Joseph Thornton
1808 - 1891

the old bookshop till 2002
History of the building
in Broad Street


Thornton's Bookshop
 ( W A & J S Meeuws ) 
( ABA - ILAB )
Established in Oxford in  1835
(Internet and mailorder sales only)
the Old Barn - Walnut Court
Faringdon Oxfordshire SN7 7JH
United Kingdom

182 years of bookselling exprience



Catalogue of Rare and interesting titles


Arabic-Arabic dictionary, by al-Firuzabadi
no date, (16th - 17th century) Philological dictionary in manuscript, in which the author lists a comparatively small number of root words, then proceeds their pronunciation and the meanings and Qur'anic references associated with them. This is the work of a scholar for scholars, and was not intended for general reference use. At least three different people have had a hand in inscribing the work, on various qualities of paper. The first fifty pages are of the best quality, displaying the finest calligraphy in the manuscript. The manuscript was possibly made in Egypt, and is almost certainly a copy of an earlier manuscript. The scribe's identity is unknown. Usually one can find the scribe's name on the verso of the title page, or at the end of the manuscript, whereas here the title page is mounted, which possibly conceals the name. The manuscript also finishes with a prayer for the scribe, the owner, and anyone who reads the book - not with the scribe's name. Small folio, full red embossed calf in frayed leather slip-case
£ 1500



Roberts, David
The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia. 2 Volumes
Edition of 1,000, hand-numbered on a special limitation page in both volumes. 2 magnificent volumes measuring 20" x 13 ¾" published by the Folio Society. Bound in full canvas cloth printed silkscreen in black and gold. Designs by Neil Gower derived from Robertsís originals. Gilded top edges, ribbon marker. All 247 Lithographs In The First Ever Large-scale Reproduction. Ď £ 1750

EDWARD VIII, (1894-1972). King of Great Britain and Ireland; later Duke of Windsor. Signed Photograph Dated Oxford 1914.
Original Photograph Taken By the Oxford Photographers Gillman & Co. Signed Edward and dated Oxford, 1914. and was presented to Mr. Frederick Thornton, the proprietor of our bookshop at the time . the then Prince of Wales was a regular customer of the bookshop. the photograph is presented behind glass in an oak frame headed by a small crown (sl. damaged) and the prince's motto Ick dien. Measurements: 199 x 255 mm inside the frame. With an oak back panel and hinged stand. A very rare early photograph, the prince was 18 years old at the time. After he succeeded his father, King George V, on January 20, 1936. On December 11, 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne, proclaiming to the people of Britain, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." He was never crowned; his reign lasted 325 days. In 1937, Edward was created Duke of Windsor and married Wallis Simpson. 
£ 975
Grimeston, Edward,
A generall historie of the Netherlands, with the genealogie and memorable acts of the Earls of Holland, Zeeland, and West-Friseland, from Thierry of Aquitaine the first Earle, successiuely unto Philip the third King of Spaine:
Continued unto this present yeare of our Lord 608, out of the best authors that have written of that subject; London Printed by  A. Islip and G. Eld 1609  London Printed by  A. Islip and G. Eld 1609 COPAC states in the listing of the first 1608 edition:  A variant (STC 12375) is dated 1609. We find other descriptions calling this the first edition, 2nd  issue. Folio (318 x 225 mm). 1415 (i.e., 1403) pp. With engraved title and 56 large text engravings by Christoffel von Sichem. Woodcut chapter initials, head- and tailpieces.  Some worm holes in the centre of pp. 1403 till the end ranging in size from 2 mm to 3 cm in width, mostly in the table section. Page 1413 is misnumbered 1415. In this edition Grimeston includes a translation of Le Petit's preface from "La grande chronique" and mentions in the translator's preface that the continuation of the history is derived from "Historia Belgica nostri potissimum temporis" by Emmanuel van Meteren. Eld printed quires O-2D, 3A-3P, 4I-5F, 5X-6C, and possibly the index; Islip printed the rest (STC). The engraved title-page border and many of the fifty-seven portraits are signed by Christoffel van Sichem and were originally published in Le Petit's "La grande chronique". The engravings include William II, 18th Earl of Holland and Zeeland; Mary of Austria, Queen Dowager of Hungary and sister to Emperor Charles V; Ferdinando Alvards of Toledo, Duke of Alva, Lieutenant Governor and Captain General of the Netherlands for Philip II of Spain; Queen Elizabeth; Charles II of Austria; and William V of Bavaria.  Grimeston was an English translator of numerous related works, including histories of France, Spain, the East and West Indies, and Turkey. George Chapman, ... Full calf, rebacked. The new spine is splendid, very elaboratedly tooled, with 6 raised bands and a brown title label, the corners have also been repaired, the boards are somewhat scratched. Armorial book plate of English entomologist Frederick William Hope (1797-1862) on inside of front board. £ 950
VILLON, François,
Le débat du cueur et du corps de Villon en forme de ballade.  The dispute of the heart and body of François Villon
English translation by Algernon Charles Swinburne. With lino cuts by Paul Peter Piech. Oxford, Mouette Press  and  Frankfurt, Johannes Alt, 1970, 10 pages. Set in Garamond Roman for the French text and Italic for the English translation. This is number 2 one of the 3 copies numbered 1 to 3 of a total limited edition of 226 copies  [the colophon states that there were only 2 copies numberd 1 and 2  ] bound in protected full red leather and printed on Japanese Hosho paper, contain and extra copy of the frontispiece on Natsume paper, signed by the artist. The title page and text pages contain illuminated decorations in colour and gold by Margaret Adams who  signed these 3 copies below the colophon. The frontispiece was also embossed in the leather front board. In slip case with leather edges. Unique book, very fine. WITH the  copy Margaret Adams sent to the publisher with her suggestions for the illiminations partly indicated/drawn in pencil and partly  already with the Gold illuminations and with her handwritten letter dated 26 July 1972 to the publisher, signed.
£ 350
De COSTER, Charles,
Die Geschichte von Ulenspiegel und Lamme Goedzak und ihren heldenmäßigen n fröhlichen und glorreichen Abenteuern im Lande Flanden und anderwärts.  Deutsch von Karl Wolfskehl. Mit Holzschnitten von Frans Masereel.  2 Volumes
München, Kurt Wolff, (1926). With a frontispiece and 150 partly full-page original woodcuts and 18 woodcut initials by   Frans Masereel. XLIII, (1), 496, (2) pp.; (6), 534, (6) pp., First edition, printed in 1600 copies. This is one of 1500 unnumbered copies. The woodcuts were printed from the original blocks. Text sl. darkened. In full calf with 5 raised bands on the spines. On page [1] Arnold Frank, the film producer has written an 18 line poem in ink, dated 24th May 1928 and signed Arnold Franck. this is followed by the signature Leni Reifenstahl (as opposed to Riefenstahl)  corners of binding very slightly rubbed. ¶ 
** Arnold Franck ( 1889 - 1974, a pioneer of the German mountain film. 
LENI RIEFENSTAHL,  [Helene Bertha Amalie] (1902 - 2003) A very unique set 
£ 750
Smith, Edward Herbert ,
Poems,/original / and / translated by E.H. Smith, A.B. Incubent / of Killamarsh.
Manuscript written in ink measuring 189 x 285 mm ] [6] 147 [5] pp., The manuscript starts with the index and then with The Philosophic Traveller or a Review of the Globe. A poem, translated from Bruguière de Sorsum, by Edward Herbert Smith. With the translator's preface explaining that he translated this from Le Voyageur , with the exception of the paragraph on Botany Bay, added by himself. Then followed by Argument of the following poem then followed by the translation itself pp. 1-11, the followed by Note on Lapérouse pp. 12-13 and dated at the end of page 13: Caen, Septr, Cheltenham, October 1824. Followed by poems translated from such poets like Desbarreaux (dated Southsea, Oct. 1821) followed by Smith's own poems on pages 15 - 152. The texts are often corrected, crossed out etc. by Smith. Published texts by this author include: Samuel Bochart. Recherches sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de cet Auteur Illustre. Mémoire." by Edward-Herbert Smith (Caen, 1833 ) [ Brugnière, Antoine André Baron de Sorsum ( 1773-1823 ) was general secretary of the war ministry in the Kingdom of Westfalia and personal secetary of King Jérôme Bonaparte. He became a baron of the Empire in 1812. He translated Roderic by Thomas Southern in 1820. Bound in full calf, gilt decorations on treh spine, binding rather worn. Ex libris pasted to inner front board with motto: VIRTUS INCENDIT VIRES.and initials FLS below the coat of arms ) ( Smythe. ?) marbled end papers. £ 175
Montgomery of Alamein , Viscount, Field Marshall
Normandy to the Baltic
London Hutchinson 1946 1st edition,  no d.w. Account of the part played in World War Two by the 21st Army Group in the Campaign in NW Europe from June 1944 to May 1945. Copies of all 46 maps and 3 diagrams interleaved in this 1st edition 1946, privately published in Germany for the British Army by the printing and stationary service British Army of the Rhine., in near fine protected d/j. 
together with 
a copy of the first edition printed for general use. This copy has the maps in pockets in the front and back of the book. (with remnants of the d/j ] Accompanied by 2 autograph letters (both signed: Montgomery of Alamein) addressed to Lieut-Col. A F Birch-Jones dated 7 September and 13 September 1957 . M. acknowledges receipt of a letter in which B-J. has told of a portrait of Montgomery's wife he owns and which he has offered to M. The fieldmarshall tells that he only owns one photo of his wife as all his belongings were destroyed by enemy bombing in 1941. In the 2nd letter M thanks B-J. after the portrai t has been collected by his A.D.C. and tells him that the portrait will hang in his son's room. Both stamped envelopes also preserved and glued to f.e.p. Interesting ensemble. 
£ 395
Slepaya Krasavitsa.
London, Collins & Harveill Press, 1969, 78pp., 4to.,printed and bound by Rank Xerox. this is the original typescript published by the Harvill Press in a limited edition of only 50 copies, in the original boards covered with brown wrappers, title label. First 17 pages loose.The Blind Beauty (Slepaya krasavitsa), was left incomplete at Pasternak's death; surviving extracts depict Russia's emergence from tyranny to emancipation and enlightment in the late 19th and early 20th century and suggest that the work was conceived as a form of aesopian comment on Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia and intended as a nineteenth century prologue to his single novel, Doktor Zhivago. the text stops after the 4th chapter. It was published in Russia a few months later in the magazine Prostor 
£ 750
Goethe, J. W. [ Johann Wolfgang von ] 
Goethes Buch Suleika Gefolgt vom Schenkenbuch. Dem Westöstlischen Divan entliehen und mit vierzehn auf den Stein gezeichneten Farblithographien versehen von Max Pfeiffer Watenphul
No. 233 of 370 signed and hand-numbered copies. With 14 lithographs by Max Pfeiffer Watenphul signed in the stone. Frankfurt am Main, Verlag Ars Librorum, Gotthard de Beauclair 1966.  folio (410 mm. x 280 mm.) loose sheets held in publisher's orange vellum-backed linen cloth binding with spine lettered in gilt and one of the coloured lithographs pasted to the front board.  In dark reddish brown quarter goat's leather slip case with gilt lettering on the spine.  A dust jacket was not issued.  A fine copy.  Printed on "velin d'Arches" and uncut. Five of the 14 coloured lithographs  are  full-page. Signed in the colophon by Max Pfeiffer Watenphul and Gotthard de Beauclair. 37pp. + colophon. Typeface used is Dante-Antiqua. Ars Librorum print no. 14. The first book ilustrated by the German artist Max Pfeiffer Watenphul(1896-1976). Inserted are the special lge 8-vo leaflet the publisher issued for this book with three of the illustrations reproduced in a smaller size and the publisher's catalogue of editions with original graphics.
£ 750
Yeats, W.B.,. Plays for an Irish Theatre. with Designs by Gordon Craig.. Deirdre, The Green Helmut, On Baile's Strand, The King's Threshold, The Shadowy Waters, The Hour-Glass, Cathleen Ni Houlihan Contains seven of William Butler Yeats' best known plays at the time: London: A. H. Bullen, the Shakespeare Head Press, 1911 Original white quarter cloth with title label, brown paper covered boards. . Very Good+. 8vo - over 73/4" - 93/4" tall. spine slightly soiled. Edges untrimmed. Text fine, four b&w full-page plates by Gordon Craig with tissue guards, the frontispiece shows impression of "The Heroic Age - Morning".
 MOLIERE ( = Jean Baptiste Poquelin ). Oeuvres avec des remarques grammaticales, des avertissements et des observations sur chaque pièce par M. Bret. 6 Volumes.. , Paris, La Compagnie des libraires associés, An 13 [1804] portrait, 6 title vignettes, and 33 copper Engraved frontispiece portrait by L.J. Cathelin after P. Mignard in Volume I and thirty-three engraved plates by J.B. Simonet, A.J. Duclos, D. Née, N. de Launay, L.J. Masquelier, E. de Ghendt, J.J. Leveau, C. Baquoy, L. Legrand, J.P. le Bas after J.M. Moreau le jeune. A later printing of the celebrated 1773 edtiion . Cohen-de-Ricci said of the 1773 edition: "Edition plus remarquable par sa beauté qu par sa bonté. La suite des figures de Moreau est une de plus estimées de d'une rareté extrême avant la lettre" (Cohen-de Ricci)."De toutes les édtions des oeuvres de Molière avec les notes de Bret, celle-ci est la plus belle et la plus recherchée" (Brunet).Brunet III, col. 1798. Cohen-de Ricci, cols. 716-719. Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 50. Tchemerzine VIII, p. 360 Bret's disparagemeny of later printings on the grounds that the plates are worn seems ungrounded and puzzling as these are [still] excellent. Prelims/first and last few pages sl. foxed, spotted, small stamp on f.e.p. vols. 2, 3, 5; sign. on f.e.p. vol. 4; stamped initials partly coverd in ink on f.e.p. of vol.4; small stamp reverse f.e.p. vol. 1, name on f.e.p. vol. 6; A beautifully printed ediition in new half leather binding with red and green title/volume number labels. 5 raised bands. the boards are covered in marbled paper matching the original marbling of the text edges. Silk page markers.  [008169]
£ 250.00

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