First Edition Books for Sale Online
Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive collection of rare and first-edition books from a variety of authors and publishers. Navigate through our full selection of first-editions below to find a particular item you're looking for, ask a question, or order online today!
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"This is what I gave voluntarily at the risk of my life to keep my promise to the Government": Exceptionally rare document containing the fingerprints of Mohandas K. Gandhi; signed and inscribed by him
Early 20th century South African government document containing the fingerprints of Mohandas K. Gandhi, signed and inscribed by him, "This is what I gave voluntarily at the risk of my life to keep my promise to the Government. Phoenix, Natal, 15th February 1909, M.K. Gandhi." In April 1893, Gandhi aged 23, set sail for South Africa to practice law in the colony of Natal, which, like India was part of the British Empire. The racial discrimination he experienced in his first year of residence inspired him to found the Natal Indian Congress which opposed several proposed discriminatory legislations and molded the Indian…
Price: $850,000.00 Item Number: 132138
"Who is the most important person I've ever met in a signing queue & the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge [underlined 4 times] thanks. J.K. Rowling": First Edition, First Printing of J.K. Rowling's Rare First Book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; Inscribed by Her to Bryony Evens
London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
First edition, first printing of the rarest book in the Harry Potter series, a cornerstone of young adult literature, and one of the best-selling books of all time. First printing with "First published in Great Britain in 1997", the full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1", "Joanne Rowling" for "J.K. Rowling", and "Thomas Taylor1997" (lacking the space) on the copyright page and "1 wand" listed twice (as the first item and last item) on the "Other Equipment" list on page 53. Octavo, original laminated pictorial boards, without a dust jacket as issued. Association copy,…
Price: $850,000.00 Item Number: 115640
Exceedingly rare first edition, first issue presentation copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit; inscribed by Tolkien to the Livesleys who ran the summer guest cottage in the village of Sidmouth which inspired 'The Shire' and where Tolkien did much of his writing
London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1937.
First edition, first issue of Tolkien's classic tale, "among the very highest achievements of children’s authors during the 20th century” (Carpenter & Pritchard, 530), one of only a handful of presentation copies reserved for Tolkien to give to family members, colleagues and close friends. Octavo, original cloth, cartographic endpapers, frontispiece and 9 full-page uncolored illustrations after drawings by Tolkien. Presentation copy, inscribed by Tolkien on the flyleaf, "Mr. & Mrs. Livesley & Edgar with best wishes from J.R.R. Tolkien." The recipients, the Livesleys and their son Edgar, ran the Kennaway House, a Regency town house in the village of Sidmouth,…
Price: $475,000.00 Item Number: 135801
“THE MOST IMPORTANT SERIES OF AMERICAN POLITICAL DEBATES”: Exceedingly rare first edition, first issue of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates; inscribed by Abraham Lincoln long-time political supporter and friend Martin S. Morris and accompanied by the table from the Morris household that Lincoln sat at, shared apples with Morris, and signed the book
Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen Douglas, In the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois.
Columbus: Follett, Foster and Company, 1860.
First edition, first issue of the most famous debates in American history which cemented Lincoln as a national presidential candidate; inscribed by Lincoln to close friend Martin S. Morris and accompanied by the table from the Morris household that Lincoln sat at, shared apples with Morris, and signed the book. Octavo, original cloth stamped in blind. First issue, with no advertisements, no rule above the publisher’s imprint on the copyright page, and with numeral 2 at the bottom of page 17. Association copy, inscribed by Abraham Lincoln on the front free endpaper, "M. S. Morris Esq A. Lincoln." The recipient,…
Price: $475,000.00 Item Number: 138634
HAYEK'S PERSONAL COPY OF HIS MAGNUM OPUS THE ROAD TO SERFDOM; ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY; SIGNED BY HIM, WITH HIS CORRECTIONS AND MARGINALIA, AND IN THE SCARCE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.
Friedrich August von Hayek's first edition personal copy of one of the most influential books of the twentieth century and the most popular exposition of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original cloth. Hayek's personal copy with his ownership name to the front free endpaper, "F.A. Hayek" and notation, "published March 10th, 1944" and list of 12 early critical reviews of the book to the verso of the rear endpaper, "Reviews: Tablet 11/3/44 (Douglas Woodruff); Sunday Times 12/3 (1 or 2 volumes) Harold Hobson 2. 9/4 (G.M. Young); Birmingham Post 14/3 (T.W.H); Yorkshire Post 29/3; Financial News 30/3; Listener 30/3; Daily…
Price: $450,000.00 Item Number: 135374
"To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom": Rare First English Edition of The Road To Serfdom; Inscribed by F.A. Hayek to Karl Popper
London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.
First edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom with friendly greetings from F.H. Hayek." Also included is a letter signed by Karl Popper to his assistant Melitta Mew, presenting her with this book as a birthday gift ("...It is the copy he sent me to New Zealand on publication of the book, with a beautiful dedication. And thank you for everything you are doing for my work (and…
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 123960
“Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends": First Edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
London: John Murray, 1859.
First edition of "certainly the most important biological book ever written" (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in original cloth, half-title, one folding lithographed diagram, without advertisements. In fine condition with a touch of shelfwear. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work, one of the nicest extant.
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 116380
"Second only to Gilbert Stuart's Athenaeum portrait": Rembrandt Peale's "George Washington, Patriae Pater"
Rembrandt Peale's famed painted portrait of of George Washington, "George Washington, Patriae Pater", considered by many second only to Gilbert Stuart's iconic Athenaeum portrait of the first president and variations of which hang in the Oval Office and Old Senate Chamber. Oil on canvas. In 1795, 17-year-old Rembrandt Peale was invited by his father, famed American painter Charles Willson Peale, to accompany him to a portrait sitting with President George Washington. Although young Rembrandt was not entirely satisfied with the resulting portrait of the aging Washington, it was well-received and made his debut as a portraitist. In 1822, after a…
Price: $350,000.00 Item Number: 135084
Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922.
Signed limited first edition of Joyce's masterpiece, one of 100 numbered copies printed on handmade paper from a total edition of 1000 copies, this is number 51. Thick quarto, original blue and white wrappers. Laid in are the following pamphlets: Extracts from Press Notices of Ulysses by James Joyce" and the Shakespeare and Company prospectus for Ulysses, with woodcut vignette of Shakespeare, photographic portrait of Joyce tipped in. In near fine condition, rebacked.
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 133500
Exceptionally rare 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; inscribed by him to Captain Charles Ball
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. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper one month after publication, "Captain Ball, With the respects of the author, Westport April 18th 1846." The recipient, Captain Charles Ball was captain of the whaling ship Theophilus Chase, on which Thomas Melville, the author's youngest brother, set sail for the first time…
Price: $250,000.00 Item Number: 138349
“With the Pleasant memories of La Paix behind me alas and alack!": Extremely Rare Presentation Copy of THE GREAT GATSBY, Wonderfully inscribed by Fitzgerald
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
Octavo, original dark green cloth with gilt titles to the spine. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “With the Pleasant memories of La Paix behind me alas and alack! Souvenir of 1932–1933 for M.T. from her – at least from one who was almost made to feel like – a guest. F. Scott Fitzgerald.” The recipient, Margaret Turnbull, who with her husband Bayard owned La Paix, a 28–acre estate with a large Victorian house near Towson, Maryland. The Fitzgeralds rented La Paix from the Turnbulls in 1932 and 1933 because of its proximity to the…
Price: $250,000.00 Item Number: 135650
First Edition, First Printing of J.K. Rowling's Rare First Book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
First edition, first printing of the rarest book in the Harry Potter series, a cornerstone of young adult literature, and one of the best-selling books of all time. First printing with “First published in Great Britain in 1997”, the full number line “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”, “Joanne Rowling” for “J.K. Rowling”, and “Thomas Taylor1997” (lacking the space) on the copyright page and “1 wand” listed twice (as the first item and last item) on the “Other Equipment” list on page 53. Octavo, original illustrated boards, without a dust jacket as issued. In fine condition.…
Price: $225,000.00 Item Number: 124950
“The constancy of the laws of nature, or the certainty with which we may expect the same effects from the same causes, is the foundation of the faculty of reason”: Rare First Edition of Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population; With An autograph Note from Him
London: J. Johnson, 1798.
First edition of this cornerstone text of modern economics. Octavo, bound in three quarters calf. Laid in is a clipping from an original manuscript signed by Malthus and entirely in his hand which reads in part, "If at one time such a given product would make an effectual demand for certain commodities the conditions of the supply of which are supposed to remain the same, it would immediately cease to make such effectual." Signed by Malthus in the lower right corner, "Malthus." The verso features two further partial lines of text relating to supply and demand. In near fine condition.…
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 116955
"In memory of that week we went rowing in a bull-fiddle through the lovely lakes of Central Park": Exceptionally Rare Presentation Copy of The Great Gatsby; with a beautiful full-page inscription signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
First edition, second issue of Fitzgerald's masterpiece with all six second issue points present, including: “echolalia” on page 60, “southern” on page 119, “sickantired” on page 205, and “Union Station” on page 211. Octavo, original dark green cloth with gilt titles to the spine. Presentation copy, lengthily inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "For Theodore L. Liedemedt in memory of that week we went rowing in a bull-fiddle through the lovely lakes of Central Park, from Stravinski (Alias F. Scott Fitzgerald) May 1885 'Stuttgart.'" The recipient, Theodore L. Liedemedt, was a German-born musician and close personal friend…
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 138936
"To Jack L. Warner - Thank you for your courage and for a magnificent picture - with my profound gratitude": First Edition of Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus The Fountainhead; Inscribed by Her to Jack Warner
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943.
First edition, first issue with first edition stated on the copyright page of the author's first major novel, as well as her first best-seller. Octavo, original red cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Jack L. Warner - Thank you for your courage and for a magnificent picture - with my profound gratitude - Ayn Rand. January 7, 1949." The recipient, Jack Warner, was the co-founder, president, and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios. His career spanned some 45 years, its duration surpassing that of any other of the seminal Hollywood studio moguls.…
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 125425
“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment": Rare First Edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
First editions of all three volumes of Jane Austen's second novel and most popular. Octavo, three volumes, bound in contemporary three quarter calf, gilt titles to the spine. An exceptional example of this landmark work in English literature, most rare and desirable bound in contemporary calf.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 133221
First French Edition, Presentation copy of the Constitutions of the Thirteen United States of America; inscribed by Benjamin Franklin who requested the book's publication and personally distributed the 600 privately printed first edition copies
Constitutions des Treize Etats-Unis De L’Amerique. [Constitutions of the Thirteen United States of America].
Paris: D. Pierres/Pissot, Pere & Fils, Libraries, 1783.
First French edition of the Constitution of the United States of America, inscribed by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who had the translation published and personally distributed each of the 600 copies produced. Octavo, bound in one quarter calf with gilt ruling to the spine, burgundy morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by Benjamin Franklin on the front free endpaper, "A Madame, Madame la Presidente de Manieres [sic] de la parte du. B. Franklin." The recipient, Madame Durey de Meinires was a a French writer best known for her translations of Samuel Johnson, David Hume, and Sarah Fielding.…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 138381
"the first novel in the English language": Exceedingly rare complete first edition set of all three books in Defoe's classic Robinson Crusoe series
The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; Serious Reflections During the Life And Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
London: Printed for W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row, 1719-1720.
Exceedingly rare complete first edition set of all three books in Defoe's classic Robinson Crusoe series, including the scarce first and only printing of the third book in the series. Octavo, three volumes bound in full crushed red morocco by Francis Bedford with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, triple gilt ruling to the front and rear panels, gilt turn-ins and inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. The set consists of: Vol. I. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years,…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 129597
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
April 10, 1781.
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to French ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, whose military assistance in the Siege of Yorktown essentially ended the Revolutionary War. The body of the letter is entirely in the hand of Alexander Hamilton and dated 10 April 1781. In the spring of 1781, officials from Massachusetts approached Rochambeau with a proposal to attack the British post at the mouth of the Penobscot river which had been established in June 1779 to secure timber for shipyards in Halifax and to protect Nova Scotia from…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872