First Edition Books for Sale Online
Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive collection of rare and first-edition books from a variety of authors and publishers. Navigate through our full selection of first-editions below to find a particular item you're looking for, ask a question, or order online today!
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“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”: Rare Nikola Tesla Autographed Letter Signed
Autographed letter signed by brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla. The letter reads, “New York, July 30th, 1898. #46 & 48 E. Houston Str. Snowden Ward, Esq., Editor of the Photogram, 6 Faringdon Ave., London, Engl. Dear Sir:- I have your favor of July 23rd, and regret not to be able to oblige you in the matter at present. It will give me pleasure to comply with your request at the next favorable opportunity. Believe me to be, Yours very truly, N. Tesla.” The recipient, Snowden Ward was an English photographer and author, who produced several periodicals and technical handbooks on photography in collaboration with his wife, accomplished American photographer Catharine Weed Barnes. A photograph of Nikola Tesla’s hand was featured as the frontispiece to the August 1898 volume of The Photogram, annotated “The hand of Nikola Tesla, taken by his wonderful artificial daylight, just perfected. This is the first photograph made by the light of the future.” The following issue in September revisited the subject with an lengthy interview with Tesla in which he explained his experimentation with phosphorescent vacuum tube lights and photographic exposures in great detail. This correspondence was likely in regards to Tesla supplying this interview. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18 inches by 22.5 inches. Letters signed by Tesla are rare.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 65015
Rare Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President
Rare original Mathew Brady photograph of Ulysses S. Grant. Boldly signed by Grant as the 18th President of the United States, “U.S. Grant March 18th 1875.” One of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew B. Brady brought home the reality of the Civil War to the American public with his innovative use of a mobile studio and darkroom to capture thousands of war scenes throughout the Civil War. Brady was also recognized as one of the premier photographic portraitists of the 19th century, taking photographs of numerous celebrities including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee among others. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 16.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable with such a strong signature signed by Grant during his presidency.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 94709
Rare large etching of Albert Einstein done by well-known artist Erich Buttner. Signed by both Einstein and Buttner. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 12.25 inches by 15 inches. An exceptional piece. In the 1920s he created a series of portraits of his friends and fellow artists including Lovis Corinth, George Grosz, Arno Holz and Heinrich Zille. He produced a very fine book of exlibris (bookplates) in Berlin 1921. This book contains the exlibris of Albert Einstein 1917, probably Einstein’s only bookplate. The etching measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.75 inches by 15.75 inches.
Price: $14,000.00 Item Number: 112748
"We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy" Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John, Jr.
Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John F. Kennedy, Jr. It reads, “Dearest John, Every day we say where is John-John – Away!! – We ride in this cart & the horse has feathers – & we play on a beach like this & I found a sea horse – & we go up this hill to our house. That is a tower to look out for pirates – We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy.” Written on a postcard from Amalfi which she has addressed to “Master J.F. Kennedy Jr.” The verso shows a colorful illustration of the seashore including a horse-drawn cart, beach, stone tower, and village. Accompanied by a White House envelope with the typed return address, “Villa l’Episcopio RAVELLO, ITALIA.” Double matted and framed opposite of photograph of the Kennedy family. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 19 inches.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 65095
Rare collection of Rough Riders Photographs and Documents; Twice signed and inscribed by Theodore Roosevelt
Rare collection of original signed documents and photographs taken during President Theodore Roosevelt’s days as Colonel of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, or Rough Riders. The collection includes an original mounted photograph of Roosevelt in full uniform with his campaign hat; two cabinet card photographs of Albert S. Johnson, a member of the Cavalry; an endorsement dated September 7, 1998 which reads in part, “This officer did not serve in Cuba but remained in Florida with the squadron left behind” signed, “T. Roosevelt” which is affixed to the verso of of Albert S. Johnson’s 5 September 1898 application for 60-days leave; and a military record discharging Johnson from the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry with remarks from Captain R.H. Bruce and Theodore Roosevelt, “Did not serve under me personally; is reported to me as a good and loyal officer. T. Roosevelt col 1st U.S.V.” Johnson’s application for leave was ultimately denied as his regiment was about to be disbanded and taken out of service. In near fine condition. An exceptional collection. Documents from Roosevelt’s Rough Rider days are rare.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 95371
Etched portrait of Albert Einstein by well-known Polish-American Jewish artist Lionel S. Reiss. Signed by both Einstein and Reiss. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 87430
Etch bust of Albert Einstein done by well-known artist Hermann Struck. Signed by both Einstein and Struck, numbered 49/150. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 12.25 inches by 15 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 95890
Carte-de-visite of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boldly signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson below the photograph. In near fine condition. Matted and framed. Rare.
Price: $6,800.00 Item Number: 67039
Autograph letter signed by Michael Faraday to William Coffin answering a question regarding the chlorate reaction with sulfuric acid, “or oil of vitriol,” in gunpowder. Addressed to William Coffin, it reads, “R[oyal] Institution, January 1, 1849, My dear Sir, I conclude you mean the acid which fires gunpowder – not directly but through the medium of the Chlorate mixture that and is as far as I know the strength liquid Sulfureum and or out of Vitriol. Ever Truly Yours, Michael Faraday.” Matted and framed opposite a carte-de-visite of Faraday by John Watkins. The entire piece measures 11.25 inches by 14.25 inches.
Price: $5,800.00 Item Number: 73081
Color photograph portrait of Mother Teresa with her hands clasped in prayer boldly signed, “God bless you, M. Teresa mc.” In fine condition. Matted and framed. The photograph measures 10 inches by 8 inches. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 15 inches. An iconic photograph of Mother Teresa, rare and desirable and signed.
Price: $5,600.00 Item Number: 98753
Rare original Donald Brooks Fashion Design of Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan for the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby
Original Donald Brooks fashion design sketch of Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan for the 1974 film production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. One page pencil drawing with watercolor detail of a moonlit sky, the drawing features Farrow in full in “a wispy delicate dress of white and pale grey chiffon that moves against the body” as well as details of her family pearls, diamond bar capelet pin, pearl drop earring, and brocade t-strap dancing slipper with Donald Brooks’ inscription in pencil, “Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan ‘The Great Gatsby’ Donald Brooks.” In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 27.5 inches by 22.5 inches. An excellent piece featuring the iconic Buchanan in the classic film The Great Gatsby.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 95196
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind": Rare Original July 21st 1969 Delaware Evening Journal Front Page; Signed by legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong
Wilmington: Delaware Evening Journal, July 21, 1969.
Rare original Delaware Evening Journal featuring the headline “Eagle Jets Safely Off Moon; In Orbit for Rendezvous”, a front page article on the Apollo 11 moon landing, and large photograph of Neil Armstrong collecting dirt on the lunar surface. Boldly signed by Neil Armstrong on his photograph. Below the headline is Armstrong’s famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Articles featured on the front page include, “Neil, Buzz Leave Prints on Moon”, “Kennedy Charged in Crash”, and “Luna 15 Lands On Moon, 500 Miles from LM.” In very good condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 29 inches by 21 inches. Rare a desirable signed by Armstrong.
Price: $4,000.00 Item Number: 100158
John F. Kennedy Engraved Portrait; Signed by Ronald Reagan as Governor of California and 24 State and Lieutenant Governors
Original engraved portrait of President John F. Kennedy signed by President Ronald Reagan as Governor of California and 24 State and Lieutenant Governors including: Nelson Rockefeller, John B. Connally, Tim Babcock, Jack Williams, Don Samuelson, John J. McKeith, Walter J. Hickel, and others. With a 13-cent “John F. Kennedy” stamp, cancelled on the anniversary of JFK’s birthday, May 29th 1967. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 16.5 inches. In fine condition.
Price: $3,200.00 Item Number: 94707
Black and white photograph of Charles A. Lindbergh in his flying gear, inscribed by Lindbergh, “To Ms. Elizabeth Reynolds Sincerely, Charles A. Lindbergh.” In fine condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 9 inches by 11 inches. A striking image, rare and desirable signed by Lindbergh.
Price: $2,800.00 Item Number: 89010
A proxy boldly signed by John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. as a shareholder and appointing five men as his proxies, who were George F. Baker, Walter B. James, Edward S. Harkness, Robert S. Brewster, and R.T. Crane, Jr., at the Annual Meeting of the Shareholders of Jekyl Island Club.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of Morgan. The entire piece measures 13.25 inches by 17.25 inches. Rare and desirable.
Price: $2,500.00 Item Number: 67053
Autographed letter signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The letter reads, “Concord 8 Feb. 1864 Dear Mrs. Botter, In obedience to your request send to me through my daughter, I enclose this paper. yours faithfully, R.W. Emerson.” Double matted and framed with a photograph of Emerson. The entire piece measures 14.5 inches by 17.5 inches. A very attractive piece.
Price: $2,500.00 Item Number: 64045
Autograph boldly signed “U.S. Grant, Lt. Gen.” on a card. Double matted and framed with a photograph of Grant. The entire piece measures 12.5 inches by 8.5 inches. In fine condition.
Price: $1,750.00 Item Number: 93578
Autograph letter signed, dated “Nov 22, 1837”, and signed as “Duke of Wellington” within the body of the letter. A letter in which the Duke of Wellington declines to become a member of the proposed London Loan Association. “… the Duke begs leave to become a Member of the proposed London Loan Association,” In near fine condition. Matted with an engraving of the Duke of Wellington. The entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 11.5 inches.
Price: $1,500.00 Item Number: 119221
New York: James D. McBride, Printed by the Colombian Publishing Company, 1876.
Rare Centennial Memorial facsimile broadside of the Declaration of Independence. In near fine condition. The document measures 14 inches by 17 inches. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 23 inches. An excellent example.
Price: $1,500.00 Item Number: 54076