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  • First edition of Herman Melville's first and most popular book Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life During a Four Months' Residence in A Valley of the Marquesas

    MELVILLE, HERMAN.

    Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life. During a Four Months’ Residence in A Valley of the Marquesas.

    New York: Wiley and Putnam 1846.

    First edition of Melville’s first book and his most popular during his lifetime. Octavo, two volumes bound into one in the original cloth stamped in blind with gilt titles to the spine, frontispiece map, both half-titles and 6 pages of publisher’s advertisements at rear. BAL 13653. In very good condition, bookplate to the front pastedown. Housed in a custom full clamshell slipcase.

    Price: $6,500.00     Item Number: 144151

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  • “For the scene of suffering is a scene of joy when the suffering is past; and the silent reminiscence of hardships departed is sweeter than the presence of delight": Herman Melville's Redburn

    MELVILLE, HERMAN.

    Redburn.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1849.

    First edition, second printing of this classic work with the extended publisher’s advertisements at end. Octavo, original plum cloth stamped in blind, spine gilt, yellow endpapers. In very good condition, bookplate.

    Price: $1,500.00     Item Number: 144187

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  • RARE PRESENTATION COPY OF Alfred Lord Tennyson's The May Queen; PRESENTED BY HERMAN MELVILLE TO HIS SISTER

    TENNYSON, ALFRED [HERMAN MELVILLE].

    The May Queen.

    London: Sampson Low, Son, & Marston 1868.

    Presentation copy, later printing of Tennyson’s popular Victorian poem. Octavo, original publisher’s cloth elaborately decorated in gilt, all edges gilt, illustrated. Presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper, “To Fanny Melville from her brother Herman April 1876 New York.” Presentation inscription likely in the hand of Melville’s wife. Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, to Allan Melvill (1782–1832)[3] and Maria (Gansevoort) Melvill (1791–1872). Herman was the third of eight children in a family of Scottish and Dutch descent. His siblings, who played important roles in his career as well as in his emotional life, were Gansevoort (1815–1846); Helen Maria (1817–1888); Augusta (1821–1876); Allan (1823–1872); Catherine (1825–1905); Frances Priscilla (1827–1885); and Thomas (1830–1884), who eventually became a governor of Sailors’ Snug Harbor. Part of a well-established and colorful Boston family, Allan Melvill spent much time out of New York and in Europe as a commission merchant and an importer of French dry goods. Allan declared bankruptcy in 1830 and died two years later, leaving Maria with eight children under the age of 17 and a pile of debt from loans and Allan’s unsuccessful businesses. Soon afterward, Maria added an “e” to their surname—perhaps to hide from collection agencies, although scholars are not sure exactly why. Later inscription to the pastedown, “To Miss Murray, In memory of P. F. M. July 1876.” Ownership inscription opposite the title page, “Fanny Melville Tuesday after Easter 1876 N.Y.” In fine condition. From the library of American bookseller and renowned Melville collector William S. Reese although not marked.

    Price: $3,000.00     Item Number: 144277

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  • Presentation Copy Robert Burns' Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect; presented by Herman Melville

    BURNS, ROBERT. [HERMAN MELVILLE].

    Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by Robert Burns.

    Newport, Rhode Island: Printed for John Brown & Co 1870.

    American reprint of the Kilmarnock edition of the Poems of Robert Burns. Octavo, original publisher’s quarter vellum over paper-covered boards. Presentation copy, inscribed on the pastedown, “Presented by Herman Melville to J.G. Hoadley Sept. 1870. -” Melville loved books as objects and frequently gave them to family members as Christmas or other gifts.  The presentation inscription itself is likely in the hand of Melville’s wife. In good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. From the library of American bookseller and renowned Melville collector William S. Reese with his bookplate to the clamshell box.

    Price: $4,000.00     Item Number: 144818

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  • Rare First Edition of Herman Melville's White Jacket; or the World in a Man-Of-War

    MELVILLE, HERMAN.

    White Jacket; or the World in a Man-Of-War.

    New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers 1850.

    First edition, first printing with 6pp. of publisher’s advertisements, brown cloth with Harper and Brothers New York stamped at center. In very good condition, previous ownership inscription, bookplates.

    Price: $2,800.00     Item Number: 144154

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  • First Edition of Herman Melville's Omoo

    MELVILLE, HERMAN .

    Omoo.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1847.

    First edition of this classic Melville work. Octavo, original cloth. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco chemise slipcase. BAL 13656. A sharp example.

    Price: $4,000.00     Item Number: 144159

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  • Rare presentation copy of Robert Bloomfield's The Farmer's Boy; presented by Herman Melville to his sister

    BLOOMFIELD, ROBERT. [HERMAN MELVILLE].

    The Farmer’s Boy.

    London: Sampson, Low, Son & Co 1858.

    Later printing of the poem that made Robert Bloomfield’s reputation. Octavo, original publisher’s cloth elaborately stamped in gilt, all edges gilt, illustrated with thirty engravings from drawings by Birket Foster, Harrison, Weir, and G.E. Hicks. Presentation copy, inscribed on the verso of the front free endpaper, “Fanny Melville from Herman Xmas 1876.” Presentation inscription likely in the hand of Melville’s wife. Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, to Allan Melvill (1782–1832)[3] and Maria (Gansevoort) Melvill (1791–1872). Herman was the third of eight children in a family of Scottish and Dutch descent. His siblings, who played important roles in his career as well as in his emotional life, were Gansevoort (1815–1846); Helen Maria (1817–1888); Augusta (1821–1876); Allan (1823–1872); Catherine (1825–1905); Frances Priscilla (1827–1885); and Thomas (1830–1884), who eventually became a governor of Sailors’ Snug Harbor. Part of a well-established and colorful Boston family, Allan Melvill spent much time out of New York and in Europe as a commission merchant and an importer of French dry goods. Allan declared bankruptcy in 1830 and died two years later, leaving Maria with eight children under the age of 17 and a pile of debt from loans and Allan’s unsuccessful businesses. Soon afterward, Maria added an “e” to their surname—perhaps to hide from collection agencies, although scholars are not sure exactly why. In fine condition. From the library of American bookseller and renowned Melville collector William S. Reese with his bookplate to the pastedown.

    Price: $8,800.00     Item Number: 144051

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  • "IT IS NOT DOWN ON ANY MAP; TRUE PLACES NEVER ARE": FIRST EDITION OF HERMAN MELVILLE'S MOBY DICK; in the rare red variant cloth

    MELVILLE, HERMAN.

    Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1851.

    First edition, first issue binding of Melville’s masterpiece. Octavo, original red variant cloth (BAL’s A grain), covers stamped in blind with Harper’s circular device at the center of the front panel within a heavy blind ruled frame, plain white endpapers. Issued in a single volume, in black, green, blue, red, purple, slate or brown cloth, gilt. The first state of the binding has a circular device at center of covers that is absent from the second state binding. Much has been made of whether the earliest copies bound should have orange-coated end papers, but in fact there is no priority between copies with orange, dark orange, maroon veined in gold, or marbled end papers. Of uncertain status are three copies that have been seen with plain white end papers, and a copy seen with yellow-coated end papers. Copies in bindings with beaded rope-like designs or Grolier-esque strapwork borders are very likely copies that survived Harper’s terrible fire of December 10, 1853, which destroyed 287 copies (212 were still unbound, in sheets). The first printing by Harper’s in 1851 numbered 2915 copies, approximately 300 copies were destroyed in a warehouse fire in 1853 and as late as 1854 copies of the first edition were still available from the publisher. A second printing of 250 copies was issued in 1855, and in 1863 the third printing of 253 copies was issued. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box made by the Harcourt Bindery. Rare and desirable, completely unrestored and in the rare variant publisher’s red cloth.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 142813

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  • Martin-Manney copy of Herman Melville's Omoo; in the rare original wrappers

    MELVILLE, HERMAN .

    Omoo.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1847.

    First edition of this classic Melville work Omoo, the Martin-Manney copy in the rare original wrappers. Octavo, two volumes, original wrappers. Volume 1 with half-title, title-page printed in black and red, and frontispiece map of the Marquesas and Tahiti. Volume 2 with advertisements at rear paginated [xv]-xxiii, [1]-16 (light staining to prelims, lower corner clipped from endpaper in volume 2). Original printed wrappers (wrappers darkened and rubbed; part 1 backstrip restored with part of title in facsimile; part 2 with abrasion to rear cover deleting some of the text). Provenance: “Appleton” (ownership inscription to inside front cover of part II) H. Bradley Martin (his sale, Sotheby’s New York, 30 January 1990, lot 2145); Richard Manney (his sale, Sotheby’s New York, 11 October 1991, lot 223). Housed in a custom clamshell box. Rare with RBH records only two other copies selling at auction. BAL 13656.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 142411

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  • First Illustrated Edition of Herman Melville's Moby Dick; with numerous illustrations by Rockwell Kent; Inscribed by Him

    MELVILLE, HERMAN; ILLUSTRATED BY ROCKWELL KENT.

    Moby Dick.

    New York: Random House 1930.

    First edition of Rockwell Kent’s profusely illustrated edition of the great American novel. Octavo, original black cloth decorated in gilt, illustrated throughout by Rockwell Kent. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Ann Busby by Rockwell Kent.” In very good condition. A bright example.

    Price: $2,500.00     Item Number: 141408

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