Framed Autographs and Historical Documents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Rare Books maintains an extensive selection of framed autographs, manuscripts, signed and inscribed photographs, and historical documents.
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"This is what I gave voluntarily at the risk of my life to keep my promise to the Government": Exceptionally rare document containing the fingerprints of Mohandas K. Gandhi; signed and inscribed by him
Early 20th century South African government document containing the fingerprints of Mohandas K. Gandhi, signed and inscribed by him, "This is what I gave voluntarily at the risk of my life to keep my promise to the Government. Phoenix, Natal, 15th February 1909, M.K. Gandhi." In April 1893, Gandhi aged 23, set sail for South Africa to practice law in the colony of Natal, which, like India was part of the British Empire. The racial discrimination he experienced in his first year of residence inspired him to found the Natal Indian Congress which opposed several proposed discriminatory legislations and molded the Indian…
Price: $850,000.00 Item Number: 132138
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
April 10, 1781.
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to French ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, whose military assistance in the Siege of Yorktown essentially ended the Revolutionary War. The body of the letter is entirely in the hand of Alexander Hamilton and dated 10 April 1781. In the spring of 1781, officials from Massachusetts approached Rochambeau with a proposal to attack the British post at the mouth of the Penobscot river which had been established in June 1779 to secure timber for shipyards in Halifax and to protect Nova Scotia from…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872
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…
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…
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…
Price: $88,000.00 Item Number: 125064
Rare printed photographic portrait signed by the father of Soviet Russia, Lenin. One page, printed with a folded crease, inscribed by Lenin in the lower portion of the portrait, "VI Ulyanov (Lenin) 28.IV.1922." In very good condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 31.75 inches.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 132168
Three exceptionally rare Abraham Lincoln Pieces; An autograph Pardon of December 8, 1863 Signed by him; pristine original carte-de-visite; and exceedingly rare contemporary printing of the Proclamation of Amnesty
Washington, D.C.: War Department, Adjutant General's Office, 1864-1869.
Rare autograph Oath of December 8 endorsement signed and entirely in the hand of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln with an exceedingly rare contemporary printing of Lincoln's Amnesty Proclamation which includes the wording of the oath itself and a rare carte-de-visite of Lincoln [Providence, RI: Salisbury, Bro. & Co., n.d.]. One page, the endorsement is signed and inscribed by Lincoln, “Let these men take the oath of Dec. 8, 1863 & be discharged – A. Lincoln Dec. 30, 1863.” One page, disbound, the contemporary printing of the Amnesty Proclamation consists of 6 pages printed by order…
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 132045
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…
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 103540
"captured the hopes and dreams of the people and acted as a blueprint for the liberation struggle and the future of the nation": Rare broadside of The Freedom Charter of South Africa; signed by by the five adoptive Chairmen
Rare printed broadside of The Freedom Charter which Nelson Mandela stated "captured the hopes and dreams of the people and acted as a blueprint for the liberation struggle and the future of the nation"; signed by the five adoptive Chairmen. One page, typescript, the broadside is signed by Albert Luthuli (President of the African National Congress), Leon Levy (President of the South African Congress of Trades Unions), Dr. Monty Naiker (President of the National Indian Congress), Jimmy Laguma (President of the South African Coloured Peoples Congress), and Pieter Beyleveld (President of the South African Congress of Democrats). In near fine…
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 131339
"Not one man recommended by me has yet been appointed to any thing, little or big, except a few who had no opposition": Rare autograph letter signed by Abraham Lincoln
Springfield, IL: 1849.
Rare autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. One page, the letter reads in full, "Springfield May 7, 1849 Hon G. W. Rives Dear Sir, You overrate my capacity to serve you. Not one man recommended by me has yet been appointed to any thing, little or big, except a few who had no opposition. Besides this, at the very inauguration I commenced trying to get a Min[n]esota appointment for Dr. Henry, and have not yet succeeded; and I would not now, lessen his chance, by recommending any…
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 130655
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…
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 124398
"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…
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 40140
"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…
Price: $32,000.00 Item Number: 126281
Exceptionally rare second edition of Ye Zipei’s complete map of the world, one of only two known copies produced by terrestrial globe expert Liu Yan
China: Wanguo Dadi Quantu, 1851 [Xianfeng period].
Exceptionally rare second edition of Ye Zipei’s complete map of the world, one of only two known copies produced by terrestrial globe expert Liu Yan. The terrestrial map is comprised of six accordion-style albums bound in handmade paper with white titular labels lettered in hand to each front panel. A woodblock print in red and black ink, the map features two hemispheres defined by straight meridian and circular parallel lines and a ground of red grids. The left hemisphere centers on the south pole, while the right one on the north pole; both are bordered by the equator, adopting the…
Price: $30,000.00 Item Number: 131424
Boston: Josiah Loring, c. 1833.
Fine pair of rare early 19th century American celestial and terrestrial table globes published by Josiah Loring. Both the celestial and terrestrial globe measure 17 inches in diameter with a calibrated brass meridian ring and 17 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. Major constellations and all twelve zodiac signs are illustrated with detailed…
Price: $30,000.00 Item Number: 132508
"Members of the general public, such as myself, have a right to form and express their own opinions on the relationship between science and society": Rare typed letter signed by George Orwell regarding his views on science, scientists, and society
January 9, 1946.
Rare typed letter signed by the acclaimed author of Nineteen-Eighty Four, George Orwell; part of a long correspondence with scientist Edward R. Ward regarding his views on science. One page, typescript, the letter reads: '9th January 1946 Dear Mr. Ward, Your letter has been passed on to be by "Tribune". I am sorry that in their correspondence columns I should have answered what was really an abridgement of your original letter; but I had not seen the latter, and I did not know that what was printed was a shortened version. I cannot enter into what might become a prolonged…
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 133445
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…
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 124288
“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: $25,000.00 Item Number: 100139
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…
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 124559
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…
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 96254
"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…
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 88180
"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
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
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…
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 119311
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…
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 17032
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…
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 120624
"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…
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…
Price: $18,000.00 Item Number: 124391
August 2, 1790.
Rare Congressional resolution 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 Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, was approved August 2, 1790 and reads in full: Congress of the United States: At the second session, begun and held at the City of New-York, on Monday the fourth of January, on thousand seven hundred and ninety. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the expense of procuring seals for the supreme,…
Price: $17,500.00 Item Number: 128034
April 21, 1864.
American naval commission signed by Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States and Gideon Welles as Secretary of the Navy. Folio, partially engraved on vellum the document is dated April 21, 1864 and promotes Charles W. Tracy to the rank of Lieutenant. In near fine condition. Matted and framed with a portrait of Lincoln and engraved plate. The Commission measures 19 inches by 16 inches. The entire piece measures 34 inches by 29.5 inches.
Price: $16,500.00 Item Number: 132067
"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…
Price: $16,000.00 Item Number: 82248
Rare autograph Oath of December 8 endorsement signed and entirely in the hand of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. One page, signed and inscribed by Lincoln, "Let this boy take the oath of Dec. 8. & be discharged - A. Lincoln April 18, 1864." The Oath of December 8 was announced by Lincoln in his annual message to congress in 1863. In the message, Lincoln declared that he would offer a pardon to any man who would swear, without coercion, his allegiance to the Union. The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction provided, then, a general pardon…
Price: $16,000.00 Item Number: 129034
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
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…
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 89011
Rare original pen and ink drawing of beloved Peanuts character Snoopy, boldly signed by Charles M. Schulz. From the collection of Bill Zwecker, the former longtime entertainment and celebrity journalist. Beginning his journalism career in the 1980s, Zwecker is an industry veteran who has interviewed some of the most renowned celebrities across a breadth of industries. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18 inches by 16 inches. This is easily one of the finest drawings from Schulz we have seen or handled.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 131921
"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…
Price: $13,500.00 Item Number: 100048