Wilfrid M. de Freitas – Bookseller

We’re general dealers in antiquarian and out-of-print books, with a few specialties in subjects / authors which are of particular interest to us (and we hope to you!). We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Canada and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and have been in the business for over thirty years. You can get an idea of what kind of books we sell by following us on Facebook or visiting our website (www.defreitasbooks.com).
Books are mailed from Canada and insured postage is charged at cost; Canadian orders subject to 5% GST. Payment by Interac or cheque; credit card payments charged in C$ at current exchange rate.

Contact Dealer

(514) 935-9581


P.O. Box 232, Westmount Station
Westmount, Quebec H3Z 2T2

1. Baedeker. The Dominion of Canada with Newfoundland and an Excursion to Alaska

Item Price: $125

Item Description: Second Revised Edition: 1900. Small spot on the back cover, otherwise an unusually fine, bright, tight copy. A couple of tiny nicks and short splits to folding map at front, but none of the usual cracked inside hinges. Among the city plans are those of Toronto and Montreal showing the original street names, some long since changed. Curiously, the first land route described is from New York City north to Montreal, preceded only by the Trans-Atlantic sea voyage to New York.

2. William C.A. Blew. Brighton and its Coaches

Item Price: $95

Item Description: London: 1894. First edition; fine copy. Describes the mail/passenger coaches that ran on one of England’s principal roads in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Beautifully illustrated with twenty “water-colour drawings … All Coloured by Hand”, illustrating well-known views on the road.

3. A Short Account of Ye Quebec Winter Carnival Holden in 1894. Compiled and edited by G.M. Fairchild

Item Price: $125

Item Description: Quebec, 1894, first edition. A stunningly bright copy of this record of the organization of and events held at the first major winter carnival in Canada, and the precursor of today’s annual celebration. The brainchild of Frank Carrel, publisher of the Quebec Daily Telegraph, the festival was designed to increase tourism to the city during the winter months. Supported by the city’s merchants and businessmen — many of whom gave money, sponsored structures or events, and profited by the crowds that came — and with the patronage of then Governor General Lord Aberdeen, the festival was a huge success. The week-long celebration included ice sculptures and an ice-fort, sporting events like hockey and curling, races of all kinds including dog sleds and a canoe race across the frozen St. Lawrence, masques for adults and children; with prizes, ribbons and cups for the winners.

4. Materials for Object Lessons by Charles McRae

Item Price: $50

Item Description: W. & R. Chambers: London and Edinburgh. 1891. Second edition. A fine, fresh, bright copy with one or two pencilled notations in margins (showing it had been used!) This is a book designed “… to put before a teacher such definite information as will enable him [or her!], with a minimum of reading, to give a lesson on any of the subjects treated.” (Cf. Preface) Each entry — ranging from tea to the reindeer to ice and snow to the blacksmith, and so much more in between — is a short compendium of facts on each subject that can be quickly absorbed by a teacher and used in lessons. The 40+ entries are followed by five more arranged as sample lesson plans. N.B. Montreal bookseller’s label on front pastedown.

5. Templeton Present Carpets of Distinction

Item Price: $175

Item Description: Glasgow: James Templeton & Company. [n.d. 1952]. First edition. A grand-scale promotional volume for the developers and manufacturers of the first chenille carpets. This process, developed by 1840, was the first to create affordable woven alternatives to luxury hand-tied carpet and area rugs. By the outset of the First World War, Templeton became the largest manufacturer of rugs in the UK, and grew to have agencies and warehouses around the world (including here in Montreal), surviving as British Carpets into the early 21st century.
Filled with tipped-in superb colour plates of Templeton carpets, including a wonderful view of the Westminster coronation carpet for George VI (endpapers show the design of the one made for George V; there have been many Templeton Royal carpets) and for the first class lounge of the R.M.S. Queen Mary. Also Includes pictures of the manufacturing process for a chenille rug.

6. Sport and Travel in the Northland of Canada by David T. Hanbury.

Item Price: $250

Item Description: London: Edward Arnold. 1904. First edition. A record of travel from Manitoba to Alberta and north through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to the Arctic Sea, 1899-1901. Well illustrated with numerous photographs, five colour plates and two folding maps, it brings much of that area to life.

Hanbury trained as a geologist and surveyor to better describe the countries and lands he visited. He also felt it important to accurately use the local names for places — in this case those of his First Nations and Inuit guides — rather than the ones imposed by European explorers. His appendices on the the geology and natural history of the areas he traversed, especially the section on ‘Lepidoptera from Arctic America’, with its coloured plate, are still referenced.

A very good copy, now bumped at extremities with two short closed tears at head of spine

7. Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin by Stephen Jay Gould

Item Price: $75

Item Description: New York, 1996. Frst edition ***signed by the author*** on the front fly leaf. The jacket synopsis reads, in part, “In Full House, Gould corrects the prevalent anthropocentric view of the world with an eloquent argument for a new paradigm of progress in which variety — not complexity — is the true measure of excellence … in its boldest claim [it] asks us to reconceptualize our view of natural reality in a fundemental way.” But for some speckling along the top edge, a fine copy, in fine dust jacket

8. The Arts & Crafts of Ancient Egypt by W.M. Flinders Petrie

Item Price: $75

Item Description: London, 1909. First edition. Extensively illustrated with photographic plates and a number of in-text sketches. It covers everything from metal, ivory and stone-working, to architecture and construction, including mural painting and stuccoing; plus jewellery and pottery.
Flinders Petrie, was a renowned archaeologist and Egyptologist who taught and mentored a generation of archaeologists, including Howard Carter (of Tutankhamen fame), instilling in them the importance of careful, delicate excavation and meticulous record keeping.
Spine darkened but gilt lettering and decoration nice and bright; bookplate and 1909 gift inscription.  A very good copy.

9. American Indian Art by Norman Feder

Item Price: $45

Item Description: New York, [1971]. First edition. One of the earliest books to present American native artifacts to the general public as works of art, rather than ethnological or anthropological objects. The author, who had been Curator of American Indian Art at the Denver Art Museum, points out that “… One of the main reasons why more Indian material is not displayed is a sheer lack of knowledge of the variety of Indian production.” He goes on “… In attempting to present only the best of Indian art, I have included little production of a strictly decorative nature … it is only those works which have an emotional impact on the viewer that are included here.” 302 illustrations, including 60 hand-tipped plates in full colour.”
N.B. A very heavy book; will require extra postage.

10. The Complete Concordance to Shakespeare by Mrs. Cowden-Clarke.

Item Price: $85

Item Description: London, 1894,.“New and Revised Edition”. “Being a verbal index to all the passages in the dramatic works of the poet.” In other words, this book records each time a major word appears in Shakespeare’s plays. Compiled entirely by hand, LONG before there was computer indexing. It took twelve years to compile, and four to publish (first in 18 parts, 1844-45; then in a single volume in 1845). The author was a well-known Shakespearian writer who published many articles and books on the Bard.  She also performed with Charles Dickens and other amateurs to raise funds to preserve the Shakespeare birthplace in Stratford-on-Avon. A fine copy, top edge gilt; with just a little rubbing to bottom edge.

11. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

Item Price: $75

Item Description: London: The Folio Society. 1983. Eight illustrated volumes, housed in two slipcases and bound in velum-looking boards with red and blue spine ‘labels’, gilt lettering and rules. The Folio Society, according to their own credo, publishes “carefully crafted editions of the world’s finest literature … in a form worthy of their contents.” A fine set, clean and crisp, with only the slightest scuffing to spines; excellent slipcases with just a hint of edge-bumping.
N.B. A very heavy set; requires extra postage.

12. History of Montreal including The Streets of Montreal.  Their Origin and History by Rev. J. Douglas Borthwick

Item Price: $175

Item Description: Montreal: D. Gallagher. 1897. Printed by Fulton & Richards, Montreal. An unusual work, describing the history of Montreal not as a continuous thread but through the history of its streets. “There are found in this volume many items of useful information and curious things, which I have alone the honour of having made public …” (cf.author’s preface). Well illustrated with woodcuts but produced on poor quality glossy paper, now severely age-toned and brittle. Frontis “Plan of Montreal” detached and trimmed laid in. Original red cloth titled in gilt, spine darkened and frayed at head. Front inside hinge repaired but tender. Needs some TLC!

13. [French Canada] Analyse d’un Entretien sur la Conservation Des Etablissemens du Bas=Canada, Des Loix, Des Usages, &c, de ses Habitans [by Denis Benjamin Viger]

Item Price: $250

Item Description: Montreal: Imprimé Chez James Lane. 1826. “Par Un Canadien, Dans une Lettre a un de ses Amis”. 46 pp. A remarkable survival, as issued, in its original bluish-grey stitched wrappers, with the errata slip at rear. “Excerpts from a journal and letters written during a trip to the United States in 1819” (cf. TPL 1190). Viger was a 19th-century politician, lawyer, businessman in Lower Canada and a leader in the Patriote movement (cf. Wikipedia).

14. THE BYSTANDER A Monthly Review of Current Events Canadian and General. 2 volumes

Item Price: $75 (2 volumes together)

Item Description: Toronto: Hunter, Rose and Company. 1881. Vol. II January to June 1881 [and] New Series October, 1889 to September, 1890. As the title implies, this monthly encompassed a huge range of current matters: e.g. Canadian (Sarah Bernhardt in Toronto), American (the death of Jefferson Davis), British (the death of Cardinal Newman) and European and Eastern (the Boer War), to name just a few at random.
Two volumes in their original lavish gilt decorated bindings, both in fine condition without any defects so often encountered.

15. [Erotica] Clayton’s College by Connie O’Hara (translated from the French by Valerie Orpen)

Item Price: $95

Item Description: London: The Erotic Print Society. 1996. No. 309 of 2,500 copies. 61 pp. Original card wrappers, cover printed in red and black, with two larger and smaller sets (9 cards each) of highly erotic black & white engravings (which leave nothing to the imagination). Three items in a lavender card chemise, with printed spine label, all enclosed in original pale blue 5½” x 8¼” slipcase, all in perfect condition.