Art and Architecture

Rare Art Books & Rare Architecture Books for Sale Online

Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive selection of rare art books and rare books on architecture in our library. Browse through our entire collection below, view details about individual books and contact us to ask a question or find out more information.

Showing 1–20 of 318 results

  • "Portrait of a Woman Eyes Closed": Original Artwork by Kahlil Gibran; Signed and dated by him

    GIBRAN, Kahlil.

    Portrait of a Woman Eyes Closed.


    Rare original artwork from Kahlil Gibran. Graphite on paper, signed and dated by Gibran. “K.G. 1926.” The piece measures 10.5 inches by 8 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 15 inches. Provenance: Waverly, December 11, 1986, lot. 378; purchased by the present owner; Private Collection, Washington D.C.

    Price: $50,000.00     Item Number: 119272

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  • "God is Truth": Exceptionally rare Etching Signed by Gandhi and Illustrator Fritz Eichenberg

    GANDHI, Mohandas K. [Mahatma].

    Mohandas K. Gandhi Signed Engraving Portrait.

    Wood engraving of a bust-length portrait of one of the most famous graphic images of Gandhi by illustrator Fritz Eichenberg; signed by Gandhi, “God is Truth MK Gandhi.” Below Gandhi’s inscription reads, “To Eva Aug. 16th, 1948 with love from Fritz” and additionally signed “Fritz Eichenberg.” The engraving is a proof impression on Japanese paper. The portrait by Eichenberg was originally created for The Catholic Worker, a newspaper in the cause of social justice, and was subsequently used in multiple other publications. “The word satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means ‘being’. Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God […] In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God” (Gandhi, January 1st, 1927). The engraving measures 12 inches by 9 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20 inches. Signed examples are exceptionally rare and desirable with the core tenet of Gandhi’s religious philosophy.

    Price: $40,000.00     Item Number: 103540

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    DE L'ISLE, Joseph Nicolas.

    Russischer Atlas welcher in einer General-Charte und neunzehen Special-Charten das gesamte Russische Reich und dessen angräntzende Länder.vorstellig macht.

    St. Petersburg: Entworffen bey der Kayserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1745.

    Rare first edition of the first atlas printed of Russia. Folio, bound in full leather, 19 double-page maps, one large folding general map. In excellent condition with light toning. An exceptional example.

    Price: $35,000.00     Item Number: 105840

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  • "In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time": Large Signed Portrait Photograph Signed by Charles Dickens

    DICKENS, Charles.

    Charles Dickens Signed Portrait Photograph.


    Large oval portrait photograph measures 20 inches by 16 inches. Matted in a contemporary frame which measures 25.5 inches by 29.5 inches. Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Boston Sixth March 1868.” In 1867, Charles Dickens began his second American reading tour at Boston’s Tremont Temple, where an enthusiastic audience delighted in some of his most notable works, members of the audience included legendary literary stars such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although Dickens was in declining health, he embarked on an ambitious travel schedule across the United States. Dickens returned to Boston once more before concluding his U.S. tour in New York City. When Charles Dickens arrived in Boston on November 19, 1867, the celebrated English author spent several days at the Parker House hotel recuperating from the voyage. As conscientious a performer as he was a writer, Dickens had prepared diligently for his performances, redrafting and memorizing key passages from his books especially for these engagements. He used a book only as a prop; he was so familiar with the material that he could improvise with ease. However, during his 1867-1868 tour he was plagued with Flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and an inflammation of his foot, which forced him to walk with a cane. During his last tours in 1868, Dickens confined much of his performances to the New England area. Dickens was grateful for the income he desperately needed from his readings, which generated $140,000, close to $2,000,000 today; but he longed for home. On April 8, 1868, Dickens gave the last performance of the tour. Prolonged applause followed the reading. He closed by telling the audience, “In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time… Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell.” He died two years later, having written 14 novels, several of which are considered classics of English literature. A desirable piece of Victorian literary history.



    Price: $30,000.00     Item Number: 74030

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    Fifteenth Century Illuminated Miniature Book of Hours.

    Exceptionally rare Franco-Flemish miniature illuminated Book of Hours. 16mo, bound in full 18th century red velvet, script on vellum, illuminated with thirteen elaborately historiated initials and four brilliant illuminated initials within lateral floral borders and numerous other small initials. In near find condition. Housed in a custom box. A beautiful example.

    Price: $30,000.00     Item Number: 190504

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  • Exceedingly rare original miniature manuscript of Shel Silverstein's zany children's tale A Giraffe and a Half


    Original A Giraffe and a Half Autograph Manuscript.

    c. 1964.

    Exceedingly rare original miniature manuscript of Shel Silverstein’s zany children’s tale A Giraffe and a Half. Oblong 16mo, three miniature books drawn by and with text entirely in Silverstein’s hand illustrating three sections of the book, . The first section begins, “If you had a giraffe and he stretched another half… You would have a giraffe and a half… if he put on a hat and inside was a rat… You would have a giraffe and a half with a rat in his hat…” With Silverstein’s edits in both pen and pencil throughout. A charming and unique original manuscript offering further insight into the author’s unique and original artistic process.

    Price: $25,000.00     Item Number: 116374

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  • Rare Engraved Portrait of American Literary Master F. Scott Fitzgerald; Signed by him

    FITZGERALD, F. Scott.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Engraved Portrait.


    Rare Gordon Bryant iconic portrait of American literary master F. Scott Fitzgerald, warmly signed by him, “Faithfully yours F. Scott Fitzgerald.” This portrait was part of a study of Fitzgerald by Bryant which he later published in Shadowland Magazine in 1921. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.25 inches by 13.25 inches. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $22,500.00     Item Number: 111063

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  • "I have never advocated war except as a means of peace": Rare Henry Shrady Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust

    GRANT, Ulysses S.] Henry Merwin Shrady.

    Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust.

    Original bronze bust of Ulysses S. Grant by Henry Shrady, the famed sculptor of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial on the west front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Mounted on socle and base, the entire piece measures 18.5 inches in height. In fine condition. An exceptional piece of Americana.

    Price: $22,500.00     Item Number: 102885

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  • One of the Earliest Calligraphic Works by Thomas Merton

    MERTON, Thomas.

    Thomas Merton Original Calligraphic Artwork.

    Original signed artwork from Thomas Merton. In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art, drawing from the Zen Buddhist tradition. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Bramachari for counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his own Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for. A strong admirer of Gandhi, Merton also noted how Gandhi, a Hindu, had found a congenial ‘ second home’ of sorts in the Christian Sermon on the Mount. In the 1950’s Merton began exploring Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. He thought he found some resonance between Zen and the Desert Fathers. Merton sent a copy of his study of the Desert Fathers to Daisetsu Suzuki, the leading exponent of Zen in the west. They began a long correspondence in the late 1950’s, and Suzuki’s influence can be seen in Merton’s artwork. Includes a letter from activist W.H. Ferry, which reads, “4/3/68 For Mary Sue Dilliard: Daisetsu Suzuki told Father Tom Merton in 1965 that the only way finally to understand Zen was to practice calligraphy. This is the result: one of Tom’s earliest calligraphs. W.H. Ferry.” On the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions letterhead, which Ferry was the Vice President. Matted and framed, which measures 13 inches by 15 inches. Calligraphy drawing measures 9 inches by 12.5 inches. On the verso of the frame, it includes various Merton material including numerous clippings. Original artwork by Merton is exceptionally rare in the marketplace.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 17032

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  • Rare African hunting rifle from the collection of Ernest Hemingway; obtained by him in Africa and later gifted to his best friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner

    [HEMINGWAY, Ernest; A.E. Hotchner].

    Ernest Hemingway African Hunting Rifle.

    Rare African hunting rifle from the collection of Ernest Hemingway; obtained by him in Africa and later gifted to his best friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner. The African musket-rifle measures 5 feet in length and is elaborately decorated with intricately hammered beaded and etched metal wrappings and garnet gemstones. Hemingway began collecting guns at the age of 10 when his grandfather gave him a 20 gauge shotgun. Throughout his lifetime he bought, sold, and gifted several guns from his collection and was often photographed proudly displaying a variety of rifles while bird and big-game hunting in Idaho and Africa. The present rifle was obtained during Hemingway’s 1953-1954 winter safari trip to Africa with his fourth wife Mary, during which they survived two near-fatal plane crashes and were for several weeks presumed dead. Hemingway later gifted the gun to his closest friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner. The gun is accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Timothy Hotchner, A.E. Hotchner’s son, which reads in part, “This item was given to my father by Ernest Hemingway in his youth. My father met “Papa” in 1948 and remained close friends with him… until Hemingway’s death in 1966. Hemingway was very connected to Africa, and several of his writings were influenced by the time he spent there including Green Hills of Africa, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and his classic work, The Snows of Kilimanjaro… My father proudly displayed this gun in his study, where he would tell people, including me, about its storied history. He liked to say that it probably took two people to fire it: one to pull the trigger and the other to have the barrel rested on his shoulder. My father had many keepsakes from Hemingway, including letters, photos, and matador outfits, which he sold over many years. However, this gun was perhaps his favorite, and he kept it until his death.” In very good condition. From the collection of A.E. Hotchner. Exceedingly rare with exceptional provenance.

    Price: $18,000.00     Item Number: 117552

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  • First Edition of Ed Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Signed by Him

    RUSCHA, Ed [Edward].

    Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

    Alhambra, California: A National Excelsior Publication, 1963.

    First edition, one of 400 numbered copies of the artist’s first book, this is number 180. Small octavo, original white wrappers, printed in red. Signed by Ed Ruscha on the title page. Near fine in the rare original glassine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 97975

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  • “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way": Photograph of Ayn Rand; Inscribed by Her to Barbara Branden

    RAND, Ayn.

    Ayn Rand Signed Photograph.

    Large signed photograph of Ayn Rand. Inscribed by her to Barbara Branden, “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way – With love -Ayn June 21, 1951.” While living in New York during the early 1950’s, the recipient, Barbara, and her future husband, Nathaniel Branden, befriended Rand and her husband Frank O’Connor. Not only would the couple go on to become major proponents of Objectivism (establishing the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1958 with Barbara serving as Rand’s assistant), but their personal lives would be dramatically intertwined with Rand’s. Begrudgingly sanctioned by both Barbara and Frank, Nathaniel began an affair with Ayn in 1954. The secret couple had a very public break in 1968, almost certainly due to Branden’s affair with actress Patrecia Scott who he later married. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Matted and framed, which measures 17.5 inches by 19.5 inches. Photographs signed by Rand are rare.

    Price: $15,000.00     Item Number: 73070

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  • First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant

    BIDDLE, Owen.

    The Young Carpenter’s Assistant; Or, A System Of Architecture, Adapted To The Style Of Building In The United States.

    Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1805.

    First edition of the second book on architecture published in America, second only to Asher Benjamin’s Country Builder’s Assistant’ published in 1797( Shaw & Shoemaker, 8018). Quarto, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, illustrated with 44 engraved plates, 2 folding. In very good condition. Scarce with only 2 copies having appeared at auction in the past 50 years.

    Price: $15,000.00     Item Number: 117672

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  • First Edition of Walt Disney's Fantasia; Inscribed by Disney and with Twelve original drawings

    DISNEY, Walt; Deems Taylor .

    Walt Disney’s Fantasia. With a Foreword by Leopold Stokowski.

    New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940.

    First edition of the lavishly illustrated companion volume to Disney’s animated musical masterpiece. Quarto, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated with 16 mounted color plates. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed by thirteen people (including Walt Disney); all who worked at Walt Disney studios in the 1940s. All of the inscriptions are to Jodie Ferguson Brudge, who was a secretary at Disney Studios, and upon her leaving to get married, raise family, she asked those that she worked with to inscribe her copy of Fantasia. This work contains the following inscriptions and illustrations, inscribed by Walt Disney on the title page, “To Jodie Best Wishes Walt Disney.” Page 10 has an original full-color illustration by Milt Banta of a card game between Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Milt Banta, with the inscription “Best Wishes Always Milt Banta.” Page 14 has a full page original illustration by Russ Dyson of a “ye olde family tree” for the Ferguson [Jodie] and Dyson branches. On the Dyson branch is a self-portrait of Dyson as a bird, with the inscription, “I Hope the Ferguson Branch Doesn’t grow any Larger! Good Luck – Russ Dyson 1/18/46.” Page 57 has an original watercolor of a tree branch and paint container, and the inscription: “Jodie – If you ever run across any automatic paint brushes like these – let me know. – Claude Coats.” Page 82 has a twenty-six line inscription that is warm and thoughtful from Ben [Sharpsteen]. Page 95 has an original color illustration of a frog fishing and the inscription, “An ‘Good Fishin’ to you all the time – Jodie. Hugh Hennesy” Page 102 has an original color illustration of a self-portrait of Bill Berg, with the inscription “Good Bye Jodie – We’ll Miss You!!! Bill Berg.” Page 118 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of Jerry Hathcock waking from a nightmare, with the inscription, “Gad!! What a Nightmare! Maybe Jodie is smart to leave. Good Bye + Good Luck, Jerry Hathcock.” Page 119 has an original illustration of a bouquet of flowers, that has been drawn into the hand/wing of the printed ostrich, with the inscription: “Best Luck and Good Wishes Jodie. Phil Barber.” Page 121 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of J. Eric Gurney who is holding a banner that reads, “Best Wishes to Jodie.” The opposite end of the banner is being held by the printed hippopotamus. Page 126 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of Nick Nichols (being held aloft by the printed elephant), with the inscription: “Bye Bye Jodie Come Back And Work For Me Again. Best Nick Nichols.” Page 159 has an original full-page illustration of Jodie as a centaurette, with the inscription, “G’bye Now. Lots of Luck an’ Stuff to Jodie. George Rowley.” The verso of the rear free endsheet contains an original illustration of a guitar player in a pancho and sombrero with the inscription, ” Good Luck Jodie. William de la Torre.” An excellent example in a very good dust jacket. A unique piece of Disney history.

    Price: $14,000.00     Item Number: 96808

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  • Etching of Albert Einstein by Erich Buttner; Signed by Both Einstein and Buttner

    EINSTEIN, Albert; Erich Buttner.

    Albert Einstein Signed Etching.


    Rare large etching of Albert Einstein done by well-known artist Erich Buttner. Signed by both Einstein and Buttner. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 12.25 inches by 15 inches. An exceptional piece. In the 1920s he created a series of portraits of his friends and fellow artists including Lovis Corinth, George Grosz, Arno Holz and Heinrich Zille. He produced a very fine book of exlibris (bookplates) in Berlin 1921. This book contains the exlibris of Albert Einstein 1917, probably Einstein’s only bookplate. The etching measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.75 inches by 15.75 inches.

    Price: $14,000.00     Item Number: 112748

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  • "One the most important works on British butterflies and moths": Rare second edition of Benjamin White's Magnificent One Hundred and Twenty Copper Plates of English Moths and Butterflies

    WILKES, Benjamin.

    One Hundred and Twenty Copper Plates of English Moths and Butterflies Representing Their Changes into the Caterpillar, Chrysalis, and Fly States and the Plants, Flowers, and Fruits, Wheron They Feed. Coloured with great Exactness from the Subjects themselves.

    London: Printed for Benjamin White, 1773.

    Rare edition of one the most important works on British butterflies and moths. Quarto, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, decorative ruling to the panels stamped in blind, illustrated with 120 exquisite hand-colored engraved plates depicting the development butterflies and moths with the plants on which the feed after drawings by George Ehret and Jacob van Huysum. With a natural history of the insects and plants, index, and the list of subscribers gleaned from the original 1747-79 edition including Joseph Dandridge who assisted Wilkes and gave him open access to his private collection of entomological specimen. In very good condition with the hand colored-plates exceptionally clean and bright. Rare and desirable. 

    Price: $12,500.00     Item Number: 112674

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  • Rare First Edition of Owen Jones' The Alhambra

    JONES, Owen.

    Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra.

    London: Owen Jones, 1841-45.

    First edition of this monumental work on The Alhambra. Elephant folio,  two volumes, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards, as issued. In excellent condition with some wear to the binding, plates in exceptional condition.

    Price: $11,000.00     Item Number: 33008

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  • Portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent; Signed by both James and Sargent

    SARGENT, John Singer and Henry James.

    John Singer Sargent Henry James Signed Portrait.

    Photographic portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent, boldly signed by James and Sargent. The portrait measures 10.5 inches by 13 inches. Double matted and framed. In fine condition. Rare and desirable signed by both James and Sargent.

    Price: $10,000.00     Item Number: 73010

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  • Nineteenth Century Portrait of George Washington

    STUART, Gilbert. (George Washington).

    George Washington Portrait.

    Portrait of George Washington after Gilbert Stuart, American School, late 19th century oil on canvas portrait of President George Washington, after the Athaneum portrait by Gilbert Stuart. Housed in a Victorian giltwood frame with floral carved corner ornaments and oval opening. The entire piece measures 35 inches by 40 inches. An exceptional piece.

    Price: $9,800.00     Item Number: 78002

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  • Etching of Albert Einstein by Lionel S. Reiss; Signed by Both Reiss and Einstein

    EINSTEIN, Albert; Lionel S. Reiss.

    Albert Einstein Signed Etching.


    Etched portrait of Albert Einstein by well-known Polish-American Jewish artist Lionel S. Reiss. Signed by both Einstein and Reiss. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional piece.

    Price: $9,800.00     Item Number: 87430

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