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. [Two titles] Richard Fortey. Life: An Unauthorised Biography [with] The Earth: An Intimate History

Item Price: $50

Item Description: London: The Folio Society. 2008 & 2011. Sub-title of Life is “A Natural History of the First Four Thousand Million Years of Life on Earth”. Beautifully illustrated productions aimed at readers with basic knowledge who want a cohesive overview of time’s effect on biological and geological systems respectively. The Earth, according to reviewers, does make the planet seem almost a living entity as it changes and mutates in response to the forces at play.

Richard Fortey, a paleontologist at London’s Natural History Museum specializing in trilobites (prehistoric fossils), is the author of several popular books aimed at this audience, as well as host of several BBC series in the same vein. He has also served as President of the Geological Society of London, and has authored hundreds of scientific papers in his field.

N.B. Both books are in as new condition. The Earth is still in its original shrinkwrap; image taken from the LibraryThing Folio Society pages.

2. Deep-Sea Fishing and Fishing Boats, by Edmund W. H. Holdsworth

Item Price: $225

Item Description: London: Edward Stafford, 1874. [First edition]. Title continues: “… An account of the practical working of the various fisheries around the British Islands, with illustrations and descriptions of the boats, nets, and other gear in use.” Illustrated with fifteen full-page plates, one folding, and numerous in-text figures and drawings.

With chapter titles including “Drift-Net Fishing”, “Trawling” and “Kettle-Net and Weirs”, and sections on the Fishing Stations around the British Isles, this is a description of the 19th-century techniques and equipment for what is today referred to as “commercial fishing”. It describes the technologies behind the various ships, and the nets, drags, lines, etc. Holdsworth was a Marine biologist with specialties in the Fisheries — he served as Secretary to the Sea Fishery Commission from 1863 to 1865 — and the marine invertebrates of Ceylon; he also wrote an important ornithological study of those island.

Publisher’s gilt-decorated navy blue cloth rubbed, worn at corners and edges, and with some inconspicuous dark marks; spine, now darkened, vertically creased, with small piece lacking at head; minor bubbling to rear. Contents toned, edges a little dusty; text tight and firm, hinges perfect (unusual with such heavy paper). A very good copy, from a Montreal heritage library, with bookplate, neat accession number on contents page, and small embossed stamp on p 9/10.

3. The Reign of Law, by the Duke of Argyll

Item Price: $50

Item Description: London: Strahan & Co., 1872. “Sixteenth edition”; the “People’s Edition … cheaper … in order that it may be more easily accessible to the working classes.” Illustrated with four ornithological plates.

George John Douglas Campbell, the 8th Duke of Argyll (and father of the fourth Governor General of Canada), was a talented and respected amateur gentleman-scientist with wide ranging interests and a strong faith. This widely-read book is his answer to Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. In it he argues for theistic evolution: that there is no conflict between natural laws controlling evolution, and God acting directly in the world for change, because God acts directly in the world through His natural laws.

A fine copy in gilt-tooled red morocco binding by “[Spottiswoode?] & Co. Ltd.”; spine a touch darkened; all edges gilt; just a hint of rubbing at corners; some foxing at edges of text, affecting the gilt, mostly at top.

4. Highways & Byways of the Zoological Gardens, by Constance Innes Pocock

Item Price: $90

Item Description: London: Adam & Charles Black, 1913. First edition. Well illustrated with colour frontispice, b/w photographs and in-text line drawings. A fine, fresh copy; top edge gilt; endpapers tanned, as usual, with gift inscription on front free endpaper.

A popular-audience survey of the Regent’s Park Zoological Gardens, written by the Superintendent’s wife, to “… carry the Zoological Gardens to those who are unable to go to them …”. It covers all the favourite creatures of the Zoo (apes, polar bears, sheep, big cats, and birds), some of the more exotic (camels, lemurs, kangaroos and hippopotamuses), and others, with accompanying lively text, and stories about individual animals.

Incidentally, the author was also a close friend of Thomas Hardy’s second wife, Florence Dugdale Hardy

5. Vancouver (2) & Hamilton (1) souvenir booklets [3 items together]

​Item Price: $50

Item Description: 1. [Cover title] Vancouver British Columbia, The Pacific Gateway of Canada . Vancouver, B.C. Coast Publishing Co. n.d. [ca 1920s]. Original oblong stapled booklet 23 x 15 cms. Die-cut front cover showing first of 16 images; small piece missing from tail of spine.
2. [Cover title] Vancouver: The Lion Guarded City. [Vancouver]: Wrigley Printing Co. Ltd. n.d. [ca 1928]. Original oblong 24 x 15 cms. pale-blue stapled wrappers containing 15 scenes, with full descriptions.
3. Views of Hamilton, Ontario. Montreal & Toronto: S. H. Knox. n.d. [ca. 1910]. [Cover title Souvenir of Hamilton]. Original small oblong 19 x 12 cms. brown pictorial stapled wrappers containing 31 full page captioned *colour* views.
Apart from spine fault in item 1, all three items near fine.

6. The Illustrated History of the World, for the English People. From the Earliest Period to the Present Time

Item Price: $200

Item Description: London, Ward, Lock & Co., [1884]. First edition of v. 2, but v. 1 reprint — it was first printed in 1881, but must have been reprinted in 1884 (the date they opened the Melbourne office) to accompany the newly released v. 2. Extensively illustrated with numerous in-text and full-page cuts; with spectacular gilt and black decorated front cover and spine.

According to the Preface, “With the endeavour to make the style popular with narrative and biography, the necessity of giving statistical details and particulars has not been overlooked. In the illustrations great care has been taken to secure accuracy in costume, architectural detail, etc. …”

A fine set, with just a hint of wear to lower corners; page edges a bit dusty; first and last leaves toned; text, unusally for such thick volumes, nice and tight, with hinges strong. (NB — These are heavy thick volumes and will require extra postage.)

7. Joseph Strutt. The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England.

Item Price: $195

Item Description: London. T. T. and J. Tegg. 1833. Sub-title “Including the Rural and Domestic Recreations, May Games, Mummeries, Shows, Processions, Pageants, and Pompous Spectacles, from The Earliest Period to the Present Time. Illustrated by One Hundred and Forty Engravings in which are represented Most of the Popular Diversions; Selected from Ancient Paintings. A new edition, with a copious index by William Hone.” First published in 1801, this title continued in print through much of the 19th century, largely in the Hone format. This particular edition used the sheets printed for another publisher in 1830, excising several preliminary leaves (Hone’s ‘Advertisement’ and ‘Engravings … Are Taken From’) and adding a new title page — they would not be re-incorporated until 1838.
Hone’s editorial changes included taking the small engravings that had originally been grouped in separate plates, and interspersing them in the text. Originally published in black and white, these illustrations have been nicely ***hand-coloured*** at some later date. This, combined with the contemporary gilt-stamped deep-red morocco binding, makes it a pleasure to leaf through.
Joseph Strutt: an antiquarian at heart, and an artist/engraver by profession, was the author of several works that examined English medieval society at large, not only their entertainment, as herein, but also their costume, their habits, and their religious life.
A very good copy with all edges gilt; some scuffing and a little bumping to the binding; pages toned, some with marginal foxing or light soiling; old repair to tear on title page (not affecting text.).

8. [English deed], Quitclaim for the manor house of Purse Caundle, Dorset, dated the “twelfth day of Aprill … 1648”

Item Price: $250

Item Description: A fine document, folded tightly, with pendant seal; a little rubbing of the ink in a few places; some age-toning overall (as might be expected in almost four centuries). Minor ink/pencil docketing on rear.

From the reign of King Charles I, involving the manor house of the village of Purse Caundle in Dorset, which had been owned by the Hanham family for over a century, James Hanham herein waives all interest in the property, in exchange for £500+ “lawfull money of England” (it’s hard to decipher — £515?), selling the property to his cousin Thomas. The freehold sale happened some years earlier, so this may be an acknowledgement of the waiver, rather than a record of the sale itself. It is signed and sealed by the said James Hanham, with four witness signatures on the docketing at rear.

9. Original Karsh studio photograph of Dr. Vannevar Bush

Item Price: $195

Item Description: This original 10″ x 13½” studio photograph is **signed by Karsh** at lower left, with his studio stamp on the back, and is laid into an original Karsh studio folder, all in fine condition
Vannevar Bush (1890–1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including important developments in radar and the initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project (cf. Wikipedia). Among his other achievements he was dean of the MIT School of Engineering in 1932, and president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1938 (cf. Wikipedia).
This photograph is inscribed across the lower right corner by Dr. Bush, to Caryl Parker Haskins, another well known American scientist, author, inventor, philanthropist, governmental adviser and pioneering entomologist in the study of ant biology (cf. Wikipedia).
A different image of Br. Bush is included in Karsh’s “Portraits of Greatness”, published in 1959.


10. Cigarette Cards. Polar Exploration. A Series of 25

Item Price: $175

Item Description: A complete set of 25 cigarette cards issued by John Player & Sons, Nottingham, England in June 1911. Depicting all aspects of recent polar expeditions, both Arctic and Antarctic; all cards in fine condition.
Note; cigarette cards were originally issued as stiffeners inserted into the relatively flimsy cigarette packages. Gradually the tobacco companies began printing images on the stiffeners which, in turn, became collectible as people tried to form complete sets of whatever subject was currently being featured.

11. Bound collection of six uncommon pamphlets relating to the abrogated coronation of Edward VIII, plus one of GeorgeVI, including several official colour sample books.

​Item Price: $225

Item Description: Volume comprised of: — 1) King Edward the Eighth: Why and how He will be crowned, by W.C.Tutting (London: Skeffington & Son, [1936]) — 2) The Coronation of a British King, by R.A.N. Hillyer (Philadelphia: Privately Printed, 1936) — 3) Coronation Colours, issued by the British Colour Council ([n.p., the Council, 1936])— 4) Bunting Colours, issued by the British Colour Council (London, the Council, Coronation …, the Textile Color Card Association of the United States … (U.S.A.: the Association, 1936) — 6) Fashion Colours Sponsored by the British Colour Council for the Year of the Coronation … (London: the Council, [1936]) — 7) Four Generations: To Commemorate the Coronation of his Majesty George VI (London: Fine Arts Publishing Company, 1937)

Plain blue library cloth binding, titled “Coronation Pamphlets” on spine; pamphlets bound together, with several related clippings and the first pamphlet listed below crudely taped to endpapers; many with an ink stamp “British Library of Information, New York” *, and some with call numbers pencilled on. Several pieces dusty, particularly the second and sixth, most in very good condition. Binding rubbed at edges and joints; white call number painted at tail of spine; very good, but rough looking.

* The “British Library of Information, New York” was a propaganda arm of the Crown’s Foreign Office that both disseminated information to the American public, and gathered information for the British government. It was in place from 1919 to 1942, when it was replaced with a new agency with a wider remit.

12. Early 20th. Century Canadian “Ocean to Ocean” Playing Cards

Item Price: $125

Item Description: Complete deck of 52 cards, plus joker and descriptive list of views. Issued by the venerable British firm of Chas Goodall & Son in the early 1900s. Features fifty-two views of well known Canadian buildings, scenes, events, etc. from across the country. One image is the Canadian Wheat Arch “Canada Britain’s Granary” in London [England] erected by the Government of Canada for Edward VII’s coronation, presumably dating this set between 1901 and 1910. The backs show a maple leaf with a beaver at its centre, surrounded by the shields of the provinces. All edges gilt, this is a fine set in the original sleeve-box, now worn at edges and neatly  repaired at the splits.

13. The Book of Days … Compiled and written by Robert Chambers

Item Price: $125

Item Description: London & Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1881, 2 vols. First published in 1863-4; title continues “A miscellany of popular antiquities in connection with the calendar including anecdote, biography. & history, curiosities of literature, and oddities of human life and character.”

For fans of Trivial Pursuit, The People’s Almanac, and the like, this is a 19th century day-by-day equivalent: for instance March 25th is all about the Annunciation, and Good Friday (which this was in 1864, though not in 1882); February 21st, for some reason, includes ‘The Folk-lore of Playing Cards’ and August 22nd ‘The Battle of Bosworth’.

One modern reviewer, writing about a 21st century revival, ‘Chambers Book of Days’, wrote that in this, the original version: “… the words and illustrations were so tightly packed on the page as to closely resemble the inside of the mind of an Edinburgh polymath …” (cf. “The Guardian”).

A fine set, in 3/4 calf, with marbled edges and endpapers; hint of scuffing to spine labels; contents nice and tight.

NB: These are heavy , thick volumes and will require extra postage.

14. The Book of Common Prayer . . .

Item Price: $175

Item Description: Published in Oxford, 1854, this little gem (only 5½” tall) is superbly brass bound and clasped (shield on front cover a trifle rubbed) in burgundy coloured velvet on very fine paper with all edges gilt, and silk ribbon marker intact. Presented in a custom, toggle-locked (fine working order), drop-edge leather case, with patterned silk lining (now severely worn in places).
First compiled in 1549, after Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church, it was twice abolished — once under Mary I who turned back to Rome, and again under Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth who felt it was too close to Rome — it was brought back, with revisions, in 1662 after the Restoration. There have been small changes since then, but it remains largely this text.
A fine, fresh copy in its leather case, rubbed at edges and with two short tears at lock flap.

15. R[obert] McBride. The Canadian Orange Minstrel, for 1860.

Item Price: $125

Item Description: London, C. W. Free Press Steam Printing Office, North Street.1860. Sub-title “Contains Nine New and Original SONGS, mostly all of them showing some wrong that effects [sic] the order or the true course of Protestant loyalty to the British crown.” 13 pp.
Apart from a couple of tiny chips to the fore-edge of the front cover and a 1 cm. corner lacking from lower rear cover, an unusually fine, fresh copy in the original blue sewn wrappers, with correct spelling of “affects” on front cover. TPL 5917; Watters p.119.
McBride emigrated to British North America, and after a stint in Hamilton moved to Halidmand County in Canada West (later Ontario) where he owned and operated a store. He remained there until the mid-1850s at which time he removed to Port Franks, Ontario and became the first postmaster there. During his short tenure at Port Franks he became embroiled in local politics and some serious financial reverses which resulted in him serving time in debtors’ prison in Sarnia. Upon his release he secured a position as teacher in Warwick, Ontario in Lambton County, and then removed to Oil Springs in 1862. There he established himself as a merchant. (cf. Wikipedia).