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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
FIRST EDITION OF ANDREAS VESALIUS'S MAGNUM OPUS, THE MOST MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL EDUCATION AND "ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCIENTIFIC BOOKS EVER PRINTED": DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA LIBRI SEPTUM; ON THE FABRIC OF THE HUMAN BODY IN SEVEN BOOKS
Basel: Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, 1543.
First edition of the most important and influential book in the study of human anatomy and “one of the most beautiful scientific books ever printed”(Grolier). Folio, bound in full 18th century calf, woodcut title page with Vesalius performing a dissection, woodcut portrait of the author, over 200 woodcut anatomical illustrations, including 21 full page and 2 folding-sheet figural woodcuts of the skeletal, muscular, vascular and nervous systems. In very good condition with some light dampstaining to some page edges. Rare and desirable, especially in contemporary calf. A splendid example of Vesalius’ masterpiece, one of the most monumental achievements in the history of both medical education and printing.
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 30020
"Who is the most important person I've ever met in a signing queue & the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge [underlined 4 times] thanks. J.K. Rowling": First Edition, First Printing of J.K. Rowling's Rare First Book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; Signed by Her
London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
First edition, first printing with all the prerequisite first issue points called for (including “wand” listed twice on page 53). Octavo, original illustrated boards, without a dust jacket as issued. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the dedication page, “to Bryony – who is the most important person I’ve ever met in a signing queue & the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge [underlined 4 times] thanks. J.K. Rowling.” The recipient, Bryony Evens worked as an office manager in a small publishing company in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1995 J.K. Rowling sent the first three chapters of Harry Potter to that publishing company and it would have gone unseen if it wasn’t for Bryony. Bryony read them and fell in love with the story, and encouraged her boss Christopher Little to ask Rowling for the full book. Rowling then sent a full copy to Bryony when it was published by Bloomsbury in 1997. A year later Bryony went to visit Rowling at a book signing event, and when Rowling recognized her she gave her a big hug and wrote a special inscription, or message, in the book she’d brought. In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing to the extremities. Only 500 copies of the first printing were published, with over half making their way to libraries. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association and effusive inscription to the person who first recognized the value of Harry Potter.
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 115640
“The constancy of the laws of nature, or the certainty with which we may expect the same effects from the same causes, is the foundation of the faculty of reason”: Rare First Edition of Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population; With An autograph Note from Him
London: J. Johnson, 1798.
First edition of this cornerstone text of modern economics. Octavo, bound in three quarters calf. Laid in is a clipping from an original manuscript signed by Malthus and entirely in his hand which reads in part, “If at one time such a given product would make an effectual demand for certain commodities the conditions of the supply of which are supposed to remain the same, it would immediately cease to make such effectual.” Signed by Malthus in the lower right corner, “Malthus.” The verso features two further partial lines of text relating to supply and demand. In near fine condition. First editions of Malthus’ magnum opus are exceptionally scarce.
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 116955
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
First edition of the Ian Flemings first book Casino Royale which introduced the world to 007: Inscribed by Ian Fleming to Classmate and Novelist Ralph Arnold
London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
First edition of the first novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, original black cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Ralph, We have now both reduced our remainders by one copy! Ian.” With a note of explanation by the recipient underneath, “I having told Ian, from the depths of my publishing experience, that he would be lucky if he made £200 out of this, his first thriller!! R.A.” The recipient Ralph Arnold was a novelist, historical writer and publisher who joined Constable in 1936 and was chairman from 1958 to 1962. Arnold and Fleming studied together at the Tennerhof School in Kitzbühel, Austria, and it was there that both made their first forays into story-writing. Having left Sandhurst without obtaining a commission, Fleming “was sent to ‘sort himself out’ at a quasi-finishing school for men in Kitzbühel … There, while skiing and climbing mountains, he came under the benevolent tutelage of Ernan Forbes Dennis, a former British spy turned educationalist, and his wife, Phyllis Bottome, an established novelist. Forbes Dennis brought out Fleming’s aptitude for languages and introduced him to literature, while his wife encouraged him to write his first stories.” (Oxford DNB). Near fine in a near fine first state dust jacket (without the Sunday Times review on the inner front flap) with the lightest of rubbing to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 98575
Basel: Eusebius Episcopius , 1572.
First edition of Alhazen’s fundamental work on optics and vision, which influenced Galileo and Kepler and paved the way for the modern science of physical optics. Folio, bound in full contemporary Basel vellum with central arabesques blind-stamped to the front and rear panels, titles stamped in black and five raised bands to the spine, woodcut printer’s device to the title page, woodcut initials, diagrams and full page illustration to the verso of the title page. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. In very good condition. From the library of American physician Chester Tilton Stone with his bookplate to the pastedown. A superior example of this significant work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $142,000.00 Item Number: 90395
“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
"ONCE THERE WAS A LITTLE TREE ... AND SHE LOVED A LITTLE BOY"; The Original Manuscript for shel Silverstein's masterpiece The Giving Tree
The original manuscript of one of the most commercially successful children’s books of all time and Shel Silverstein’s most famous work, The Giving Tree, entirely in his had with his publisher’s edits in pencil throughout. Quarto, 38 pasteboard pages with Silverstein’s original ink drawings on paper adhered to each page and Silverstein’s original handwritten text. With numerous revisions by Silverstein, most notably on the final page of the story where Silverstein has changed “and the boy and the tree were happy” to “And the tree was happy.” In very good condition. Lacking pages 2, 3, 4 and 36. A remarkable piece offering exclusive insight into the author/illustrator’s process and furthering the mysterious and ambiguous nature of the widely interpreted story of a selfless tree and her beloved companion.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 116388
"To His Royal Highness, The Duke of Windsor, from Winston S. Churchill, June 1939" First Edition of Winston S. Churchill's Step By Step 1936-1939; Inscribed by Him to Former King Edward VIII in the month of publication
London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd, 1939.
First edition of this Churchill title, the last book he published before the outbreak of the Second World War. Octavo, specially bound for the Duke of Windsor by Lucie Weill in three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles, crowned cipher of the Duke of Windsor on the lower label, with two maps. Association copy, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill to King Edward the VIII, on the page preceding the half-title page in the month of publication, “To His Royal Highness, The Duke of Windsor, from Winston S. Churchill, June 1939.”
When Edward’s father ascended the throne as George V after the death of Edward VII, Edward the VIII automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester a month later on 23 June 1910, his 16th birthday. The lives of Edward and Churchill, first intersected at this time, when as Home Secretary, it fell to Churchill to read out the Letters Patent that invested the Prince with his new title during the ceremony at Caernarvon Castle. Predictably, Churchill found this a moving occasion, and thought “the little Prince looked & spoke as well as it was possible for anyone to do,” noting in a letter to Clementine that “he was a very nice boy—quite simply & terribly kept in order.” When Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty shortly after the investiture, he became a hero to the newly-installed Prince of Wales, who had been a naval cadet. Churchill’s vigorous emphasis on sea power appealed to the Prince, who wrote of Churchill: “He is a wonderful man and has a great power of work.” Writing to Clementine, Churchill indicated that he and the Prince “have made rather friends.”
Unfortunately, as he got older Edward’s womanizing and reckless behavior and attitudes put a strain on the relations between Churchill and himself for a time. When Edward’s father, George V died in early 1936 and Edward became king, his relationship with a married woman, Wallis Simpson, was known to those in power. When King Edward VIII chose to marry Simpson, Churchill, although he initially opposed any marriage between the King and Mrs. Simpson, felt a natural sympathy for the King, and believed that the solution was a morganatic marriage. Under this plan, Mrs. Simpson would become the Duchess of Cornwall but not Queen. The Cabinet, however, did not approve; neither did the Dominions. Churchill’s only hope then became that the King would see reason, accept his duty as Sovereign, and give up Mrs. Simpson, which Edward would not agree to. Churchill finally helped the King in writing his abdication speech. This book was given to Edward, now titled the Duke of Windsor while they were living abroad in France shortly before the beginning of World War 2. A wonderful association copy between the former Prime Minister and the former King of Great Britain. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box with the crowned cipher to the front panel.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 119578
"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
London: Printed for H. Herringman, and are to be sold by Joseph Knight and Francis Saunders, 1685.
First edition of the Fourth Folio of Shakespeare. Bound in full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine. The fourth folio is the final and most magnificent of the four 17th-century folio editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The Fourth Folio “contains the additional seven plays that first appeared in the 1663 edition [including the authentic Pericles, Prince of Tyre], as well as a good deal of correction and modernization of the text designed to make it easier to read and understand” (Folger’s Choice). Old paper repair to verso of title-page, several other very minor paper repairs. Some browning and minimal staining, a very good example. As in some other copies, as Greg notes, number of errors in signatures have been corrected in manuscript, presumably at the time of publication. Although there is no accurate census of the number of folios still extant today, it is believed that copies of each printing number only in the hundreds. The rarest form of the fourth folio. This is the rare Knight and Saunders issue, with their names on the title-page. W. W. Greg observes, “Since the title is entirely reset it is presumably a cancel printed after the volume was complete and perhaps republished, and designed for those copies that Herringman chose to issue through his own booksellers” (Greg III, 1121). In 1684, Herringman turned over the retail side of his business to Francis Saunders and his partner Joseph Knight. Fourth Folios almost invariably bear the imprints “Herringman-Brewster-Bentley” or “Herringman-Brewster-Chiswell-Bentley.”
Price: $100,000.00 Item Number: 5605
"With love, Stephen": Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of Stephen Hawking's The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology; warmly inscribed by him
Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of one of Hawking’s most important papers, one of a very small number of his works that he signed before his worsening motor neuron disease made it impossible for him to sign. Octavo, four pages, signed by Stephen Hawking in the upper left corner, “With love, Stephen.” The occurrence of singularities in cosmology was the second paper Hawking published on the occurrences of singularities, or black holes, following the submission of his PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, in which he examined the implications and consequences of the expansion of the universe. In the final chapter of his thesis, Hawking concluded, “It is shown that a singularity is inevitable provided that certain very general conditions are satisfied.” This conclusion established the trajectory of his future work, as well as his style of combining popularizing flair with a willingness to challenge received wisdom. Hawking published the present paper in 1966 during his research fellowship at Gonville and Caius in addition to his extended essay Singularities and the geometry of space-time which would win the Adams Prize, one of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious awards, and contained his assessment: “Undoubtedly, the most important results are the theorems in Chapter 5 on the occurrence of singularities. These seem to imply either that the General Theory of Relativity breaks down or that there could be particles whose histories did not exist before (or after) a certain time. The author’s own opinion is that the theory probably does break down but only when quantum gravitational effects become important.” In very good condition with light staining to the lower portion of the paper. From the personal collection of Stephen Hawking.
Price: $95,000.00 Item Number: 119730
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
First edition, second printing of the author’s masterpiece. Octavo, original green cloth, gilt titles to the spine. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Esther Sidman on her 21st birthday from her admirer. F Scott Fitzgerald, Hollywood, 1938.” In near fine condition with a touch of shelfwear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Great Gatsby’s signed and inscribed by Fitzgerald are rare.
Price: $92,000.00 Item Number: 93465
“FOUNDED THE SCIENCE OF MODERN POLITICS”: RARE 1640 FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF MACHIAVELLI’S THE PRINCE
Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince. Also, The life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca. And The meanes Duke Valentine us’d to put to death Vitellezzo Vitelli… Translated out of Italian into English by E.D.
London: R. Bishop for Wil: Hils, 1640.
Rare first edition in English of Machiavelli’s Prince, a seminal work in the foundation of modern political theory, and the great classic of political science. 12 mo, bound in full contemporary calf. From the library of William Constable, Baronet with his bookplate, in near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, most rare and desirable in this condition and in a contemporary binding.
Price: $78,000.00 Item Number: 78010