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Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression.
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot 1632.
The Bishop-Stockhausen copy of the extraordinarily rare first issue of Shakespeare’s Second Folio. Of the nine imprint variants of this edition noted by ESTC, this is the first (Todd 1a). Among the other variants are title-page imprints for the four other publishers (Smethwick, Aspley, Hawkins and Meighen) and two reissues of the edition ca. 1641 or later. Folio, bound in full eighteenth century blue morocco with gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine in seven compartments with raised gilt bands, gilt cornerpieces within gilt frames with central bevels and gilt fleuroned inner frames to the front and rear panels, all edges gilt, slate gray endpapers. Binding attributed by Bishop and Stockhausen to Christian Samuel Kalthoeber, the leading and most highly-sought after artist-bookbinder in in late eighteenth century London. A German émigré, Kalthoeber create his own ornamental designed which were quickly copied and was patronized by King George III, novelist William Beckford and Catherine the Great. Engraved portrait or Shakespeare by Droeshout to the title page printed from the same plate as the First Folio opposite the initial leaf of Jonson’s verses, woodcut head and tail pieces. Todd’s imprint setting “A,” State 1b. It is believed there are fewer than 200 extant copies of the second folio which notably contains John Milton’s first appearance in print with “An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare” (A5r). In near fine condition. Provenance: Cortland Field Bishop (morocco label; AAA/Anderson, 14 November 1938, lot 2077) — Henry Walker & Nancy Reynolds Bagley (bookplate featuring their Greenwich residence) — William E. Stockhausen (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 19 November 1974, lot 399). Housed in a full custom morocco clamshell box. An extraordinary example, in terms of both condition and scarcity, easily the nicest example obtainable.
"THE MOST FAMOUS AND INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN POLITICAL WORK,” VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION OF THE FEDERALIST
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, bound in full contemporary calf. In very good condition with volume one with an old inscription and repaired, scattered spotting. A very nice example of this landmark book.
"The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far away the Road was gone and I must follow if I can": J.R.R. Tolkien Signed Calligraphic Quote and Autograph Letter
Exceptionally rare calligraphic quotation signed and entirely in the hand of J.R.R. Tolkien of The Road Goes Ever On, also known as A Walking Song, fictionally composed by Bilbo Baggins and first appearing in The Hobbit and later thrice in slightly differing versions throughout The Lord of the Rings. With the original autograph transmittal letter signed by Tolkien at the conclusion of which he has practiced his calligraphy for the final draft of the calligraphic quote. On Tolkien’s Merton College letterhead the letter reads, ‘Dear Mr. Hodgson, I am sorry that this letter dictated to my London secretary was not forwarded to you at once. It was sent to me for signature while I was away on a brief convalescence after being ill during January and February and the beginnings of March, and I regret that it came back with me, to become included in a heavy correspondence awaiting my return. With regard to the copy of the verses: I expect that it is only the first version L.R. I 44,82 and that also from version III 226 that you wish for. Do you wish for a copy in my normal hand in a more careful form (as here); or something more “calligraphic” in intention? But I warn you that neither will be very beautiful. My ageing hands are now losing their steadiness and such moderate skill as they ever had. “Yours sincerely J.R.R. Tolkien. The Road does ever on and on…The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where is began.” The letter is in fine condition and measures 7 inches by 5.25 inches. Double matted and framed, the final quotation, entirely in Tolkien’s hand reads, “The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far away the Road was gone and I must follow if I can. Pursuing it with eager feet, until it finds some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. J.R.R. Tolkien.” Matted with a notation which reads, ‘From the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Written Out by the Author 1973.’ In fine condition. Double matted and elaborately framed, the entire piece measures 21 inches by 18.5 inches. Exceptionally rare and desirable.
“YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: ONCE WHEN YOU ARE BORN AND ONCE WHEN YOU LOOK DEATH IN THE FACE”: COMPLETE SET OF IAN FLEMING'S JAMES BOND NOVELS; IN THE RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS; WITH FIVE SIGNED BY SEAN CONNERY
Complete Set of 14 First Edition James Bond Novels: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia with Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only (short stories including A View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace), Thunderball, The Spy Who loved Me, On Her Majesties Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
London: Jonathan Cape 1953-66.
First editions of each volume in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, 14 volumes, original cloth. Each volume is fine in near fine to fine first-issue dust jackets, with with five signed by Sean Connery, which include: From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger and Thunderball each signed by Sean Connery. Each volume is housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional collection of first editions, most rare in this condition and signed.
“SMITH HIMSELF RANKED IT ABOVE THE WEALTH OF NATIONS”: ADAM SMITH’S LANDMARK RARE FIRST EDITION OF THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS
London: For A. Milar, and A. Kincaid and J. Bell 1759.
Rare first edition of Adam Smith’s first book, with a recorded “print run of 1,000 copies” (Sher, “Editions of Adam’s Smith’s Books,” 13). Octavo, bound in full contemporary leather. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Easily one of the nicest examples extant of this landmark work.
"The book that introduced France to Newtonian physics": First Edition of Voltaire's Elements of the Philosophy of Newton; Inscribed by him to the surgeon who attended Newton in his final illness
Londres [Paris]: Prault 1738.
First French edition of one of the most elegantly illustrated science books ever printed and the book that introduced France to Newtonian physics; a scarce presentation copy inscribed by Voltaire. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt ruling to the panels, inner dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Illustrated with two frontispiece portraits of both Newton and Voltaire, six full page plates, one folding plate, and illustrations throughout the text. Presentation copy, inscribed by Voltaire on the front free endpaper to William Cheselden, one of the most influential surgeons of 18th century England who attended Newton in his final illness. Although it is unknown if Voltaire and Newton met, Voltaire attended Newton’s funeral in 1727 while living in exile in England. During this exile he became an adherent of Newtonian physics and philosophy which he saw as the embodiment of the Enlightenment victory over Christian dogma and as the destroyer of the errors of Cartesianism. Voltaire dedicated the work to his mistress, La Madame la Marquise du Chastellet, who was a fellow scholar of Newton and completed the first French translation of the Principia in 1759. From the library of Dr. Adrian Pollock. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Pollock was a leader in the field of non-destructive acoustic emission testing, an approach to emission testing which addresses dynamic processes in materials by listening to the energy released by objects. He amassed a large book collection covering the history of science which he acquired throughout his travels between the United States and United Kingdom and from international catalogs. Newton was a particular favorite of Pollock’s as the two scientists worked in the same field and shared an alma mater. In very good condition with light shelfwear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceedingly rare, surely one of the most significant examples of this work.
"It is not down on any map; true places never are": Rare First Edition Of Herman Melville's Moby Dick
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. A 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.
“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”: First Edition of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket
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.
“Give me liberty, or give me death": Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense
Philadelphia: Printed and sold, by R. Bell in Third-Street 1776.
Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense. The title reads in full: Large Additions To Common Sense: Addressed To The Inhabitants Of America On The Following Interesting Subjects. I. The American Patriot’s Prayer. II. American Independancy, defended by Candidus. III. The Propriety of Independancy, by Demophilus The dread of Tyrants, and the sole resource Of those that under grim Oppression groan. Thomson. IV. A Review of the American Contest with some Strictures on the King’s Speech. Addressed to All Parents in the Thirteen United Colonies by a Friend To Posterity And Mankind. V. Letter to Lord Dartmouth, by an English American. VI. Observations on Lord North’s Conciliatory Plan, by Sincerus. To Which Is Added And Given An Appendix to Common Sense; Together with an Address to the People Called Quakers on their Testimony concerning Kings and Government and the Present Commotions in America. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over boards, gilt titles and five raised bands to the spine, marbled endpapers. In very good condition, internally very clean. Rare with only two examples appearing at auction in the last 80 years.
"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer": First American Edition of Albert Camus Classic Novel The Stranger; Inscribed by Him to fellow novelist Vincent Sheean
New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1946.
First American edition of Camus’ first novel and masterpiece. Octavo, original beige cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “A Vincent Sheean pour le remercier de savoir si bien parler de Stendhal Sympathiquement Albert Camus.” The recipient, Vincent Sheean was an American journalist and novelist. Sheean’s most famous work was Personal History, which won one of the inaugural National Book Awards: the Most Distinguished Biography of 1935. Film producer Walter Wanger acquired the political memoir and made it the basis for his 1940 film production Foreign Correspondent, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Sheean wrote the narration for the feature-length documentary Crisis (1939) directed by Alexander Hammid and Herbert Kline. He translated Ève Curie’s biography of her mother, Madame Curie (1939), into English. Sheean wrote Oscar Hammerstein I: Life and Exploits of an Impresario (1955) as well as a controversial biography of Dorothy Thompson and Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy and Red (1963). He studied at the University of Chicago, becoming part of a literary circle which included Glenway Wescott, Yvor Winters, Elizabeth Madox Roberts and Janet Lewis while he was there. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Warren Chappell. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Presentation copies of The Stranger are rare, with only one appearing at auction in the past 70 years. Exceedingly scarce and desirable.
"There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights": Rare First Edition, First Issue of Bram Stoker's Dracula
Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company 1897.
First edition, first issue with the May 1897 and with no advertisements as issued and printed on thicker stock. Octavo, original yellow cloth. In near fine condition, without the usual restoration. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First issues are scarce.
Rare First Edition of Mathematical Collections and Translations, which includes the first translation in English of Galileo's System of the World" (Dialogo)
London: William Leybourn 1661.
First edition of Thomas Salusbury’s Mathematical Collections and Translations. Salusbury compiled and translated important writings by Archimedes, Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Tartaglia, Torricelli into English for the first time, greatly influencing the English-speaking world. This volume contains the first English translation of Galileo’s 1632 The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo). Also included is Galileo’s 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, published in 1636 as Nov-antiqua sanctissimorum patrum et probatorum theologorum doctrina, which asserted the independence of science from religious authority. This short but important Epistle to the Grand Dutchesse Mother concerning the Authority of Holy Scripture in Philosophical Controversies (known today as the Letter to Christina), was only the second work of Galileo’s to be published in England. It preceded the Latin edition, published in London by Thomas Dicas, by two years and remained the only vernacular translation for two centuries. Apart from the two works by Galileo, Salusbury included other translations from Italian and Latin in this volume of his Collections, such as Johannes Kepler’s and Didacus a Stunica’s “Reconcilings of Scripture Texts,” and Foscarinus’ Epistle to Father Fantonus reconciling the Authority of Scripture. Folio, bound in full calf, with 4 engraved plates. Lacking the half-title, contents leaf, fly-title to The System of the World, and the errata leaf found at the end of the first part in some copies. 2 parts in one volume. In very good condition with the contents showing some light browning in the upper margins. First editions are exceptionally rare.
"First and greatest classic of modern economic thought": Second Edition of Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations
London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, In the Strand 1778.
Rare second edition of Adam Smith’s magnum opus and cornerstone of economic thought, one of only 500 copies. Quarto, 2 volumes. Bound in full brown contemporary calf, gilt-decorated spines, red morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Remarkably clean throughout with some light toning, name to the title page of volume one, name to the half-title page in volume two. An exceptional example of this landmark work.
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy": First Modern Library of The Great Gatsby; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
New York: The Modern Library 1934.
First Modern Library edition of the author’s masterpiece, with the first appearance of Fitzgerald’s new introduction. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the half title page, “For Lillian Abercrombie at the beginning of a tour of work F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities and some small chips. Housed in a full custom morocco box. The first Modern Library edition of The Great Gatsby was a resounding commercial failure, and many copies were remaindered with the caption “discontinued title” printed on the jacket’s front panel. The present copy represents one of the earlier, non-remaindered copies, and like all of the first Modern Library editions of The Great Gatsby, features Fitzgerald’s new introduction, with his own, now-famous take on his masterwork: “I think it is an honest book, that is to say, that one used none of one’s virtuosity to get an effect, and, to boast again, one soft-pedalled the emotional side to avoid the tears leaking from the socket of the left eye, or the large false face peering around the corner of a character’s head. If there is a clear conscience, a book can survive — at least in one’s feelings about it. On the contrary, if one has a guilty conscience, one reads what one wants to hear out of reviews. In addition, if one is young and willing to learn, almost all reviews have a value, even the ones that seem unfair.”