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Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive collection of fine bindings, rare book collections, and sets. Browse through our entire collection, use the available filters to sort and find the exact item you’re looking for then contact us to ask a question about a specific item or order directly online today.
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Basel: Eusebius Episcopius , 1572.
First edition of Alhazen’s fundamental work on optics and vision, which influenced Galileo and Kepler and paved the way for the modern science of physical optics. Folio, bound in full contemporary Basel vellum with central arabesques blind-stamped to the front and rear panels, titles stamped in black and five raised bands to the spine, woodcut printer’s device to the title page, woodcut initials, diagrams and full page illustration to the verso of the title page. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. In very good condition. From the library of American physician Chester Tilton Stone with his bookplate to the pastedown. A superior example of this significant work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $142,000.00 Item Number: 90395
"To His Royal Highness, The Duke of Windsor, from Winston S. Churchill, June 1939" First Edition of Winston S. Churchill's Step By Step 1936-1939; Inscribed by Him to King Edward VIII in the month of publication
London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd, 1939.
First edition of this Churchill title, the last book he published before the outbreak of the Second World War. Octavo, specially bound for the Duke of Windsor by Lucie Weill in three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles, crowned cipher of the Duke of Windsor on the lower label, with two maps. Association copy, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill to King Edward the VIII, on the page preceding the half-title page in the month of publication, “To His Royal Highness, The Duke of Windsor, from Winston S. Churchill, June 1939.”
When Edward’s father ascended the throne as George V after the death of Edward VII, Edward the VIII automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester a month later on 23 June 1910, his 16th birthday. The lives of Edward and Churchill, first intersected at this time, when as Home Secretary, it fell to Churchill to read out the Letters Patent that invested the Prince with his new title during the ceremony at Caernarvon Castle. Predictably, Churchill found this a moving occasion, and thought “the little Prince looked & spoke as well as it was possible for anyone to do,” noting in a letter to Clementine that “he was a very nice boy—quite simply & terribly kept in order.” When Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty shortly after the investiture, he became a hero to the newly-installed Prince of Wales, who had been a naval cadet. Churchill’s vigorous emphasis on sea power appealed to the Prince, who wrote of Churchill: “He is a wonderful man and has a great power of work.” Writing to Clementine, Churchill indicated that he and the Prince “have made rather friends.”
Unfortunately, as he got older Edward’s womanizing and reckless behavior and attitudes put a strain on the relations between Churchill and himself for a time. When Edward’s father, George V died in early 1936 and Edward became king, his relationship with a married woman, Wallis Simpson, was known to those in power. When King Edward VIII chose to marry Simpson, Churchill, although he initially opposed any marriage between the King and Mrs. Simpson, felt a natural sympathy for the King, and believed that the solution was a morganatic marriage. Under this plan, Mrs. Simpson would become the Duchess of Cornwall but not Queen. The Cabinet, however, did not approve; neither did the Dominions. Churchill’s only hope then became that the King would see reason, accept his duty as Sovereign, and give up Mrs. Simpson, which Edward would not agree to. Churchill finally helped the King in writing his abdication speech. This book was given to Edward, now titled the Duke of Windsor while they were living abroad in France shortly before the beginning of World War 2. A wonderful association copy between the former Prime Minister and the former King of Great Britain. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box with the crowned cipher to the front panel.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 119578
“YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: ONCE WHEN YOU ARE BORN AND ONCE WHEN YOU LOOK DEATH IN THE FACE”: COMPLETE SET OF IAN FLEMING'S JAMES BOND NOVELS; IN THE RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS; WITH FIVE SIGNED BY SEAN CONNERY
Complete Set of 14 First Edition James Bond Novels: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia with Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only (short stories including A View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace), Thunderball, The Spy Who loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
London: Jonathan Cape, 1953-66.
First editions of each volume in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, 14 volumes, original cloth. Each volume is fine in near fine to fine first-issue dust jackets, with five signed by Sean Connery, which include: From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger and Thunderball each signed by Sean Connery. Each volume is housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional collection of first editions, most rare in this condition and signed.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 105482
First Octavo Edition of the The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories; In the Rare Original Publisher's Morocco
New York: Published by J.J. Audubon, 1840.
First octavo edition of this landmark work. Octavo, bound in original publisher’s morocco, 7 volumes, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, marbled endpapers, complete with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen after J.J. Audubon; woodcuts in the text. From the library of Boston businessman and Ambassador T. Jefferson Coolidge, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Coolidge was born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family and was a great-grandson of the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, through his maternal grandparents, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson Randolph. His uncles were Thomas Jefferson Randolph, George Wythe Randolph, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and a relative of Calvin Coolidge. He was an uncle to Archibald Cary Coolidge through his older brother, Joseph Randolph Coolidge. He was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as United States Ambassador to France on May 12, 1892, a role his great-grandfather had held from May 1785 to September 1789. Coolidge presented his credentials on June 10, 1892 and he presented his recall on May 4, 1893, terminating his mission. In 1898 and 1899, he was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute. Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, “a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment.” In 1898, Coolidge donated a collection of Thomas Jefferson’s personal papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. The collection contained more than 8,000 items: Correspondence, including 3,280 letters that Jefferson had written and 4,630 letters that he had received; Jefferson’s garden book (1766-1824) and farm book (1774-1824); annotated almanacs from 1771-1776; account books for 1783-1790; manuscript expense accounts from 1804-1825; notes on the weather spanning the years 1782-1826; plans of American forts in 1765; law treatises, 1778-1788; legal papers, 1770-1772; and Jefferson’s 1783 catalog of his personal library. In near fine condition. An exceptional set with noted provenance, rare in the original publisher’s morocco.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 111832
“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water": Rare first part of the first complete edition of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote; the earliest extant edition printed in Barcelona
Barcelona: Bautista Sorita, for Miguel Gracián, 1617.
The earliest extant Barcelona edition of Cervantes’ masterpiece, and the first part of the first complete edition of Don Quixote. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges red, illustrated title page. The second part of the first complete edition was printed simultaneously by Sebastián Matevad and sold as a complete set with the present volume by Miguel Gracián, Juan Simón and Rafael Vives. Small stamp and inscription to the title page. Bookplate to the pastedown. Scarce and desirable.
Price: $60,000.00 Item Number: 117012
Rare collection of the works of Thomas Paine; finely bound with a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams' response to Paine's Rights of Man
Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, Plain Truth, Rights of Man Parts I & II, and An Answer to Pain’s Rights of Man.
J. Almon, J.S. Jordan, and J. Stockdale: London, 1776-1793.
Finely bound collection of the works of Thomas Paine, including the rare first British editions of Common Sense and Plain Truth (London: J. Almon, 1776), second editions of Rights of Man Parts I & II (London: J.S. Jordan, 1791-1792), complete with half-titles present, and a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams’ response to Paine’s Rights of Man (London: J. Stockdale, 1793), attributed to his father John Adams and written when John Quincy Adams was 26 years old. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, red morocco spine label, all edges speckled black. In near fine condition. A rare and desirable collection.
Price: $60,000.00 Item Number: 96237
"THE STUDY OF COOK IS THE ILLUMINATION OF ALL DISCOVERY": first edition complete set of Cooks Voyages
Cook’s Voyages: An Account of the Voyages Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere; South Pole and Round the World; A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean and the Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. The First, Second and Third Voyages.
London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777, 1784.
Rare first edition set of the official accounts of Captain James Cook’s voyages, “the foundation of modern knowledge of the Pacific and a cornerstone of the literature of travel and exploration” (Beddie 648, 1216, 1543; Hill 782, 358, 361). Nine volumes altogether. Quarto, bound in full calf with morocco spine labels, elaborate gilt titles to the spine, front and rear panels, raised bands. Large folio atlas bound in the same manner. The First Voyage is comprised of three volumes edited by John Hawkesworth. “An Account of the Voyages… for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere… In the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour.” The Second Voyage includes two volumes, published in 1777: “A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World. Performed in His Majesty’s Ships Resolution and Adventure, In the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775”. First edition. Portrait frontispiece and 63 plates and charts (several folding or double-page). The Third Voyage was published in 1784: “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the command of His Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine The Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe.” Four volumes, first edition. The text with 24 plates and charts as called for, with two large folding maps and 61 plates. An exceptional set.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 112342
“AMERICA’S SECOND DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF WALT WHITMAN’S LEAVES OF GRASS, THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL VOLUME OF AMERICAN POETRY
Brooklyn, New York: For the author by Andrew & James Rome, 1855.
First edition of the most important volume in American poetry, which Whitman personally financed, supervised and even in some sections hand-set the type for the small printing of 795 copies. Small folio, frontispiece engraved portrait of the author by Hollyer after the daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison, mounted opposite the title, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards by MacDonald, New York, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell chemise.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 108540
"FAST BY THE ORACLE OF GOD, I THENCE INVOKE THY AID TO MY ADVENTUROUS SONG": FIRST EDITION OF JOHN MILTON'S MASTERPIECE PARADISE LOST
London: S. Simmons for S. Thomson, H. Mortlack, M. Walker, R. Boulter, 1668.
First edition of Milton’s masterpiece, “one of the greatest works of the human imagination” (DNB). Small octavo, bound in full contemporary sprinkled calf, smooth spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece gilt. Title-page and text within ruled border; woodcut headpieces and initials opening each book. (Without blank A1 after cancel title, F3 with paper flaw affecting rule border and shoulder notes, tiny mostly marginal wormhole to a few leaves.) Provenance: Elizabeth Gordon (signature on title verso dated 1686); Robert Chilton Pearson (bookplate); Patrick & Julie Pearson (bookplate). With the cancel title-page corresponding to Amory’s fourth issue, title page with “Angel” in the imprint in italic, and no note from the printer to the reader. Amory’s subissue 4† with signature Z in the original setting with “illustrous” in line 109 of the seventh book, and with Vv reset reading “far” in line 2 ov Vvlr. Hugh Amory “Things Unattempted Yet” in The Book Collector, Spring 1983, pp. 41-66; see ESTC R13352; Grolier Wither to Prior 603; Pforzheimer 718; Wing M-2142. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, rare and desirable.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 119536
Exceedingly rare new and revised edition of M. de Bourrienne's Life of Napoleon extra-illustrated with additional portraits and views and over 50 autograph letters and notes signed by Napoleon I, members of his family, and royal associates
London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1885.
Exceedingly rare edition of M. de Bourrienne’s Life of Napoleon extra-illustrated with additional portraits and views and over 50 autograph letters and notes signed by Napoleon I, members of his family, associates, and the author bound in. Octavo, bound in three quarters scarlet morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt with others uncut, tissue-guarded frontispiece and full color portrait to each volume, illustrated with engravings issued in the initial publication and over 100 extra portraits and views bound in. With over 50 autograph letters signed bound in including 3 autograph letters signed by Napoleon I (bound into Vol. I page 201, Vol. I page 369, and Vol. III page 530), and autograph letters signed by Charles J. Bernadotte, King of Spain; Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain; Fauvelet de Bourrienne; A.A.L. Caulincort, Duc de Vicenza; Marquis Emmanuel Grouchy; Napoleon’s second wife Marie Louise. Duchess of Parma; Joachim Murat, King of Naples; Comte Horace Sebastiani, and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington among others. With the original compiler’s printed catalog of extra material detailing the location (volume and page number) of each added engraving and autograph letter signed. In near fine condition. Accompanied by an additional military endorsement signed by Napoleon during the Peninsular War, “Approuvé Np.” An exceptional collection of significant Napoleonic era signatures.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 117078
LIMITED DELUXE FIRST EDITION OF ERNEST SHACKLETON’S HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC AND THE ANTARCTIC BOOK: SIGNED BY HIM AND ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EXPEDITION
London: William Heinemann, 1909.
Rare first edition, Special Limited Large Paper Issue of Shackleton’s account of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, one of only 300 copies printed. Quarto, bound in full (Heart of the Antarctic) and half (Antarctic Book) vellum, top edges gilt. First and only edition of The Antarctic Book, with the signatures of every member of the party, including Ernest Shackleton. In fine condition with light shelfwear. A very nice example.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 108374