagh of Toronto promoted himself as the next great Phrenologist; a successor to the Fowlers, Haggarty, and O'Leary. (And in somewhat obnoxious fashion; the present chart being filled with testimonials to his greatness). His proprietary phrenological chart certainly gives a sense of the angle he rode; rather than illustrate anatomy, profession, or character, Cavanagh focused on Fortune, in many cases appending to the phrenological motto "know thyself," the supplementary promise: "and you'll get rich quick." Following a relatively traditional chart of organ sizes, Cavanagh supplies hundreds of short mottoes, many of them concerning the acquisition of wealth. In this completed chart, many of these mottoes are annotated with marginalia in coloured pencil, suggesting that Cavanagh was encouraging his patients to meditate on certain possibilities for which they were most destined. In the present examination of Francis Moore Barrington of Toronto, Cavanagh concluded: "I would advise you to apply your mind  studiously to inventing, designing... You are very prone to overdo yourself, so beware of going to extremes in any way, athletic or otherwise." One of the selected mottoes being: "Every time you give way to the mania it wastes nervous fluid, and lessons your powers to endure, enjoy, think, write, study, eat or sleep."
LOT 26  /  AFTER
The fortune teller. Nobody home? Consult the phrenologist who knows!
Branford, CT: H. J. Phillips Company Inc., circa 1922.

Table-top game, comprising a cardboard box (25 x 19 cm.), protected by a staple-bound lid, illustrated with a monocle-wearing phrenological bust, with minor abrasions to its joints. Affixed to lid's verso: Definitions of the phrenological chart, a printed list of 42 phrenological organs and their definitions. The surface of the box features an illustrated game board (110 x 135 mm., inset to a depth of 5 mm.), with 42 numbered divots corresponding to the phrenological organs listed to the lid's verso and a 43rd divot positioned in the ear, representing a loss (for "Nobody's home"). With instructions printed below the game surface, along with quote from Benjamin Franklin. Lacks original ball.
With this table-top game, the phrenologist is transformed into a version of the Mechanical Turk, just as Gall's original sin of fatalism is divorced almost entirely from the positivist science of neuro-anatomy. "Instructions : Place cover on board. Give it 3 circular motions, remove cover and the position of the ball will tell your fortune by referring to corresponding number in cover of box." With the title for this game apparently derived from Ben Franklin's pre-phrenological quip: "Ben beats his pate, and fancies wit will come. But he may knock, there's nobody home."
With no OCLC records discovered.

LOT 27  /  AFTER
[An applied physiognomical course for salespersons]
Boston: Informadek, Incorporated, circa 1945.


Group of flashcards (185 x 60 mm.), numbered 1 through 20 (presumed complete). With character illustrations to rectos, distinguished by a series of nine background colours. To versos: the character type is identified and associated with a list of attributes, along with buying motives and sales tips. Housed in decorative cardboard case, with a gilt key design to top panel; colophon printed to interior.
On the other side of fortune: salesmanship. This deck of flashcards from the mysterious Informadek corporation returns to the physiognomical roots of phrenology, twisting the phrenological motto into something like: "Know your customer better than they know themselves." With hybrid physiognomical/phrenological characters dissected into formal types and associated with abstract characteristics, buying motives, and relevant sales tricks.
With no OCLC records discovered, either for this set or the publisher.

LOT 28  /  AFTER
CAJAL, Santiago Ramón y;  AZOULAY, L. (reviewer)
Les neurofibrilles d'apres la méthode et les travaux de S. Ramón y Cajal
Paris: La presse médicale (no. 59), July 23, 1904.

250 USD

Two gatherings, showing equivalent pagination (pp. 465-472) and identical metadata, but with headings in two different settings of type. One with masthead, table of contents, and with 5 of its pages devoted almost exclusively to advertisements (with separation at fold), the other featuring the 4 page article by Azoulay, richly-illustrated by 9 neuro-anatomical images provided to the journal by Cajal himself; this copy preserved in remarkable state.
After phrenology, and its various attempts to sketch the brain—through organs, professional attire, and behavioural patterns; all the while firmly rooted in the skull—there was a fundamental reset in the imagery of neuro-anatomy at the turn-of-the-century. While mid-nineteenth century critics might have mocked phrenologists for their belief in localized brain functions, the neuro-anatomists of the twentieth century were prepared to acknowledge localization, and push beyond it, in incredibly abstract ways. For the twentieth century, it wasn't the phrenological bust, nor the symbolical head: but the silhouettes of axons and dendrites; the choreography of electricity, chemicals, and information. The fundamental turning point in this history was marked by the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology, which was co-awarded to competitors Santiago Ramón y Cajal and Camillo Golgi; with the former having refined the cinematic technique of the Golgi stain—being the hardening of brain tissue with potassium and ammonia, before submerging it into a solution of silver nitrate. Cajal was the first to embrace neuro-portraiture, as the structures of the brain were redrawn under Cajal's "objective" microscope. And the soul became even more ethereal. In the present article, two years before the co-Nobel Prize, Azoulay provides the first summary of Cajal's new techniques of visualization for the French medical public, drawn upon works from Cajal that had only been published in Spanish at that time. For this publishing effort, Cajal himself provided La presse médicale with the nine "clichés" that illustrate this text, with supremely surreal style, as the brain finally outgrows the skull.
Copyright © 2019 Jason Rovito, Bookseller, All rights reserved.

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