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A New And Complete Illustration Of The Occult - SIBLY, E. [ Ebenezer Sibley ] - 1804. 
Printed By J. Adlard . and Sold By Champante And Whitrow Jewry-Street Aldgate; And At The British Directory Office No. 17 Ave-Maria Lane. 1804 - 1810, London - Hardcovers. 2 Volume Set. Large Quartos. (10.5'"x 8.5") Vol. I : pp. (i-xii), 13 - 618, Vol. 2 : pp. (i-vi), 619 - 1130. Modern (faux?) half leather over marbled paper boards. Four 'parts' bound in two volumes, each part with individual title page. Numerous tables, diagrams, and figures in text. Engraved frontispieces in each volume, and full page engraved plates and diagrams (29 present of 30). From the collection of Michael Baigent (1948 2013) author and co-author of numerous books on the occult, astrology, alternative history, etc., the most famous of which is "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," with his ownership signature on the front free endpaper of each volume. A landmark work in the history of occult and astrological writing. Ebenezer Sibly (c. 1749-1800) studied surgery in London, and in 1792 graduated M.D. from King's College, Aberdeen. He had a particular interest in astrology and is probably best known for his national horoscope of the USA, published in 1787. The first three Parts of "A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences" are devoted to astrology whilst the fourth book deals with other occult sciences. The work is remembered not only for its practical information on astrology and magic, but also because the third Part contains Sibly's now-famous astrological study of the American Revolution (accompanied by a curious illustration). Also the engraving of Edward Kelly raising a spirit in a graveyard (facing p. 1106) is one of the most famous pieces of esoteric illustraction and has been often reproduced , notably in A. E. Waite's "Book of Black Magic and Pacts" where Waite used it as his frontispiece. Authorities differ on the subject, but it seems that the first 'volume' of his New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences was first published in 1784, with the subsequent volumes going to press over the next few years. The volumes went through a number of printings, but as mixed sets were often issued and the individual parts were themselves often 'mixed' (that is made up using sheets from a number of different printings) identification of them is difficult. The first Part of the present set is the tenth edition, 1807, and includes the revisions made to the 1794 edition, notably the two page "Author's Preface to the New Edition of 1794" in which Sibly points out that some of the predictions he had made in earlier editions had already been fulfilled. The title page of the second 'part' is dated 1808, the title page of the third 'part' is dated 1804, and that of the fourth part 1810 (this sequence is identical to that in other sets that we have had in the past - and evidently this is how a number were issued despite the seeming randomness of the dates). As usual the text of the title-pages of the different parts varies greatly, with "Astrology" being more prominent in the titles of the latter three parts. Sibly's 'New And Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences' is a handsome and important set, without doubt one of the key works on astrology and magic of the period, and one of the earliest significant astrological studies of the American revolution. A charming manuscript note by a previous owner on the first blank reads "Sibly's Astrology, I bought it in the market October 12 / 48 began to read it October 20 / 48." A couple of neat contemporary corrections. Someone - probably Baigent, has attempted to correct the (eccentric) pagination in pencil - the numbers are unobtrusive but could be erased with patience. The portrait plate with James Hamilton et al which is supposed to face p. 867, is lacking: it may have been removed, or, as was often the case with books of this period, may simply have been overlooked and not included by the printer or original binder. Although eccentrically numbered all the other plates called for in the 'List' at the rear are present. A VG + set. Fresh endpapers, the binding is clean, tight and strong, the text and plates are unusually clean for a book o [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Weiser Antiquarian Books, Inc.]
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