Framed Autographs and Historical Documents
Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive selection of framed autographs, manuscripts, signed and inscribed photographs, and historical documents.
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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 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
Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years
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
"You are one of the most special people to me, and you have meant so much to my life": Exceptionally Rare collection of original Harper Lee drawings, paintings and letters with a first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird in the scarce first issue dust jacket; inscribed by Lee to close colleague and friend Charles Weldon Carruth
Philadelphia & New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1960.
First edition of perhaps the most important American novel of the 20th century, inscribed by Harper Lee to a close college friend and with a scarce archive of drawings and letters exchanged between the two. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Association copy, inscribed by Harper Lee to close University of Alabama college friend, Charles Weldon Carruth, “To my dear friend Charles, with love always — Harper Lee.” In the fall term of 1945, Lee and Carruth both enrolled in a Shakespeare course taught by one of the University of Alabama’s most famous faculty members, Hudson Strode, who directed the school’s theatre troupe and taught several courses in theatre and creative-writing. At the University of Alabama, Lee contributed a regular column to the campus newspaper, ‘Caustic Comments for Crimson White’, as well as many articles to the university’s humor magazine, Rammer Jammer, of which she became editor in chief in 1946. Lee ultimately dropped out of college before graduation and moved to Manhattan in 1949 to pursue writing as a career; Carruth later moved to New York City as well, where he worked as a radio producer before becoming a writer and editor for the Catholic News. Near fine in the rare first-issue dust jacket which is in very good condition.
Accompanied by an exceptionally rare archive of pencil and ink drawings sketched by Lee of Carruth, caricatures drawn by her while attending Strode’s Shakespeare courses, an original acrylic portrait by Lee of Carruth inscribed by her on the verso “From Nelle Lee, Dec 25, 1952”, and three letters written by Lee to Carruth regarding her thoughts on her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.
Measuring 8 inches by 10 inches on ruled sheets of paper, the 11 drawings, four of which are signed by Lee “NLee”, include 5 realist studies of Carruth in various poses and six captioned caricatures in ink depicting him as Shakespearean leads including: a portrayal of Shylock as a pawn shop owner and “Money Lender Extraordinaire: Easy Loans – Pound of Flesh Compounded Semi-Annually”, King Lear standing on the cliffs of Dover with a price tag (“$3.98”) hanging from his cloak, Hamlet standing on a diving board with Yorick’s skull and a bloody knife hidden behind his back (performed at the “Old Vic”), Julius Caesar smoking a pipe while “contemplating the infinite”; Othello towering over an angel and devil; Cassius dripping dry outside the Roman baths where “you must have a ticket before you bathe”, Malvolio, “the impatient one,” crossing his legs while “waiting to go to the jakes”, and Carruth dressed as an unidentified female character with Carruth’s note, “Fall Quarter/ Univ. Ala 1945”. Additionally included is a caricature of Professor Strode wearing the breeches and curly-toed shoes of a court jester with his book “Timeless Mexico” in one hand and Yorick’s skull in the other, signed “Nelle Lee” and dated “11/8/45.”
Showcasing not only the depth, but also the length of Lee and Carruth’s friendship, the three letters include a letter written by Lee to Carruth in 1991 regarding his retirement, “My beloved Charlie, I can’t think of anyone to whom these words apply more — in your work, in your life — ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ …You are one of the most special people to me, and you have meant so much to my life.” Two years later, in January 1993, the second letter thanks him for a “…lovely Christmas remembrance and, farther back, your memoir of Winston County [Alabama, where Carruth was born].” Despairing the changes occurring in her hometown, she continues, “You remember the Faulknerian prophecy — the Snopeses shall inherit the earth? They’ve already taken over Monroeville … they are trying to turn Harper Lee into a tourist attraction like Graceland or Elvis.” She goes on to discuss the restoration of the Old Courthouse, and remarks that she “nearly had a fit” after seeing a billboard featuring a mockingbird, describing it as “in indescribable taste” and “a fraud on the public”. “[They] say they are doing this to honor me. What they are doing … [is] embarrassing me beyond endurance … So keep an eye out for a small place that will hold 10,000 books … is near grocery stores & hospitals, and you! … We can look at each other and celebrate our longevity.” Signed by Lee as the Queen Victoria, “Your unamused but loving, Victoria R & I.” Lee often gave herself nicknames when signing letters: “Francesca da Rimini,” one of Dante’s damned, when she felt hopeless; “E. Bouverie Pusey,” the Anglican theologian, when she got worked up about some finer points of theology; and “Victoria R/I”—the Queen Empress Victoria—when she felt royal and moody.
A remarkable collection offering unprecedented insight into the education, broad talents, unique sense of humor, and deep personal thoughts regarding the reception of the most important work of one of America’s most respected and enigmatic writers.
Price: $100,000.00 Item Number: 1115260
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
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
"Camp David in Snow": Rare Dwight D. Eisenhower landscape painting; inscribed by him to his wife, Mamie Eisenhower
Rare Dwight D. Eisenhower oil painting of Eisenhower’s country retreat, Camp David, in the snow. Oil on canvas. Signed and inscribed by the President in the lower right corner of the painting to his wife Mamie Geneva Eisenhower (née Doud), “DDE For M.D.E. D.D.Eisenhower Copy of a Kontny.” Eisenhower here refers to Polish (later American) landscape painter Pawel Kontoy, a contemporary of his who sketched and painted various stark and snowy landscapes and cityscapes before, during, and after his travels as a soldier throughout WWII. Eisenhower was an amateur painter, and was known to sketch and doodle in meetings during his White House years. He kept a studio on the second floor of the White House, and despite his busy schedule, painted as a pastime and means of relaxation. In 1990, the Richard Nixon Library hosted an exhibition of his work including an oil-on-canvas portrait of his wife, Mamie, as well as many landscapes and self-portraits. Located in the wooded hills of Catoctin Mountain Park, in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David served as Eisenhower’s country retreat throughout his presidency. Originally known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was built as a camp for federal government agents and their families by the Works Progress Administration. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt converted it to a presidential retreat and renamed it “Shangri-La”, for the fictional Himalayan paradise in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Camp David received its present name in 1953 from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father, and grandson, both named David. In fine condition. Rare and desirable.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 126788
Wood engraving of a bust-length portrait of one of the most famous graphic images of Gandhi by illustrator Fritz Eichenberg; signed by Gandhi, “God is Truth MK Gandhi.” Below Gandhi’s inscription reads, “To Eva Aug. 16th, 1948 with love from Fritz” and additionally signed “Fritz Eichenberg.” The engraving is a proof impression on Japanese paper. The portrait by Eichenberg was originally created for The Catholic Worker, a newspaper in the cause of social justice, and was subsequently used in multiple other publications. “The word satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means ‘being’. Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God […] In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God” (Gandhi, January 1st, 1927). The engraving measures 12 inches by 9 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20 inches. Signed examples are exceptionally rare and desirable with the core tenet of Gandhi’s religious philosophy.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 103540
London: Newton, Son & Berry, c. 1830-1836.
Fine pair of rare early 19th century celestial and terrestrial table globes published by Newton, Son & Berry. Both the celestial and terrestrial globe measure 12 inches in diameter with a calibrated brass meridian ring and 19 inch mahogany horizon ring decorated with mounted hand colored decorations. Mounted on ebonized oak stands. Each globe is comprised of 12 richly detailed hand-colored gores with polar calottes, the terrestrial globe detailing the earth’s landmasses, major countries and cities and the celestial showing the major stars in various sizes related to their brightness, displayed with a table of magnitudes. Major constellations and all twelve zodiac signs are illustrated with detailed hand-colored drawings. The cartouche on the celestial globe is inscribed, “Newton’s New & Improved Celestial Globe On which all the Stars, Nebulae & Clusters contained in the extensive Catalogue of the late E. Wollaston E.R.S. are accurately laid down their Right Ascensions and Declinations having been recalculated for the Year 1830 by W. Newton. Manufactured by Newton, Son & Berry Chancery Lane London Published 1836.” In near fine condition with some light restoration. Each globe measures 19 inches tall.
Price: $38,000.00 Item Number: 124608
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 40140
Rare large format photograph of American cultural icon James Dean; inscribed by him to his photographer Sanford H. Roth
Rare large format Sanford H. Roth photograph of cultural icon James dean playing table tennis. Inscribed beneath his image, “To Mr. Roth best wishes James Dean.” The recipient, renowned American photographer Sanford H. Roth, was a close friend of Dean’s and photographed him frequently. Dean visited Roth’s home in California frequently and treated him and his wife Beulah almost as adoptive parents. Poignantly, Roth was in Dean’s Ford station wagon driving behind Dean’s new Porsche Spyder on the way to the Salinas Road Races on September 30, 1955, when Dean was killed in a late afternoon traffic accident. Roth took the now famous post-accident photographs. Beulah later denied that Sandy ever took any photos of Dean trapped in the wrecked Spyder. In near fine condition. The photograph measures 14 inches by 11 inches. The entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional association.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 124398
"direct observational evidence of the validity of the Big Bang theory": rare silver gelatin galaxy spectra annotated by influential American astronomer Edwin Hubble
Two rare silver gelatin galaxy spectra annotated by influential American astronomer Edwin Hubble, offering proof of Hubble’s law and direct observational evidence of the validity of the Big Bang theory. Mounted on cardboard, one spectrum reveals the recessional velocity of the Virgo Cluster with Hubble’s pencil annotations on the verso, “NGC 4473 Virgo Cluster Velocity = 2,000 kilometers per second.” The second shows the recessional velocity of Ursa Major with Hubble’s annotations, “Ursa Major Cluster velocity = 15,000 kilometers per second.” In showing that the Ursa Major Galaxy Cluster (located at a distance of about 78 million light years away from earth) was moving at a faster rate than the Virgo Galaxy Cluster (located at a distance of roughly 65 million light years away from earth), Hubble proved that our universe was expanding, and has been doing so since the Big Bang. The prevailing cosmological model explaining the existence of the observable universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution, the Big Bang theory developed from observations of the structure of the universe and from theoretical considerations. In 1912, Vesto Slipher measured the first Doppler shift of a “spiral nebula” (spiral nebula is the obsolete term for spiral galaxies), and soon discovered that almost all such nebulae were receding from Earth. In 1924, Hubble’s measurement of the great distance to the nearest spiral nebulae showed that these systems were indeed other galaxies. Starting that same year, Hubble painstakingly developed a series of distance indicators, the forerunner of the cosmic distance ladder, using the 100-inch (2.5 m) Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory. This allowed him to estimate distances to galaxies whose redshifts had already been measured, mostly by Slipher. In 1929, Hubble discovered a correlation between distance and recessional velocity—now known as Hubble’s law. In fine condition. Exceptionally rare. A desirable piece of astronomical and cosmological history.
Price: $32,000.00 Item Number: 126281
Rare Original Goldfinger Dust Jacket Design Printing Proof; signed by Dust Jacket Designer Richard Chopping and from his personal collection
Rare original progressive color printing proof for the iconic dust jacket design of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, designed by Richard Chopping. Chopping’s copy, retained for his personal collection and signed by him in the lower right corner. One page on archival printer’s paper, this is a yellow and magenta ink progressive plate proof (printed using two of four plates combined to create the final full color image). The seventh novel in Fleming’s bond series, Goldfinger was the second book with a dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping, the first being From Russia, With Love. Chopping would design all subsequent James Bond dust jackets (with the exception of Dr. No). In fine condition. The proof measures 22.25 inches by 17.5 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 32.75 inches by 27.5 inches. A rare and attractive piece of Bond history and an important original working component in the artistic design of one of the most iconic dust jackets in modern literature.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 124288
"The Roaring Lion": Rare large format gelatin print of Yousuf Karsh's iconic portrait of Winston S. Churchill; signed by Karsh
Rare large format silver gelatin print of Karsh’s iconic portrait of Churchill, “The Roaring Lion” which in May 1941 was featured on the cover of Life magazine and brought Karsh international fame. Signed by Karsh “(c) Y. Karsh Ottawa.” In fine condition. Triple matted and framed. The photograph measures 19.75 inches by 15.75 inches. The entire piece measures 32.25 inches by 28.75 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 125092
Rare Society of the Cincinnati membership certificate signed by George Washington as president of the society of the Cincinnati
Philadelphia: May 5th, 1784.
Rare autograph document signed by George Washington as President of the Society of the Cincinnati during the first general meeting of the Society and 5 years prior to his election and inauguration as the first President of the United States of America. One page partially printed on vellum with engraved vignettes by Auguste L. Belle after Jean-Jacques Andre LeVeau depicting America in knight’s armor trampling upon the British standard and the American eagle casting the British lion and Britannia out to sea with thunderbolts, engraved seal of the Order of the Cincinnati. The document reads: Be it known that Lieutenant William Andrews is a member of the society of the Cincinnati instituted by the Officers of the American Army at the Period of Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great Event which gave Independence to North American, as for the laudable Purpose of inculcating the Duty of laying down in Peace Arms assumed for public Defence, and of uniting in Acts of brotherly Affection and Bonds of perpetual Friendship the Members constituting the same. In Testimony whereof I, the President of the said Society have hereunto set my hand at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania this fifth day of may in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Four and in the Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States. By Order, ” “H.Knox” Secretary “G. Wahsington” President. William Andrews was commissioned a lieutenant on 1 January 1777 with the Third Continental Artillery. His regiment wintered at Valley Forge, andthe following June, Andrews was captured and held by the British in New York until he was exchanged in September 1781. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington. The entire piece measures 36 inches by 23 inches. An exceptional example.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 101412
Rare Gordon Bryant iconic portrait of American literary master F. Scott Fitzgerald, warmly signed by him, “Faithfully yours F. Scott Fitzgerald.” This portrait was part of a study of Fitzgerald by Bryant which he later published in Shadowland Magazine in 1921. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.25 inches by 13.25 inches. Rare and desirable.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 111063
“I’VE JUST HAD THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE”: Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek
Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek. One page, on Thatcher’s official 10 Downing Street letterhead and dated May 22nd 1984, the letter reads, “Dear Professor Hayek,” I have it in mind on the occasion of the forthcoming list of Birthday Honours to submit your name to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. I should be glad to know if this would be agreeable to you. I shall take no steps until I have your reply. “Yours sincerely, Margaret Thatcher.” Accompanied by a large original black and white photograph of Hayek taken at the honorary appointment at Buckingham Palace in which, he was in fact, awarded the Companion of Honour Medal by Queen Elizabeth II. In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 24.5 inches by 19 inches. An exceptional piece of history.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 96254
"You've lots of friends, let me be among them": Rare original sketch signed and inscribed by American painter Franz Kline
Rare original sketch signed and inscribed by American painter Franz Kline. One page, with pen and ink caricature sketches on both the recto and verso. Kline has drawn five caricatures on the recto which he has signed and titled “The Boyfriend”. On the verso, he has drawn a single figure and inscribed the work, “You’ve lots of friends let me be among them. Franz Kline.” In near fine condition. A rare and desirable piece exhibiting Kline’s early style. Framed.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 123539
“I’ve just had the happiest day of my life": Royal Companion of Honour Appointment: Presented to Friedrich von Hayek by Queen Elizabeth II and signed by her
Original Royal Companion of Honour Appointment presented to Friedrich von Hayek by Queen Elizabeth II. One page, with the Royal Companion of Honour Seal stamped in the upper right corner. Signed by Queen Elizabeth II at the head of the appointment, “Elizabeth R.” In fine condition.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 100139
Original signed artwork from Thomas Merton. In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art, drawing from the Zen Buddhist tradition. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Bramachari for counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his own Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for. A strong admirer of Gandhi, Merton also noted how Gandhi, a Hindu, had found a congenial ‘ second home’ of sorts in the Christian Sermon on the Mount. In the 1950’s Merton began exploring Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. He thought he found some resonance between Zen and the Desert Fathers. Merton sent a copy of his study of the Desert Fathers to Daisetsu Suzuki, the leading exponent of Zen in the west. They began a long correspondence in the late 1950’s, and Suzuki’s influence can be seen in Merton’s artwork. Includes a letter from activist W.H. Ferry, which reads, “4/3/68 For Mary Sue Dilliard: Daisetsu Suzuki told Father Tom Merton in 1965 that the only way finally to understand Zen was to practice calligraphy. This is the result: one of Tom’s earliest calligraphs. W.H. Ferry.” On the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions letterhead, which Ferry was the Vice President. Matted and framed, which measures 13 inches by 15 inches. Calligraphy drawing measures 9 inches by 12.5 inches. On the verso of the frame, it includes various Merton material including numerous clippings. Original artwork by Merton is exceptionally rare in the marketplace.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 17032
New York: Cinnamon Press, 1970.
Rare Bag One lithograph signed by Beatles icon John Lennon. One page, the title page from Lennon’s Bag One Portfolio. Signed by him beneath the image. One of 300 numbered copies, this is number 172. In near fine condition. Matted and framed. Rare and desirable.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 123601
New York: 2 April 1799.
Rare autograph letter signed by Alexander Hamilton to the trustees of Isaac Riley, notifying them of the manner in which he will submit a mortgage payment despite Riley’s imprisonment. One page, folio, dated 2 April 1799, the letter reads, “I am informed that You are Assignees of Isaac Riley under the Insolvent Act. Some time since I purchased of Isaac Riley Eight lots in the Outward upon which as he then informed me there was a mortgage to Ebenezer Young for Two hundred & forty pounds which was deducted out of the purchase money & left to be paid by me pursuant to the Tenor of that mortgage. It appears that this mortgage was not recorded till within a fortnight past. In my opinion This will not defeat the right of Mr. Young’s Representations to receive payment from me in preference to the Trustees. But I have thought it right nevertheless to mention the affair to you. If I do not within four days from the date of this letter, being the second of April, receive notice of a claim from the Trustees with the assurance of an Indemnification… I shall act as if no such claim was intended to be made.” The Insolvent Act Hamilton here refers to was passed into law one day prior to this letter in New York State as “An Act to amend the Act entitled an Act for the relief of Debtors with respect to the Imprisonment of their Persons” and allowed a debtor lawfully imprisoned by his creditors to be liberated. In near fine condition. The entire piece measures 24 inches by 13 inches.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 120624
"Though Keynes was a great thinker, his interest in theory was not for its own sake but 'as a base' for designing policy": One page signed and hand-corrected manuscript entirely in the hand of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman
One page signed and hand-corrected manuscript entirely in the hand of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman discussing Keynes’ The General Theory. Inscribed in the top right corner, “For Mark Gruber, Milton Friedman”, the manuscript reads, “Inflation, not unemployment, continued to be the major economic problem after the war, as it was during the war. Keynes’…flexibility would have led him to turn his attention increasingly to the themes of Monetary Reform which were far more relevant to the post-war decades than those of The General Theory and remain so today…Though Keynes was a great thinker, his interest in theory was not for its own sake but ‘as a base’ for designing policy.” Several lines crossed out and corrected in Friedman’s hand. Double matted and framed with a photographic portrait of Friedman. The letter measures 7 inches by 11 inches. The entire piece measures 17.5 inches by 20.5 inches. An important piece linking two of the greatest rivaling economists of the twentieth century, with the former’s critique of the latter’s magnum opus.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 88180
Rare collection of four original photographs of Rollie Free before and during his record-breaking 1948 motorcycle ride on the Bonneville Salt Flats; each inscribed by him
Rare collection of original photographs inscribed by motorcycle racing legend Rollie Free. The collection includes 4 photographs, all of which are inscribed by Rollie Free to close personal friend and business partner Ted Peaso. Free and Peaso co-owned a Service Station on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California at the time of Free’s record-breaking ride. Peaso also fabricated the leg support for the Vincent HRD Free broke the American motorcycle land speed record with. The photographs include an image of Free during his record-breaking ride, inscribed by him, “To Ted actual photo South near fastest 23.90 seconds. North near 24 seconds flat average 150. 3/3 m.p.h. Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah Sept. 13, 1948 Rollie”, a photograph of Free, Peaso and three other mechanics in front of their service station, a photograph of Free servicing the Vincent HRD, inscribed by him, “To Ted, anticipation Rollie”, a photograph of Free’s team preparing the Vincent HRD before the ride, inscribed by Free, “To Ted. Thanks for the loan of the Pease bicycle support (Pat applied for) Rollie”, and a photograph of Free and Pease, inscribed by Free, “To Ted, let me pour this one. Rollie.” In fine condition. Each photograph is double matted and framed. The entire pieces measure 14 inches by 12.5 inches.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 119311
Rare Original Goldfinger Dust Jacket Design Printing Proof; signed by Dust Jacket Designer Richard Chopping and from his personal collection
Rare original progressive color printing proof for the iconic dust jacket design of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, designed by Richard Chopping. Chopping’s copy, retained for his personal collection and signed by him in the lower right corner. One page on archival printer’s paper, this is the magenta ink progressive plate proof (printed using one of four plates combined to create the final full color image). The seventh novel in Fleming’s bond series, Goldfinger was the second book with a dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping, the first being From Russia, With Love. Chopping would design all subsequent James Bond dust jackets (with the exception of Dr. No). In fine condition. The proof measures 22.25 inches by 17.5 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 32.75 inches by 27.5 inches. A rare and attractive piece of Bond history and an important original working component in the artistic design of one of the most iconic dust jackets in modern literature.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 124559
Rare Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President
Rare original Mathew Brady photograph of Ulysses S. Grant. Boldly signed by Grant as the 18th President of the United States, “U.S. Grant March 18th 1875.” One of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew B. Brady brought home the reality of the Civil War to the American public with his innovative use of a mobile studio and darkroom to capture thousands of war scenes throughout the Civil War. Brady was also recognized as one of the premier photographic portraitists of the 19th century, taking photographs of numerous celebrities including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee among others. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 16.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable with such a strong signature signed by Grant during his presidency.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 94709
"I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology": Exceptionally Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before beginning graduate studies at Boston University in 1951
Typescript autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requesting housing upon his acceptance to Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated June 15th 1951 and addressed to Dean Charles W. Alter, Boston University Graduate School, reads, “Dear Dean Alter, I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology. I am now interested in finding living accommodations on the campus, or at least very near by. A single room would be preferable. If such is possible I would appreciate having it reserved. I am also interested in applying for a graduate Fellowship. Please send me the necessary information at this point along with an application blank. Thanks in advance for your cooperation, I am Sincerely yours, Martin L. King, Jr.” King later recalled his experience with housing bias in 1951 Boston in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1965, “I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 21.75 inches. This letter offers an extraordinary glimpse into the education of the great African-American Civil Rights leader, exemplifying his own experiences with the systemic racism in 1950s American society.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 82416
Rare Original Goldfinger Dust Jacket Design Printing Proof; signed by Dust Jacket Designer Richard Chopping and from his personal collection
Rare original progressive color printing proof for the iconic dust jacket design of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, designed by Richard Chopping. Chopping’s copy, retained for his personal collection and signed by him in the lower right corner. One page on archival printer’s paper, this is the black ink progressive plate proof (one of four plates combined to create the final full color image). The seventh novel in Fleming’s bond series, Goldfinger was the second book with a dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping, the first being From Russia, With Love. Chopping would design all subsequent James Bond dust jackets (with the exception of Dr. No). In fine condition. The proof measures 22.25 inches by 17.5 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 32.75 inches by 27.5 inches. A rare and attractive piece of Bond history and an important original working component in the artistic design of one of the most iconic dust jackets in modern literature.
Price: $18,000.00 Item Number: 124391
"THE FIRST POST-CIVIL WAR AMERICAN FLAG": RARE 36-STAR AMERICAN FLAG COMMEMORATING THE STATEHOOD OF NEVADA
Rare thirty-six star printed American parade flag commemorating the statehood of Nevada. The first flag to appear after the end of the Civil War, the thirty-six star flag was in use for two years between July 4, 1865 when Nevada was admitted into the Union and July 3, 1867 when Nebraska was admitted. Printed in blue and red ink on cotton, the flag measures 27.5 inches by 19 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 35.5 inches by 27 inches. In very good condition. A handsome presentation of a desirable Civil War era flag.
Price: $17,500.00 Item Number: 124557
"I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace": Autograph Letter Signed by David Ben-Gurion
Autograph letter signed by the founder of modern day Israel and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. It reads, “Sdeh. Boker, 28. 2. 70 Dear Mr. George P. Viegelmann, Jr. I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace. I am expressing a private view: I would be ready to give up a great Part of the areas which we hold since the six day war, if this would bring peace; by peace I mean friendship with our Arab neighbors and cooperation politically, economically and culturally, but perhaps only Russia can bring this about. I even doubt whether the American Gov. can achieve that. In the future there may be a change in Egypt. David Ben-Gurion.” This letter is a very unique piece of history, particularly in regards to Israeli-Arab relations and the study of peace in general. While publicly Ben-Gurion was the undoubted leader in Zionism, privately at the end of his life, he began to have other opinions. He desired peace even if it meant giving up land that they had fought to obtain. Ben-Gurion’s thoughts on peace in his latter years is corroborated by the recent documentary, Ben-Gurion, Epilogue. This movie features footage that was taken in 1968 and only recently discovered. In the footage he explains that Israel’s moral compass was inexorably tied to its treatment of the non-Jews living under its rule. Double matted and framed opposite a photograph of Ben-Gurion. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 16.5 inches.
Price: $16,000.00 Item Number: 82248
“Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way": Photograph of Ayn Rand; Inscribed by Her to Barbara Branden
Large signed photograph of Ayn Rand. Inscribed by her to Barbara Branden, “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way – With love -Ayn June 21, 1951.” While living in New York during the early 1950’s, the recipient, Barbara, and her future husband, Nathaniel Branden, befriended Rand and her husband Frank O’Connor. Not only would the couple go on to become major proponents of Objectivism (establishing the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1958 with Barbara serving as Rand’s assistant), but their personal lives would be dramatically intertwined with Rand’s. Begrudgingly sanctioned by both Barbara and Frank, Nathaniel began an affair with Ayn in 1954. The secret couple had a very public break in 1968, almost certainly due to Branden’s affair with actress Patrecia Scott who he later married. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Matted and framed, which measures 17.5 inches by 19.5 inches. Photographs signed by Rand are rare.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 73070
Lithograph portrait of “the father of modern physics”, Albert Einstein by well-known artist Hermann Struck. Signed by Einstein, “Albert Einstein 1923” and Struck, “Herman Struck 138/150”. In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 19.75 inches by 15.5 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 127204
Rare Photographic Portrait of Robert E. Lee and his staff; Inscribed by Civil War Photographer Mathew Brady
Photographic portrait of General Robert E. Lee flanked by his son, General George Washington Custis Lee, on his right and Colonel Walter Taylor on his left. Inscribed by one of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew Brady, on a mount, “To Col. Robert Alexander Compliments of his friend, M.B. Brady.” The photograph was taken at Lee’s estate in Richmond, Virginia in April of 1865, only days after his surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. This is one in a series taken by Brady in the basement below the back porch of the estate and from the original wet plates in the Brady-Handy collection. “This photograph is one of the most celebrated images produced by Brady, who established his reputation in the 1850s as the preeminent portraitist in New York and Washington, D.C. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Brady sought out General Robert E. Lee, who had returned to the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, after his surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. At the photographer’s request General Lee reluctantly put on his uniform and posed at the back of his residence with his son, General George Washington Custis Lee (left), and his chief of staff, Colonel Walter H. Taylor (right). The image conveys the pathos of defeat for the Confederacy and for Lee personally. For Brady, who had been present at the first battle of the Civil War at Bull Run, this portrait completed his photographic coverage of the conflict” (WAM). Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 14 inches. An exceptional piece of Americana.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 89011
Rare Presidential Commission appointing Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Dimaggio as a member of the Conference on Physical Fitness and Sports; signed by President Richard Nixon
Washington, D.C: 1970.
Rare Richard Nixon Presidential Commission appointing Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio as a “Member of the Conference on Physical Fitness and Sports.” Dated September 25th, 1970 the appointment is signed by President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers with the Presidential seal. Double matted and framed. In fine condition. From the personal collection of Joe DiMaggio. Included is letter of provenance from DiMaggio’s estate signed by his two granddaughters. An exceptional association linking two American icons. Double matted and framed.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 95202
"Humanity is the same the world over in whatever garb or colour she may be clothed": Signed Photograph of Mahatma Gandhi
Rare signed photograph depicting Mohandas K. Gandhi in profile with his palms pressed together, inscribed in Gujarati (“[Truth at all costs]”) and signed in English M.K. Gandhi on the image in blue ink. With an autographed letter signed from Amrit Kaur, the secretary to Gandhi and later Health Minister of India, to Sgt. John McAleer, written on Gandhi’s behalf, enclosing the signed photograph and responding to his letter (“…Humanity is the same the world over in whatever garb or colour she may be clothed…”), 2 pages, Poona, 5 March 1946, with envelope; photograph of Gandhi and another in rickshaws being pulled by a ceremonial guard, stamped and inscribed “Bhullo chien Desia” on the reverse; and a newspaper cutting; altogether five items mounted and framed together. In very good condition with the inscription faded. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 16.5 inches. A nice collection with noted provenance.
Price: $13,500.00 Item Number: 100048
"I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands": Large Signed Photograph of Nelson Mandela upon his return to Robben Island; Signed by Him and Jurgen Schadeberg
Silver Gelatin Print of Nelson Mandela’s 1994 return to Robben Island with Mandela looking through the bars in deep contemplation. Boldly signed by both Nelson Mandela and the photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg, who has signed on the bottom right panel and signed and stamped the verso. Schadeberg’s image was voted as one of the 50 most memorable images of the 20th century by The Photographers Gallery in London. The image measures 11 inches by 14 inches. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17.5 inches by 21.5 inches. This photograph has been used numerous times in publicity; providing the cover image for Mandela’s Illustrated Long Walk To Freedom. A striking image, most rare signed by one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 979