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“Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends": First Edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
London: John Murray, 1859.
First edition of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in original cloth, half-title, one folding lithographed diagram, without advertisements. In fine condition with a touch of shelfwear. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work, one of the nicest extant.
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 116380
“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 Majesty’s 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 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.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 105482
First Octavo Edition of the The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories; In the Rare Original Publisher's Morocco
New York: Published by J.J. Audubon, 1840.
First octavo edition of this landmark work. Octavo, bound in original publisher’s morocco, 7 volumes, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, marbled endpapers, complete with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen after J.J. Audubon; woodcuts in the text. From the library of Boston businessman and Ambassador T. Jefferson Coolidge, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Coolidge was born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family and was a great-grandson of the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, through his maternal grandparents, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson Randolph. His uncles were Thomas Jefferson Randolph, George Wythe Randolph, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and a relative of Calvin Coolidge. He was an uncle to Archibald Cary Coolidge through his older brother, Joseph Randolph Coolidge. He was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as United States Ambassador to France on May 12, 1892, a role his great-grandfather had held from May 1785 to September 1789. Coolidge presented his credentials on June 10, 1892 and he presented his recall on May 4, 1893, terminating his mission. In 1898 and 1899, he was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute. Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, “a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment.” In 1898, Coolidge donated a collection of Thomas Jefferson’s personal papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. The collection contained more than 8,000 items: Correspondence, including 3,280 letters that Jefferson had written and 4,630 letters that he had received; Jefferson’s garden book (1766-1824) and farm book (1774-1824); annotated almanacs from 1771-1776; account books for 1783-1790; manuscript expense accounts from 1804-1825; notes on the weather spanning the years 1782-1826; plans of American forts in 1765; law treatises, 1778-1788; legal papers, 1770-1772; and Jefferson’s 1783 catalog of his personal library. In near fine condition. An exceptional set with noted provenance, rare in the original publisher’s morocco.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 111832
“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.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 106523
"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.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 97850
The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla; inscribed by Nikola Tesla to Civil War Major and Assistant U.S. Treasurer General Daniel Butterfield
The Inventions Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla. With Special Reference to His Work in Polyphase Currents and High Potential Lighting.
New York: The Electrical Engineer, 1894.
Scarce edition of Thomas Commerford Martin’s landmark work in the field of electrical engineering, detailing the research and inventions of brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla. Octavo, original cloth, patterned endpapers, tissue-guarded frontispiece portrait of Tesla, illustrated with numerous diagrams throughout. Presentation copy, inscribed by Nikola Tesla in Serbian Cyrillic on the second free endpaper, “Prijatelju D. Butterfield, Nikola Tesla” which translates as “My friend D. Butterfield, Nikola Tesla.” The recipient, Daniel Butterfield, was a Civil War Major General and was the head of one of Cold Spring, New York’s first families. Injured on the third day of Gettysburg, he received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Gaines Mill, Virginia, and is credited with adapting the current bugle call into Taps, the most famous bugle call in history. He later became Assistant U.S. Treasurer during the Grant administration and played a major role in the scheme (in which Grant himself participated) that caused the major collapse in the price of gold, on September 24, 1869, known as Black Friday. First published in 1894, Commerford’s landmark text was reprinted twice that year (this being the third printing which is identical to the previous printings and equally as scarce). In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. From the library of August John Pacini, the head of the Department of Biophysical Research at the Victor X-Ray Corporation, Chicago, with a small presentation slip from his wife laid in. Exceptionally rare, not only does the present title scarcely come to market, but no other copy inscribed by Tesla has ever appeared in auction records.
Price: $42,500.00 Item Number: 119204
Alfred B. Searle's Refractory Materials; inscribed by Nikola Tesla to fellow inventor Bartley E. Broadwell
London: Charles Griffin & Company, Limited, 1924.
Rare second revised and enlarged edition of Alfred B. Searle’s Refectory Materials; inscribed by brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla. Octavo, original cloth, with 174 graphs, diagrams and maps throughout the text. Presentation copy, inscribed by Nikola Tesla on the half-title page, “To B. E. Broadwell, with compliments from, Nikola Tesla, New York, May 18, 1931.” The recipient, Bartley E. Broadwell was engaged as the general superintendent of the Aluminum Company of America and resided in Niagara Falls, New York. He applied for and was granted U.S. patents for several inventions in the early 20th century, including his electrode for electrometallurgical, or “ring” furnaces. Two years before he founded the Nikola Tesla Company in 1896, Tesla was commissioned by Edward Dean Adams, who headed up the Niagara Falls Cataract Construction Company, to consult on how best to use the hydroelectric power generated by the falls. He advised Adams that a two-phased system would be the most reliable and a contract was awarded to General Electric to build the AC distribution system. In the 1930s, when Tesla inscribed the present volume, he was effectively bankrupt. The book was at one time part of his personal library which was slowly dissembled as he struggled to pay rent and resided in a number of hotel rooms. On June 20th 1931, two months after he inscribed the present volume, Tesla was featured on the cover of Time Magazine for his contributions to electrical power generation and in honor of his 75th birthday. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare.
Price: $42,000.00 Item Number: 118028
"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.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 99340
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.
Price: $38,000.00 Item Number: 73025
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 Muriel Sutman nous ne sommes pas des étrangers, Albert Camus.” 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.
Price: $37,500.00 Item Number: 116373
“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.”
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 37020
"The rarest of them all": First Edition of the First Catholic Bible to be printed in America and the First Quarto Edition Printed
The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Other Editions, in Divers Languages; and First Published by The English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly Revised, and Corrected, According to the Clementine Edition of the Scriptures. With Annotations for Elucidating the Principal Difficulties of Holy Writ.
Philadelphia: Carey, Stewart, and Co, 1790.
First edition of the first Catholic Bible printed in America, “the rarest of them all” and the first quarto edition Bible printed in America. Quarto, bound in full calf. Two volumes bound in one, title page to volume one, not title page of volume two as issued, two leaves of subscribers’ names. In very good condition with some of the usual toning to the text. An exceptionally rare work, most desirable.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 81020
Harry Potter Series Complete Deluxe Set. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows.
London: Bloomsbury, 1997-2007.
First editions of the deluxe edition of each book in Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Octavo, 7 volumes, original decorative cloth as issued. Each volume is signed by J.K. Rowling and were collected in person by the previous owner. The Prisoner of Azkaban is inscribed. In fine condition. No dust jackets were issued for these volumes. Scarce and desirable.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 81035
"The first atlas of the new world": First complete edition in Italian of Ptolemy's La Geographia, the earliest and most comprehensive small-format world atlas published
Le Geographia di Claudio Ptolemeo Alessandrino, Con alcuni comenti & aggiunte fattevi da Sebastiano munstero, Con le tavole non solamente antiche & moderne solite di staparsi.
Venice: G. B. Pedrezano, 1547.
First complete edition in Italian of Ptolemy’s “first atlas of the new world” (Nordenskiöld) and the most detailed and comprehensive world atlas published prior to Ortelius’s Theatrum in 1570. Small octavo, bound in full vellum with gilt morocco spine label, all edges speckled red, woodcut border to the title page, woodcut initials and illustrations throughout the text including a portrait of an astronomer and 60 double-page engraved maps designed by Giacomo Gastaldi. The majority of the 34 maps of the modern world are entirely new first appearances, including 7 maps of the Americas. Among the maps of the Americas is the Nueva Hispania tabula nova which shows the Mississippi and Florida area and is the first separate printed map of the region. Also included is the landmark Tierra Nueva map of the North American coast from Florida to Labrador. In fine condition. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 95367
Venice: Aldus Manutius, September, 1502.
Rare first edition of Herodotus‘ history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher. Folio, bound in contemporary vellum, woodcut title in Greek and Roman letter, verso with dedication in Latin, text in Greek letter throughout with spaces for capital letters, woodcut device on title and last page. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the ‘Florentine’ codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer’s copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 , pp. 263-273). The History was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. Ahmanson-Murphy 50; Isaac 12782; Laurenziana 64; Renouard, Alde 35:8; Sansoviniana 67. In excellent condition with light rubbing and wear, bookplates to the pastedown, some light toning to the text, occasional Greek and Latin annotations in a c.17th-century hand, small repairs to the final four leaves. An exceptional example of this landmark work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $32,000.00 Item Number: 96588
London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1943.
First edition of the final novel in Lewis’ acclaimed Space Trilogy. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by C.S. Lewis to fellow writer and journalist George Orwell and his wife (Eric and Eileen Blair) on the front free endpaper, “To the Blairs, with kind regards, C.S. Lewis Aug. 1945.” This is the review copy used in George Orwell’s literary review of the book which was published in the Manchester Evening News on August 16th 1945. Also with three hand-corrections to the text in Lewis’ hand which he made in all review copies before personally sending to critics. Although Lewis and Orwell were not close friends, both were employed as radio journalists by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during WWII, an era that transformed both religious broadcasting (in which Lewis became a primary figure) and war correspondence (Orwell’s experience as a correspondent working out of the basement of the BBC during wartime was a major inspiration for his masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four). Very good in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morrocco clamshell box. A remarkable association.
Price: $30,000.00 Item Number: 81218
Amsterdam: Joannes Janssonius, 1617.
Rare edition of the Epitome of Vesalius, first published in 1543 as an abbreviated dissection room manual to accompany his masterpiece De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body). Folio, bound in full contemporary calf, gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, red spine label, raised tooled bands, marbled endpapers, engraved pictorial title page. Engraved portrait of Vesalius, engraved folding plate of Adam and Eve after that in the epitome before the main text. Containing 39 full-page anatomically illustrated plates, woodcut headpieces and initials. In near fine condition. Captions in both Latin and German, having been otherwise taken directly from Thomas Geminus’ first copy of 1545, Compendiosa Toitus Anatomie Delineato Aere Exarata. German text taken from Baumann’s German edition of 1551 (Keynes, 171; Krivatsy, 12321; Waller, 9919).
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 74638
Extremely rare first Latin edition of Galileo's revolutionary Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Systema Cosmicum in Quo Quatuor Dialogis, de Duobus Maximis Mundi Systematibus, Ptolemaico et Copernicano. [Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems].
Strasbourg: D. Hauttius for the Elzevir, 1635.
Rare first Latin edition of Galileo’s epoch-making Dialogo, the summation of the extraordinary mathematician’s astronomical thought and the work which directly precipitated his 1663 trial and judgement for heresy. Preceded only by the 1632 edition in Italian. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary vellum, engraved additional title page, full page engraved frontispiece portrait of Galileo by Jacob van der Heyden, woodcut diagrams, with the final leaf of errata. This Latin edition includes two tracts in the appendix not in the Italian edition of 1632, and it is the only major work of Galileo’s to be published outside Italy during his lifetime. The two added Latin tracts are the introduction to Kepler’s Astronomia nova (pp. 459-464), and a letter by Paolo Antonio Foscarini defending the truth of Copernicanism and rebutting the charge that it conflicted with scripture (pp. 465-495). With the appendix by P.A. Foscarini which contains an attempt to reconcile the Copernican views with the Holy Scripture. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare, as the work was rigidly suppressed from the start.
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 93890
“THE MOST AMBITIOUS PUBLICATION EVER UNDERTAKEN, UP TO THAT TIME, UPON AMERICAN SOIL… RICHLY DESERVING OF ITS GREAT REPUTATION AT HOME AND ABROAD”: FIRST EDITION OF WEBSTER’S LANDMARK AMERICAN DICTIONARY, 1828
New York: Published by S. Converse. Printed by Hezekiah Howe, 1828.
Rare first edition of Webster’s monumental American Dictionary, one of only 2500 copies, with frontispiece portrait of the pioneering lexicographer, in full contemporary calf. Quarto, two volumes, bound in full contemporary calf, marbled endpapers, illustrated frontispiece, tissue guard present. In near fine condition, light toning to the text. Most rare and desirable bound in contemporary calf. An exceptional example, most rare without any restoration.
Price: $27,500.00 Item Number: 102755
“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying": The Works of Oscar Wilde; One of 80 Sets Bound in Japanese Vellum
London: Methuen & Co, 1908.
First collected edition, one of 80 sets on Japanese vellum, the rarest and most desirable of Wilde’s works. Octavo, 14 volumes, bound in original vellum, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel with the design by Charles Ricketts, top edge gilt. “The text is taken in most instances from the last editions issued under the superintendence of the author. In some cases the volumes contain additional matter which had not previously been reprinted, while some of the volumes contain matter here published for the first time” (Mason). In near fine condition. Rare and desirable, especially in this condition.
Price: $27,500.00 Item Number: 103150
London: Constable & Company, 1922.
First edition of this classic memoir of the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition. Octavo, two volumes, original half white cloth, gray paper boards. Inscribed by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in each each volume. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. In near fine condition with light rubbing to the extremities. First editions signed and inscribed are of exceptional rarity.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 33035