CLIO'S CURIOSITÄTEN-CABINET. Darstellungen außerordentlicher Thatsachen, picanter Charactere, seltener zum Theil ungedruckter Urkunden, überraschender Momente, besonderer Denkwürdigkeiten und wenig bekannter Anecdoten aus der Geschichte aller Zeiten und Völker. Aufgesucht und neu behandelt... mit einem kupfer. Wien, im Verlage bey Carl Gerold.
1814. 8vo, viii, [iv], 236; with folding engraved plate; lightly browned and foxed throughout; with ex-libris on front free endpaper ‘Bücherie Johannes Cotta’ and stamped date ‘21. Dez. 1925’; bound in contemporary red marbled paste-boards, with yellow and green paper labels on spine lettered in gilt, head and tail of spine and joints rather rubbed and worn, with further light scuffing to surfaces, extremities a little bumped and worn; still a good copy. Scarce first edition of this compilation of historical facts and events, popular beliefs, and spurious anecdotes, and the work of the Austrian bibliographer Franz Arnold Gräffer (1785-1852). The folding engraved plate (sometimes bound as a frontispiece though here found at the end of the work) is extremely striking and rather curious depicting as it does a rider on a horse, composed out of various other animals.
Gräffer’s ‘cabinet’ includes an impressive range of ‘curiosities’ from the fate of Jean d’Arc (was she really burnt at the stake?), the riches of Rome (with full accounts), to a listing of automatons and famous kisses. The reader learns too about the household accounting instructions of Mme de Maintenon and her helpful money-saving tips such as get yourself invited to dinner.
The son of the bookseller August Gräffer (d. 1816), after first studying art, Franz subsequently joined his father’s business. For a time librarian to Prince Moritz von Liechtenstein and Count Karl Harrach (1761-1829), he later devoted himself to the publishing and antiquarian business, though after losing most of his fortune in the process, he turned to literary pursuits, writing some 60 works, predominantly relating to Viennese literary life. Together with Johann Jakob Czikann (1789-1855) he published ‘Oesterreichische National-Encyklopädie’.
Bibliography: OCLC locates copies at Stanford, Wisconsin, with seemingly microfilm copies at Cornell, UCLA, Colorado, Chicago, Pennsylvania and Washington.