First Edition

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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  • “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

    DARWIN, Charles.

    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

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  • "The greatest and finest atlas ever published": Willem and Joan Blaeu's magnificent Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, or, Le Theatre du Monde

    BLAEU, Willem and Joan.

    Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. [Le Theatre du Monde].

    Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu/Apud Guiljelmum et Johannem Blaeu, 1643-1645.

    One of the “greatest and finest atlas ever published” (Koeman). Folio, 4 volumes, original full vellum with gilt tooling to the spine in eight compartments within gilt bands, central gilt arabesques and fleuron corner pieces within double gilt ruling to the front and rear panels, all edges gilt. Gilt presentation inscription to the front panel of vol. I dated July 3, 1646 dedicating the set to Omer Talon, avocat-général to the French Parliament with the compliments of François du Monstier, rector of the University of Paris. Illustrated with 335 magnificent hand-colored engraved maps of the world and four continents including, in particular, sixty devoted to Great Britain (Volume IV), the map of the environs of Frankfurt (Volume I), a fine map of China and Japan (Volume III), and a series of thirteen maps of America (Volume III) that includes early and important maps of New England and the Chesapeake Bay. The set is comprised of: Volume I: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Sive Atlas Novus; in Quo Tabulae et Descriptiones omnium Regionum, Editae a Guiljel: et Joanne Blaeu. [Amsterdami: Apud Guiljelmum et Johannem Blaeu, 1643]. Folio, 120 engraved maps in two parts. Part I: World map, plus 83 maps of Germany, Scandinavia, the Arctic and eastern Europe, several oversized and folding. Part II: 36 maps of the Lowlands. Volume II: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Altas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Second Partie [A Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu, 1643-1644]. Folio, contains 92 engraved maps in two parts (one folding): Part I: 48 maps of France; Part II: 14 maps of Spain and Portugal, 12 maps of Asia, 5 maps of Africa, 13 maps of America, including the appendix of the British Isles, map number 15 entitled “Le Duche de Mantove” on recto of leaf and “Mantua Ducatus” on map, without leaf 22 as listed in Van der Krogt. Volume III: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Atlas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Troiseme Partie [A Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu, 1643]. Folio, contains 66 engraved maps: 58 maps of Italy and 4 maps of Greece, with maps 2 and 3 supplied from another copy. Volume IV: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Altas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Quatriesme Partie. [Amsterdami: Apud Johannem Blaeu, 1645]. Folio, contains 57 engraved maps detailing the British Isles with the maps “Britannia prout divisa” and “Anglia Regnum” supplied. Lacking the map of Wales. [Van der Krogt 2:212.1F, 2:212.2F, 2:212.3F,  and 2:211.3C; Koeman BL 42A]. In near fine condition. Exceptionally clean internally with some maps numbered in a contemporary hand. Armorial bookplates. Exceptionally rare and desirable. Containing some of the most beautiful maps ever produced during the golden age of cartography.

    Price: $350,000.00     Item Number: 126307

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  • "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


    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

    London: Bloomsbury, 1997.

    First edition, first printing of the rarest book in the Harry Potter series with ‘Joanne Rowling’ for ‘J.K. Rowling’ and Thomas Taylor1997 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, inscribed by the author on the dedication page,  “to Bryony – 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.” The recipient, Bryony Evens was one of the first people to read the opening chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, the first to recognize the work’s inherent value, and absolutely the most instrumental figure in getting the book published. Working at the time at Christopher Little Literary Agency in Scotland, Evens was the first point of contact in receiving and sorting unsolicited manuscripts. Evens read Rowling’s submission of the first three chapters of the book and passed it along to Little, who approved that she obtain the full manuscript and promote it to suitable publishers. Given a small budget, Evens was only able to print three manuscripts to pitch to publishing houses and, after twelve months and twelve rejections, was finally given the green light by editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury in London. Bloomsbury published the book on June 26, 1997. A year later, Bryony attended a Rowling book signing event where Rowling warmly inscribed the present volume. In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing to the extremities. Only 500 copies of the first printing were published, with over half making being sent directly to libraries. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association and effusive inscription to the person who first recognized the value of Harry Potter.

    Price: $350,000.00     Item Number: 115640

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    VESALIUS, Andreas.

    De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem [On the Fabric of the Human Body in Seven Books].

    Basel: Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, 1543.

    First edition of the most important and influential book in the study of human anatomy and “one of the most beautiful scientific books ever printed”(Grolier). Folio, bound in full 18th century calf, woodcut title page with Vesalius performing a dissection, woodcut portrait of the author, over 200 woodcut anatomical illustrations, including 21 full page and 2 folding-sheet figural woodcuts of the skeletal, muscular, vascular and nervous systems. In very good condition with some light dampstaining to some page edges. Rare and desirable, especially in contemporary calf. A splendid example of Vesalius’ masterpiece, one of the most monumental achievements in the history of  both medical education and printing.

    Price: $300,000.00     Item Number: 30020

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    HAMILTON, Alexander; James Madison; John Jay.

    The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, Agreed Upon By the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787.

    New York: Printed and Sold by J. and A. McLean, 1788.

    First edition of The Federalist, one of the rarest and most significant books in American political history, which “exerted a powerful influence in procuring the adoption of the Federal Constitution.” 12 mo, two volumes bound in one, bound in full contemporary calf, rebacked preserving most of original gilt-ruled spine with red morocco label. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark book.

    Price: $275,000.00     Item Number: 125980

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  • "To Jack L. Warner - Thank you for your courage and for a magnificent picture - with my profound gratitude": First Edition of the Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus The Fountainhead; Inscribed by Her to Jack Warner

    RAND, Ayn.

    The Fountainhead.

    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. Rand sold the film rights to Warner several years earlier with the contractual proviso that she would provide the screenplay, which would be unalterable. In fact, the director wanted changes, but Warner supported the author and honored the contract. This book’s inscription, clearly referring to this, was presented about a half year prior to the film’s release. Of Rand’s fiction, The Fountainhead is generally conceded to be her most important and enduring work, a passionate portrait of uncompromising individualism. In the decades since its debut, the film has gained the critical acceptance, even the acclaim, that initially evaded it. Near fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket with a touch of rubbing and no fading to the spine, which is endemic to this title. One of the finest association copies possible, linking the famed author with the legendary founder of Warner Brothers and producer of the iconic film.

    Price: $250,000.00     Item Number: 125425

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  • “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

    MALTHUS, Thomas Robert.

    An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society.

    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. First editions of Malthus’ magnum opus are exceptionally scarce.

    Price: $200,000.00     Item Number: 116955

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  • Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau

    WASHINGTON, George. [Alexander Hamilton; Rochambeau].

    George Washington Autograph Letter Signed.

    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 any American advance. On April 6, Rochambeau informed Washington that he was willing to send a detachment of troops and that Admiral Destouches would offer naval assistance, but observing that he was under Washington’s command, he would await his approval before approving the action (Rochambeau to Washington, 6 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Washington here responds offering his gratitude that Destouches, who had only recently lost a naval engagement with the British in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Lafayette in Virginia, would be willing “to undertake the expedition to Penobscot and to you for your readiness to furnish a detachment of troops for the same purpose. The object is certainly worth attention and if it can be effected will be very agreeable to the States, particularly to those of the East.” He trusts that Destouches “can best judge from the situation of the enemy’s fleet how far it may be attempted with prudence, and Your Excellency from the information you have recently received what number of troops will be sufficient for the enterprise—I am persuaded it will be calculated how far it is probable the enemy may follow with a part of their fleet—whether the post can be carried by a coup de main, or may require so much time as to make it likely the operation will be interrupted before its conclusion—in case of a superior squadron being sent by the enemy what possibility there is of protection or a safe retreat for the ships and even for the land force (through an unsettled country in which numbers perished for want of provision in a former attempt)—All these are points too important not to have been well weighed, and your conversations with the Massachusetts deputies will have been able to enlighten you upon them.” Here, he is referencing the unsuccessful attempt by Massachusetts in 1779 to destroy the post, abandoned when British ships with reinforcements forced an arduous overland retreat by the Americans. Despite his assurances that Rochambeau and Destouches had matters well in hand, Washington took the “liberty to remark [on] two things—one that it appears to me frigates without any ships of the line will answer the purpose as well as with them and less will be risked than by dividing the body of the fleet. Frigates (especially the forty fours) will afford a safe escort to the troops against any thing now in those Seas, and with respect to a detachment from the enemy’s fleet, it would be always proportioned to the force we should send and if we have two sixty fours, they would even be an object for their whole fleet. The other observation I would make is, that dispatch being essential to success, it will in my opinion be adviseable not to depend on any cooperation of the Militia, but to send at once such a force from your army as you deem completely adequate to a speedy reduction of the post. The country in the neighbourhood of Penobscot is too thinly inhabited to afford any resource of Militia there, and to assemble and convey them from remote places would announce your design—retard your operations, and give leisure to the enemy to counteract you. Indeed I would recommend for the sake of secrecy to conceal your determination from the State itself.” On 15 April Rochambeau replied to Washington observing that while he had sufficient troops to spare, “your Excellency’s observations upon the Separation of our fleet, and upon the danger to be interrupted by superior forces, during the course of the Expedition, which Mr Destouches does not Look on as possible to be undertaken with his frigates only, are the motives which cause this project to be Laid aside for the present moment.” (Rochambeau to Washington, 15 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Soon Washington and Rochambeau‘s attention returned again to Virginia, and within months their combined forces would be closing in on Yorktown. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable, being the only communication between the storied commanders of the Yorktown campaign to appear at auction in more than a century.

    Price: $175,000.00     Item Number: 125872

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  • Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years

    NEWTON, Isaac.

    Isaac Newton Original Manuscript.

    Rare full page folio autograph manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton, father of physics and modern science and author of important texts such as the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Opticks, and many more. One folio page with Newton’s handwriting and emendations on both the recto and verso. While Newton is mostly known for his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time, his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for centuries, were as brilliant as his science and an extension of his search for truth. Many believe theology was actually his first love, as he wrote more about religion than he did about science. Of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated, “When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more than to find it useful for that purpose.” He wrote in the Principa, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all. . . . The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.” While he believed in a supreme God, early in his career at Trinity College, his theological research of original texts led him to believe that authentic Christianity had been corrupted by the early church fathers and that the brand of religion that was now accepted as orthodox by the Roman Catholic Church, and to some extent by the Church of England, was not completely true. He discovered that the final phrases of 1 John 5:7  ‘and these three are one’ was not present in any Greek version that he studied and came to the conclusion that it was a deliberate addition to the text to provide justification for the doctrine of the Trinity. He concluded that the orthodox notion of the Trinity was a fictional story that was invented in the early fourth century. This document is very important, as its contents deal with these controversial issues. Written in English and some Latin, he writes concerning an Epistle of Emperor Constantine regarding the Arian debate and the Council of Nicea, which laid out the famous doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy. The Arian leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, “objected to Alexander’s (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation.” In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too “Jewish” and “Greek” in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius’ doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. Because of these views, Newton’s theological writings, were marked “Not fit to be printed.” They were placed in storage and were not made available to the public until the economist John Maynard Keynes and Jewish scholar and businessman, Abraham Yahuda, acquired many of them in 1936. There are very few of these original writings left in private hands, as the majority of the manuscripts are in the permanent collections of the Cambridge University Library, Kings College Library (a gift of John Maynard Keynes), Jewish National and University Library (now National Library of Israel), the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Foundation Martin Bodmer in Geneva, and the Grace K. Babson collection now housed in the Huntington Library in California. Matted and framed with both the recto and verso visible. The manuscript measures 11.75 inches by 7.5 inches. The entire piece measures 23.5 inches by 19.5 inches. A scarce piece of history; essential to the collector interested in both Newton’s scientific and theological endeavors.

    Price: $150,000.00     Item Number: 119750

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  • "Sail on O Ship of State! Sail on, o union, strong and great!" One of the two broadsides specially printed and carried by Churchill to the Atlantic Conference signed by both him and Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    ROOSEVELT, Franklin Delano; Winston S. Churchill. [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow].

    Sail On, O Ship of State! The Longfellow Verse in Mr. Roosevelt’s Message to Mr. Churchill.

    Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd., [1941].

    Rare lithographic broadside signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the thirty-second President of the United States and Winston S. Churchill as Prime Minster of the United Kingdom at the Atlantic Conference; one of only two known examples of this broadside specially printed at Churchill’s direction and signed by both world leaders at their first wartime conference. One page, the lithograph features the famed Henry Wadsworth Longfellow verse first used by FDR in a letter of support to Churchill before the United States entered the war and a galleon at sea. The letter, sent the day before Roosevelt’s third inauguration on January 20, 1941 read in full, “Dear Churchill, Wendell Wilkie will give you this. He is truly helping to keep politics out over here. I think this verse applies to you people as it does to us: “Sail on, Oh Ship of State! Sail on, Oh Union strong and great. Humanity with all its fears, With all the hope of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate.” As ever yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.” “Roosevelt never made a more graceful or effective gesture than that” (R. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 234). The letter and the verse were hand-carried by Wendell Wilkie to London and given by Hopkins to the Prime Minister. Churchill, desperate for American support, found the letter “an inspiration”, had it framed, and proudly displayed it at Chartwell for many years. In early August of 1941, Churchill had this decorative broadside printed, and when he arrived in Newfoundland for the conference with the President, he brought two copies to be signed “one for himself and one for the President” (Warren F. Kimball, Forged In War: Roosevelt, Churchill and the Second World War, 98). Signed by Roosevelt, “Franklin D. Roosevelt” and Churchill, “Winton S. Churchill.” Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20.5 inches. The last known example achieved $96,000 in a 2008 auction. Scarce and desirable.

    Price: $150,000.00     Item Number: 125419

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  • First edition of Alhazen's fundamental Book of Optics


    Opticae Thesaurus Alhazeni Arabis. [Alhazen’s Book of Optics].

    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

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  • "The most recognizable portrait of Lincoln": Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President

    LINCOLN, Abraham.

    Abraham Lincoln Signed Carte-de-Visite.

    Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President; the most recognizable portrait of Lincoln which was later used as the model for the Lincoln cent. Original mounted albumen photograph double ruled in gilt with “Brady’s National Photographic Portrait Galleries” stamp to the verso. Boldly signed by Abraham Lincoln, “A Lincoln.” With an additional inscription on the verso which reads, “Contributed for the benefit of the S.A.S. of Westford Mass. at their Levee Dec. 14th, 1864 by Mr. Lincoln.” Through the use of many paid assistants, renowned 19th century portraitist Mathew B. Brady produced thousands of photographs documenting the American Civil War, including portraits of Lincoln, Grant and both Union and Confederate soldiers in camps and battlefields. The body of work created by Brady’s photographers (including Anthony Berger, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan) has become the most important visual documentation of the Civil War. Taken on February 9, 1864 by the manager of Brady’s Washington studio, Anthony Berger, this, the most recognizable portrait of the 16th president of the United States, was later used by Victor David Brenner to create the Lincoln cent. During this same sitting, Berger also took the photograph of Lincoln that would later appear on the five dollar bill. The present example was signed by Lincoln to help the Sanitary Association of Westford, Massachusetts raise funds for Unions soldiers toward the end Civil War. An example at Heritage Auction brought 175,000 in 2006. In near fine condition. An exceptional piece.

    Price: $125,000.00     Item Number: 124196

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  • "The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable": Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty

    ADAMS, John.

    John Adams Autograph Letter Signed.


    Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty and its precedence over international alliances. Sixteen pages, entirely in the hand of John Adams and written on both the recto and verso of each page, the letter is dated January 9, 1809 and addressed to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Joseph Bradley Varnum. Although France and America shared a strong alliance which proved crucial to winning the Revolutionary War, at the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, Washington’s fear that American involvement would weaken the new nation before it had firmly established itself created tensions and a new war between England and France broke out in 1793. The British Navy soon began targeting French vessels and trading interests across the Atlantic, and although many Federalists thought that America should aid its ally, Washington proclaimed that the United States would be “friendly and impartial toward the belligerent parties.” The Neutrality Proclamation was ignored by Britain and angered France, which then allowed its navy and privateers to prey on American trade. To protect American sailors and merchants without provoking Britain, in March 1794, Congress passed a 30-day embargo, which it then extended. Britain, the strongest sea power, began to seize American ships suspected of trading with France, and stepped up its practice of impressment. From 1806-1807, the British navy, in desperate need of men to oppose Napoleon, forced roughly 5,000 American sailors into service on the pretense that they were deserters. In 1807, King George III proclaimed his right to call any British subjects into war service and claimed that Britain had full discretion to determine who was a British citizen. The crisis reached one peak for America in June of 1807 when the HMS Leopard attacked the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia. Three American sailors were killed, eighteen were wounded, and the Chesapeake surrendered after firing only one shot. The Leopard seized four American seaman, claimed as deserters from the British navy, and hanged one of them. Jefferson and Madison, his Secretary of State, responded with the Embargo of 1807, a ban on all American vessels sailing for foreign ports. Meanwhile, Russia allied with Napoleon and pressed Denmark to turn over her fleet. In September 1807, Britain preemptively bombarded Copenhagen and seized the Danish-Norwegian fleet. While Jefferson’s Republicans still generally favored France, a schism grew in the Federalist party. Men like Timothy Pickering downplayed impressments while focusing on trade and access to British manufacturing. On October 16, 1807, King George III aggravated already high tensions with American following the British attack of the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia by issuing a Royal Proclamation expanding the British right to impressment (the King’s right to call any British subjects into war service and determine their citizenship). News of the King’s Proclamation arrived in the United States in December 1807 and, lacking military options, President Jefferson proposed an embargo to ban all U.S. exports on American vessels in order to protect American sailors’ lives and liberties, despite its potential to cripple American trade. The Embargo Act was signed on December 22, 1807, causing immediate economic devastation. In protesting the Embargo, rather than wrestling with the difficulty of defending American sovereignty, some opponents chose to declare the legality of impressments as defined by King George’s Royal Proclamation. John Adams’ former Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering, took a leading role in fighting the embargo, arguing that Jefferson was using it to draw America closer to Napoleon’s France. Given the devastating economic effects of the embargo, Pickering’s message found a wide audience. Adams, on the other hand, recognized the dire threat the King’s Proclamation posed in denying America the right to determine its own rules for citizenship and in December, took his arguments to Speaker of the House Joseph Varnum. As he stated in the present letter, “He [Pickering] thinks that as every Nation has a Right to the Service of its Subjects, in time of War, the Proclamation of the King of Great Britain, commanding his Naval Officers to practice Such Impressments, on board, not the Vessells of his own Subjects, but of the United States, a foreign Nation could not furnish the Slightest ground for an Embargo! … But I Say with Confidence that it furnished a Sufficient ground for a Declaration of War. Not the Murder of Pierce nor all the Murders on board the Chesapeake, nor all the other Injuries and Insults We have received from foreign Nations, atrocious as they have been, can be of such dangerous, lasting, and pernicious Consequence to this Country, as this Proclamation, if We have Servility enough to Submit to it.” Adams suggested repealing and replacing the Embargo Act with one that allowed international trade with all but the belligerents, while building up the navy. Varnum asked to publish it. Before assenting, Adams completely reworked his argument, mustering all the reason and rhetoric at his disposal into a stirring defense of sovereignty and citizenship, resulting in the present letter. On March 1, 1809, Congress repealed the Embargo Act, following Adams’ suggestion to replace it with the Non-Intercourse Act which allowed trade with all nations except Britain and France. In fine condition. A remarkable piece of early American history illustrating the second President of the United States’ impassioned devotion to the pursuit of American liberty. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable.

    Price: $125,000.00     Item Number: 121560

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    SHAKESPEARE, William.

    Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Fourth Folio.

    London: Printed for H. Herringman, and are to be sold by Joseph Knight and Francis Saunders, 1685.

    First edition of the Fourth Folio of Shakespeare. Bound in full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine. The fourth folio is the final and most magnificent of the four 17th-century folio editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The Fourth Folio “contains the additional seven plays that first appeared in the 1663 edition [including the authentic Pericles, Prince of Tyre], as well as a good deal of correction and modernization of the text designed to make it easier to read and understand” (Folger’s Choice). Old paper repair to verso of title-page, several other very minor paper repairs. Some browning and minimal staining, a very good example, facsimile frontispiece. As in some other copies, as Greg notes, number of errors in signatures have been corrected in manuscript, presumably at the time of publication. Although there is no accurate census of the number of folios still extant today, it is believed that copies of each printing number only in the hundreds. The rarest form of the fourth folio. This is the rare Knight and Saunders issue, with their names on the title-page. W. W. Greg observes, “Since the title is entirely reset it is presumably a cancel printed after the volume was complete and perhaps republished, and designed for those copies that Herringman chose to issue through his own booksellers” (Greg III, 1121). In 1684, Herringman turned over the retail side of his business to Francis Saunders and his partner Joseph Knight. Fourth Folios almost invariably bear the imprints “Herringman-Brewster-Bentley” or “Herringman-Brewster-Chiswell-Bentley.”

    Price: $100,000.00     Item Number: 5605

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  • Rare British Army XXX Corps headquarters flag signed by Winston S. Churchill as Prime Minister during an excursion to Europe at the height of WWII

    [CHURCHILL, Winston S.].

    Winston S. Churchill Signed WWII British Army XXX Corps Headquarters Flag.

    Rare British Army XXX Corps headquarters flag signed by Winston S. Churchill as Prime Minister during an excursion to Europe at the height of WWII. Machine-stitched, the flag is signed by Churchill on a wool label affixed to the left arm of Saint George’s Cross. Formed in the Western Desert in September 1941, the British XXX Corps provided extensive service in the North African and Tunisia Campaigns and later served in the Allied Invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the ultimately unsuccessful Operation Market Garden of September 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Rhineland Campaign. In Normandy, XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Gerard Bucknall, was involved in several battles and, on June 10, linked up with U.S. forces advancing from Omaha Beach. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery soon sacked Bucknall due to the XXX Corps’ sluggish performance in Operation Bluecoat, replacing him with Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, a distinguished veteran of North Africa referred to by Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower as “the outstanding British general under Montgomery.” After the sacking of Bucknall, the performance of XXX Corps improved considerably and it managed to keep up with the other British Corps during the Battle for the Falaise Gap. After the German collapse, XXX Corps quickly advanced north-east and liberated Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium. After this success, XXX Corps, now consisting of approximately 50,000 men, advanced along the main axis of the British Second Army’s line of the offensive to the Dutch/German border, and after the unsuccessful Operation Market Garden launched in an effort to invade Germany, was heavily involved in the fighting that preceded the Rhine crossings. Throughout the war, Churchill made frequent excursions to various fronts, often worrying his supporters and causing critics to complain that he was taking unnecessary risk. Criticism mounted when Churchill visited France only six days after D-Day, eliciting criticism from several key men, including Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower and flying ace Captain Alec Stratford Cunningham-Reid. The signature affixed to the present flag was obtained during one of these visits to the XXX Corps headquarters, under Horrocks’ command, during their extended advance into Germany. In near fine condition. The flag measures 12 feet by 6 feet. The label containing Churchill’s signature measures 7.25 inches by 2.5 inches. A remarkable piece of world history.

    Price: $88,000.00     Item Number: 125064

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  • Scarce 1792 printing of An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States; signed by Thomas Jefferson

    [JEFFERSON, Thomas].

    Second Congress of the United States: At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, on Monday the twenty-fourth of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one. An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States.

    Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine, 1792.

    Scarce printing of an early United States law providing for the funding of the national debt, signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. Folio, one page. The document, which also carries the printed signatures of President George Washington, Vice President John Adams, and House Speaker Jonathan Trumbull, was approved January 23, 1792. Individual acts and bills of the first Congresses were routinely printed for public consumption. A provision was made, however, to print a few copies of each act for dissemination to the states, and to have each copy signed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. One of the main priorities of the federal government in the early national period was to pay down the debt of the United States. The national debt was incurred during the Revolution and augmented in 1790 when the Congress passed the Assumption Act, in accordance with a plan devised by Alexander Hamilton. Because contacting the numerous and geographically dispersed holders of the debt proved more difficult than expected, it became necessary to extend the time allowed by law for making the relevant financial arrangements. The present act accomplished this, and made a special extension of five months for Vermont, which gave the new state time to calculate the amount of debt. Despite Jefferson’s vehement opposition to Hamilton’s plan when it was formulated, his position as Secretary of State necessitated his signature on the presentation copies of the acts that effected it. In fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco folding case. Scarce, with only one other example signed by Jefferson located.

    Price: $82,000.00     Item Number: 125388

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  • Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs; containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower

    WASHINGTON, George; John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison; James Monroe; John Quincy Adams; Andrew Jackson; Martin Van Buren; William Henry Harrison; John Tyler; James Polk; Zachary Taylor; Millard Fillmore; Franklin Pierce; James Buchanan; Abraham Lincoln; Andrew Johnson; Ulysses S. Grant; Rutherford B. Hayes; James Garfield; Chester A. Arthur; Grover Cleveland; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; William H. Taft; Woodrow Wilson; Warren G. Harding; Calvin Coolidge; Herbert Hoover; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Harry Truman; Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Autographs of the Presidents of the United States of America.


    Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs, containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Quarto, bound in full red morocco by Riviere & Son with gilt titles and ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, gilt presidential seal to the front panel with white and blue morocco onlays, gilt arms and motto of George Washington to the rear panel with white and blue morocco onlays and his gilt signature in facsimile, centerpieces within quintuple gilt ruling with star emblems at each corner, blue morocco doublures with multiple gilt presidential signatures, blue silk endpapers. This complete series of autographs of the first 34 Presidents of the United States contains the signature of each mounted on an album leaf opposite a loosely tissue-guarded engraved portrait of each. The collection includes: the signature of George Washington on an envelope addressed to Major General Knox as Secretary of the Society of the Cincinnati, November 3, 1783; a clipped signature of John Adams; clipped signature of Thomas Jefferson; the signature of James Madison on an envelope addressed to Reverend Frederick Freeman of Manayunk, Pennsylvania; and inscription signed by James Monroe; the signature of John Quincy Adams on an envelope addressed to William Plumer jun. Esq. in Epping, New Hampshire; a partially printed land grant signed by Andrew Jackson dated 1831 registering the purchase of 20 acres in Detroit by Peter Aldrich; clipped signature of Martin Van Buren; clipped signature of William Henry Harrison; signed inscription from John Tyler; signed inscription from James Polk; clipped signature of Zachary Taylor dated Baton Rouge, March 5, 1841; clipped signature of Millard Fillmore; clipped signature of Franklin Pierce; clipped signature of James Buchanan on a document dated July 18, 1858; clipped signature of Abraham Lincoln; endorsement signed by Andrew Johnson as President; clipped signature of Ulysses S. Grant; card signed by Rutherford B. Hayes; inscription signed by James Garfield; large card signed by Chester A. Arthur and dated May 22, 1884; autograph noted signed by Grover Cleveland declining an invitation, dated November 16, 1890; an Executive Mansion card signed by William McKinely; clipped signature of Theodore Roosevelt; clipped signature of William Howard Taft; clipped signature of Woodrow Wilson; typed letter signed by Warren G. Harding as President, dated June 4, 1923 on White House letterhead; card signed by Calvin Coolidge; White House card signed by Herbert Hoover; typed letter signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, February 15, 1917. Laid in is a typed letter signed by Harry S. Truman as President, June 30, 1950, on White House stationery and a typed letter signed by Dwight Eisenhower. TLS as President, November 13, 1956, on White House stationery. In fine condition. Housed in a custom folding chemise and half morocco slipcase. An exceptional collection and presentation.

    Price: $80,000.00     Item Number: 125384

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  • "THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE" First edition of Charles Darwin's Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle Between the Years 1826 and 1836, Captain Richard Charles Mayne Copy and used on board the HMS Nassau during his survey expedition

    DARWIN, Charles.

    Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle, Between the Years 1826 and 1836, Describing Their Examination of the Southern Shores of South America, and the Beagle’s Circumnavigation of the Globe.

    London: Henry Colburn, 1839.

    First edition of the account of the most famous voyage in the history of biological science and modern thought, volume III being the first issue of Darwin’s Journal, his first published book, containing the observations and fieldwork that form the basis for On the Origin of Species. Octavo, four volumes (including Vol. II of the Appendix) bound in three quarter morocco over marbled boards with morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, half-titles present, 7 engraved folding maps and charts, 48 plates and charts and 6 in-text illustrations. From the library of the British Royal Navy’s Office of the Admiralty, this copy was borrowed by Captain Richard Charles Mayne and used on board the HMS Nassau during his survey expedition to the Straits of Magellan, 1866-1869. With an annotated typed note laid in signed by Lieutenant Commander Andrew David of the Admiralty’s Hydrographic Department which reads: The voyages of Adventure and Beagle was apparently used by Captain Richard Maybe of H.M.S. Nassau for his surveys of Magellan Strait which commenced in 1866. The corrections given in the Errata et Corrigenda were inserted in 1866. Some of the amendments to positions given in the appendix to volume II agree with those given in the Hydrographic archives from Nassau’s observations and they both seem to be in the same handwriting. “ACF David” (A.C.F. David) Lieutenant Commander Hydrographic Department 28th July 1974 Other marginalia eg Vol II page 594 by G.H. Richards, later Hydrographer. David has also added a later annotation to the note: “The pencil notation on page 325 of the Appendix to Vol 2 stating that Morrice Pocket Chronometer 6144 was also on the Nassau confirms my supposition below ACF David 25th August 1989.” Upon learning of Mayne’s planned for a survey expedition to the Straits of Magellan, Darwin requested the Lords of the Admiralty to ask Capt. Mayne to collect several boatloads of fossil bones of extinct species of quadrupeds. Admiral Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan had previously discovered an astonishingly rich accumulation of fossil bones not far from the Straits which were found to have belonged to a more ancient period than the fossils collected by Darwin on HMS Beagle, and therefore of great interest to science. In near fine condition. With the British Royal Navy’s Office of the Admiralty Library stamp, the Hydrographer’s Office stamp , and ACF David’s bookplate to each volume. In very good condition. An exceptional example of this landmark work with noted provenance.

    Price: $80,000.00     Item Number: 125508

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  • "This little book has more artistic dignity than any other book that has been written by an American about the period of the war": FIRST EDITION OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S IN OUR TIME, ONE OF ONLY 170 COPIES PRINTED at the Three Mountains Press and for sale at Shakespeare and Company

    HEMINGWAY, Ernest.

    In Our Time.

    Printed at the Three Mountains Press and for sale at Shakespeare & Company: Paris, 1924.

    First edition of Hemingway’s second published work, one of 170 numbered copies printed on Rives hand-made paper, this is number 90. Quarto, original tan printed boards with black lettering and publisher’s device printed over a collage of red-lettered facsimile newspaper items, woodcut frontispiece portrait of Hemingway from a portrait by Henry Strater, all edges uncut. In fine condition. Housed in a custom folding cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase with splitting to the chemise. One of Hemingway’s rarest books, second only to Three Stories and Ten Poems both because of the limited number of copies printed and its fragile nature. A superior example.

    Price: $80,000.00     Item Number: 125303

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  • "One need not be a prophet to be aware of impending dangers. An accidental combination of experience and interest will often reveal events to one man under aspects which few yet see": Rare First English Edition of The Road To Serfdom; Signed by F.A. Hayek

    HAYEK, Friedrich August von [F.A.].

    The Road To Serfdom.

    London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.

    First edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Signed by F.A. Hayek on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing to the spine tips. The British edition (which this example is) was published in March of 1944, preceding its American counterpart, which was published later that same year in September. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. Rare signed.

    Price: $78,000.00     Item Number: 117650

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  • "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird"; First edition of To Kill A Mockingbird; Signed by Harper Lee and Truman Capote

    LEE, Harper (Truman Capote).

    To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1960.

    First edition of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which had an initial first printing of 5,000 copies. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Signed by both Harper Lee and Truman Capote on the front free endpaper. Truman Capote’s friendship with Harper Lee began in the summer of 1929 when the two became next door neighbors in Monroeville, Alabama; both were the age of five. They shared a love of reading and began collaborating when Lee was gifted a typewriter by her father as a child. Lee drew on their friendship as inspiration for the characters Lee and Scout in her masterpiece To Kill A Mockingbird; Capote based his tomboy character Idabel Thompkins in his first novel Other Voices, Other Rooms on Lee. They worked together on Capote’s true crime novel, In Cold Blood; Lee acted as his ‘assistant reasearchist’ and edited the final draft of the book. Upon its publication in 1965, Capote failed to acknowledge Lee’s contributions to the book, after which their relationship was never the same. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear to the extremities. Jacket design by Shirley Smith. Photograph by Truman Capote. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare, this is the first example we have seen signed by both Lee and Capote.

    Price: $78,000.00     Item Number: 73100

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  • “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness": Rare first complete English edition of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote


    The History of Don-Quixote. The First Parte. The Second Part of the History of the Valorous and Witty Knight-Errant, Don Quixote of the Mancha. Written in Spanish by Michael Cervantes: and now translated into English.

    London: Edward Blount, 1620.

    Exceedingly rare first complete edition in English of Cervantes’ masterpiece comprising the second edition of the first part and the first edition of the second part. Small octavo, 2 volumes bound in full calf with red morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, gilt turn-ins, frontispiece portrait of the author to Vol. I, engraved headpieces, tailpieces and initials. Translated from the original Spanish by Thomas Shelton, his first English translation published in 1612 was the first translation in any language, and took him only forty days to complete. The true first edition of Don Quixote was published in Madrid by Francisco de Robles in two parts in 1605 and 1614. The first part of Shelton’s first English version was published in 1612 with the second part added in 1620, both published in quarto. The present edition is the first complete edition published in the English language with both the first and second parts published and sold simultaneously. Volume one is a second edition with the text block trimmed as usual, in very good condition. Volume two is a first edition, lacking the engraved title as with many copies, and believed to be indicative of an earlier state. “Duff suggested that the reason this plate is lacking in so many copies of the second part is because it was not prepared until after a good many copies had been sold without it” (Pforzheimer 140; Grolier Langland to Wither 213) Early ownership signature, most likely Herbert Lunsford located at the head of the errata sheet. Sir Herbert Lunsford (c. 1610-1664) was a military figure and brother to Thomas Lunsford, who is reputed to have been a ruthless pirate and fearless adventurer. There are some who believe that these brothers, along with their brother Henry, served as the models for the Three Musketeers. Catalog entry, handwritten note, and newspaper clipping containing bibliographical information affixed to verso of front board. An exceptional example of this rarity, very rare to find complete.

    Price: $75,000.00     Item Number: 117895

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  • 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

    AUDUBON, John James.

    The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.

    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

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  • Rare Uncorrected Proof of the First edition of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

    LEE, Harper.

    To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Barnstable, MA: Crane’s Duplicating Service, for J.B. Lippincott Company,, 1960.

    Rare uncorrected proof of the first edition of Lee’s classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Octavo, original spiral-bound printed wrappers marked in type “uncorrected proof,” printed and typed label pasted on upper cover. In the over sixty years since publication only one other proof has surfaced and it was badly stained and read, much inferior to this example. In near fine condition. Originally published on July 11th, 1960, it has since been translated into 40 languages, and has sold more than 30 million copies. An exceptional example of this rarity, produced prior to it status as one of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century.

    Price: $75,000.00     Item Number: 123892

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  • “Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea": First Edition of the Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus The Fountainhead; Inscribed by Her

    RAND, Ayn.

    The Fountainhead.

    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 in the year of publication on the front free endpaper, “To Gertrude Lynneberg- – with my best wishes for long years of happiness- Ayn Rand November 16, 1943.” The recipient, Gertrude Lynneberg was the sister-in- law to Linda Lynneberg, also known as Aslaug Lynneberg, a lifelong friend of Rand. Near fine in a very good first issue dust jacket with some chips and wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First editions in the original dust jacket are uncommon, association copies rare.

    Price: $75,000.00     Item Number: 121447

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    KEROUAC, Jack.

    Jack Kerouac Autographed Manuscript.


    Jack Kerouac’s candid handwritten reply to a young man’s questions about being a “Beatnik,” his life philosophy, his thoughts on Montana, and more. Students in Robert Dodd’s ninth-grade class were given an assignment to contact their favorite writer with their own unique series of questions relating specifically to that writer. The young Dodd chose Jack Kerouac, and the author replied at length to his questionnaire, which includes queries about his classification as a “Beatnik” (his answer: “I never was a Beatnik – it was the newspapers and critics who tagged that label on me….”), life philosophy (“My philosophy is ‘No Philosophy,’ just ‘Things-As-They-Are’”), career goals (“Be a great writer making everybody believe in Heaven”), the ideal way of life (“Hermit in the woods…”), his thoughts on fame (“My name is like Crackerjacks, famous, but very few people buy my books…”), and segregation (“[t]he Irish and Italians of Massachusetts never paraded in protest, just worked hard and made it”). Interestingly, Kerouac is most expansive in response to the final question: whether he has visited Montana. His answer fills three-quarters of the page, beginning: “Great day, my favorite state! – I wrote about Montana in ‘On the Road’ but the publishers took it out behind my back… I stayed one night, but up all night, in a saloon in Butte, to keep out of the 40-below February cold, among sheep ranchers playing poker.” Two pages with Dodd’s questions type-written and Kerouac’s responses handwritten in full. The letter reads in full, “To Robert Dodd from Jack Kerouac Feb. 28th 1964.” 1. In Town and the Country (Kerouac crosses out Country for City) your style of writing is much different from The Lonesome Traveler. Do you change your style with the type of story? Kerouac responds: “‘The Town and the City’ was my first, youngman novel when I was just starting out, trying to write like Thomas Wolfe – ‘Lonesome Traveler’ is a product of my own style which I developed in later years, ‘spontaneous writing’ with no looking back, in my own laws of story telling – OUTERSPACE PROSE! My own original invention.” 2.  Many people have referred to you as a “beatnik” or a “way out” writer. Do you feel this way about yourself? “‘Way-out’ yes, but I never was a beatnik – it was the newspapers and critics who tagged that label on me – I never had a beard, never wore sandals, avoided the company of Bohemians and their politics and always had a job on the road like in ‘Lonesome T.’ on railroad, ships etc.” 3. Some people refer to your thinking as existentialism where man makes his own destiny. Just what is your philosophy of life? “My philosophy now is “no-philosophy,” just “Things – As – They – Are”. 4. What goal are you trying to reach in your career? “Be a great writer making everybody believe in Heaven.” 5. What do you think is the ideal way of life? “Hermit in the woods, one-room cabin, wood stove, oil lamp, books, food, outhouse, no electricity, just creek or brook water, sleep, hiking, nothing-to-do-(Chinese Wu Wei).” 6. Do you like fame or would you rather write and have only your works become famous? “My name is like Crackerjacks, famous, but very few people buy my books because they’ve been told by newspapers and critics that I’m crazy, so I’m almost broke now 1964 – I hate fame without fortune, which is really INFAMY AND RIDICULE, in my case.” 7. From your many books I see that you must travel a lot. Do you try to mix in with different classes or do you stick to one? “All ‘classes’ for experience and learning – but I do prefer ‘non-literary’ people like waiters, truckdrivers, girls, carpenters, clam diggers, railroad men, sea men, old millionaires, all the ‘characters’.” 8. Does the West coast influence an author’s style differently than the East coast? “No – I and the “Beats” came from the East Coast and just rode out there, no special difference in style except a little on subject matter, i.e. open-spaces country.” 9. What is your favorite subject matter? “That everybody goes to Heaven – read “Visions of Gerard” (about Lowell in 1926).” 10. Here in Boston there is much controversy over segregation of the negroes. What is your stand on the issue? “They need jobs, naturally, and education for better jobs – But the Irish and Italians of Massachusetts never paraded in protest, just worked harder, and made it.” 11. Do you plan to visit the East coast, especially the Boston area soon? “Yeh – “lecture” dinner at Harvard soon – I live in Long Island since 1958 so I can’t exactly “visit” the Ease Coast, hey,” –  12. Have you ever been to Montana and, if you have, what were your views on it? “Great day, my favorite state! – I wrote about Montana in “On the Road” but the publishers took it out behind my back – I stayed one night, up all night, in a saloon in Butte, to keep out of the 40- below February cold, among sheep ranchers playing poker (with sheep dogs at their feet), red-eyed drunken Indians drinking out of bottles in the john, Chinese gamblers, women, cowboys, miners – And outside of Butte, at Three Forks Montana, I saw the source of the Missouri River in the snowy valley – I also heard wolves howl in the Bitterroot Mountains – But I didn’t like Missoula much (skiers etc.) – I would like to have a summer cabin in Montana some day, the last truly “Western” state. Sincerely, Jack Kerouac.” In near fine condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 31 inches by 18 inches. A rare and intimate glimpse into the thought an literary progression of one of the formative writers of the 20th century.

    Price: $75,000.00     Item Number: 79098

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  • “The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring”: First Edition of James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses; number 276 of 750 Numbered Copies

    JOYCE, James.


    Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922.

    First edition of Joyce’s masterpiece, one of 750 numbered copies printed on handmade paper from a total edition of 1000 copies, this is number number 276. Thick quarto, original blue and white wrappers. In near fine condition, square and tight with a touch of rubbing to the crown and foot of the spine. Housed in a custom slipcase. An exceptional example.

    Price: $75,000.00     Item Number: 126933

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  • “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied": Rare First Edition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism; Signed by Him

    MILL, John Stuart.


    London: Parker, Son and Bourn, 1863.

    First edition of the author’s landmark work. Octavo, original cloth, publisher’s advertisements. Presentation copy, signed by John Stuart Mill on the title page, “From the author.” From the library of Helen and William Belknap with their bookplate to the pastedown and his ownership stamp. William Burke Belknap was an economist and a professor of economics at the University of Louisville. Leading up to and during World War II, he volunteered for service with the Red Cross in Ramsay and Plymouth, England. A trustee of Berea College and a graduate of Yale and Harvard, he served two terms as a representative in the Kentucky General Assembly. We cannot trace another signed first edition in the past 100 years. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $72,000.00     Item Number: 124105

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  • First Edition of H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon; In the Exceptionally Rare Dust Jacket

    WELLS, H.G.

    The First Men in the Moon.

    London: George Newnes, Limited, 1901.

    First edition, first issue binding of Wells’ classic work. Octavo, original cloth, 12 plates by by Claude Shepperson. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of shelfwear. Exceptionally rare in the original dust jacket, especially in this condition.

    Price: $72,000.00     Item Number: 124595

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  • "It is not down on any map; true places never are": Rare First Edition Of Herman Melville's Moby Dick

    MELVILLE, Herman.

    Moby Dick; Or, The Whale.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851.

    First edition, first issue binding, with the circular Harper’s device of Melville’s masterpiece. Octavo, original purple-brown cloth (BAL’s A grain), covers stamped in blind with the publisher’s circular device at the center within a heavy blind rule frame, original orange-coated endpapers. In near fine condition with some of the usual light foxing and light shelfwear to the spine tips. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A completely unrestored example of this cornerstone. A superior example.

    Price: $65,000.00     Item Number: 99735

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  • “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


    First Part of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. Barcelona, 1617.

    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

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  • 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

    PAINE, Thomas.

    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

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  • “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”: First Edition of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket

    WOOLF, Virginia.

    Mrs Dalloway.

    London: Hogarth Press, 1925.

    First edition of one of Woolf’s best-known novels, one of only 2000 copies. Octavo, original orange cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with some light wear to the extremities. From the library of Virginia bibliophile and historian Christopher Clark Geest with his bookplate to the pastedown. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, scarce and desirable in the original dust jacket and in this condition.

    Price: $56,000.00     Item Number: 99750

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  • "Nothing contributes so much to the prosperity and happiness of a country as high profits": EXCEEDINGLY RARE FIRST EDITION OF RICARDO’S On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

    RICARDO, David.

    On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.

    London: John Murray, 1817.

    First edition of David Ricardo’s most important work, a cornerstone of economic theory— one of only 750 copies printed. Octavo, bound in contemporary marbled boards, leather, morocco spine labels. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $55,000.00     Item Number: 108367

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  • First Edition of George Orwell's Burmese Days; Inscribed by Him

    ORWELL, George.

    Burmese Days.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, 1934.

    First American edition and true first preceding the British edition by one year of Orwell’s first novel. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the verso of the front free endpaper to Mabel Fierz, “With very best wishes from Eric Blair.” It was Mabel Fierz who introduced Orwell to Leonard Moore (who would later become his literary agent) after salvaging the manuscript for Down and Out from the writer’s discarded papers. After first meeting Orwell in Southwold, Suffolk, Mabel and her husband Francis became close friends with the writer and often invited him to stay at their house in Golders Green. On one such occasion, Orwell gave Mabel the manuscript, which had just been rejected by Faber, and telling her to save only the paperclips, said she should throw it away. Instead she took it in person to Moore who in turn took it to Gollancz. In gratitude, thereafter Orwell presented Mabel with signed copies of all his published works. Mabel Fierz, authorial inscription, typed letter signed by Mabel’s son Adrian Fierz loosely inserted. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $55,000.00     Item Number: 67096

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  • First edition of Badeau's important military history of Ulysses S. Grant; with three autograph letters signed by Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan verifying the merit of its content bound in

    BADEAU, Adam. [Ulysses S. Grant; William Tecumseh Sherman; Philip H. Sheridan].

    Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, From April, 1861, to April, 1865.

    New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881.

    First edition of Badeau’s important “eyewitness estimation of Grant’s performance during the war,” with three autograph letters signed by the three most prominent Union Army Generals of the Civil War (Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan) verifying the merit of its content bound in. Octavo, bound in full contemporary morocco with gilt titles to the spine, marbled endpapers, tissue-guarded engraved frontispiece portrait of Grant from a photograph by Gurney & Son. From the library of John C. Work with a gift inscription to him from his son to the front free endpaper. In his later work Grant in Peace (1887, chapter 51, p. 588), Badeau wrote of this very set: “Mr. Work had a copy of my Military History of Grant especially bound for his library, and asked General Grant to write something in it to attest his opinion of its merits…” The letters include an autograph letter signed and in the hand of Ulysses S. Grant which reads, “New York City Dec. 22d 1881 J. H. Work, Esq., “This book was reviewed by me, chapter by chapter, as it was being prepared for the publishers. It was submitted for a similar review also to Generals Porter & Babcock, two of the staff colleagues of the Author. In addition to this all those chapters treating of events in which Generals Sherman & Sheridan held detached commands, were submitted to those officers. The Author had access to the Government and captured & purchased rebel archives. He also read and consulted all that was published, on both sides, before and during the time he was writing this book with the view of getting this truth. So far as I am capable of judging this is a true history of the events of which it treats. The opinions expressed of men are the Authors own, and for which no one is responsible. Yours truly, U.S. Grant”; an autograph letter on the same page directly below Grant’s signed by and in the hand of General Philip H. Sheridan which reads, “New York January 28th 82 My dear Mr. Work: As General Grant says in his letter to you, General Badeau sent me proof sheets of that portion of his work which related to the opperating [sic] under my command, and they were found to be correct & returned to him approved Yours truly P.H. Sheridan Lieut General”; and an autograph letter signed and in the hand of General William Tecumseh Sherman which reads, “New York Dec. 22, 1884 J. H. Work Esq. Dear Sir, I think highly of this book of General Badeau. But as General Grant is now engaged on his own Auto Biography a comparison may be more satisfactory than any thing I may record. W.T. Sherman General.” Badeau would later use portions of Grant’s enclosed letter to promote the 1885 reprint of this work by Appleton. In near fine condition. Lacking all, but one, of the engraved maps and plates. An exceptional set with noted provenance.

    Price: $55,000.00     Item Number: 126037

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